I’ll be honest, when I first heard the phrase “ideal customer avatar” I snort laughed (not proud). I had visions of very tall, blue aliens striding around my local Waitrose comparing twofers. I brushed the term off as marketing waffle and thought no more about it.
It was only when I decided to up my blogging game that the concept popped back into my mind.
What is an Ideal Customer Avatar?
Your ideal customer avatar is a fictional person representing your perfect customer.
When I say customer, I don’t necessarily mean the paying kind. It depends on what you offer. Your customer could be a consumer of your free content such as blog posts and podcasts.
Your avatar has a name, age and occupation. She has aspirations. She also has problems. All of these things influence your avatar’s consumption habits.
Incidentally, my avatar is female, so I will refer to her as “she” throughout this post.
Why Do I Need One?
If you are a content creator, having an avatar means you can create extremely targeted content to appeal directly to her. You can solve her problems. Generic doesn’t cut it in world where we experience content overload every single day.
If you offer a product or service, tailor it, and the marketing surrounding it, to your avatar. Speak to her pain points. Address her needs. Do this for all future products and services too.
How many times have you read a sales page online which starts by addressing problems you can identify with? Why do you think that is?
Your avatar shapes all of your business decisions.
Can I Have More Than One?
Yes, if it’s right for your business. However, the more you have, the more thinly spread your focus is. Lots of different avatars suggest a bigger issue - that your business has not yet identified its niche.
What an Ideal Customer Avatar Isn’t
You might be thinking… "yeah, I know the type of people who will want to buy my vegetarian jerky subscription box. They're vegetarians. Probably busy ones."
That’s not an ideal customer avatar. That’s your target market. It’s too broad. Narrow down your target market to one person.
How do I Make One?
There aren’t any rules. You can approach this any way you like.
If you are visual, create a vision board (with actual pictures - your avatar needs a face). If you are a writer, write a story about her. Start with a few facts then drill down deeper. You might prefer to record your thoughts verbally via your smartphone.
Honestly, you can do this however you like, as long as you do it and go into as much detail as possible.
What Should I Include?
Below you’ll see a few prompts to get you started. I’ve also included a more detailed worksheet in this post (just click the button at the end to access it). I suggest you fill out the worksheet as an initial brain dump then build your avatar in more detail from there.
- What is her name?
- How old is she?
- What is her marital status?
- Does she have children? How many does she have and how old are they?
- Does she have a job? If so, what does she do and what is her income?
- Education - what qualifications has she achieved?
- Does she have hobbies? What are they?
- What are her goals?
Remember, this is just a starting point. The more detail you include, the better.
Once you know your ideal customer intimately, everything you say, write and do should be aimed at her. Everything from the colour palette on your website, to the words you use on your sales page, to the topics you blog about. Everything.
Over to You
So what about you? Who is your ideal customer avatar? Have you done this exercise before? Do let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.