How to make your reader feel seen

In the world of girl and duck, I get this often: Jen, I feel like I’ve known you for years. I always feel like you’re talking to me, personally.

This doesn’t happen by accident. When I decided to take girl and duck online, I knew I had a lot to learn. Especially about marketing.

I mean, you don’t just create a few courses then bumble through, do you???

So, I took myself off to B-School.


Marie Forleo said MANY things but one thing really hit me, BAM!

‘If you’re talkin’ to everyone, you’re talkin’ to no-one.’

(You’ve gotta say this with a Jersey (Joysey) accent, okay?)

So, when you’re building a community and when you’re marketing products, it’s super helpful to come up with an ICA.

That’s your Ideal Customer Avatar.

It’s a big job. You’ve got to go deep and really figure out who this person is.

Who is the one person you understand more than anyone? The one person who genuinely needs you and will find what you have to offer life changing?

You must take the time to figure this out and write a detailed profile.

Then, whenever you create a course or write a newsletter, a blog post or a sales letter, this special person is always front and centre of all your communications.

This is Marketing 101.

It’s also a big hearted way of doing business.

But back to Marie’s comment.

Today I realised this is what I do when I write a book.

People constantly ask, how do you write Junior Fiction? Middle grade? How do write for eight-year-olds? How do you write for twelve-year-olds? How do write for publishers?

The answer is YOU DON’T.

You write for ONE person. You write for your ICA. Your Ideal Customer Avatar.

If you’re writin’ for everyone, you’re writin’ for no one.

Choose one, exceptional person (or kid) and write for them and them alone.


This, of course, can mean dreaming up an ‘ideal reader’, a concept most of us are familiar with.

But for me, the marketing adage makes the concept more real. Gives it more weight or clarity.

You can’t talk to everyone.

And you can’t write for everyone.

It’s just too bloody broad. Too general. Too cold.

Choose one reader, whether it’s a kid you know, a kid you’ve dreamed up, or yourself as a kid, and write for them and them alone.

Keep it simple, singular and soulful.

Keep it personal.

Then, when your story goes out into the world, everyone who needs it will relate to it.

They will feel valued and acknowledged.

They will feel seen.

And you’ll be a better writer (and possibly a better person) for it.

Jen xo

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