Forget the wonderfully colorful genetically engineered avatars in the movie.
I'm referring to creating avatars or personas that will attract you your ideal customers.
When you manage a business, the secret to attracting new email subscribers or customers or to even reconnect with old customers is to connect with them on an emotional level.
You need to get really deep and emotional.
And while some people may be uncomfortable with getting all deep and meaningful about complete strangers, this is what it takes to attract new customers like wildfire.
There is a proven methodology to creating your customer avatar. You need to go DEEP and get to the bottom of your customer’s irrational fears and deepest desires.
Why Your Ideal Customer Avatar Is Important
Without your ideal customer avatar your marketing will be generic and ineffective.
For example the copy on your website and in your emails will be boring with no real purpose or clear message.
What this means is you’ll attract less than ideal customers, you'll confuse your readers and your business will not be fun.
There's a saying in the advertising world and it's this:
If you can’t turn yourself into your customer, you probably shouldn’t be in the ad writing business at all. ”
- LEO BURNETT
Marie Forleo says most target market talk is rubbish. It's often way too general like “small business owners” or "stay-at-home moms." It fails to drill down to one specific person and it rarely goes deep into the psychology of the customer.
This is vital if you want to sell anything.
The biggest and most common mistake people make is that they think they already understand everyone and know what they want.
So many businesses skip this altogether and jump in without having the foggiest idea who their target market is and what they want.
You've heard this before but if you try to attract everybody, your business attracts no one.
This is an opportunity for you to set yourself apart from your competition because guess what? Most small business owners don't do this stuff.
A customer avatar must be part of your business or blogging strategy. So let's get into it.
What Is A Customer Avatar?
A customer avatar is an individual with a name, a picture and specific demographic and other characteristics. An avatar is not a real specific person; it is a composite of characteristics of many real people.
You are describing your target market, the people that you want most as your customers and will most likely to buy from you again and again.
It needs to be specific and focussed. A common mistake many people make is to create a customer avatar that is too broad and general.
Your avatar needs to speak to your ideal customer in a way that when they do come upon your website, it's almost like you've read their mind. You've identified their pain points, fears, frustrations, desires and dreams.
As a result of going through this process, you will come up with copy and sales messages that can be used on your website and other marketing material.
What Information Goes Into A Customer Avatar?
A customer avatar brings together the facts you've gathered from thinking about or watching and listening to the people you serve or come to your website.
You need to really take the time to get into their heads.
- Key phrases or quotes
- Experience, expertise
- Social and cultural environments
- Demographics - age, sex, marital status etc
- Hair, eye color, you name it - yes that's right
In her fabulous online course B School, Marie Forleo steps you through exactly how to create your ideal customer avatar.
The first thing you need to do is list all the common traits of your ideal customers - both demographic and psychographic.
Then, roll all those commonalities into ONE specific person. Give them a full identity - name, age, occupation, family, etc.
Say you're a dive company in Thailand and you want to market diving tours to western tourists. You've identified that your target market is best represented by a 35 to 43-year-old woman. So, to create your customer avatar, you have to think about her life, her family, her interests and what her fears are.
Step into her shoes, see life through her eyes and feel her emotions as you write a story as her, not as YOU.
Listen to “Lisa's Story” as an example.
"I've had enough. I've been working 12 hour days, 6 days a week for the last 4 months. Work's been crazy stupid since the merger. But I feel exhausted. I need a break. I have leave up my sleeve so really there's no excuse.
I've had the idea of going to Thailand for a while now. Many of my friends have been there and while I've done loads of travel, Thailand is somewhere I've not been to yet. I haven't really done much of Asia actually. I lived and worked in Europe for 8 years so most of my travel was there.
I love to travel but work hasn't allowed me to do so in the last couple of years. It's just been the odd weekend away with friends. I have varied travel tastes. I enjoy my comforts and love to visit wineries and art galleries but I also love to get my hands dirty and go camping. I can be pretty adventurous.
I definitely want to visit some of the islands in Thailand and spend some time relaxing on the beach. I don't want to spend all my time sun-bathing though so I do want to do something adventurous. Diving would be a great way to explore some of the islands.
I'll be traveling on my own too so it would be great way to meet new people. It would be awesome to have a travel companion as opposed to traveling on my own but I'm not too bothered.
Most of friends are busy working and besides I'm sure I will meet heaps of people in Thailand. I've been diving before in the Great Barrier Reef and loved it. I am definitely up for diving in Thailand.
My only concern is how safe the equipment and gear would be and if the divers are well-trained. It's important for me to know how credible the dive company is in a country like Thailand because I've heard some dodgy stories of people diving in foreign countries. I guess the internet is a great place to do some research though."
You get the idea right?
Lisa is not a real person but she is a customer avatar for thousands of real people that make up the ideal customer for this dive company.
By writing marketing messages that speak directly to Lisa and tell her how the dive company can address some of Lisa's desires for adventure.... as well as some of her fears (traveling alone as a single woman and the safety of equipment), you can speak to your target market in a way that is relevant and compelling.
Now It's Your Turn...
If you haven't already, you need to do this exercise. It doesn't matter if you started your business last week or 3 years ago.
Be as specific as possible. Don't be too broad and general.
When customers feel YOU understand them better than they understand themselves, you’ve established a deep level of trust.
And that is the key to building a long-term, sustainable business.
Have you completed a customer avatar? If so, how did you flesh out your avatar? Did you have any enlightening discoveries or surprises?
Leave a comment below and let me know.