Knowing who your ideal customer avatar is (your ideal reader) for your blog is one of the most important things you can do in order to have a successful online, home-based business.
After all – to reach the audience that will become your loyal fans, to grow your email list, or sell your products or services to hungry buyers – the single most effective thing you can do is create a customer avatar.
Why?? Because – the long and short of it is – you can’t cater to everyone.
You must write for just one ideal customer.
The perfect ideal customer is that one person that wants and needs the content, programs, and services that you’re creating and is willing and able to pay for what you’re offering.
One of the best tools for getting into the minds of your audience is to become one of them by creating a customer avatar.
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What’s a customer avatar? A customer avatar (sometimes referred to as a buyer persona, marketing persona, or ideal customer profile) is a representation of your target audience, dream client, or ideal customer in the form of an individual person.
It’s the type of person you want to have become your loyal follower and purchase your products or services.
Your customer avatar will be the one person that you will be thinking about each and every time you create a piece of content.
When it comes to creating a successful and profitable online business, there’s nothing more important than knowing who you’re writing to.
If you’re still in the planning stages of your blog, you’ll also need to know the important elements required before you start your blog. Don’t get caught off guard!
The most successful businesses are those that will continually work hard to help their readers and ideal customers.
The ones that provide the most value, with practical solutions to a reader’s problems and help eliminate their fears, doubts, and struggles – will be the ones that are the most successful.
STEP 1 – Defining Your Ideal Customer Avatar
You are going to be more successful with your online business when you create content or products for your audience because you have one customer avatar (specific person) in mind that you’re writing for.
Knowing your audience, the words they use, what’s on their mind, their challenges and pain points, along with struggles they are dealing with will make your content marketing efforts for your blog so much easier.
If you know what’s going on in your customer avatar’s mind, it will help you in deciding if they would be interested in purchasing your product.
If what you are writing on your blog isn’t solving his problem, if what you are saying isn’t what he wants to hear, he will ignore everything you have to say and move on to the next blog.
Before you do anything else, you will need to know who your audience is.
You’ll need to know:
- What scares them (is it losing their home to bankruptcy?)
- What drives them (is it money, love of family, etc.?)
- What do they want most out of life?
- What are their deepest struggles and frustrations?
- And how they think
Jim Edwards, the author of Copywriting Secrets, calls his customer avatar FRED (grab a FREE copy of his best-selling book).
He says that Fred started as an acronym for Fears, Results, Expectations, and Desires (F.R.E.D.).
Jim says: “You need to communicate to a specific person, not a group of people.”
“When you are writing content, you be visualizing that specific person, which will make a huge difference in how you write.”
What People Want
One thing that Jim speaks of is that people don’t buy what they need, they buy what they want.
From the standpoint of your written word, think about what people want, don’t tell them what they need.
As Jim says in his book:
“It’s like telling a child to go to bed when they’re thinking, “screw you. I want to stay up, snort pixie sticks, and watch the all-night Barney marathon on Netflix. That’s what they want.”
You can include whatever they need within your written word, but when it comes to writing information about a product or service that you want to sell on your site, only talk about, speak about, and include what they truly want.
– Talk about what they want – include what they need!
If you don’t know who your target customer is, then how the heck can you market to them?
Getting a clear understanding of your customer will impact virtually EVERY aspect of your digital marketing and sales process.
These will be the people you serve, the ideal customers that you’ll be interacting with. They will be the people in your Facebook group, along with the people that respond to your emails.
It’s also the type of person that would be an active member of your community and likely to buy your products or services.
You will need to be crystal clear about who you’re trying to attract with your writing – that they are a perfect fit for your community.
This is where a customer avatar comes in.
What a customer avatar IS:
- An important component of your general marketing strategy
- A well-researched, detailed outline
- A fictional character who has wants, needs, and pain points
- A profile of an individual in your target audience that includes numerous details
- Come up with a best-case scenario. Maybe your customers spend a lot on things, make recurring purchases, and/or promote your brand.
Here’s what a customer avatar IS NOT:
- A poorly-crafted description with vague details
- A combination of all your potential and/or existing customers
- Don’t make assumptions or create a list of traits based on conjecture
Utilizing an ideal client avatar allows you to tap into your customer’s brain and figure out not only who they are but what they want and where they spend their time.
Most importantly, it shows you how your product or service can address their problem.
Developing your customer avatar and using it effectively can help you get the most bang for your digital marketing campaign.
When you create a customer avatar, you can avoid aimlessly targeting people that aren’t interested, advertising in the wrong places, and using messaging that won’t resonate.
In the end, it’s what will help you be successful in digital marketing and sales.
Let’s get busy…
STEP 2 – Download a Customer Avatar Template/Worksheet
A customer avatar worksheet is a downloadable document that has spaces for you to fill in with certain characteristics of your ideal customer.
These worksheets will help you determine your ideal customer profile, giving you a clear view of your ideal customer.
Below, you will find 4 different templates that you can download and fill out.
Since all the worksheets are not created equal – and, if you are anything like me, you should download all 4 and combine the questions to narrow in on your customer avatar even further.
Sites: Download Your Customer Avatar Worksheet
Xtensio’s User Persona Creator is an app that allows you to enter your buyer persona’s demographic information, goals, what their pain points and frustrations are, biographical info, their motivations, and more.
Register for a free account to get started.
DigitalMarketer’s Customer Avatar Worksheet includes all of the important information required to create your customer avatar.
It’s in a simple PDF format that you can add the information directly to your computer.
Hubspot’s Buyer Persona Template (PowerPoint Application) includes 4 sections for answering the important questions: who, what, why and how.
MakeMyPersona is a buyer persona generator created by HubSpot.
It’s as easy as clicking on the Start Making My Persona button, and it will ask you a series of questions about your ideal customer.
Once you’re all complete with filling in the information, they will send you a PDF complete with a headshot for your customer avatar.
STEP 3 – Determine Who Your Target Audience Is
If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and download one or more of the customer avatar templates… I’ll wait!
Are Yall done? OK – it’s time to get busy and fill in the template.
– Make a list of your avatar’s demographic traits.
– What is their gender, age, their occupation, education level, religion, marital status, income level, geographical location religion, and average family size?
– Define your avatar’s psychographics
Yeah, I know, I had to look it up too…
Psychographics – is the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.
In English – it’s what’s going on in your avatar’s mind.
Couldn’t they’ve just said that? I know, right!
After you determine your customer avatar demographics, it’s time to break it down further to figure out your target market.
Let’s figure out:
- What keeps your ideal reader up at night (are they able to pay rent this month?)
- What are their daily frustrations?
- What’s the person’s day like?
- What magazines or blogs do they read?
- What websites do they visit?
- What social media platforms do they hang out on?
- What hobbies or interests does your customer avatar have?
- If your customer avatar has its own language or jargon (like a surfer)?
- What’s the ONE thing they crave above all else?
- What they’re thinking?
- What does your avatar value (money, family)?
- What are your avatar’s spending habits?
- Where does your avatar shop (online, at Walmart, the mall)?
- What motivates your avatar (money, family)?
- What are their attitudes – their aspirations?
- What do they want to achieve in the next 3 years?
- What is your avatar struggling with right now?
As you fill out your avatar customer worksheet, here are a few things you want to keep in mind.
You will need to make your avatar real to you.
In order to do this:
- Give your avatar a name (naming your avatar humanizes the profile)
- Print a photo that represents your avatar (Google search your avatar’s name – keep in mind copyright issues before you print a photo)
- Write about your customer avatar – create their story and hang it somewhere you can see it
- Read your avatar’s story every day until you feel like you’re writing to a friend
Creating a Negative Avatar
If it’s been tough to create a customer avatar, use the example exercise from Meera Kothand’s best-selling book, The Blog Startup.
For those that have difficulty defining customer avatars, you can do the opposite and define who I DO NOT want to serve.
You may find it easier to define what they don’t want as opposed to what they do want.
Can you think of a person that you’ve worked with in the past that you just couldn’t please no matter what you did for them?
One that no matter what lengths you did to resolve the issue, you just couldn’t satisfy them.
If so, see if you can figure out what went wrong where you two were not a good fit. Document why you think it wouldn’t work.
Look at it from this angle:
- My ideal reader is unlikely to be…
- My ideal reader is unlikely to identify with the term…
- My ideal reader is unlikely to be interested in…
Understanding your ideal audience is more about excluding people than including people.
If you know what your ideal reader’s problems are, you’ll understand their interests more easily.
If you know their desires, and their goals, then you will know how to communicate with them.
“It’s better to have 10,000 laser-focused people who you can give a specific sales message to, as apposed to 100,000 people who are casually interested in something that you’re going to waste your time creating, that they will most likely never buy.”
The right message for your ideal reader is the one that contains the words they are using, which will make it relatable and appear as if you are speaking directly to them.
Create Multiple Avatars
Your business most likely has more than one ideal buyer, so don’t stop at building just a single avatar.
After creating an avatar using the customer avatar template, you’ll be able to create multiple avatars that represent the different segments of your marketing campaign.
A content marketing strategy with a clear set of goals and informational sources, along with customer challenges and pain points, is the perfect candidate for a customer avatar.
By defining who your ideal customer avatar is:
- You’ll be able to speak to your audience on their level, using the words they use, etc.
- You’ll be able to easily create content because you’ll know exactly what your audience wants
- You’ll be able to create targeted lead magnets to capture reader’s emails for your email list
- You’ll be able to create specific products that will draw your readers into your blogging world
- You’ll be able to build trust with your ideal reader (people only buy from those they know, like, and trust)