In my last post, we touched on how personas can help you in all aspects of your business, but in particular in your relationship with your reader-audience, and how personas will make it easier to write a book geared toward your target market.
Here, we’ll look at the basic psychology of personality, as it applies to the concept of personas.
First, a little background. In his 1954 book, Motivation and Personality, psychologist Abraham Maslow coined the term “hierarchy of needs.” Maslow came up with the concept as a result of his research into human motivation. It was originally depicted as a five-level pyramid (after his death in 1970, three more levels were added by others):
The pyramid shows that people rarely consider higher-level needs until they have satisfied their lower-level ones. In other words, it’s hard to dive into writing that novel, improving your golf game or planning your retirement when you’re hungry or in need of shelter and companionship.
Fortunately, the people in your target audience are probably already meeting their needs for safety, nourishment and support. You don’t have to worry about positioning your message (whatever you write in your book or how you position your service) as something essential related to food or protection.
At the same time, you probably don’t have to tap into their higher-level needs, either. As the pyramid shows, people rarely consider a higher need until they’ve satisfied their lower needs. That leaves you midway, where most of us spend our lives, searching for a sense of belonging.
Personas allow you to fill people’s needs for belonging and building a community by engaging more readily with your audience to build a community.
Armed with this perspective, let’s look a little closer at the concept of personas, and then of using personas to connect with your audience.
We’ll continue to explore this in our next post.
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