So in this first article, we’re going to look at your overall strategy for creating your ideal customer profile, so you can identify the right type of customers for your business.
Following this, in the second article, we’re going to look at a simple technique using your ideal customer profile, to quickly research your market, so that you can accurately target and connect with your ideal audience.
And in the final article, I’ll show you 3 easy ways to get inside the mind of your prospects, so you can really engage with them and convert them into customers.
Focus on your ideal customer profile
But just before we dive into customer profiles, or customer avatars as they are know, it’s worth being clear on exactly what a customer avatar is, and why we need them.
So let’s start by taking a look at your business.
Now as business owners, we often view our customers as one generic group. But we know that in reality, they are not all the same. Some spend more than others, some are less hassle than others, some are more fun to work with than others…
But, if you’re going to look at attracting new customers. And if you’re going to spend valuable, time, money and effort on marketing to get those customers. Then it makes sense to focus your efforts and budget on not just getting any customer, but to focus on getting more of your ideal customer.
Now, you may be thinking that “I can’t afford to be that choosy in who my customers are”.
But if you go through this series of articles, you’ll see not only why this makes total sense, but also how to build your business with more your ideal customers.
The other really key thing to remember when it comes to marketing and getting new business is that whatever your product or service offering, you’re always competing for your customer’s attention and money.
From your customer’s perspective, you and all your competitors are just a Google search away.
As you know yourself when looking for something, by just ‘Googling’ it, you can pretty much see everyone in that market on one page.
So, how do you stand out and get your prospective customer’s attention?
And how do you engage and connect with them, so they ignore your competition and just focus on your offering?
There are two basic principles to achieving this.
The first principle is to COMPLETELY focus on your customer.
Everything you do, should be about helping your potential customers get the result they’re looking for. Because the process of building a connection and engagement with your audience, is based on you being able to demonstrate that you understand their needs, challenges and frustrations better than anyone else. And that your products or services, will give them the result or outcome they’re looking for.
Basically your communications and dialogue should all be about your customers, not you.
A good quick test to see if you’re already doing this is to take a look at your web site copy or promotional material and see how many times you use the word “We”.
If you are using the word “we’ over and over again in your copy, then you are focused on yourself and your business, rather than your customers. So think of how you can say the same things, but from your customers perspective.
The second principle, is that you need to niche your business, or create a number of niches which you serve.
The idea is that you want to present yourself as a specialist to that particular market and audience, not a generalist.
As consumers and customers ourselves, we all know that we have many choices in the products or services we buy, and who we buy them from. But we also know that if something is really important to us, then we want to make that purchase from a specialist, rather than a generalist. Because we believe a specialist understands our specific needs and they also experts in their area, so consequently we believe we’ll get the best product or service.
By becoming a specialist, you’re basically redrawing the competitive landscape – separating yourself from the crowd. Also being a specialist, you’re less prone to direct competitor pricing pressures.
So by marketing your products or services as those of a specialist, you will build a more immediate connection with your ideal audience.
Your customer avatar
Your avatar, is an embodiment of your ideal target customer. Your avatar has both rational and emotion attributes and characteristics, just like a real person.
By creating a really detailed customer profile, or avatar, you’ll be able to quickly and easily put yourself in their position and identify with your customers real needs and desires. And with this clear picture of your ideal customer, you’ll then be able to create far more compelling messages that will really engage and connect with them.
Also once you have a clearly defined customer avatar, you can use this profile to easily find more of your ideal customers in your marketplace.
I’ll be showing you exactly how to do this in the next article.
Now, your avatar can either be based on an actual existing customer of yours, or you can use your experience and imagination to create one. Remember the more detail and depth you can add into your avatar, the easier it will be to identify and target them.
So let’s take a look at a quick example scenario. Say I’m a chiropractor and I want to create a customer avatar.
To start with, I’ll probably take a look through my customer database and separate out those who I think are good customers, who I have a good relationship and who are profitable. I then take a look at what service I provided for them and what results or outcomes they achieved. My ideal customer profile, or avatar offers me a combination of good profitability for my business, with great outcome for my patients.
That way I’m targeting people who will not only love what I do and be happy to pay for it, but also those who will recommend me in the future and therefore help me grow my business faster.
Although over time I’ll create a number of avatars, to begin with I just want to create one avatar and test it.
So, I find one particular client, let’s call her Susan.
I know Susan in 56. I also know Susan has back problems, which is why she comes to see me. And from my conversations with her, I understand she is also a passionate gardener and nothing frustrates her more, than not being able to get in the garden. I’m confident that the therapy I’m able to offer Susan really does help, and she finds that in just in a few short sessions she’ll be able to get back to what she enjoys doing the most.
With all that in mind, if I could find more Susan’s, I’d have a great way of really growing my business and profits, whilst also providing a great service to my customers.
Now Susan could be an actual patient, or a combination of my patients characteristics, but the important thing is, that I can clearly describe her in terms of both functional and emotional characteristics and attributes. And I can understand what motivates and drives her.
Also because I‘ve given her a name and I can clearly picture her in my mind, then I’ll find it so much easier to know the sort of messages that will engage her.
Now, you may be thinking if I niche my business into 50+ women with back pain and who are into gardening, then I’ll never be able to find any customers!
First, this is just one avatar and as a business owner I could develop many different avatars, targeting different audience groups.
The second thing is that although I may have narrowed my potential market, by niching my audience, I have also potentially extended my geographical reach, by being the specialist.
Because people will travel further, or go to greater lengths, or pay more, to get that specialist expertise.
And the third thing is that because my messages are more specific to my audience needs, then I will have a greater level of engagement and higher ratio of sales conversion.
OK, so it’s now time for you to really have a think about creating and shaping your avatar, or avatars, adding in as many personality attributes and characteristics, to really bring them to life.
Then in the next article, I’ll be showing you how to use your avatar to test out the market potential, in terms of finding more of your ideal customers.