Have you ever been in the situation where someone was trying to sell you something, you had no interest in buying?
It’s futile. Like the saying goes, “You can’t sell a steak to a vegetarian!”
It doesn’t matter how juicy and yummy it is, they aren’t buying.
Imagine it’s a super hot day and you’re chilling out at the beach. You spot an ice-cream vendor – YUM! Before they can say “ice cream!” – you have cash-in-hand, ready to buy.
If you are in business, you know you want the second scenario every day of the week!
IS IT POSSIBLE? – Heck yeah!
But first and most importantly, you need to be crystal clear on exactly WHO your ideal customer avatar is.
Customer AVATAR – what?
In marketing, your ideal customer is referred to as your Customer Avatar or Customer Persona.
Why is this exercise so vital to your business success?
Defining your customer avatar will help you avoid hit-or-miss marketing communications.
When you stay laser focused on your avatar, you’ll be able to consistently communicate with them via your blog posts, social media updates, videos and the look/feel and values of your brand.
Because you will:
- Speak their ‘language’
- Understand their needs and wants
- Have answers to their challenges
- Not make them feel ‘sold to” – Because you have their best interests at heart.
I’m sure you will start to see and agree, that this is the only way to set your business up for success. You will truly lay the foundations for a solid long term business relationship. A true WIN:WIN for both you and your customer.
This exercise will walk you through the process of defining your ideal customer avatar.
So let’s dig deep and walk through the process together…
STEP #1 About your AVATAR
You want to have a very specific type of person in mind. This person matches the exact criteria of your ideal customer. So to first make this exercise more personal, let’s give them a Name.
Then add details of their background:
- What age are they?
- Marital Status?
- Do they have any children? How many and what age?
- Location – where do they live?
- What is their favourite inspiring quote?
- What do they do for a living?
- What is their current level of income?
- What level of education do they have?
- What else about their background will be helpful to know?
STEP #2 Where do they get their information?
Think about their biggest sources of information. This will really help you to connect with them. Knowing this will also help you to target them in the future via paid marketing.
- Books, what is their favourite? What are they reading right now?
- What Magazines do they read? What subscriptions do they have?
- What are their favourite Facebook Pages/Twitter/Instagram accounts followed?
- What type of apps do they have their phone? News, Sports, Creative, Gaming, Social etc.
- What blogs/websites/forums do they love?
- Do they attend any Conferences/Events? In person or online?
- Which experts in your niche do they respect?
- Add any other information you can think of.
STEP #3 Step into the world of your avatar
With as much detail as you can, literally step into the mind and world of your avatar.
What are their:
- Goals – For example: Own their own business, Pay off all debt, Go on a trip around-the-world, Host a family reunion, Help people to make their dreams a reality, Save $500,000, Become a millionaire. Think bucket list!
- Values – Human values are universal and are important considerations to take into account, when interacting with other people.*
- Challenges - We each have many life challenges that sabotage ourselves, limit our thinking, trigger negative responses and compromise ourselves.*
- Pain Points - If you want to find more customers, then focus on providing them with a solution to their pain points
*There is a huge list of common values and challenges on the free Customer Avatar Worksheets – you can just tick the ones that apply to your particular avatar.
How can you find out their pain points?
Every day people turn to Google in search of answers to their problems. Thanks to a nifty tool we can get a whole tonne of insight into what questions our ideal customer has – and that means their pain points.
Keyword Tool Dominator – The Google Autocomplete Keyword Tool is a free keyword tool used to find long tail keywords directly from Google search.
Use an asterisk (*) to have Google fill-in-the-blanks!
So as my target audience is “Bloggers” I can search: “how to * as a blogger” to see what questions people are turning to Google for in search of answers:
Note: There are further instructions for using this tool on the website. You can also import the keywords into the Google Keyword Planner to get the search volume and other data from Google Adwords.
From the search results I can see that the top 4 questions people wanted to know was:
- How to make money as a blogger – this was asked in at least 17 different ways out of the total 36 long-tail keyword search results!
- How to network/grow a tribe/build a following as a blogger.
- How to brand yourself as a blogger.
- Oh and of course How to start a blog/become a blogger.
This helps us to identify their ‘pain points’
From my example above, let’s look at the pain points bloggers have:
#1 Making money blogging – or the lack of, is a HUGE pain point for bloggers. So if I can show them how to make money from their blog or monetize their passions, I will definitely ease the pain and really serve them. [Post to follow].
#2 Networking and growing a blogging tribe – Setting up a blog takes time and creativity. We put our heart and soul into creating the very best content we can. Courageous enough to hit publish! But what’s next..? If we have literally no readers it can be very disheartening. So learning to network, grow a tribe and build a social media following is important. Not knowing how to grow our blog’s following and where to start networking is a big pain point for bloggers and can be very overwhelming.
#3 Personal branding for bloggers – Personal branding goes way further than your logo or font. It’s how you are perceived by every interaction people have with you. This is a good thing, because it means you have the power to create your own authentic personal brand. By sharing a few awesome ways to build a congruent brand, I can help my ideal customer to move forwards with their business.
#4 Starting a blog – For many the focus is mainly on the technical side of starting a blog. Although that is part of it, you don’t want to make the mistake of being bogged down under the ‘technical hood’ of your blog, That can be a huge time suck and can keep you from the actual act of blogging.
You need to create content, learn how to optimise and market your content. This way you’ll attract a and build a readership quicker which can convert to leads and sales. I have learnt the hard way – so that you don’t have to. This translates into time and money SAVED!
Your avatar’s pain points will give you a great place to start creating super-targeted, engaging and helpful content for your readers.
STEP #4 Purchase Decisions
Now this is an important step. Think about:
- What objections they may have in making a purchase? Common objections can often include: Fear, Cost, Trust, Timing, How can you overcome these objections?
- What their role is in purchase decisions? Are they the decision maker? Do they need to consult someone? Do they need to chat to their spouse first?
STEP #5 Avatar defined – Now to look at content creation!
By now you should have a really well defined customer avatar, if not, go back and dig a little deeper. Once you have the ideal customer in mind, you’ll be all set to start planning your content,
Let’s look at an example of mine…
My products/services and the benefits they bring
- An awesome blogging platform - A platform to publish your own unique expert insights on. This content will work for you 24/7/365. HOW? – Remember those billions of people turning daily to search engines like Google for the answers to their challenges? Answer their questions with your expert insight!
- An all-in-one suite of business management & marketing automation tools - Save time and money by cutting down on multiple subscriptions and log-ins. Automate manual repetitive tasks and build relationships while communicating with personal touch tools.A few of the main features include: An extensive Contact Relationship Management system (CRM), Text, Video & Audio Email marketing, Social Media Campaign automation, On-demand Webinars, HTML5 video hosting. Optin Page & Form Builder, Payment integration and Analytics.
- An oh-so powerful tool for social media management - Publishing/Syndicate/Recycle your content to Social Media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, Pinterest & Instagram. Automate and distribute your content via your own pre-defined content calendar or when inspiration hits. Respond to community engagement via a unified social inbox and live feeds. All integrated with Google Analytics to see what works. And soooo much more!
Content types that work really well to attract my ideal customers, ie. Solo Entrepreneurs and Bloggers are:
- How To’s
- Tips and Tricks
- Step by Step Checklists, etc
… that will show them how to automate their business processes – eg Marketing. Build strong relationships and saving time and money.
You may find as you go through the steps above, that your ideal customer avatar is actually very much like yourself. Or to be more specific, a newbie version of you. Your knowledge and expertise is very valuable to them. Time to get to work and get dialed in on who you are here to serve!
Don’t forget to download the free worksheets by clicking the button below!
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Over to you. So… who is your avatar? Go through this exercise and be sure to let me know your biggest ah-ha moment in defining your ideal customer!