On Monday, I shared why an audience persona should become your guide post for all communications and fundraising materials as well as how you can easily create an audience persona. If you missed this post and the free resource, hop on over to check it out before you read today’s post!
Today we’re going to discuss how to make the most of your audience persona when it comes to telling amazing stories. So grab your audience persona and piece of paper and let’s get started!
Always Start With What You Know
When it comes to telling stories as a part of your communications and fundraising materials, it can easily become a muddled mess of information and confusion. I often hear people tell me that they don’t know where to start with their storytelling efforts. This is exactly where your audience persona comes into play!
When you know who you are talking to, what they’re lives are like and why they give to your organization, you can make much better, data-driven decisions about the content you produce.
For instance, if the audience for a disabilities non-profit is comprised of people who are between 30 and 45 years old and are mostly single adults, yet all of the stories in their monthly newsletter are about children with disabilities – how do you think that audience will react?
It’s likely that they will feel alienated, disconnected and as a result less emotionally responsive to the non-profit.
Create Behavioural Scenarios
As you work towards leveraging your audience persona, one of the things you can do to make the information work for you is to think about different behavioural scenarios. By this, I mean that you can think about what your audience persona would do in various situations.
For instance. . .
What would they do if they read a story about a sick child?
What would they do if they saw a video instead of reading 700 words?
What would they do if they received an email whose subject line reads, “Will you help me?”
List out 5 different behavioural scenarios that are relevant to your cause and think through your audience persona’s actions.
5 Ways to Use Your Audience Persona
We’ve talked about the value of starting with what you already know and how to take what you know to the next level by looking at behavioural scenarios. But your audience persona is really only valuable when you use it consistently. Sometimes this can be a challenge, so here are 10 ways that you can use your audience persona to develop consistency and power in your storytelling efforts.
1. Know your audience persona’s emotional triggers – In the process of getting to know your audience better, you’ve likely uncovered their soft, mushy emotional side. Incorporate that into your audience persona and use it as a guide when you put together stories.
2. Identify the story that your audience persona most wants to hear – there are many, many types of stories that you can tell, but chances are there’s one story archetype that your audiences responds to more.
3. Learn the channels through which your audience persona wants to hear your stories – There is no point is doing all of this work if no one is going to read your stories. Be relevant, on the relevant channels.
4. Bring your audience persona into the story – As much as forming an emotional connection is important, you also want the audience to see parts of themselves (or their lives) in the story.
5. Before you send it ask – will the audience persona care? If the answer is no, then you have more work to do. Never send out anything if there’s a shadow of a doubt in your mind about whether or not it’s going to be effective.
If you’ve enjoyed today’s post and want to learn even more about non-profit storytelling, be sure to check out our upcoming e-course: The Power of Storytelling – 4 Weeks to Transform Staff and Board Members into Passionate Fundraisers!
Registration closes on Friday!