Customer Avatar Why It’s A Big Deal
I’ve customer avatar on the brain and I look over a few of his blog posts and I say:
So – who’s your target audience, who do you want to connect with on this blog, what’s your perfect reader look like?
The answer I get is – ” anybody who wants to learn about weight loss!”
And therein lies the problem…
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about customer avatars, it’s maybe something you haven’t heard of before, since understanding the concepts, I can see how it is completely essential to create your avatar, and not write content for everyone if you want to succeed online.
I often referred to the article ‘Avatar Marketing: Sell to Carol‘ over on a smart bear, where Jason Cohen gives a good overview of the avatar and discusses why some companies often cast a net that’s far too wide to catch the actual fish they’re after.
I’ve paraphrased a snippet from that awesome post. I it sums up why you’re bound to make more sales if you decide to sell your products to Carol…
Carol is literally custom-built to be blown away by your product
Can you make it clear in a picture? Maybe a before – after she can relate to? Will describing 3 features make it plain? Will pointing out your USP make her weep for joy? Can you ask a provocative question, something she identifies with? Is there a phrase she’d laugh out loud at because “that’s so true?”
You only get a few seconds, so a paragraph is too long. You have to communicate in a picture and a few words. The good news is you only have Carol to please, and you know Carol. You even know she’ll genuinely be thrilled to find you …
What does an avatar look like?
When you first begin to the concept making an avatar, they may look something like the first okay-ish example (a) below. You may think that casting a larger net to catch a wider audience makes sense, however as Ramit Sethi say’s, you wouldn’t give the same dating advice to a 24 yr old woman as you would to a 54 yr old woman would you?
If you can’t connect with your readers, if they don’t relate to your message and voice there’s little chance of them getting as far as following a call to action further down the page.
When you completely understand and ‘grasp‘ the concept you’ll have a much clearer view of your avatar, something more like avatar (b) – and yep, you’ll probably even name them at this stage too.
This enables you to write posts as if your ideal customer was sitting across the table from you. It lets you use language that is instantly recognizable. You hit it off discussing matters that are uber important to her and most importantly – she trusts you. When it comes to decisions, she’ll hold your opinion in good regard… as you understand her better than most!
Okay-ish Avatar (a)
The customer avatar is a man, he’s between 30 and 50 years old probably works in an office. He has a decent job with good money. He is married he’s got two children and has a mortgage, and he wants to learn about making money online.
Much better Avatar (b)
Steven is 49, separated from his wife for 6 years and has 2 daughters 11 and 17 yrs old. Jane the 17 yr old is keen to go to Uni next year when finished with her A Levels.
Steve is, however, facing early redundancy at his local graphics design firm. He’s been there 18 years and earns £43K a year. Yet with new pressure from the board, he knows that he’ll soon be replaced with 2 graduates, able to do double the work that he does, for the same money or less!
He hasn’t told his wife of the pending redundancy, they been planning on paying for Uni for Jane for years and he doesn’t want to risk disappointing Jane. Steve is looking at how he can earn extra money on the side online in his last couple of months at work.
Now It’s Time to Connect
Do you think you can talk to Steve in a completely different tone of voice, connecting at all the right places, knowing his personal pain points, and being aware of his particular situation?
You’re damn skippy you can – you can talk and connect 500% better with Steve. That’s what comes from building avatar you can actually relate to, put a face and even a name to.
I got turned on to the idea and the specific concepts by Andre Chaperon, but there are many others that have spread the word long before I cottoned on.
A Few Customer Avatar Evangelists
I reckon bringing the idea to mainstream marketers was this yummy lady (along with Ramit Sethi). Actually, it was Ramit that brought it, but it’s Maria’s show… right! Anyway – Ramit nailed it when he introduced this:
Paraphrased – How would you sell relationship advice to a 24 yr old woman differently to a 54 yr old woman? They both have very different takes on love and relationships don’t they?
This is from Maria’s Q&A Tuesday where Ramit tackles the question.
“Why is my product/service not selling?”
You really should watch this ‘Sell More” video and I do hope you ‘get it’. It’s less than 12 mins and the niche comment Ramit at the very end is golden!
The key 2 questions are:
1) who are you targeting?
2) who are you not targeting?
Even though we all want to help everyone, it’s not great business practice trying to appeal to everyone in the marketplace. You’re trying to appeal to the “right” people.
has a great post about how to create your ideal customer avatar. “It needs to be specific and focussed.
You may however find yourself in a niche where you don’t personally know your customer avatar traits as yet. A good way to get to know their pain points and frustrations, identify the language they use and specific terms would be in forums.
Help in creating your ideal customer avatar profile
A common mistake many people make is to create a customer avatar that is too broad and general.” – I couldn’t agree with her more – and isn’t the name Shea awesome!
Shae creates a customer avatar called Lisa. She’s about to go on holiday and these are some thoughts she’ having:
She definitely want’s to visit some of the islands in Thailand and spend some time relaxing on the beach. Lisa will be traveling on her own, yet she doesn’t want to spend all of her time sunbathing, and is open to something adventurous.
There is a lot more to Lisa’s story, which when you read, you really do begin to understand who she is and what she’s be looking for whilst on vacation. A smart diving Company or even a beginners fishing expedition may take advantage of writing specifically for a girl like Lisa.
shares a great easy to understand examples of what a really good avatar looks like. I really like Kate’s dig into the ‘finding your avatar and actually getting into a conversation with them giving really valuable insight. Her post over on www.eofire.com is great reading.
Talking about EOFire I’m note sure if you know John Dumas but he engaged with his perfect customer avatar in a rather awesome way that you to can use.
In the explainer video below, John walks through the daily routine of that is ideal customer avatar. He even slots in how to make time to get the ideas to inspire them to other things.
In this short video he not only identifies his perfect customer, he offers the perfect solution – his podcasts, he also slips in that there are expert aha moments with ideas on implementation.
Quite brilliant customer avatar video – John Dumas
Have you come across marketing to your target avatar before? Do you have an avatar already? Will you build one now?
If you have one already – will you be tweaking it? Take a peek at those links. These ladies also have templates to help you build your own avatar!
I would love to know your thoughts on this subject, so please drop me a line in the comments, I would really appreciate hearing from you.