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Most kids ditch their imaginary friends along with their sippy cups and security blankets.

That’s a good thing, right?

Well, marketers have discovered a new benefit to finding (and keeping) those imaginary friends again.

One top advertising agency –- Organic in Detroit –- even gave its imaginary friends their own office space.

Why?

Because these fictional characters, or “personas,” make it much easier to make a deep connection with your writing and content marketing.

“Personas allow them to journey into a relational territory where they can understand on an emotional level the most important determinants of real consumers’ brand preferences and purchase decisions,” Dale Buss writes in Advertising Age, “And personas give marketers a meaningful shorthand for communicating with one another.”

I agree with Mr. Buss. If you’ll humor me for a moment, I want to translate some of that advertising-speak and show you how to create your own imaginary marketing persona … and how he or she can make you a better writer.

Craft your own persona

Creating a persona can help your writing better resonate with audiences -– and it doesn’t require having extra office space.

You only need a willingness to be creative.

Create your own persona by first envisioning your perfect reader.

Then, write down the bare facts: name, age, gender, income, education and marital status. Focus not only on demographics, but also personal details that help you identify with this person on a more intimate level.

You can even do a quick search on Google Images to find a photo that matches the persona. Don’t use stock photos –- you want someone who looks real. (Just don’t share it publically unless you have permission to use the photo.)

The idea here is to get as specific as you can about the appearance of your imaginary friend.

Dive deeper into your persona

Once you’ve filled in the basic facts, write a paragraph or two for each of the following categories:

Personal information Describe her as if she was standing in the same room. Write about her goals, her values, her likes and dislikes. Write about her biggest problems, and the things that keep her up at night.
Needs What are her needs? What problems does she hope that your writing will solve? How are these problems causing her pain and discomfort? What end result does she want, and what end result does she really need? Are they the same?
Influence Here’s where you lay out all the factors that go into her decision to take your advice. What influences her decision? How does she find out about your writing, and why does she remember it? What differentiates you, and why is that important to her?

So, who is your imaginary friend?

Click here to download a PDF that takes a look at what the completed persona from the example above might look like.

Then take the time to create your own persona page.

Once you’ve finished, hang it somewhere you can refer to it often. That way, you can apply your future writing to this persona, and get an idea of whether it will resonate with your target market.

How about you — think you’re too old (or too smart) to have an imaginary friend?

Or maybe you’ve used a persona and found it improved your writing and marketing.

Either way, let us know about it in the comments below.

About the Author: Kelly Kautz is a freelance copywriter who blogs about marketing for small business owners.

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Melissa Zollo is an imagist, speaker, self-motivation specialist, and author of various cd audio programs: Discover the Power of Imagination, The Art of Intentional Creation, and How to Unleash the Power With and Attract Money. In this interview, she talks about why people often lock their minds to success and the common reasons why this happens. She also talks about her programs and techniques. 

I'm intrigued by your website's statement, "Unlocking Minds to Create New Realities". How do we unlock our minds and why do they become locked in the first place?

The entire Universe lives in our deeper mind but many of us are just beginning to realize who we are and what we are capable of creating. Our lives are shaped and influenced by the quality of our thoughts and mental images yet many suffer from the impairment of the imaginative process. They are imprisoned in thought patterns and unwanted habits that they learned or acquired. "Unlocking Minds to Create New Realities" refers to discovering the process of manifestation and the unfailing laws that determine our failure or success in life. The greatest treasure in life is locked within the depths of our consciousness. The Treasure House I am speaking of exists in the realm of ideas. To free ourselves from anything that blocks our path to wealth, happiness, success and health demands that we take charge of our thoughts and control our thinking.

In order to eradicate a negative message that was programmed into our minds, we must have a desire for something greater, look within ourselves and take action by re-programming ourselves until we build a new belief. Once we know how to harness the power of our imagination, we can learn how to free ourselves from limiting habits and attract the fulfillment of our dreams. Your mental images, thoughts and feelings are controlling your destiny so it is vital to take complete control over mental blueprints and emotional moods. Once we know how to bring the incredible power of our conscious and sub-conscious mind under our direction and how to formulate the mental equivalent of our dreams and goals we become master of destiny rather than a victim of circumstances and the past.

We were unconscious or unaware of the Power of the Mental over the Physical. At an early age, each one of us was impressed by suggestions from others. Since we did not have the tools or the awareness to protect ourselves from the endless stream of negative messages, we accepted many ideas that hindered our growth and imprisoned our potential to create, laugh, enjoy, and live a full, rich and rewarding life. But that was then and this is now. Now we each have the power to examine the origin of our beliefs and see if they play a significant part in bringing about health, happiness, success and peace of mind. We can accept or reject suggestions. Negative suggestions from the media, organizations, newspapers, and other people will no longer hold you captive and have power over you unless you accept the suggestion.

What are some of the most common factors that may stop a person from achieving his or her goals?

Lack of self-belief, fear, the inability to activate their latent powers and lack of awareness of the Life-Principle may stop a person from realizing his or her goals.

To believe something as true means we accept it.

Belief is the most common factor that stops a person from realizing his or her goals. Think of all the false ideas you have accepted about yourself and you will see how you built your prison and sentenced yourself to failure, lack and limitation.

Why do we accept ideas like:

"I'll never be financially secure. I can’t make ends meet"

“I am not smart enough and I don’t have the right connections.”

"I'll always be fat and anyway I am just not good enough."

"They said there’s no cure."

"I'm not smart enough. I feel like a loser .I am sure it will fail."

"I’m to old no one is going to want to hire me."

Many of us fortify these negative messages with our self-talk and daily conversations and we don’t even know we're doing it. Yet we reject new messages of approval, hope, acceptance and love because they don’t fit our error patterns and negative self-image. Did you know that your ability to attract the fulfillment of your dreams becomes possible when you have a strong belief in yourself and feel capable of achieving your dream regardless of appearances?

One negative message/ belief can paralyze a person. Once fear is in control it can keep you from taking action and moving forward in any area of your life. When we have beliefs fueled from love, courage, confidence, hope, and gratefulness we have opened the doors of life to a greater awareness and possibility. Courage rises above fear.

It is important for all of us to think about that for a second.

How 'powerful' is the power of imagination?

Before anything can be created by anyone it must first be imaged, pictured/imagined. What you imagine you become and what you feel you attract so I would say that imagination is extremely underestimated and very powerful. The person of imagination sees what their outer senses deny. Everything you see in the physical world is a projection of someone’s mental image and blueprint. All things are brought forth through the creative use of imagination.

Who is the target audience for your program?

Every person who has a desire to fulfill their dreams, and advance spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially, professionally, socially and personally. My work is for the person who wants to learn how to retrain their imagination, apply spiritual laws and live in tune with the Living Spirit and achieve their goals.
Tell us a bit about your audio program, "Power of Imagination", as well as your various other works in ebook and CD forms.

In Discover The Power Of Imagination, I give you the tools you need to help you unlock the secrets of success in whatever endeavor you choose. The fulfillment of dreams is not the right of a select few. It is your birthright, too. Once you have this program, you will discover how to make that right a reality. 

Program One: This lecture gives you an in depth understanding of the creative process and how to IMAGE FIRST, the first step to attract all that you desire (and less of what you don’t want).

Program Two: This lecture is filled with examples of imaging; how to anchor an image and how imagination animates beliefs. It holds the secret to how financial, personal, professional and emotional security can be realized in a practical, imaginative, and non-competitive manner. I lay out the process by which you will improve your financial, personal, and professional life.

Program Three: SUNRISE contains timeless wisdom for directing the Power Within and feeling good fast! Change your Mental Images and Blueprints; Change Your Life! This program gets you to Activate Your Imagination and create successful money, health, career, and relationship blueprints and emotionalize them. You will open your own doors to whatever you may want to be, do, or have. Build confidence. Enhance relationships, overcome bad habits. Use it every day until you understand that the conditions of your life reflect your habitual thinking and that all things come from the subconscious.

Program Four: With ALOHA you treat your body and mind to deep relaxation. Experience the Power of Breath for healing, and vitality. Reach for Aloha when you need to retreat from the outer world and stress of the day.

Program Five: SWEET DREAMS is perfect to use before, during, and or after surgery. Unburden your mind as you glide peacefully into sleep. Perfect for those challenged with a health crisis.

Program Six: SERENITY AND VICTORY FOCUS RENEW, revitalize and refocus your mind in just 15 minutes.

Program Seven: This CD-Rom provides you with the option of printing out, or viewing, the entire transcript of the Power of Imagination program (Discs 1 and 2) on your computer. It also includes an instructional guide. 

In How to Unleash the Power Within and Attract Money, you will discover how to turn ideas into money, wealth and riches and live the life you imagined for yourself and your family.

· Create a consciousness of wealth

· Build your foundation for financial success from the inside out

· Learn the secrets of focusing your thoughts on what you want

· Replace negative self-talk and change inharmonious mental habits

· Learn why your feelings are worth a fortune

· Take charge of your financial beliefs

· Become master of your life as you work with the most powerful force in the universe!

· Increase your income as you learn how to magnetize yourself to wealth

· Learn how your mind creates everything.

· Discover that you are the dreamer and dream maker of your life

In Melissa’s Secrets on the Law of Vibration, I explain this very important law and how to Dream Your Life into Being. It will show you why your feelings are worth a fortune.

Daily Appetizers to Make Life a Feast (ebooks) contain a hundred nuggets of inspirational tips to uplift and support you throughout your day. Each thought for the day breathes life into the application of Universal Principles as well as gives you a taste of subjects on Spirit, the Law of Identical Harvest, prosperity, and the creating power of thoughts, feelings and words.

What type of techniques do you use when working one to one with a client?

Every session is different. Should someone want or need personal one-on-one assistance I share whatever is needed for them to attract what they want in my consultations. I personally walk you through each step of the Discover the Power of Imagination process. The goal is that they impress their subconscious mind and get answers that enable them to lead a full rich, happy life. Many people who are consulting with me or using my audio programs have moved forward in their lives. They have activated their imagination and conquered limiting beliefs. This in turn enabled them to attract the fulfillment of dreams.

Some have started a new business. Others are attracting vibrant health, new found happiness, better relationships, and increased sales. Then there are those who are healing from traumatic memories, divorce or even better, they are experiencing love!
Take a second and check out their success stories. They followed a proven system based on my Power of Imagination CD program and Universal Laws. It works. Day after day, year after year this process will work for you if you understand, practice and apply it. In fact, once you learn how to create and use this process consciously – it will keep working for you. Did I say it was magic? No, I did not. It takes practice, persistence and perseverance and the right tools.

I understand you're available as a guest speaker. What can a person expect to learn from one of your seminars?

Anyone interested in contacting me for a speaking engagement can reach me at www.presentmemory.com or through the New Voice Speakers Bureau.

Anyone who attends one of my seminars can expect to learn how to discipline, control and direct their imagination, the force behind all creativity and find their way to prosperity, joy and peace of mind. They will learn what the Law of Attraction means, how it and all of the Spiritual Laws govern the manifestation of our dreams; how to increase creative awareness and create the life you dream of; how thoughts creates results; how to wipe out a poverty, failure, mental slum; how to focus and concentrate on answers and discover new ways to problem solve. I show you how to provide the subconscious mind with a new blueprint for success, wealth, and health and help people make positive changes in their inner state of consciousness and emotional point of attraction and I provides tools (audio programs) to apply everything that they learn. This enables an individual to move forward and emerge successfully from any crisis.

You also have a newsletter, the Imaginal Dynamic Newsletter. Is it free? How may one subscribe and what type of information does it offer readers?

The Imaginal Dynamic is free and intended for those who are in pursuit of knowledge, uplifting ideas and who want to live in the present moment. Each newsletter is designed to offer Spiritual Nutrition for the Mind. It offers readers tips on how to turn their life around and how to become a magnet to success with my 'Million Dollar' Tips. You may sign up at www.presentmemory.com and receive a free MP3 radio interview with me.

Are there any other special books or authors you would recommend to people who are interested in this topic?

My own book will be out soon, so stayed tuned!

Do you have a website where people may find out more about you and your work?
Yes, my website is www.presentmemory.com.  

Anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

May you put all of the challenges of your life into perspective and use them to go deeper and deeper into your true nature. May you find refuge on your spiritual journey and grow and advance beyond ignorance and suffering. May you harness the power of imagination and always remember, it takes patience, persistence, and practice to IMAGE FIRST and rebuild new beliefs until they fit into a new pattern of acceptance and love. May you always use the power of your subconscious mind to find true happiness, wealth, success and fulfillment.

Dare to create the life you want. Imagination is power and your feelings are worth a fortune. Take up the challenge. Begin now to rule your mind and you will rule your world. When love, confidence, hope, gratitude and joy fuel your mental images and memory, life responds. In ways you know not of, doors that were closed will open and your self imposed solitary confinement will end. Then, you will find yourself the wonderful person you always dreamed of being.

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