Defining your ideal customer avatar is the pre-work you must complete before you create one piece of content or sell your products. Oftentimes it is overlooked by entrepreneurs who are passionate about their products but unclear about marketing.
In consulting with one of my clients, I tasked her with clearly defining her ideal customer avatar before she began creating her marketing content. She has three amazing products she wants to sell to three distinct audiences.
In helping her to design her social media marketing strategy, it was apparent that she wasn’t clear on the identity of each of her avatars. Being clear on their identity would inform her where they hang out (online) and what type of content they like to consume.
I didn’t realize that we were having a Charlie Brown moment. You know, those moments when you’re saying one thing but the person on the other end is hearing something else? Think back to the scenes in the cartoon when Charlie Brown picks up the phone and all we hear from the adult voice on the other end is “womp, womp, womp.”
Yeah, it was like that.
It wasn’t until a week later that my client informed me that she didn’t know what I meant when I said “define your ideal customer avatars.” It was a lesson for both of us.
Although my client is an entrepreneur, she is not a marketer. The term “ideal customer avatar” was not in her lexicon.
It is now.
Before we talk about creating content we want to take a step back to really understand who it is that we’re talking to. We do this so that our messaging is on target for our ideal customer. When our messaging in on target, our target customer feels as if we are speaking directly to her.
It makes it easier for her to decide if she wants to do business with us. If we’ve identified and addressed her pain points well, oftentimes she will say “yes” to us.
Understand that when you try to talk to everyone, you end up talking succinctly to no one. Be specific. Always attempt to make a connection. If you don’t know who you are specifically talking to then you won’t be able to understand pain points, motivations, outlooks.
This will make it more difficult for you to make a connection.
A customer avatar is a detailed profile of your target customer. For a more market-y definition, Hubspot defines the customer avatar as
a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. When complete, it will help you understand the motivating beliefs, fears and secret desires that influence your customer’s buying decisions.
Knowing who you’re talking to helps to guide how you present your content, products, and services.
There are a number of elements that make up your ideal prospect’s profile. When you have a detailed description of your ideal customer, it not only helps you in your content and messaging but it also helps you in your marketing with ads.
If you’ve ever used Facebook for ads, you’ll see that the platform breaks down your audience demographics beyond the eight basic elements that I go over in this post. You can use Facebook’s ad creation process to help you further define and understand who your ideal customer is.
As you learn more about your customers, your avatar will change. In the beginning, you have an idea of who she is but some of the work of building your avatar is a bit of guessing.
As you gain more customers your ideal customer avatar will become more accurate. You’ll get a better sense of the people that you attract. You will recognize that your customers have a few similarities. These commonalities may not have been in your original avatar but they are details that you should add.
Common customer traits help you to refine your messaging and marketing. For example, three clients of mine are Christian women who create credit-related products and coach other people. My original customer avatar did not include the credit industry in its’ breakdown.
It does now.
You can use tools like surveys to understand more about your customer. Have lengthy conversations with her in order to get a better idea of her wants, needs, hobbies, interests, beliefs, and desires.
Once I determine my avatars gender, I like to give her a name. Giving her a name aids me whenever I am writing to her. It creates a true identity for my avatar.
Are you talking to a man or are you talking to a woman? Determining the gender is going to guide how you speak to them. It will also help to guide you in the type of content that you create for them.
AOL suggests that millennial women prefer content in the form of listicles, short/long-form video and photo slideshows. In general, women like visuals, so if your avatar is a female, tailor your content to meet her consumption needs.
In the following Periscope video, I discuss the remaining seven most important elements of a customer avatar. Click the video to watch.
— MrCEOErniePerryLive (@MrCEOErniePerry) June 8, 2016
Remember, make sure you do your homework on your ideal customer avatar. Have a clear understanding of who she is before you create content or market your products and services to her. The more you understand her pain points, desires, and motivations, the easier it will be for you to make a connection with her.
The easier you connect with her, the more likely you will turn that ideal target customer into an actual regular customer.