Have you ever seen the movie “Thief of Hearts?”
It was by no means a blockbuster, but it was pretty steamy and sexy for its time. It’s about a professional thief who breaks into a house, steals a lot of stuff and inadvertently takes the private diary belonging to the lady of the house.
And he reads them.
He reads her most secret thoughts, deepest desires and wildest fantasies. Then, he uses this information to seduce her. After all, because he’s read her diary, he knows exactly what to say and what to do (and how to do it) in order to enchant her, steal her heart and fulfill both her emotional and erotic fantasies.
Sure, his methods are highly questionable, but his results… guaranteed.
So, why don’t you do the same thing? Imagine that you’ve snuck into your ideal client’s bedroom, taken her journal and then read her most private thoughts. The thoughts and feelings she only reveals in private, with her journal.
[Note: For the rest of this post, I’m going to refer to your ideal client as a “she.” Because it’s easier and it sounds better than writing “he or she” “his or her” etc. So, if your ideal client is a man, just switch it up in your mind, okay? Thank you.]
What would her journal entry be at 2:10 am when she’s dead tired but unable to sleep because she’s feeling anxious about… everything.
What would her entry be 7:00 am as she climbs into her Toyota Camry to drive 50 minutes in work-hour traffic to get to a job she’s hates?
What would she write at 6:00 in the evening, (that is, if she had half a moment to stop and write), when she’s only got 30 minutes to fix dinner for her 3 kids before the babysitter gets there but there’s nothing in the fridge and her youngest is screaming for her attention because his older brother just punched him in the stomach and she’s only got one hour in which to take a shower and get all dolled up to go to a cocktail party hosted by her husband’s boss, at which she’ll have to stand in high heels for 3 hours, drink watered-down martinis and be polite to a crowd of people she doesn’t know before she has to drive her husband home as he sleeps and snores in the passenger seat because his martinis weren’t so watered down.
If you can imagine what your client may write in her most private journal, if you can slip inside her head, feel what’s in her heart, and listen to what she tells herself day after day after day, you will know how to reach her with your words. You will know what to write in your blog posts, sales pages, emails or what have you, in order to touch her heart, wake her up and inspire her take action on her own behalf.
Now, as an entrepreneur, you’ve probably already been told in a million different ways that you need to know your ideal client. You need to know what makes her tick, what makes her mad, what drives her crazy and what she wants more than anything. You may have even created an ideal client profile that defines what I call “the census taker stuff,” like where she lives, how old she is, whether she went to college, what kind of income she makes annually, whether she’s married, single, divorced… that kind of information.
But that’s not enough. Not if you want to touch, uplift and inspire her. Not if you want to initiate and build a relationship of trust. Not if you want to offer her something that matters, that makes a difference. And certainly not if you want to write copy and content that speaks to her deepest desires and secret fears so she cannot help but be captivated by your message, intrigued by your services and compelled to say “yes” to your offer.
So, try this.
Pretend you are your ideal client. Get inside her skin and BE her, just for the next 10 minutes or so.
Now, write two journal entries as your ideal client.
- In one, you’ll write your client’s deepest, darkest thoughts. Include all the things she’s afraid of or perhaps ashamed to admit. Go deep and let it all spill out onto the page.
- Then, write another journal entry in which you, as your ideal client, explore your wildest dreams and desires. It’s as if someone just gave you (your client) a magic wand and now anything is possible. What is she excited about? What does she let herself imagine?
When I took Marie Forleo’s B-School last spring, she included an exercise similar to this. Now, I’ve got a lot of tools and processes to help my clients go deep and get inside the hearts and minds of clients. And I think this journal writing exercise is one of the best.
When you drop into that place inside your ideal clients’ emotional world where they are completely honest with themselves, when you lean in and imagine what they are thinking and feeling, you are energetically listening to them at a deep, core level. And by listening to them in this way, you will know what to say in response, in your copy, content and marketing messages.
So, try this double journal entry exercise and see what you discover about your ideal client. Did you learn something new? Did you get a better sense of what he or she is really up against? What words, phrases, questions and exclamations did your ideal client use to describe what’s she’s feeling, thinking or wanting?
Share your insights below in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered.