How to Develop the Perfect Customer Avatar
Let’s be honest. Creating customer avatars isn’t the sexiest thing to do in business. However, if you do, you can make your bank account a whole lot sexier.
That’s right. One of the essential pillars in starting a business is developing accurate and relevant avatars that depict your customers thoughts, desires, interests, and wants. Understanding what scares your target market is a game changer when creating the right copy – we notice it every day.
Take a trip to your Facebook news feed, and you’ll see an ad every few posts. Some of those ads you don’t connect with at all. Some are “meh.” Others though, some of them feel like they’re grabbing you by the throat and speaking into your soul.
Writing copy is an art of its own, but without knowing your customer avatar, you will never have your ads connecting with people better than their spouses.
The only rule is keeping an open mind
Developing a customer avatar IS NOT, I repeat, IS NOT easy. Business owners struggle with this.
The last mastermind group I ran last week we worked on customer avatars. Every business owners want to fill it out about themselves, but no one cares what the business owner wants. They only care what they want.
People are inherently selfish. Understand it. Own it. Take advantage of it.
There is a good chance that you will learn a lot about your customers you didn’t know by filling this out. Even if you don’t, it can serve as a reminder.
It’s good to revisit these avatars each year as your business develops. Why? Because you might have new avatars to add, some may change, and some may be irrelevant.
The only rule is to keep an open mind as you move forward.
The first thing you need to do is create different buyer personas for your business. As a rule of thumb, you probably have at least two. Most companies have 4 or more.
What is a buyer persona?
It’s an ideal customer for your business. The reason you have multiple is that not everyone fits the same mold. You could sell well to middle-aged moms with girls, single dads with female children, girls aged 13-18, and grandparents with female grandchildren.
Each one of those is a different persona, and they play different roles in the purchasing process. Understanding their wants, pain points, needs, and how they affect the sale is vital to crafting your messaging and branding.
One of the first pieces to fill in are the demographics. Start with a name – for example. If you’re a company that creates male grooming products and your target market is mainly veterans. You could have “Warfighter Jeff” as the name.
Continuing on you want to list the age, gender, marital status, number of children, and where they live.
The location could be a city if you’re a local business, but it could be state or nationwide as well.
The second part of demographics includes a quote, occupation, job title, annual income, education level, and again other information that may be important.
Goals and Values
Let’s use an example here of “Modern Mom Jess” You might laugh, but this is part of a customer avatar I have created before.
Goals: Help provide and raise a family. Ensure kids are healthy and happy. Be successful in her career.
Values: Strong family values and a willingness to work. Tries to manage everything with the household and does not mind overwhelming herself to make this happen.
Let’s break this down a little. The goals are pretty straightforward. The values will help us craft pain points later. The way I got this information was talking directly to my target market and creating avatars based on people. , of course,e change the name.
The, “does not mind overwhelming herself,” tells us a lot about her. However, we know this is probably playing into Jess’s frustration whether it be lack of sleep or no personal time.
Sources of Information
This is a relatively tough section for a lot of business owners to figure out. However, talking directly to your target market and surveying them will help you a lot.
This section you want to list books, magazines, blogs/websites, conferences, gurus, and anything else that may fit the mold (movies, hobbies, etc.)
Don’t just make this up. It won’t help you. Keep an open mind and create a list. Maybe you start to learn in books the fantasy genre is apparent and in movies, it’s romantic comedies.
You can figure out how to know that person on a deeper level than just your customer.
It’s best to know your customer better than their spouse knows them. If you don’t know them that well, your work is not complete.
Challenges and Pain Points
Back to Modern Mom Jess.
Challenges: Finding time to do all the parenting tasks she has to with a job and getting a baby to sleep through the night.
Pain points: Getting woken up in the middle of the night, being tired all the time, and doesn’t have much time. Kids are whining and overtired at times.
By now you might start to take notice I’m creating an avatar for a sleep consultant.
Pain points are the single most important piece of the avatar. If you nail it, you can have killer copy. If you don’t, you may have a lot of ads running with no or negative returns.
Objections and role in the purchase process
Modern Mom Jess:
Objections: No time to do the training.
Role in purchase process: Initiator, Buyer, User – has authority on all purchase decisions.
Before you fill this section out one must know and understand all six roles in the purchase process:
- Initiator – Person who initiates interest in the product or service
- Influencer – Influences the decider of the purchasing decision
- Decider – Decides on whether product/service will be purchased
- Buyer – Makes the purchase
- User – Consumer of the product or service
- Gatekeeper – Prevents purchase from happening
As you can see, one person can hold multiple roles. Ideally, you have customer avatars for personas who cover all the bases on the roles. And it’s okay if some overlap!
Congrats! That’s what it takes to build out your customer avatars. So then you say, what next?
First off, you now understand the different personas your business serves. This is highly relevant and important information for your success.
Second, you can utilize these avatars to develop website copy, advertising copy, emails, branding decisions, and more.
Putting in the work doing the non-sexy pieces of business have the ability to pay off in a huge way. I will never work with a client who does not have well-developed customer avatars.
Most businesses don’t have them, and it’s usually a very early stage in developing them if we work together. As always, let me know if you have any questions or more material in the comments!