Whenever I sit down to write sales copy, create a sales script, or figure out how to reach a target market I start with the basics. In essence I try to imagine a single person in the target market and what their thoughts and concerns are… I then use the 8 universal motivations found below to spur specific ideas and insight.

These ultimate motivations are what people “really” want. Your product or service is the vehicle that will help them achieve one or some of these deep held motivations. They important part is to align your messaging with as many of these motivations as you can, while still staying true to the ultimate benefit your product or service provides.

1. To be wealthy

If you ask most people if they had all the money in they could imagine would they be doing what they are right now most people would describe a totally different lifestyle. What is your target market’s feeling toward wealth? Do they have an expectation to someday be wealthy? Does your product, service or what you offer give help them get close to wealth in any way? Is this the main driving motivation on why they get up in the morning? Or is it a main motivation behind many of their daily decisions?

2. To be good looking

When you look at the total cosmetic surgeries are up 3% at 12.1 million procedures a year you know that we are a culture focused on looks. So bring it down to one person, what do they do daily to be good looking? Is it more important to them or they really don’t care? How much of a factor does it play into their daily life? Think time, energy, and thoughts.

3. To be healthy

How much is spent on healthy food, exercise, vitamins and supplements? How many times do you or your target market think about being healthy in a given day? 1-5… think about it, on the way to work, should I get that double latte and bagel. At lunch should I go to fast food or if I go out should I get a salad. On the way home do I pick up something or eat light. When am I going to get time to fit in my workout… or I really should be working out, or maybe I’ll burn calories watching TV. What drives the healthy desires of your target market?

4. To be popular

We all want to be liked. We want our opinions to matter. How many things does your target market do a day that helps them to be liked? Is it the clothes they wear? How about the car they drive? How about the area they live in?

5. To have security.

Security in relationships, financially, even feeling safe at home. What types of things does your target market do to become secure? What decisions have they made throughout their life to reinforce this security? How does this affect their daily choices? How does your product or service fit into their need to be secure?

6. To achieve inner peace

Don’t we all want to be up high in the mountain hanging out with monks? Well maybe just me… but who wants turmoil? Does your target market secretly long for inner piece but hasn’t achieved it? Will what you offer give some form of closure to a nagging issue they have?

7. To have free time

Isn’t this why you do everything else in life so you can have time to do what you really want to do? These days it seems people are obsessed with finding the fastest and quickest ways to do things. What does your target market do with their free time? What if they had more time would they do? What do they secretly day dream about doing… writing a novel, traveling, spending time with family?

8. To have fun

Wouldn’t it be great if we all could be Ryan Seacrest? Well maybe not because that guy works a ton. Most of us long for the time when we can have fun, the weekends are our escape. What types of things does your target market do for fun? How do they enjoy themselves? What are the hidden things that they do to have fun?

What to Do Now

Using the 8 Universal Motivations will allow you to create copy, content, and products that get right to the core of your target market. Spend time fleshing these out, making them real and connecting what you do with as many motivations as you can.