Jim's Ideal Client's character sketch

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    Jim Bessey
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    [Please note that this is not “perfect” — there are still some pain-points to be addressed by me. I will continue to refine this. ~Jim]

    My ideal client is an “aspiring” writer, most often female.

    She has been writing stories since she was old enough to know a noun from a verb. Over the years she has shared her stories mostly among family and friends, often to rave reviews.

    She is well-educated (two or more years of college), self-confident, imaginative, and outgoing. She likes using social media, especially Facebook, but also Twitter and Pinterest. If she works outside the home, it’s likely part-time or as part of her family’s business.

    She loves to write short stories, full-length fiction, and some how-to articles in her area of expertise (often for low or no pay). She may have tried self-publishing with some limited success, or more likely has posted her stories to her own blog (often hosted by Google or Weebly, etc.). She has done the research on Querying for publication, but hasn’t yet worked up the nerve to give it a serious try.

    Although she loves to write, she lacks a key level of confidence in her abilities. She enjoys learning more about writing and blogging, and subscribes to a select group of industry-related bloggers (Nathan Bransford or Jeff Goins, for instance). She networks with other writers she has met via Facebook or one of those blogsites. She has become very knowledgeable about various aspects of writing and publishing, but still isn’t sure if she’s “ready” (for Prime Time?). Essentially, she needs a push.

    Some background:

    She has a number of hobbies and interests outside the home, including gardening and interior decorating. She’s an avid reader and has one or two highly preferred genres (historical fiction and mysteries, and the occasional romantic thriller). She describes herself as “creative” or “artistic”. She loves to take pictures, not just of her family.

    Her children are in their pre-teens or early teens, with their own activities. She no longer needs to devote all of her time to the kids. She is ready to make her mark on the world, outside the shadow of whatever her husband or life partner does for a living. She is not the primary income-earner in the family, but she wants to contribute more if she can find a creative way to do that. She has tried to earn money from her writing, but never made more than $1000 a year from her efforts.

    She isn’t afraid of work, and has had more than one job outside the home. But she never made a “career” of anything, because her family came first. She has tried a couple of those in-home sales programs (like Avon, etc.), but it wasn’t really her thing. She occasionally volunteers at her local library, when time permits.

    She is not an Investor, but she is a Saver. She clips coupons and subscribes to one or more of those weekly-email discount or “perks” programs. She and her husband eat out once or twice a week, not extravagantly. She buys the kids fast food like pizza or McDonalds a couple of times a week. She likes to cook but doesn’t dwell on it. She and her husband don’t entertain often, but when they do they serve wine or imported beer.

    She handles the bulk of her family’s “domestic” responsibilities, but she’s got it down to a system, and chores don’t govern her life. Her house isn’t spotless, but she’s proud of it and handles the decorating and furnishing decisions.

    If she has any pets they are most often one or two cats. If they have a dog, it’s her husband’s or older children’s responsibility. They buy decent quality pet food, but don’t dote on their pets.

    She owns her own car, probably an older model that’s well-maintained and likely paid-for. She has a favorite mechanic who knows her by name and doesn’t cheat her, because she checked with friends for references. She is not gullible or naive. She’s an active user of sites like Angie’s List.

    She and her family take one or two vacations each year, sometimes to visit relatives. Most often, they drive because it’s flying’s too expensive. They enjoy camping, or taking weekend Road Trips with an overnight stay at a small motel someplace scenic. They hope to visit Disney World or Busch Gardens (etc.) someday, but they aren’t willing to borrow to do so. They do not own a boat or motorcycle, but may have a family cottage near a lake or mountain.

    At this critical juncture in her life, she is looking for friendship, some peer recognition, help promoting her writing and help with learning about marketing herself and her work. She would be unlikely to spend more than $1,000 in any given year for help or non-traditional education, but she is willing and able to pay for what she wants or needs below that ceiling. She won’t fall for glitzy marketing, and prefers to develop “relationships” with people her peers trust and have recommended (like her mechanic, too).

    She has decided it’s time to make something constructive of her creative efforts. She may have joined one or more real-life writing groups, and certainly belongs to one or more online peer groups. She is an active participant who asks constructive questions, encourages lively discussion (not always on topic tho), and is helpful and encouraging to her friends there. She has at least one full-length novel that’s either self-published or “ready” to self-publish. It needs some work. She is prepared to do what it takes to become a Published Author, one way or another.

    Now she just needs that “push” to take her big leap forward.

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