Yes - Ideal client profiles, target audience personas or marketing avatars – (regardless of what you call them), are well worth putting some time into developing.
Picture a large, crowded room full of strangers from all walks of life.
You’re in the centre of it.
And you’re on stage.
You have no mic, and in fact you’re spinning in circles yelling information about your product/brand/specials/personal life and rambling off some cool quotes and pointing at a cat video playing on a screen hanging on the wall while you’re at it.
Get the picture? It’s quite ridiculous, but it’s what most of us are doing on social media on a fairly regular basis. You think you’re talking to a large group, but you’re really talking to no-one, because no-one is actually listening. Meanwhile you keep yelling. Your voice gets hoarse. You wind up exhausted.
What’s the problem with this picture? It’s impossible to be everything to everyone.
A handful of folks might have listened to your pitch, and one person might approach you at some point for more information. But this spray and pray approach might will ultimately leave you feeling exhausted and unsatisfied.
You need to know who you’re talking to.
And your potential customers need to be in the right place and in the right frame of mind to receive your message.
Why avatars are the bees knees
Once you’ve decided who you feel your product or service is best suited to, and who you’d like to work with or gear your business to, things begin to fall in to place. You will be able to invite the right people into your space and provide them with useful information they want to hear. It might take time to get your avatar right, but it’s worth taking this approach and learning from your attempts.
Suddenly your person is everywhere
Have you noticed that when you buy a new car, are planning a wedding, or are researching a trip to a special destination overseas you suddenly start noticing your vehicle type, ads for wedding venues or references to your travel destination everywhere. I’m not talking about online ads because you’ve been googling everything and tracked by cookies. No, I’m referring to when you’re out and about in the real world.
It happens when you become attune to something. I had a baby earlier this year, and his Dad is convinced there has been a baby boom in our area. Well, perhaps there are more new parents around, but I also think this is because he is more aware of babies and other parents because he’s become immersed in the world of a new parent.
Having an avatar is a bit like this.
With a firm target audience person in mind, you start seeing the world through their eyes and see them and what they’d like everywhere. It’s like when you are shopping for someone’s Christmas or birthday present – and no, not the difficult person on your list. The one you love buying for and know exactly what they’d like. You know who you’re talking to and can focus on meeting their interests and needs with your business.
So, how do you figure out who your ‘person’ is?
You need to think about the basics first.
Use your intuition to begin with and then refine your target audience, before settling on one or two avatars.
Demographics – their age, gender, job type, income level, where they live etc.
Psychographics – how they think, what is important to them, the kinds of activities they like etc.
Then, it’s good to ask yourself:
- Where is your person spending their time?
What types of media would your avatar consume. Think about their age, location and job type
- What kinds of content would resonate with this person? Images, long articles, case studies?
- What kind of advertising would appeal to this person?
The best tip I’ve been given is to give your Avatar a name, and actually go online and find an image of someone you feel represents your person.
My mum is an ex-teacher and runs a home-based tutoring business for kids aged 5 to 12.
Her target audience is:
- Parents of primary school age kids, with learning difficulties or wanting to extend themselves.
- Age: between 40 and 55
- Gender: mums (as they do the organising generally)
- Job type: Part time work (able to transport child during standard business hours). Successful trades or real estate professionals, or retired professionals
- High household income – relative to her area (outside of the Sydney metropolitan area)
- Suburban people – outside city, but travel to city or overseas regularly.
- Karly – 45 (image from Masterfile.com)
- Part-Owner of a successful home renovation business.
- 2 children – aged 8 and 10
- Lives in suburban area close to my mum.
- High household income
- Enjoys visiting Sydney to see concerts and visit museums with the children, Sydney Easter Show etc.
- Holidays in QLD and overseas – Hawaii, Thailand, Fiji
- Karly enjoys a high standard of living, but she’s worked hard for her success and expects the same of her children.
- She takes small breaks for herself, but is largely family and business focused.