Avatar, Persona, Target Market …
There are many names that you can use to describe the ‘person’ your service is designed to help. But at the heart of it, your avatar is the fictional character that best represents your ideal client – the client that wants to BUY from you. The reason you went into business in the first place. The client you are looking to serve. And having a clearly defined avatar is arguably the most important part of your marketing success. Every product, and service you sell, needs to be laser-focused on serving your avatar.
A clearly defined avatar will help you:
~ Spend advertising dollars effectively. You will have a clear idea of who to target so you can maximize your ad spend
~ Write highly targeted messages that resonate with your avatar. Content that addresses the core challenges and issues that your avatar is trying to solve. It will make them feel like you are speaking directly to them
~ Determine where they hang out on social media. This will allow you to put together a social media strategy that aligns your services with where they spend their time, allowing you to focus your efforts on those platforms
~Develop services and products that your customers actually want to buy! Because you are speaking to them, in their language, they will create an affinity and loyalty to your product. They will become loyal customers who are ready for the next product as soon as you have it ready!
But what does this look like in practicality? How do you build it and what’s included in it? There are two key areas to consider:
Demographics and Psychographics
Demographics: Includes information such as gender, age, income, and marital status.
Psychographics: Get into your avatar’s deeper values and habits by describing values, desires, and aspirations, frustrations and fears, attitudes and interests. They also look at emotional triggers including their goals, challenges and pain points. Information /Social Media use including, where does your avatar get his or her information? Favorite websites, books, news outlets, other programming? And how about, Who are the influencers/experts that your avatar follows?
Below you will see what a sample avatar ‘story’ looks like. Notice how you really get a sense of who ‘Kelly” is, what she values, and some of the key messages that if you put in front of her, they would really resonate.
Sample Avatar Story
Meet Kelly the Successful Working Mom
Status: Married with children
Household income: Over 150k
Frustration: Very busy (time-strapped) with work and kids
Desires: Wants to get back in shape, lose 20lbs and be a good role model for her kids
Kelly is a 40-year-old Mom with a busy career and family life. She puts in a full day at work before coming home to spend time with her kids who still need Mom and Dad to take them to piano/soccer practice and drive them to friends’ houses. Kelly’s husband also works, and they do their best to divide up the household duties.
Kelly has a highly successful career and happy family life, but she is starting to see that her health is taking a toll based on the lack of exercise and food choices she is making. She has always prided herself on being a good role model for her children, but she feels like that’s slowly slipping away as her children transition into impressionable teenagers who are conscious about their body images.
Kelly is frustrated that she can’t lose the weight herself and is ready for a lifestyle change. Kelly has tried many diets with varying success. She jumps from one diet to the next and feels like she has ‘tried them all’. Kelly is definitely feeling ‘diet fatigue’ but is ready to find the ONE that will help her to not only get to her desired weight but help her be a good role model for her kids.
Kelly and her family are financially stable, but there isn’t a lot of extra money at the end of every month. She is willing to spend money to achieve her goals but is driven by value and quality. Kelly is not looking for another $19 program that promises rapid weight loss at the expense of her health.
Her vision is to end the dieting cycle once and for all. No more fast-fixes but a healthy balance of food and fitness that the whole family can follow. With their busy schedule, Kelly doesn’t want to be making multiple meals – one for her and one for her family. Kelly wants one food plan with easy food prep that everyone can tailor to their own needs.
Kelly is ready to take control of her health and is keenly aware that with her kids entering into teenagehood all eyes are on her as a role model for food, fitness and lifestyle. Her focus is to lose weight, improve her fitness, lead a healthy and active lifestyle and be a good role model for her kids.
See how that really feels like someone you can ‘know’? Below you will find a list of prompts and questions that you can use to brainstorm on your avatar. Remember, if you have more than one product, you will have more than one avatar. Many businesses have multiple avatars!
• Target geographic location
• Age or age range
• Relationship status
• Household Income
• Level of education
• Who are the brands or influencers they follow or engage with
• Where they get information (books, blogs, forums, conferences & events, etc.)
It's important to make your avatar as human as possible. Your customer will respond to two messages – You can either fix their pain, or give them pleasure.
Listed below are some possible questions you could answer about your avatar.
Negative: List the things this customer avatar is moving away from. The things that frustrate or scare them. Things they want to ESCAPE from.
• What keeps them up at night?
• What annoys and/or frustrates them?
• What are they afraid of?
• What has happened in the past that has led them to this point?
Positive/ Future Vision: List the things this customer avatar is moving towards.
• What is their future vision for themselves?
• How does it improve their life?
• Who or what is standing in the way of their success and happiness?
• What do they want for themselves?
• What do they want for the people around them (family, friends, coworkers, employees, etc.)?
• What does their future vision of themselves look like?
• What goals have they set for themselves?
Lastly, this shouldn't be a one-and-done. Your customer avatar should be a living and breathing document (pun intended!) Your products and services will evolve and so will your avatar. Make sure you revisit this on a regular basis.
I hope that this avatar story and guidance has resonated with you and has helped you identify where you can begin to build or enhance your current avatar. When you have a solid content marketing plan - a real foundation - you will be able to create content that drives demand, much faster and with less stress.
The good news is that with time and experience, marketing becomes easier. I’ve spent the past 20+ years developing content marketing strategies for both small and large service-based businesses, so I’ve had first-hand experience learning what works and what doesn't.
However, if it's left you more overwhelmed about your content strategy and the gaps in your content plan, click this link and we can get on the phone and do a 20-minute content audit to help get you on track for success.