In the beginning ...

Truly understanding your target market is one of the most crucial things when it comes to starting to market and sell products online. It is only by having a clear idea in your mind of who you would like to reach, sell to or help so that you can tailor and target your messages to have the strong impact on your target audience that you will need, to make your new internet business a success and attract customers. Here we look at a powerful exercise that can help you define your target customers – the customer avatar.

Customer Avatar - what?

What the customer avatar means is identifying your best customer – the person most likely to buy from you time and again and respond to your messages with the greatest positivity – and come up with an “avatar” for all the people in that demographic. Essentially, it is a visioning exercise where you think about your typical best customer, and what their life is like. Here is an example:

Creating the Customer Avatar

I wanted to start marketing digital online training programs, and I have identified that the market I want to sell into is best represented by a 25 to 45-year-old woman. So, to create my customer avatar, I have to flesh out this woman and think about her life, her family, what interests her, and what her problems are that my product can address.

So, to start with I gave her a name. I called her Mary. I gave her a type of job. She worked in an office. She had nearly an hour commute to and from work every day. She worked from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 30 minutes for lunch. She lived in Florida somewhere in the suburbs. She had this white house with a beige garage door and a beige SUV that she drove home. And every night when she came home there was a Big Wheel and some other toys on the front lawn that the kids didn’t clean up.

Getting Personal ...

Mary had a couple of kids, and the family was everything to her. She just wanted to get home each day after work and she wanted to spend time with her husband and kids.

Back in the early 2000’s she had a Great job she just loved. It kept her busy and it gave her great joy. It forced her to continue learning and getting better all the time. However sometime in 2007 amidst the downturn of the economy, Mary and her job separated ways. You see the housing crisis had forced many industries to start laying off even their highly skilled key employees. Mary got caught up in the crisis when the company had to make the hard decisions about who they needed to let go of to try to survive the economic shutdown.

Identify the Pain Points ...

Mary lost her job and for many years was forced to work for a company outside of her comfort zone. She was forced to settle for a job at 60% of her previous income, with no pay increases to come for years. Mary was not alone. Millions of others fared the same fate. Barely able to make ends meet, she and her husband were able to survive. It was a struggle they never want their children to ever have to endure. Mary is determined to give her family a better life.

In her backyard she has a barbeque, and that’s where her husband goes every night and has a barbeque with the family. And then they play a little bit, baseball or basketball in the backyard. Then she and her husband reads a story to the kids and they go to bed.

What Does Not Kill You

Makes You Stronger

Offer a Solution ...

By this point it’s 9:30 at night, and that’s the only time she has to learn. So, this is when Mary comes online, and she’s looking for some program that she can learn from with just a little bit of computer equipment that she’s had stashed away or built up over the couple of years or got at a garage sale. This is when, using content marketing through a blog or YouTube, advertising with Google Ads, and/or Facebook Ads, or possibly Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter, I am able to reach the Mary’s who are searching for ways to make money online, by creating a sustainable business to either supplement their income, or even to completely replace it altogether.

Create Content for your Ideal Customers

Mary is not, of course, a real person, but she is a customer avatar for thousands of real people that make up the ideal customer for this business. By writing sales messages that speak directly to Mary and tell her how my product can solve her particular problems, I can ensure I am speaking in terms that my target market will find relatable and appealing. The closer an individual is to Mary, my ideal customer, the more impact these messages will have and the more developed my business can become in that niche.

And that is the same level of customer knowledge and appreciation that you need to have. No matter whether you’re going to sell as yourself in a personality type business or whether you’re going to create some type of online store that just sells products, you really need to know who is going to buy from you. It’s very, very important stuff. So that’s what I recommend you do. Figure out all those details about the best potential customer in your marketplace.

When Don't You Need to tell a Story?

In some cases, you may not need to come up with a creative story about your ideal customer, because for many internet businesses, the ideal customer is the business owner themselves – you. Maybe you set up a business to sell to people just like you, and so your customer avatar may be yourself. Alternatively, it may be someone else you know. Maybe a friend of yours is the ideal customer for your business, and you can think of them as your customer avatar. Whether your avatar is a real person or someone you have made up to represent your demographic, it is important to know all about them so you know exactly how to talk to them.

This sort of customer profiling is done all the time in business, with even the biggest, widest reaching brands and companies having stories in place about the type of people who choose their products. It is a good practice to get into to attract customers. You may find your customer avatar varies from product to product, or is the same throughout everything your business does, but it is important to know your target market on this sort of level to sell effectively and attract customers.

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