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What Would Andy Do?

Entrepreneurs often make the same classic mistake: they think of themselves as the typical customer. Which is always wrong (because we entrepreneurs are weird).

To avoid this trap, use "personas" – fictional hypothetical customers that you plan for. (Here’s a great explanation.)

In a moment of strangeness, I was listening to Susan Bratton being interviewed on David Spark’s Be The Voice Podcast … and she starts talking about me, or at least an imaginary me. It turns out that I’m Susan’s persona:

To deliver great content you have to keep the individual listener in mind. Its best to think of a real person you know that would be the ideal audience for your podcast. For Bratton’s DishyMix show which is filled often with social media thought leaders…Andy becomes the representative audience member that she thinks about when she does her show. It’s something she didn’t believe Andy knew…until now.

The reason she picks a person like Sernovitz is because he’s a though leader in the same space for which she’s interviewing others. As she’s preparing and interviewing a guest, she always thinks about Andy. Would Andy find this interesting? Is this the kind of information that would help Andy’s business? “It just gives me someone to talk to and think about so that my thoughts are collected at a pretty senior level when I’m doing my show which is my intent,” said Bratton.

Susan, I’m glad to be your imaginary ideal audience.

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  1. TravisV September 15, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    I agree that it’s a dangerous mistake to make false assumptions about your target audience based on your personal motivations / biases. But I don’t understand how creating personas (upon which you also project your personal biases) and then catering to those personas is a whole lot different / better?

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