Everyone is Not Your Customer

28 Sep 2016
Alan Martin

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One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your business is to assume that everyone is your customer. As Virginia Muzquiz so aptly put it, “If you market to everyone as a prospect, you’ll get no one as a client“.

The first thing you need to do is get really clear on who your ideal customer is. In this article I am going to show you how to create a customer avatar to help you with this process!

What is a customer avatar?

A customer avatar is simply a description of your ideal customer, made more real by creating a character to represent that person. Some businesses even go so far as to display their character (or characters) on their Boardroom wall, to help staff relate to their customers on a whole new level.

Why do you need an avatar?

Well let me explain that, but before I do, just know that if you get this nailed down it will save you money and improve the results that you are getting in all areas of your marketing, not just your social media.

I’ve got a question for you, who is your customer?

If you are like most people, you would answer that with something like “anybody who needs an [Insert name of your product or service]”. For Chat Marketing I might answer, “any business that wants to learn how to use social media and email marketing to get leads and sales” but this definition is not very helpful and here’s why…

Many different types of people need help with their social media, from one-man solopreneurs up to large multi-national companies, but their learning needs are completely different. On top of that, each industry has it’s differences that affect their goals for using social media and how they can best be achieved, so to target “any business”, my marketing message would be so generic that it does not appeal to anyone.

Being ultra specific about who your ideal client is helps you choose the most appropriate channel to communicate with them on and allows you to talk in a language that they can relate to. Have you ever read an email and thought, this was written specifically for me? I’m sure you have had this experience too and it comes down to the author understanding their audience deeply. What challenges they face, what language they use to express these challenges etc!

How to Create a Customer Avatar

The best way to achieve this level of deeper understanding is to create a customer avatar, to reflect your ideal customer. If you have multiple products or services, you may need to create more than one avatar, and that’s okay, the process for developing this insight is exactly the same (only repeated as necessary).

Step.1 – Decide on who your ideal customer is

The answer may seem obvious at first but it’s not just about the money that they pay you! What customers do you enjoy working with, what customers can you have the biggest impact on and yes okay, who has the ability and willingness to pay for your high-ticket products or services? These sort of questions will help you identify your ideal customers.

Step. 2 – Find out as much as you can about them

You want to find out a whole bunch of stuff about your customers, from information like age, gender, where they live, job title, level of education, income level, family composition etc, to discovering their pain-points, values, attitudes and lifestyle. You will also want to find out behavioral information such as what blogs, newspapers, or books they read, TV shows they watch, social networks they are active on etc.

Step. 3 – Bring your character to life

And I don’t mean in a Victor Frankenstein kind of way 😉

Once you have the information, you need to bring your character to life by giving him/her a name. Next, write a short summary about your Character. Find a photo of someone who resembles your avatar and keep this at your desk whenever you are writing marketing copy.

You can bring your avatar to life on paper if you want or if you want to be more hi-tech you can use upcloseandpersona.com. The important thing as always is that you take action and do this exercise for your own business. You will thank me for it!

Conclusion

If you want to read more about this topic and you are in the B2B sector, you can download an avatar template created by Joe Pulizzi to accompany his excellent book “Epic Content Marketing” (affiliate link).

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