talking to the wrong persona

Are You Talkin’ to Me? Why Your Content Is Written For the Wrong Persona

WBG_blog_feat_img_DISC_Communication_SkillsAre you writing your content to fit your prospects’ reading styles?

Surprised that readers have communication styles? Sure they do! Whether you’re listening to a message or reading it, you evaluate it and interpret it using similar criteria. There’s a lot of well-written content that has less impact, simply because it’s not written appropriately for the intended audience. Delivering your message in a way that fits your audience helps you gain credibility and influence, and helps produce the results you’re after.

If you want your content to have the most impact, you should be writing for the communication style of your target persona. One great way to do this is by using the DISC assessment.

DISCovering the DISC Assessment (Yes, We Went There)

DISC is a communication assessment designed specifically to describe how people behave in professional contexts. DISC is made up of four communications types:

  • Dominance
  • Influence
  • Steadiness
  • Conscientiousness

We won’t go into all the ins and outs of the DISC assessment and the four communication styles, but you can get a great explanation of DISC here.

It won’t make sense for every persona to have their own DISC type, but for many it will. For example, if you have a Quality Control Specialist persona, they’re likely to emphasize quality and accuracy and value expertise and competency—the “C” communication type. In contrast, a sales rep persona probably places an emphasis on influencing or persuading others—typical of an “I” person.

How to Write for Different DISC Profiles

Writing for “D” Types

Keep it brief and to the point. “D” types aren’t interested the details, so give them the big picture - cast a vision. Be goal-oriented and understand their priorities. You’ll need to show thought leadership and demonstrate that you have solutions - write in terms of results, not methods.

Writing for “I” Types

“I” types are oriented toward relationships, so use a relaxed and sociable tone in your writing. Don’t pretend to be their best friend, but show that you understand them and their pain points. Make your company feel “human” and show that you value your relationships with customers and leads. Don’t be afraid to use humor when appropriate. Stories and examples have high impact. “I” types won’t need piles of stats and figures, but they will want easy access to information when they’re ready for it.

Writing for “S” Types

“S” types are low-key and value calmness and stability. A relaxed and easygoing voice is the best choice for this reader.  Be logical and systematic in your writing and don't come on too strong - you’ll need to earn their trust over time so don't try to close the sale too early. Expect them to take time to make paradigm shifts. Because they value cooperation, be sure to demonstrate that you value them.

Writing for “C” Types

“C” types are analyzers. You’ll need to be precise and focused in your writing. Be prepared to answer many questions. Your voice should be tactful and reserved, and you should show that you can meet high standards. Present logical, systematic content with plenty of data to back up your assertions.

Adapting Your Writing Is Just the First Step

Now that you understand how to adapt your writing to your personas, start thinking about how you might optimize other aspects of your content.

  • Do your visuals “speak” effectively to your persona’s DISC type?
  • Would your “I” persona rather watch a video or read a whitepaper?
  • What’s the best way to share the content?
  • What will the persona want to do next?

Before you know it, your content will be so well optimized, your prospects will think you knew them before they ever heard of you!

Next Steps

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