Who’s your audience? A common question in communication. Who’s it for? A common question in design and business.
Knowing your ‘who’ is critical for success of any kind. It seems quite basic. Quite commonsensical really. And yet, it is one of the number one reasons projects, influence and ideas fail. It is one of the top reasons I fail. Figuring out, I mean really figuring out, your who is hard work. It requires us to get out of our head and imagine what it is like to be another person. Empathy. Not ‘what would I do I were them in this situation?’ because I can never be you. Our life experience is different. Figuring out our who requires deep empathy work. It is scary work too, but it is work we must do.
To figure out our who some of us create ‘user stories’. We even give them memorable names like ‘Roadster Ryan’ and ‘Fashionable Faith’ and so on. But here’s the thing. Just like an average family with 2.2 kids doesn’t exist, neither do our user profiles. Our ‘who’ are real people and real people are different. They may have similarities, but they are not the same. We can’t be empathic to our ‘who’ once and be done with it. No we need empathy each day, multiple times a day, and each time we engage our ‘who’.
Your user story doesn’t exist. But the person you want to connect with does.
So who is your who?