How to Create your Customer Avatar

How to Create your Customer Avatar

Every successful online business starts by understanding your target customer on a deep level.

If you want to able to create great offers and marketing campaigns...

...the one's that attract your dream customers like magnets.

Then you need to know the core desires and core problems your dream customers are experiencing so you can meet their needs with your products and services.

Researching and documenting your Customer Avatar will help you do this faster and with greater success in the long run.

Customer Avatars are similar to what many people call their “target market” but, they’re much more focused on an individual person rather than a whole market segment.

Target markets, for example, are broader like this one.

“A interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35 and 65 with incomes of $150,000-plus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.”

When it comes to Customer Avatars, the audience gets much more specific like this one for a fictitious finance company.

“Scott is a 31-year-old freelance web developer from Vancouver, who spends roughly an hour each day reading blog posts and best practices, and that is where he finds a link to our company website.‌‌‌‌Scott makes between $55,000 and $65,000 a year but doesn’t really know his finances and, therefore, can’t commit to going on a holiday vacation or to purchase a new home.‌‌‌‌Scott knows he’s better off as a freelancer, however, wants to get organised with his finances so she can better plan for the future.‌‌‌‌He’s been married for four years and has not had any kids yet but is planning on having them soon. Kids are a big financial commitment and so Scott would like to get on top of his finances first.‌‌‌‌When Scott lands on our company website and reads about how we can help him get organised with his finances, he’s very interested and would like to find out more.”

You can clearly see the difference between these two approaches to describe the customers they are trying to attract.

The target market description is too vague and generic, whereas the description for Scott has a lot more details such as his living circumstances, pain point, behaviors, and goals.

Marketing today is becoming more and more data driven.

Knowledge is power and with tools like Facebook’s Audiences & Google Adwords, you can zero in on specific target groups of people with laser focus.

You can now target prospective customers based on life events, purchasing behavior, look-a-like audiences and more.

For example, Facebook provides you with access to purchasing behavior categories for building audiences based on types of behavior. For example, choosing ‘Buyer Profiles’ will let you target DIYers, Fashionistas, Foodies, etc.

It’s some very powerful capabilities and with so many detailed, granular options available for targeting buyers, you need to focus and do your homework.

You need to think in detail about who you want to reach and write it down so you can use it as a reference.

The best place to start doing this work is with a customer avatar.

So what is a Customer Avatar exactly?

The Customer Avatar is an archetype, composite picture of the real people who buy, or might buy, products like the ones you sell.

Customer Avatars are fictional representations created for your business based on real information about the ideal customer you want to attract.

They generally include both demographics & psychographics and should be as detailed as possible to get the most long term value from them.

Why is it important to build a Customer Avatar?

If you don’t understand who you are trying to reach, it’s hard to create the right marketing and advertising messages that will persuade and really resonates with your target customers.

The more you know about your customers wants, needs and challenges, the better you’ll be able to position your product or service as the answer or solution to those wants & needs.

Also, If you have a team or work with freelancers, a Customer Avatar can help them create a more relevant targeted messaging, user experience for your ads, content, campaigns and other customer interactions.

Simply stated, Customer Avatars are the foundation for your sales and marketing strategy and everything else is built out from them.

For example when you sit down to write a new blog post or social media message or email... the first step you have to do is understand your audience and how this message is going to help them.

This is just one area your customer avatars help a lot.

How to create your customer avatar

It all starts with research, surveys, and interviews with your target audience.

You want to collect information that is both qualitative and quantitative to paint a clear picture of who your ideal customer is, what they value, and how your product or solution fits into their daily lives.

How to Gather customer avatar Information

1. Speak To Customers

Start by researching your existing customers if you have any. A good place to start is with customers you like.

The ones you wish all your clients were like.

These are the types of customers you want more of.

If you have a customer list, this can be a great source of knowledge and insight about your existing customers, past leads and even prospects.

Next, identify the most common buyers of your products and services. You may have several different types of buyers, so give each one a detailed description, including a name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.

Here are some key questions to consider.

Gender & Age

  • Are they predominantly male or female?
  • Are they younger, older or an age range?

Profession/role/income

  • What is their title or common roles?
  • What is their income?
  • What does their typical day look like?
  • What skills are required for their job?
  • Who do they report to or who reports to them?
  • What industry do they work in?
  • How big is their company?
  • What are they responsible for in their role?

Education

  • How do they learn about new information?
  • How well-educated are they? This can help with understanding how they process information.
  • Do they understand complex data graphs, stats, and case study results, or do they respond better to customer testimonials and simple images?

Family, values & spare time

  • What do they think it means to be successful?
  • Are they married with kids or single?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their values?
  • How do they spend their free time?
  • Do they have common interests, pass times?

Shopping habits & buying decisions

  • What blogs or news sites do they read?
  • What else do they buy and how?
  • Do they shop online or offline?
  • What do they take into account when they make buying decisions?
  • Is it the price, features, outcomes, simplicity, customer service?
  • What do they do online?
  • Are they active on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks?
  • What kind of search terms do they use?
  • What kind of information do they tend to consume online?
  • Which of your products do they spend the most time researching?
  • How do they use those products?

Financial situation

  • What is their company size, revenue, type?
  • How much are they willing to pay you for your product or service?
  • Do they have a budget for what you offer?
  • How easily do they make the decision to buy?

You don’t need to answer all of these questions. These are here to help guide you through the process. Answer as many as you need.

Needs, Challenges & Goals

Because people learn and shop differently today, the content you create for your buyers like your hooks and headlines and your sales funnel landing page, thank you pages and email campaigns will need to be focused on satisfying their needs, challenges and goals in a language that speaks to them.

The more of these you can identify within your customer, the more effective your messaging will be.

  • What are your customer’s primary goals and challenges?
  • What are their responsibilities?
  • What does a day in the life look like for them?
  • What are they searching for with regards to their problem? Are they searching?
  • Do they know they have a problem and there may be a solution out there in the market?
  • What is the best elevator pitch for this specific persona?
  • What are their common objections?
  • What kind of experience are they looking for?

Compile your data & build your Avatar

There are a couple of ways you can compile all of this information. The simplest is using a Google Doc. There are also a few great tools out there to help you create quality personas.

Download the Dream Customer Workbook (PDF)

Download the Dream Customer Avatar Template (PDF)

You can also check out Hubspot’s new Make My Persona tool or the Up Close & Persona tool.

These are great web apps to help you create customer avatars but you don’t need more than a document to do this.

Take-aways

Your customer avatar is the foundation of successful marketing strategy.

Creating buyer personas is an ongoing process of refining and adding more information as you gain a greater understanding of your ideal customer.

I hope this has been helpful and if you need some assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions.