My secret for writing with empathy

Empathy is like a non-stop flight into the heart of your reader. Here's how to nail it every time.

Photo source: Acenda Health

Hey fam,

Hope you’re having an amazing summer! In case you’re new or didn’t hear, I got married in late June and went to Greece on a two-week honeymoon. It was absolutely magical. Here are some of my favorite photos:

^ This is why I haven’t shipped a newsletter in the last few weeks.

Now that I’m caught up on work, you can expect weekly messages from me again, PLUS new snippets from #GreatFoundersWrite.

Without further ado, here are a few thoughts on writing with empathy.


Writing with empathy is like writing a personal letter to every reader in your audience.

To help me write with more empathy, I start every piece with an empathy statement.

Here's how to write your own empathy statements (including a template) 👇

An empathy statement is like a mission statement, but for your writing. It forces you to focus on the wants and needs of your reader. An empathy statement includes 5 crucial elements:

  • Your reader (name, title, experience)

  • Their aspirations (what they want)

  • Their NEEDS (their true motivation)

  • Their obstacles (what stands in their way)

  • How you can help (Your offer/service)

✨ Here's my empathy statement template:

My reader is [NAME, TITLE, EXPERIENCE]. They want to [ASPIRATIONS], but they're driven by [NEED]. Their obstacle is [OBSTACLE]. I can help by [OFFER/SERVICE].

For example:

"Mike is an overworked solo sales consultant with 20+ years of experience (READER).

He wants to build and sell his consulting practice (ASPIRATION), but he's driven by a desire to retire in Florida and spend more time with family (NEED). Mike's biggest obstacle is positioning his consulting practice in such a way that it generates inbound leads without much effort (OBSTACLE).

I can help Mike by inviting him to my messaging workshop next week (OFFER/SERVICE)."

Empathy will help your writing resonate with each reader as if it were written specifically for them.

Next time you write, start with an empathy statement to get into the mind and heart of your reader.

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