You’ve probably come across the marketing-speak buyer persona, target market, niche, customer avatar or ideal client at some point as you’ve been wading through the planning and building stages of your business. These are the imaginary representations of the persona most likely to purchase from you.
You’ve heard the phrase ‘the moment you speak to everyone you speak to no one’ before though, right? Well, just between us, it’s the number one biggest mistake you can make.
Before we onboard a new client we send them a discovery questionnaire and one of the questions we ask is: Who is the person most likely to buy your product?
Small business owner: Everyone!
We hear this ALL THE TIME. Business owners who want to cast their nets as wide as possible to get the best possible reach, solve their problems and turn them all into paying customers. While it’s tempting to think as broadly as possible when targeting your audience, the bigger problem is that if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.
If we told you, everyone in the world loves dogs. You’d think well, no they don’t. Some people are allergic, scared, just don’t like them. Same goes for chocolate. It would be great to be able to market to everyone, but the reality is that everybody has different needs and desires from the next person. When you market to include absolutely everyone, you become a ‘crowd pleaser’ and your message gets very vague and ultimately ends up getting lost in the noise.
As counterintuitive as it might sound to you right now, the more narrowly you can define your audience, the more success you’ll have, the more products and services you’ll sell and the happier everyone will be!
By drilling down and getting super specific on your who your target audience is, defining it and then creating a customer avatar to represent those attributes for your business, it will help you:
- Be more effective with your marketing/advertising
- Write copy that talks directly to your avatar
- Deliver and develop better products and services
- Determine which social platforms they’re hanging out on
STEP 1: FIND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
The best place to start to create a picture of your target audience is your own online data.
The ‘Insights’ tab has a great library of general information on the people who follow your page
If you’ve got a business account you can find ‘Insights’ from your business profile. HINT: You don’t even need to be a business to switch to a business profile so why would you not?!
The ‘audience’ tab will give you a great overview of the types of people visiting your website
STEP 2: DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET
Another common answer from business owners when asked who their ideal client/customer is: Females, Age range 25-40, lives in New Zealand…etc. STOP right there. Still not specific enough. Yes, those are important factors, but they should be the very starting point for your research.
These are typically the easiest and most straightforward to complete. Demographic factors include Age, gender, relationship status, income level, occupation, education level, religion etc.
This one’s important to mention even if your business is online only as people will often relate more to people who are in a nearby location. It also helps with social media where you can use geotags and hashtags to increase visibility and within Facebook groups focused on people from a certain area or country.
This is your target market’s lifestyle. How they spend their days. Can you see how we’re starting to get down into the nitty-gritty? Questions to ask could be:
What do they typically do on weekends?
What are their hobbies?
Where do they go for coffee? Food?
What’s their form of exercise?
What music do they listen to?
What books/magazines do they read?
What websites do they visit?
Needs & Desires
Finding out your ideal client’s needs and desires is by far the most important part of this exercise and how you can craft your future messages to target them.
Imagine your target market answering this question: What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to [insert your business offering here]? What keeps your ideal client awake at 2 AM when it comes to [insert your business here]? Your product or service is the answer to how you can help these people overcome their challenges.
You may have a few people within the same demographic having similar lifestyle factors and similar needs and desires, but you’ll be hard pressed to find they share the same values. These change over time and at different stages of our lives depending on what’s important at that time.
STEP 3: CREATE YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER PROFILE
This is where you put all of the above information together in one document. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a customer avatar workbook that has all the questions you need to be asking when defining your audience. Link to download below:
STEP 4: ONGOING MARKET RESEARCH
After putting in all this hard work to find and define their target audience and have a fantastically detailed customer profile all organised some businesses never refer back to it again! What you need to understand is as the needs and desires of people are always changing along with technology, the research shouldn’t slow down or stop.
Regular surveying of your target audience is key to keeping track of your ideal client’s needs and desires. The one question to ask is as mentioned above: What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to [insert your business offering here]?
Ask this question everywhere. Ask in your emails, in surveys, in Facebook groups (with your target client in, on your social media, and even in person).
STEP 5: CREATE A CUSTOMER AVATAR
When you create your target customer profile or avatar you’re creating a fictitious character to represent your target audience profile. We’ve got a task for you to do. This is a fun exercise and we promise no one’s inside your head so don’t feel silly!
1. Imagine your customer avatar you’ve been describing up until now
2. Give him or her a face. Find a stock photo of a person that looks like the one you imagine and add it to your document
3. Give your customer avatar a name
4. Write a one-page story on your avatar. This brings your character to life and makes it easier to talk to when creating your content
You can download our FREE Customer Avatar worksheet that will help you plan out creating an avatar and writing their story.
STEP 6: APPLY THIS NEW KNOWLEDGE TO YOUR MARKETING
Once you’ve defined your target market, you’ve created your customer avatar, and you understand how to connect with that person, you can start applying this information to your marketing.
The easiest and most effective way to do this is to imagine you are marketing to that ONE person – your customer avatar.
Every time you create a blog post, a social media post, an email – you create it as if you’re speaking to this one person. Even the way you respond to comments and engage on social media should be done as if it was this one person behind everything.
This will also be extremely helpful in coming up with future content ideas. You’ll be able to come up with those ‘connection’ posts in a breeze.
The clearer the picture you can get in your head (of the type of person who will want, need, enjoy and buy your product or service the most) the better you’ll be able to talk to them and get your message across in a way that benefits both sides.
OK, if you haven’t already, go and download our FREE Customer Avatar Worksheet and get started on finding and defining your ideal client!
Also, if you want to schedule a strategy call with us where we guide you through finding, defining your target audience and creating your very own customer avatar then we’d love to help you! Please get in touch to schedule a call.