Updated: Feb 26
If you're spending money on ads or spending time writing content like a maniac only to hear crickets ya need to STOP. NOW.
Who the hell are you talking to? Spray and pray, dear friend, is not the way!
Who is your ideal customer? Maybe a little fiction can help you wrap your head around the concept.
Let's all just step back and ponder for a moment about our beloved businesses and the magical creatures we wish would grace us with their presence (AKA our customers). Because, you know, creating a customer avatar is just the most thrilling and original idea out there.
Before we dive into the exciting world of customer avatars, let's first acknowledge the elephant in the room.
A great marketing campaign is all about results, right? And the key to achieving said results is understanding your target audience. But why waste time actually getting to know your customers when you can just make educated guesses and assumptions?
This blog post will be your guide to all things customer avatars, from what they are and why they're important, to the not-so-pleasant negative avatars and the oh-so-exciting 5 steps to creating your own. Because, let's be real, who doesn't love a good avatar creation process?
What Is A Customer Avatar?
Let me break it down for you. It's basically like those little characters in video games that represent a person. But instead of being for entertainment, it's for business.
In layman's terms, it's a way for marketers to pretend they know their ideal customers and target them more effectively. Who doesn't love pretending they know everything about their customers?
But don't just take my word for it, here's a fancy definition from Einstein Marketer:
A detailed profile of your ideal customer. It doesn’t make assumptions or categorize people into groups. The avatar focuses on one person and outlines everything about them.
In short, it's like a fictional person who has the same wants, needs, and pain points as your ideal customer. Because, why not just focus on a select group of people instead of trying to please everyone? sarcasm But, seriously, this tactic is crucial for your business success. Especially in these unpredictable times when people change their spending habits faster than you can
People use different names to refer to their target audience:
A buyer persona
It’s essential to understand that you may have more than one avatars when thinking of your ideal customers.
Depending on your business or brand’s nature, you could have multiple avatars - there’s no magic number.
Do you know everything about your target audience or customers?
If it takes you more than 10 minutes to answer these questions, you need a customer avatar:
Who will you market your products or services to?
Who will buy your products and services?
Do you have buyers?
What type of content will you create?
Are you able to instantly target your ideal customers?
Do you know what to say in your videos, blogs, infographics, courses, products?
Where will you advertise your business or brand? On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest?
Where is your ideal customer active?
How will you sell your products and services?
How will you speak to your customer?
When will you do it?
Why Is Knowing Your Customer Avatar Important?
It's truly a mystery how some businesses manage to miss out on growth opportunities. I mean, who wouldn't want to blindly throw their money at random strangers instead of actually understanding their target audience? And who needs a unified view of customer behavior when you can just 'spray and pray'?
Truly, a masterful strategy. You can effectively and masterfully sell anything if you understand these 3 major things:
Know who your ideal customer/audience is
Know where they are
Know what kind of challenges they face
Why bother trying to attract the right people when you can just aim for everyone and end up with no one?
Who needs a specific target market when you can just throw your money at the wind and hope for the best? Who needs to know their customer's wants and needs? That's just too much work. Why not just waste your time and money trying to sell to the wrong people? And let's not forget about the buyer's journey, who needs to know that? Just serve them random content and hope for the best. *Fingers crossed*
What Is A Negative Avatar?
Why settle for just any ol'customer when you can actively seek out the ones you don't want? That's right, creating a negative avatar is the way to go. Let's be honest; who doesn't love reliving those nightmares of difficult customers? The ones that made your life a living hell?
Just think of that one customer that you couldn't wait to get rid of and write down all the reasons why they sucked. It's much easier to zoom in on the traits and characteristics you want by identifying what you don't want. Use the past to better your future. It's a win-win.
How To Create Your Customer Avatar
Let’s put it this way: you don’t really create a customer avatar. You discover it. Now you know how critical a customer avatar could be to your marketing success, let’s get down to creating a customer avatar.
First of all, gather all the information and data that could help you know more about your ideal clients.
You might have previous data in the form of surveys, interviews, marketing campaign results, etc.
Start with identifying the known characteristics of your customers. If you’re creating a customer avatar for the first time, HubSpot’s Make My Persona Tool would be of great help.
Five Steps To Create Your Customer Avatar
Step 1: Name Avatar
Why settle for boring, generic customer avatars when you can give them fun and exciting names like 'Momma Mary' or 'CEO Charlie'? It's not like they're real people or anything, right?
But seriously, naming your avatars is a great way to make them easy to reference and remember. Plus, it helps with consistency across teams.
Let's say you're a business coach offering courses to help entrepreneurs and employees streamline their work. Who will be your prospective customers? Oh, let's see... maybe CEOs who are interested in getting certified, a group of employees who want to be better at their job, or executive managers who just need a little help navigating through tough times.
In this case, you'll have three customer avatars. You can name CEOs interested in your product as "CEO Charlie" and the rest as "I-just-want-to-improve-my-job-skills-Samantha" or "Navigating-through-difficult-times-Nancy". Basically, the more avatars you create, the more fun you'll have.
Step 2: Identify Demographics
Why settle for just knowing your customers' basic characteristics when you can dive deep into their psyche? Age, income, or location when you can know their innermost thoughts and desires, who cares? Demographics are so last year, it's all about psychographics now.
Get inside the head of your customers, it's like a mind reading game! It's where the real fun starts.
Demographics are for the boring, data-driven folks. But psychographics, now that's where the magic happens.
And don't forget about big data and AI, they make demographic research even more exciting.
Just answer these questions about your target audience, and you'll have a rough idea of how demographics work: Are they mostly middle-aged, rich, and live in the suburbs? Do they value family, tradition, and stability? Are they more likely to be in the creative or technical field? And so on. See, it's easy peasy.
What’s their gender?
What’s their age?
What is their income?
Where are they located?
What’s their job title?
What’s their marital status?
How many children do they have?
Are they an animal lover? (This one may be weird. But, the more specific the better!)
Are they an introvert?
Why settle for just knowing your customer's basic characteristics? Who needs to know their age, income, or location when you can know what platforms they're active on? Are they on Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn? The possibilities are endless!
The more specific details you can learn about your target customer the more opportunities you have to talk to them.
It's important to mention here that if you use multiple tools to build your avatar, some of that data may not be relevant to your business. So to avoid this, create your own demographics to track. Like, how often they post selfies on Instagram or how many LinkedIn connections they have.
Knowing how your avatar feels at a specific moment helps you meet them where they are and deliver content that guides them to the next level. And there's nothing wrong with reaching out to them and asking questions.
A great way to learn information about your ideal audience is to create polls on Facebook or Instagram. You can ask all kinds of questions to learn about people, where they are in their journey, and how you can help them. Just make sure to not ask too personal question, you don't want to come across as creepy, right?
Step 3: Identify Dreams And Goals
Take a minute and try to learn what their short-term and long-term goals are.
What are your ideal customers trying to achieve? Are they looking to increase business revenue? Are they trying to connect with influencers in a particular industry? Or are they just trying to find a way to finally get that promotion they've been eyeing for years?
Ask yourself relevant questions like this to identify their goals, and make a list of values and goals that are relevant to what you offer. In other words, write down problems your business can solve.
And don't forget to ask for feedback from your existing customers, because no one knows your customers better than the ones who are currently buying from you.
Using forms, keyword research, or listening to your customers on social media is also an effective way to identify your target audience goals. Pay attention to questions your potential customers are asking on different platforms. And don't be afraid to go to social media and see what kind of questions or ideas people are sharing. A relevant conversation on Facebook, for example, will give you valuable information, and maybe even a good laugh.
Step 4: Identify Challenges
What are their challenges? What are their pain points? Want to know the real struggles of your customers? Don't wait for them to come to you, go out and hunt them down! Ask them what's giving them a headache and give them the aspirin they need. Just make sure it's a product or service you offer, otherwise, you're just a quack doctor.
Here are four strategies to identify your customers’ pain points:
Are you ready to get to know your customers better? Of course you are! And you can do it with a bit of humor and fun. Here's how:
Create customer surveys and send them to your customers on a regular basis to collect feedback. But don't just ask boring questions, spice it up a bit with some funny options and open-ended responses.
Organize feedback like a boss! Create folders, labels, and use emojis to make it easy to find what you need. Bonus points if you use a funny naming scheme.
Pay attention to your customers’ confusion or questions. If one of your customers contact you to ask a question, it’s safe to assume that there are many others having the same question or concern. And who doesn't love a good pun or meme when trying to solve a problem?
Allow your customers to provide feedback on your website. They’re likely to share the exact information you’re looking for. Feedback widgets, for example, make it easy and quick for your customers to speak their minds. Bonus points if you add a funny gif or meme to make it more engaging.
This is how you can attach certain challenges and pain points to your ideal client profile. And remember, interviewing your customers is also a good way to prepare a list of challenges your business can address. And always remember, a little laughter goes a long way!
Going Deeper -- The Why Question
"Why" not ask your customers some fun and offbeat questions? Sure, you want to know their demographics and psychographics, but you also want to know what kind of music they're into, if they're a cat or dog person, or if they prefer their coffee black or with 10 creams and sugars.
And let's not forget about the "why" questions. Sure, you want to know why they need your product or service, but why not also ask why they have that certain haircut, or why they chose to wear that shirt today?
You'll not only get to know your customer avatar on a deeper level, but you'll also have some great conversation starters for your next customer call. Plus, who doesn't love a good "why" question? It's like a treasure hunt for information.
While building your customer avatar, don't take yourself too seriously. Have fun with it and don't be afraid to get creative. After all, your avatar is a representation of your ideal customer, so make sure they're someone you'd want to grab a drink with.
Step 5: How Can You Help?
Once you've created your customer avatar, it's time to figure out how you can be their knight in shining armor (or their fairy godmother, depending on who they are). How can your products or services solve any of their frustrations? How can you help them reach their goals? Can you give them something they want and enjoy?
It's all about understanding how to reach and talk to your target customers online. We all know that's a struggle. With your customer avatars in place, you can put them to work like a boss. Think of them as the ultimate cheat sheet for your marketing material.
From a marketing perspective, customer avatars are like the secret weapon to launching more focused and well-targeted campaigns. The more specific you are, the better. When crafting messaging for your brand, you can analyze whether or not it's geared towards your avatars' needs, goals, or fears. You can answer questions your customer avatar has by writing about those topics.
But let's not get too carried away here, you're not just dealing with one type of person. You may have multiple avatars even if you have a specific niche. It's not advisable to have just one avatar called "CEO Charlie." You may have avatars for entrepreneurs struggling to grow their coaching business or for business coaches nearing retirement. The possibilities are endless. Your marketing efforts must be targeted towards each of their needs. Again, the more specific you are at identifying your customer avatars, the more targeted your content will be.
When creating your content geared towards your newly-defined avatar, treat your customer or client as the hero of their journey.
Your job would be of a guide who helps them achieve their goals through blogs, website content, or other marketing campaigns.
Show them that you’re always there to help them succeed.
Use the #R3MAT Method to market to your customer avatar easily
M - Messaging (how you speak to your customers)
A - Audience (who you speak to)
T - Timing (when you engage with them)
Are you tired of being ignored by your target audience? Well, fear not, my friend! Introducing the magical #R3MAT method - the secret weapon for targeting your ideal customers like a boss. With #R3MAT, you'll be able to understand your customer avatars better than they understand themselves.
You'll know what they like, what they hate, and most importantly, how to speak their language. No more generic messages and irrelevant ads. It's time to up your personalization game and deliver content that's tailor-made for your avatars. Who doesn't love a good tailor-made content?
It's like a bespoke suit for your marketing campaigns. So, stop sending generic messages to Charlie the CEO and start targeting "Entrepreneurial Erika" or "Retiring Coach Patti" - the possibilities are endless with #R3MAT! And trust me, your avatars will thank you for it. Once you've found your perfect audience, it's like hitting the jackpot! Imagine being able to attract 100 to 1,000 new ideal clients a day.
Talk about winning the lottery!
To end, the world of marketing can be a chaotic place, but developing a customer avatar is like a secret weapon to help you navigate the noise. And when you combine that with the #R3MAT method, you're pretty much unstoppable. Just remember, don't make assumptions about your avatars, use real data and research to make sure you're targeting the right people.