STORY + AUDIENCE with Jill Golick & Annelise Larson

Episode 103: STORY + AUDIENCE in Development

April 28, 2020 Jill Golick & Annelise Larson Season 1 Episode 3
STORY + AUDIENCE with Jill Golick & Annelise Larson
Episode 103: STORY + AUDIENCE in Development
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STORY + AUDIENCE with Jill Golick & Annelise Larson
Episode 103: STORY + AUDIENCE in Development
Apr 28, 2020 Season 1 Episode 3
Jill Golick & Annelise Larson

In this third episode, screenwriter Jill Golick and digital strategist Annelise Larson discuss how the research that many writers do during the development phase for their scripts, can be deepened and repurposed for strategic audience development (and which can probably start earlier than you think). Annelise also gives everyone a long list of free tools and a process for enhancing the research for your writing to help find your audience.

Mentioned in this episode:
Norsemen
Google Trends
Google Ads Keyword Planner
Bing Ads Keyword Planner
Hashtagify.me
Buzzsumo
Google Alerts

Find more about Jill at http://jillgolick.com/
And more about Annelise at https://veria.ca/

Or reach us both at STORYplusAUDIENCE@gmail.com
 
Please rate, share, like, follow & subscribe and send us your thoughts & questions about STORY+AUDIENCE

Show Notes Transcript

In this third episode, screenwriter Jill Golick and digital strategist Annelise Larson discuss how the research that many writers do during the development phase for their scripts, can be deepened and repurposed for strategic audience development (and which can probably start earlier than you think). Annelise also gives everyone a long list of free tools and a process for enhancing the research for your writing to help find your audience.

Mentioned in this episode:
Norsemen
Google Trends
Google Ads Keyword Planner
Bing Ads Keyword Planner
Hashtagify.me
Buzzsumo
Google Alerts

Find more about Jill at http://jillgolick.com/
And more about Annelise at https://veria.ca/

Or reach us both at STORYplusAUDIENCE@gmail.com
 
Please rate, share, like, follow & subscribe and send us your thoughts & questions about STORY+AUDIENCE

Jill Golick:   0:03
Welcome to STORY + AUDIENCE, a podcast about creating stories that connect deeply with audiences.

Annelise Larson:   0:15
And using that connection to build a long term career as a storyteller.

Jill Golick:   0:20
My name is Jill Golick, and I am a screenwriter with questions for you today.

Annelise Larson:   0:27
And I'm Annelise Larson, I work in digital marketing and strategy for media, and hopefully I'll be able to answer your questions today. We're going do a dive into how to use this STORY+AUDIENCE approach for research and development. I want to start by talking about this series that came, I believe, out of Norway - it was called the Norseman -that was lucky enough to be picked up by Netflix as an acquisition for its first season. And the producer knew that when it launched on Netflix, because it wasn't even a Netflix Original, there was going be no promotional love for it. And this was even when Netflix did do a bit of marketing for individual series and productions on their platform. Now they're not really doing that at all, so he knew he had to do something special. When the series launched on Netflix, he tied that to a hyper targeted specific ad campaign on Facebook to the states in the US that had a strong Scandinavian story of immigration; places like Minnesota and the Dakotas. And he did hyper, hyper targeted ads to not only attract people to the story that he felt would have resonance, which were about historic Vikings, but through a modern lens. So there was, through that juxtaposition, a lot of crazy humour that would happen, you know, to some extent inside jokes, because it would be so much about Scandinavian culture and history. So it did so well that people were recommending the series. He amassed a decent following on Facebook, he ended up getting a call from Netflix that said, you know, your series is blowing up, come to L. A. we want to talk to you about this. And so then Netflix ended up coming in and financed seasons two and three as a Netflix Original. Here was someone who really understood in leverage the power of a very specific audience and actually used some of these advertising platforms to learn even more about that audience because he learned through these targeted ads, what were the images, what were the stories, what were the language that those audience responded to? So that when the first season rolled out again in Europe on Netflix, he was able to take all the lessons he learned from this advertising and research phase that he'd done in the States and he applied it again to Europe. Here was an example of a story really leaning into the niche appeal, to have that deeper emotional connection and really leverage the power of an audience to carry it other places.

Jill Golick:   3:17
That's incredible. And these are the things we want from our audience. You know, we want to know who they are and how to find them so that they can help us spread the word, get other people to watch it and get another season made. So that's such a great story.  

Annelise Larson:   3:34
So, what's your burning question Jill?  

Jill Golick:   3:36
Okay, so here's my burning question. Last week we ended with kind of an assignment to look at a project we were working on and identify three niche audiences that might be interested in it. So I applied that lens to the project I'm working on, and coincidentally, I had just finished a new draft and I was ready to share my draft with a few people. So I sent out the draft, as I do to some very experienced writers, friends of mine, to get their feedback on it. And I also sent it to someone who I would consider in that niche, and I'll say that niche, I'll call it early adopters. This is someone who's really a techno savvy and an early adopter, and I value her reading, particularly because she understands the technical language that underlies the show. And so there's one scene where all the writer readers said, "I don't understand what this scene is about," and my niche audience member said, "Oh my god, I love this scene more than anything. Could you do more of that? Use more of that insider language throughout the script?" So now I'm a little bit unsure about how to proceed because I'm not sure, are my writer audiences sort of thinking in an old school way and directing me towards that mass appeal audience? Or should I be catering to my niche reader? How do I proceed? Because after we hang up today, I'm going to rewrite. I'm in rewrite mode.  

Annelise Larson:   5:25
Yeah, well, I think the short answer is yes. That's probably what those writers are doing, cause that's been the school of thought, right? To blunt something enough that it would have that broader, more mass media appeal. You can't infiltrate the stories so much that it becomes so exclusive that there is no way in for anyone but the niche, so there definitely needs to be a balance struck. But I bet that that reaction your niche audience reader had was that recognition we talked about, that feeling of authenticity would lead her to want to share it. She is much more likely to share it than people who go: yeah, okay, so you blunt it all down, you lose your niche, you lose those first adopter, super fans who will share it when they see their lived experience portrayed authentically. Probably the mass appeal audience isn't gonna share it because, again, nothing to kind of grab onto. Yes, you need to strike a kind of balance, but you definitely don't want to get rid of a scene that had that strong response.

Jill Golick:   6:33
Specificity. It had specificity. It has that word that we talked about last time, and so I think that there's a little bit of strength that you have to have as a storyteller to lean into that because there will be people who will try and push you off that kind of specificity and that insider kind of feel.  

Annelise Larson:   6:56
Well, I think, Jill, I think this is something we both share, right? So when you're in this development phase, when you're working on the story, you always have so much more freedom when there's not any money attached to something yet. Once you start taking people's money than they have all kinds of opinions and you know, to be fair, that's allowed, they're giving you their money to make it. But the way to protect that writing is to also tie that to a definite audience. All of a sudden it becomes easier to protect that story because you can say, this is what this audience is going to respond to. I know that we both approach research in this sort of early development phase. Why don't you talk to me a little bit about the kind of research you do to help your story be more authentic?

Jill Golick:   7:41
So as I'm developing character and I often start, like, I might have a hint of where my story is going to go and what it's about, but I'll start with character. And even though I often base my characters on people I know, I will spend a lot of time looking for the forums, the Reddits, the YouTube channels that my characters would subscribe to or create. So I'm wasting a lot of time on the Internet, sort of trying to be them and find them and hear them and think about what they're thinking about and get into it that way. Once you're on the Internet, of course, there's this daisy chain of articles that I'm reading that will often lead to specific authors, and then I might morph into their books as well. So you know, I usually create a folder from the new project, and within that folder there'll be a folder called Research, which will have a lot of articles saved there and also pages of links to YouTube channels by characters.

Annelise Larson:   8:54
Right. So when you're doing that research, where do you start?

Jill Golick:   8:58
I'd start with a search. That search bar is my friend, and it's often hard to find what I'm looking for, like it'll take a while to zero in on exactly what search terms are going to get me where I want to go.  

Annelise Larson:   9:14
So it's also that you're trying to figure out the right language to get what you need out of the search engines to inform your creative decisions.

Jill Golick:   9:21
Oh, I think I'm learning something already. So maybe it's good to write down my search terms too and keep that, keep a record of that.

Annelise Larson:   9:29
When I start talking to writers, especially, about market research, because this is also what we're talking about. From my perspective, they get really, like no, you know, and  I respect that everyone has a different process when a story is new and in baby form and all raw and yeah, maybe you do need to protect that. Maybe you're not diving into that character and story research yet, but it's gonna come, right, and I think what people don't realize is when they're doing that, they're also researching potential information about that target audience. Your market, heaven forbid, because we want our stories to reach an audience. So when I start a project, when I'm brought into a project, I like to get involved actually is early as possible. I like to be involved in development because there's sometimes things that I can discover through the market research that I'm doing that will help the writer and other parts of the creative team start to make strategic choices like you narrowing down the language, really trying to hone in on the language that you're using to make these searches by paying attention to like when it sort of hits. When you're able to make a connection to something that you feel is really relevant in your research folder, start another spreadsheet where you grab those phrases that help you find what you're looking for that is relevant to your character, because I don't know if you remember, but in our last episode, the very first question we asked as a helpful prompt to find your audience is who is in it?

Jill Golick:   11:10
Right, right. You know, and I and I think about it like there's one character who I'm writing about right now and and I found a YouTube channel where there was someone who is very similar to my character, and I often go back to listen to that channel to just listen to the way this guy talks. But when I read the comments underneath his videos, it's that thing we talked about about the way the audience connects to him. Like the people who are commenting are going like, "Dude, you're just like me or you just wrote the story of my life or I love this so much." And I guess, those are potentially the fans of him in my work. Yeah, that I'm sure I've lost the search terms.  

Annelise Larson:   11:55
I'm gonna give you some tools. How about that?  

Jill Golick:   11:57
Okay.

Annelise Larson:   11:57
So in the digital marketing space, there's this process. It's where I start before we did all this stuff before I was working in digital marketing and strategy, I was a filmmaker, and even before that, I was always a writer. So I've always loved words. And when I discovered this thing called keyword research, it just it made my creative heart sing, because for me, it was unlocking the potential of language in this digital context in a way that I had no idea that this was something that I could use to help me be more strategic.  

Jill Golick:   12:36
I'm really excited for this discussion because I've never really been able to get a handle on how keyword research works, which seems silly because I use search engines a whole lot. And I eventually find what I'm looking for. But I've never really been able to figure out how it works.

Annelise Larson:   12:58
You're not alone, right? Because we're overwhelmed online. And so the great thing about the search engines as a tool for us as individuals is that everyone is using them right? Whether it's Google or Bing or Siri or Facebook or YouTube, like anywhere you can either speak or type a query is a search engine that will allow you to connect to the thing you're looking for through the language that you're choosing to use. You described your process of so called wasting time is getting smarter and smarter about the language that you're using because you're learning about it. The search engine is teaching you in terms of the results that you see. Well, this isn't quite right. Well, what if I, you know, add this other word on to it? That's why we get this thing called long tail. Like, if you just put one word into the search engine, you're not gonna get anything useful. It's as you start to qualify it more and more that you have this phrase and all of us are doing this. Every single person is doing this to answer the question that we have that we've gone to the Internet to solve. So the great thing about it is that there are a lot of tools, and there are tools that you can use for free to start to get some additional information out of that kind of search ecosystem, so that you can have a better understanding of the language of your target audience. What is it that they're typing in or speaking into these search engines to look for the thing that is relevant to your story?

Jill Golick:   14:32
Well, they're looking for things that are relevant to them, and I want to use those keywords in my work so that my thing will come up in their search results. Right?  

Annelise Larson:   14:43
Well, there's a lot of ways that this information can be used. Once you kind of know the language, you can use it in a bunch of different ways. Sure, you can incorporate it into the things that you're doing online around your story to attract an audience to build that connection to do better in the search engines. But even just having an understanding of what these relevant pockets of interest are can maybe help you pivot your story a little bit or become more strategic in the way that you're talking about and creative choices that you're making within your story to make it more relevant.

Jill Golick:   15:19
I know, I mean, I know that when I get in the forums where people are discussing the topics that are thematic to my show, I can see they're talking about this particular topic or that particular topic and sometimes, like I'll go okay, that's content I can pull into my show because the people who are really thinking about this and living that this is a topic they're interested or this is an argument they're having. That's what you're talking about here. Is that right?

Annelise Larson:   15:48
Yeah, I mean that. Like I said, there's a whole bunch of ways that you can use the data that comes out of this kind of language research, and that's definitely a big, important one. There's another example say you've got five stories that you're working on. You're saying I want to make a strategic choice about how I want to invest my time. Which of these stories is there the most amount of interest in?

Jill Golick:   16:07
All right, so I'll give you a practical example of that.  

Annelise Larson:   16:10
Okay.

Jill Golick:   16:10
When we were doing the second season of Ruby Skye P.I. there were gonna be a lot of books mentioned in it, it's set in a library, it's the Haunted Library. So when I was choosing the books, I went around and I looked at teacher's book lists for this age group. And I also went and found what books there were big fan communities around. Well, obviously, Harry Potter was one of them. The Narnia books and so on. So I was able to pull in these books that had the biggest fan communities around them, rather than just the ones that I still have on my bookshelves.  

Annelise Larson:   16:50
We've even mentioned something about this in our very first episode, when we talked about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. If you do keyword research on all of the titles of Jane Austen's books there are so many more searches, like 10 times as many searches, for Pride and Prejudice than for any of her other novels.

Jill Golick:   17:11
Right. There's a book series that I really loved as a kid, and I've often thought of adapting it. But there's not much online chat about it. Should I be abandoning that idea or? But on the other hand, I think you know, there are some environmental hooks in it and stuff like that. So maybe there's--  

Annelise Larson:   17:31
Yeah, I don't know if you've done the keyword research on it, but you should do the keyword research on it, actually see what the level of interest is. Like, there may not be fan communities, but there might be people searching for it.

Jill Golick:   17:42
Alright. So can we, can you tell me where to go?  

Annelise Larson:   17:46
Yeah. The other great thing about say, Google as a tool, is it does these other suggestions because it tries to teach you, right? So as you start typing something into the Google search bar, often it will suggest all these other phrases that other people have searched for. So even that is that like a good place to begin. Google, understandably, is the search giant, so a lot of these tools are Google related. There's something called Google Trends. So Google Trends is a tool that will show you trends in search language over time and across geography. So what you'll get is the default. It defaults to search activity in the US, but you can choose worldwide and it goes back, I think, to 2004.

Jill Golick:   18:30
So, it's a site you go to?  

Annelise Larson:   18:33
Yeah, if you literally go to Google and google: Google Trends.  

Jill Golick:   18:37
Okay.  

Annelise Larson:   18:37
It's a tool that Google has. So, for instance, I work on this ghost hunting show and even like putting in relative strength of terms like ghost hunting versus paranormal investigator, you can get a sense of relative strength of terms. I also can see when I'm doing a worldwide search, whether the trend is upward over time or if it's going down. I also can see, obviously, that there's a spike every September/October because as Halloween comes up, I can learn that that there's that pattern in interest. I also can see that it's very popular in the UK and what you get, it spits out a number that is a percentage that is sort of the relative strength of interest in each country. So the one that's the strongest, say the UK, was 100%. It was the strongest in level of interest and then maybe the United States is like 95 or some thing, so it might be more searches because it's a bigger population. But in terms of comparing country to country, you can see that overall, there's more interest in the UK as a population than there is in the United States.

Jill Golick:   19:44
I really feel like I could spend a lot of time on this site now that I'm looking at it. Yeah, I also noticed that there's a thing that I just looked at. There's like this massive spike on one particular day. So I'm thinking, huh. What happened then? I could just fall down this rabbit hole.  

Annelise Larson:   20:05
So then you google that date and that search term and something's gonna pop.  

Jill Golick:   20:09
Right.

Annelise Larson:   20:09
Or that search term and a country. There was one recently, it was about wheelchair athletes and when I was doing this exercise with a student, the strongest was in Ireland, and when we went to look, it turned out that there was this young woman who was sort of doing a Terry Fox thing, but she was a wheelchair athlete who was going around Ireland in her wheelchair to raise money and awareness.

Jill Golick:   20:31
Okay, so does that mean we've identified an influencer?

Annelise Larson:   20:34
Yes, that's exactly what I told my student. I said, When your web series is ready to go, you need to reach out to this woman.

Jill Golick:   20:40
So can you just talk a little bit about what that means?  

Annelise Larson:   20:43
Once you understand the language of your audience, you can also use it to find three really important things: influencers, conversations and communities that are relevant to that particular topic. So an influencer is really anyone who kind of represents that target niche. So it could be a reporter who writes about certain things, that's their passion. It could be a vlogger. Could be a blogger. Yes, heaven help us, it could be someone on Instagram. It's basically someone who that community is already looking to for guidance or for information or entertainment, because it's sort of in line with this thing that they care about. It could be a key organization or a person within a key organization. Often, those big, bigger influencers might not want to talk to you, but they have a community around them. They have a conversation that's happening around them. So even just like you did with your person on YouTube that you were reading the comment threads like you could start engaging with those people you know in a in a way that adds value, not just like go watch my movie or, um, subscribe to my YouTube channel. You add value and you build relationships with those people, those potential audience members for your story by adding value to that conversation and community.

Jill Golick:   21:58
Well, you know, I think what we're talking about here is the whole topic of story plus audience. We generally think of this as a marketing tool and certainly when we start writing, you know, and developing something for eventual production and marketing, it seems somehow early to think in this way. So, you know, as we're going along, we're talking a little bit about how this could influence the shaping of the story and the creating of it. But when we do get to the marketing, we kind of want to already be part of the community.  

Annelise Larson:   22:41
Yep.  

Jill Golick:   22:41
So that when we do say, hey, watch my thing we're already a valued part of that community, because nobody likes it when somebody just comes in and advertises to them. But if somebody who's part of your circle has something, then you're much more interested in going and watching it and promoting it and so on. So this kind of early keyword search early finding of influencers, early finding of the communities you can use it to fuel your story, to find little things to talk about that might be part of an episode or part of a subplot. Might help you find the language that your characters speak in, but you can also begin to be part of those communities.  

Annelise Larson:   23:29
And I think, you know, you mentioned being able to speak the language, I'm not saying like you're speaking Japanese versus English, it's the language of a particular group of people, like they do have ways of sort of identifying each other through the way that they're using language. So I think, you know, it helps your niche audience reader for your script. She was responding to the language that you were using because it had an authenticity. So I think that that's another thing, you're gonna make your characters richer and deeper because you're using their authentic language and that will get people really excited, right? It will. They will feel seeing. And we've already seen how powerful that could be.

Jill Golick:   24:08
Well, that was it, exactly. It was two or three specific slang words that she responded to and connected to. And then she pointed another scene where I hadn't used them with the same character. And she was like, "You have to put that in there." So yeah, and some of that language came from research and being in the forums and listening to the community podcasts and going oh, okay. Those are words that people are using right now, I'm gonna weave them in.

Annelise Larson:   24:42
I think, you know, that there's again that power in being specific. And, you know, I mentioned Google Trends, Google suggests and the other great thing about online and these digital opportunities that air there is any time anyone is trying to sell you advertising, they'll often give you data and information for free. So if you have access to the Google ad platform or the Bing ad platform, they have keyword planner tools in each of those interfaces that will not only allow you to start plugging in phrases that you feel might be a good fit for your story world or your audience, but they also will start giving you tons of suggestions. And if you hit on sort of a particularly rich, say, vein of language, you'll get like maybe sometimes even a couple thousand other suggestions. Some of them won't be relevant, but some of them might be and that will allow you to sort of expand the vocabulary of your world. And whether all of that stuff ends up in your script or not, you at least understand and know that it's there and can use it to support the story in other ways down the road. But the earlier you can use that to inform some of these choices that you're making, the better. I know some people who say, I don't want to think about this, but I think what I got very excited about in my conversations with you, Jill, was that it was very much a part of your process already to do this kind of research and you know, you instinctively were already doing it, and now hopefully you can do it in an even more strategic way. Understand that you can get all kinds of extra use out of.

Jill Golick:   26:14
I didn't really understand that we were talking about the things that I was already doing. I thought we were talking about something else that wasn't really useful to my writing process. But it is very useful to my writing process to be able to go and hear the people who I'm writing about using the language that I'm trying to write in while I'm working on it, I love to go and watch. You know I can't write all the time and in between when I'm on a project, I like to immerse myself in that world, to listen to the podcasts and watch the YouTube videos and read those articles that heed the language and the ideas flowing. And so if we're just talking about my paying attention to what words I'm using for my searches and sort of building that, you know, keeping the record of that, that will be useful down the line, I think the who's a huge amount of sense and doesn't cost me anything extra. Like I know when I work on the web, when I do something that's independent and entrepreneurial, how useful it is to have keywords and to build stuff into blog posts and websites that work with search engine optimization and all of that stuff. But it's the way, if I'm going to go pitched to a big company, say, a streamer, like a Disney or a Netflix or even a conventional channel like a CBC or CTV? Can I use this again? Will they get some sense of--Do they want to hear that I know who my audience is and that I know how to reach them?  

Annelise Larson:   27:51
Well, definitely. We're seeing evidence of this on the funding side because almost every single funder these days wants you to submit as part of your application for funding, some kind of document that is about audience development. It goes under all kinds of different names, right? Could be a discoverability plan. It could be an audience engagement plan. Could be a marketing plan, marketing distribution plan

Jill Golick:   28:15
Or a strategy they use the word strategy.

Annelise Larson:   28:18
Yeah. Ultimately, it is all about having a confidence that you understand that there is an audience for this story, right, and so this kind of intelligence, this kind of research is going to allow you to make stronger applications for funding, to make stronger pitches to broadcasters or distributors in our Canadian system. We have a lot of public money, and we're very grateful for it. But it has made our broadcasters and distributors a bit more removed from our audiences. I suspect that now that we have a lot of these streaming players in the mix who understand the value of a clear understanding of audience, hopefully they will finally learn. But our funders definitely do, and they're trying to make smarter decisions about the stories that they invest in. You absolutely need a good story, but if you can package that with a very clear idea of who the audience is and that you understand where they are spending their time and attention than the relative size of it and be able to be specific about it, definitely they will get more excited because they are trying to make smarter decisions about how they invest the public purse  as well.

Jill Golick:   29:35
Then I wanted to go and just point out that, you know, again get to that difference between old media and new media so old conventional channels are advertiser focused. They care less about those audience demographics because their business model is selling advertising. So they want big audiences to sell to advertisers, where someone like a Netflix has that detailed analytics on what people are watching and how they're choosing stuff, and they have their detailed recommendation engine. So I think this kind of stuff might resonate more with them.

Annelise Larson:   0:00
Yeah, well, the reality is the broadcasters are terrified because they're losing all those advertisers, because people's time and attention is not being spent on ads, like, even if they're there, we're jumping through them, right, the value to the advertisers. So many ad dollars are being moved online, and I know the advertisers are frustrated too because they want, they know the time and attention is going to the subscription model so they want to put their ads there. But Netflix doesn't want their ads, so everyone's in a bit of a tizzy as to how this new model is gonna work. But at least they're finally recognizing how powerful the audiences, and they can't make them, look at ads.

Jill Golick:   30:49
Well, I wonder, you know, if there's a way to sort of reverse engineer some of this research because, you know, we all know that once we start typing things into the search bar, we start getting very specific ads targeted at us. And I wonder if, you know, you're making a web series and you're doing your research and you start to notice what ads are coming your way if you're not looking at a potential sponsor for your show.

Annelise Larson:   31:16
I love that idea.  

Jill Golick:   31:18
I'll have to think more about that.  

Annelise Larson:   31:20
So there's a few other tools that you can use that I just want to quickly flag for people.  

Jill Golick:   31:25
Okay. 

Annelise Larson:   31:25
So another favourite piece of language for me are hashtags. So there's this great tool with a terrible name. It's hashtagify [dot] me, I'm trying to give people just free tools tools that they don't to pay for. So, yes, there's a paid version of hashtagify but you can get a lot of information out of it, just using it for free. And what's so great about it is you put basically a hashtag in there, and it will create this little word cloud so you can see other hashtags that are being used by people who are participating in that conversation. So that basically, then you create another page of your spreadsheet where you're also gonna note hashtags that you can use when you're ready to find those conversations and just lurk. And then when you're eventually ready to start doing some of this audience development, you can also use these hashtags to participate in these conversations on platforms like Twitter and Instagram in particular. There's also a tool called Buzz Sumo, B-U-Z-Z,  S-U-M-O, it's a paid tool, but you get a limited number of searches for free on that platform, and you can take some of that language around those topics and issues and cultures or whatever, and put it into Buzz Sumo, and it will show you who are the influencers in that space and what is the content that is being shared. Also, to stop yourself going down every single rabbit hole, you can automate some of these Google searches for yourself. So if you find a really particularly good phrase, you can plug it into Google, and usually when you scroll down to the bottom of the search results, it will say, like, do you want to set up a Google Alert for this. And what that means is that every day or however frequently you decide you want it sent to you, Google will basically do this search on your behalf and send you any new things that turn up in that search.

Jill Golick:   33:19
That's a good way to add, we were talking about adding value to communities as an early way of infiltrating them. You've got the Google Alert up, you find new content, you can share it using the hashtags or in the forums in the communities. And then you're already bringing value to that community.  

Annelise Larson:   33:38
Yeah, and then just doing searches, right? So, say, on a search engine, like you said, Jill, like you went to Google and that's how you were starting to find these bloggers and other influencers. But you can basically take whatever you know topic X plus blogger plus vlogger plus review or even forum that you can start to surface some of these very specific influencers or communities around the specific topics that will be of interest to your target audiences and then also go to other platforms, right? Like I said anywhere with a search box. So Facebook, Reddit, YouTube. You know, doing searches to try to find where the Facebook group is, which subreddit is the one that you need to, you know, be at least lurking in and paying attention to. We want you to own this, writers, storytellers. We don't want you to give all of this, just surrender it to the producer or additional marketing team. You want to own some of this. When we talk about having that long term success and that being a goal, you want to make a sustainable living from your creative work, you need to personally have an audience.

Jill Golick:   34:49
Well, right. So you connect deeply with an audience through reaching them emotionally, they connect with your story. But that emotional connection will transfer to you as a storyteller if you play your cards right, and then you carry that audience to your next project and eventually you as a storyteller become as valuable as a star would be because you've got all these people who are following you. But I guess all these sites and links we're talking about today we will put them somewhere under this podcast.  

Annelise Larson:   35:26
So I think now we can turn to the homework.

Jill Golick:   35:28
Okay, it's time for homework. So what am I gonna do this week?

Annelise Larson:   35:34
Well, basically, the process that we just sort of walked through with these tools, you're gonna actually go and use them now and you're gonna use them now with all of this anticipation and excitement about what it can do for your story and your project down the road. So use those Google tools. Google suggests Google Trends, the ad platforms on Google and Bing to try to get some information and insight into the language of your audience. And then once you have developed that, you know, initial vocabulary list focus on one niche or one topic and start to take that language that's associated with them and putting it into the search engines in all of its many different forms and the different tools. And I would like you to find, here's a very specific assignment.

Jill Golick:   36:23
OK, here we go. I'm writing this down.

Annelise Larson:   36:25
So find and identify 10 influencers and/or communities and find five hashtags. So obviously these are relevant. They all have to be relevant to your specific target niche audience.

Jill Golick:   36:43
Okay, I'm excited. I'm a little nervous. I'm a little apprehensive, but I'm going to try this.  

Annelise Larson:   36:51
Excellent.  

Jill Golick:   36:52
I'm gonna try. Okay, so I guess that's it for this time.  

Annelise Larson:   36:56
So please subscribe, rate and share wherever you're listening to this podcast.

Jill Golick:   37:01
And if you wanna do some research on Annelise, check her out at veria [dot] ca, V-E-R-I-A dot C-A.

Annelise Larson:   37:12
And you can always learn more about Jill at jillgolick [dot] com. Golick with one L: J-I-L-L-G-O-L-I-C-K dot com.

Jill Golick:   37:23
You can reach both of us at storyplusaudience [at] gmail [dot] com, and you're gonna have to spell out the plus: P-L-U-S. I'm Jill Golick.

Annelise Larson:   37:35
I'm Annelise Larson. As always, thank you for listening. Now go listen to your audience.