Have you ever tried buying a present for someone you knew little to nothing about and found it difficult? What about getting a present for someone you knew well?
I bet it’s easier when you know the person well.
Having a clear idea about what Uncle Jeff likes and dislikes makes finding something he’ll like and appreciate, a piece of cake.
The same principle applies to your business. Once you have a clear idea about who your customers are you’ll be able to craft messages that resonate with them. But not all of your customers have the same needs and challenges, so how do you create messages that appeal to your audience when they share differences in age, gender, location, and even political affiliations?
This is where a customer avatar comes handy.
In the same way that polls use a statistical sample of the population to make factual assumptions about the entire population, a customer avatar is a representation of your ideal customer and serves to represent your entire target market.
Your Avatar Demographics.
The first step in creating a customer avatar is knowing your target market. Who do you serve? Who are your clients? To create an effective customer avatar you need to know your target’s demographic characteristics including age, race, religion, gender, ethnicity, income, and education.
But you don’t want to stop there. To create a successful avatar that represents your target market you will need to dig a little deeper to get into the mind of your ideal customer.
Some of the questions that you will need to answer about your ideal customer include- What sources of information that he rely on? What magazines does he read? Who are his heroes and why? What kind of entertainment does he enjoy? Who does he trust for advice? What kind of car does he drive? Where does he work?
Let’s imagine your ideal customer is a furniture salesman who drives a Mercedez Bens. You can see him in his office making calls and using his charming personality to make a sale. But when the sale falls through, he is quick to snap at his assistant. He has a hard time controlling his emotions when he doesn’t get what he wants. Now, you are getting to know him.
Visualizing just one reader will help you create content that will appeal to him and will make your content more personal when you write. It will be like having a conversation with only one person and talking about his challenges and problems. Imagine that! Your reader will feel like you are talking to him.
Let’s see how all of this comes together in a case study.
Follow me along as I create a customer avatar for a client who works with young, creative entrepreneurs.
My client’s avatar is Cory.
Cory is a 24-year-old white male, college drop out working full time for a shipping company doing logistics. He is single, young, and works a side hustle providing video production services to small businesses in his spare time.
Psychographics are the habits, attitudes, interests, preferences, values, lifestyle, personality traits, and beliefs of your target audience.
Cory is inspired by big influencers like Tim Ferry, Grant Cardone, and Gary V. and watches YouTube videos and listens to podcasts like Entrepreneur On Fire.
Cory has been working hard on building his image and his brand online but he’s not gaining any traction and worries that it could take years before he sees any results.
Here he is.
Cory wants a faster way to start promoting and selling his services. But so far he’s only worked with a few people and he’s not making enough income from it to help him quit his part-time job. He has a website but there is no strategy behind it.
Cory’s biggest fear is to have to work for somebody 9-5 like a ‘slave’ for the rest of his life. And right now, he has doubts about his ability to make his business successful. Sometimes he feels like a loser, or that he’s not good enough to do what it takes. But these are just normal moments of insecurity and he knows that he does have what it takes to become successful, but he just needs to keep going.
Notice how we dug deeper into Cory’s personality, beliefs, and fears. This will help us find ways to provide value to him with every piece of content we put out.
Looking at the image above what can you learn about Cory? Using a pictorial representation of your ideal customer can help you get to know him better.
Cory wants to make money to lead a good life. He wants to buy the new Tesla model to show his friends how successful he’s become. He likes to buy good things and the latest gadgets and dress in nice clothes. He wants to live a luxury life and be able to travel around the world. He wants to be his own boss.
Imagine writing a blog post for Cory about his biggest challenge: brand building. Once you get to know him better, you will be able to create content that speaks directly to him.
But how do you find out what you need to know about your ideal customer? Use a tool like Similar Web, Moz, or Ahrefs and perform customer research. Which are the sites that are sending traffic to your website? Where does your ideal client go after he visits your website? Can you make any educated guesses about your ideal customer’s lifestyle, education, and entertainment preferences based on this information?
Once you have the information you need, create a one-page bio of your ideal customer, and give him a name. Include psychographic data to help you form a more complete picture of him.
Now, you are ready to visualize him doing what he does and talk to him one-on-one.