When you imagine your ideal customer, you probably have a list of attributes that form an avatar. For example, if you sell jewelry, your target avatar might be a female, 30-35 years old, university-educated, high-income married mother of two children who shops at Macy’s. However, do you know if she likes woodworking?
I’m guessing that detail isn’t in your avatar’s profile.
Here’s the thing: woodworking is hot right now. This little TikTok video revealing the journey from tree to coffee table just hit 350K views. A Maine carpenter just got 2.7M views for making a cutting board. We’re living in a world where Bruce Graybill, who likes to wear a knit Viking cap while he makes custom charcuterie boards, is getting and surpassing Kim Kardashian’s numbers.
You might not be in the market for a cookie coffee table (21K views), but now you have to have one, and so does your avatar.
Bruce Graybill is living the dream, scaling his niche woodworking business because he’s figured out how to make content appealing to a wider audience than the minuscule subset of the population looking for “woodworking content featuring dudes from Maine wearing knit Viking caps who make pretty cutting boards.”
We call this the “generalist principle,” which is creating content that makes a wider audience care about a topic that might not normally interest them. Using the generalist principle means you reach beyond your avatar and think about who isn’t your current customer.
This means you don’t flatten the life experience of your target audience. It’s quite possible that your 32-year old, college-educated, professional mother of two likes jewelry and charcuterie boards and waffles and Ed Sheeran (quit pretending you don’t like him too).
Making people care about content is the focus of trends analysis. When we investigate not just what’s going viral, but why it’s going viral, we can develop hypotheses about what’s causing videos to perform so well. When we test and validate those hypotheses, we can apply the findings to different content verticals.
This means it’s possible to reverse-engineer why Bruce Graybill’s woodworking videos are killing it and use those takeaways in jewelry content, or organic waffle content, or even the next Ed Sheeran (quit pretending you don’t like him too).
Woodworker Bruce Graybill’s following has ballooned from 7,000 followers to 82,000. What do you think a 2% conversion rate looks like for him?
Are you ready to make people care?
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