Plus a Free Customer Avatar Worksheet
One of the very first things you need to do before you start your business, is to do some market research and create a customer avatar.
If you’ve already started your business then don’t worry, you can simply refine and adapt by doing this exercise and downloading the free customer avatar worksheet below.
Creating a customer avatar is a very essential part of your overall business plan, and I’m sure you’re already aware that you create your business plan before you start your business.
Your business plan is an informal document of your market research data which will indicate whether you should go ahead with your business idea or not.
I cannot stress this enough, you absolutely must carry out market research and create a business plan, including your customer avatar, whilst in the research and validation phase of starting your small business.
What Exactly Is a Customer Avatar?
A customer avatar is a fictional representation of your target customer. It’s a detailed profile that defines your ideal customer which includes her demographics, behaviors, values & goals and most importantly, her pain points.
The goal of creating a customer avatar is to get a clear understanding of your target audience, which will then determine:
- Your product creation
- Your marketing strategy
- The way you actually sell your product
- Your customer service
So you can see how important it is to create a customer avatar before you even finish your product (or outline your service) and put together a marketing strategy?
Go now and download the customer avatar worksheet.
You’re going to write a detailed description of your ideal customer avatar. I want you to really dive in when you write his/her description.
At first you will most likely be making this person up. However, a lot of times when we are creating our avatar we are actually talking about ourselves. We tend to be our avatar or maybe we used to be our avatar. I know this is true for me.
But as you become more sophisticated in really defining your avatar I would like you to think of past clients you’ve worked with; if you have any. Don’t worry if you haven’t, I share below some ways to find information about your avatar.
Who did you really love working with and who have you been able to get amazing results for? Think about that one person and let them guide you as your avatar. I think stepping outside of yourself and looking at somebody else that you’ve served, helped, and supported, and loved working with.
Remember, your avatar is somebody that you know; what they need and want and you know you can serve them but you also love working with that type of person as well.
Think about some past clients too if you can. So get your thinking cap on, dive deep and complete the avatar description.
You will be answering questions like:
1) How old are they?
2) What books do they read?
3) Where do they hang out online?
4) Who inspires them?
5) What blogs do they read?
6) What podcasts do they listen to?
7) Most importantly, what are their biggest pain points and frustrations?
So the two main questions to ask yourself is “What keeps them up at night?” and “What are they constantly worrying about?”
How To Find Your Avatars’ Pain Points
If you don’t already have a raving fan base that you can talk to and survey and really understand by listening to them and engaging with them, you can also do a little investigative work online.
My favorite place to go is Facebook groups. There’s a Facebook group for just about any subject and any niche, so hopefully you’ll be able to join a few in your niche (although I’m sure you already have!)
Just literally start smooching around reading the conversations what are going on and taking notes, or screen captures into your chosen swipe file.
Use The Search Bar With Keywords:
To go a step further, I normally use the search bar inside the group. As I write this, it is located on the left-hand-side of the page.
Type keywords into the search bar to help you find past conversations that you haven’t seen.
So for example, when I was researching for pain points about women wanting to start a home business (to start this blog and write my ebook), I typed “how to start a business” into the search bar. This brought up conversations of people asking questions about how to go about starting a small business from home, but it also brought up my competitors messages doing their little ‘disguised’ pitches to sell their coaching/courses etc. – and then I would read all of those comments too.
BAM! Pure gold!
My swipe file was very busy that day 🙂
Also type in keywords such as “what are you struggling with right now on ____________?” and
“what problems do you currently have when it comes to ___________?”
What you’re doing here is seeking out other people’s (your competitors) research on the same topic as you. You can then use these questions and answers as your own research. .
Ask Your Own Questions:
If you cannot find the answers which you’re looking for then of course you can always go ahead and ask your own question in two or three Facebook groups, as above.
Another way to do this is to create a poll inside the group. Just say that you’re doing research and would really appreciate some feedback. Then create the poll and put down three or four answers and people will click the radio button to indicate their preference.
The only drawback to this is that you have to foresee the answers to your question, and you might have missed an answer which hadn’t occurred to you.
Action Step: Find 3-4 Facebook groups to do your research in. Use your swipe file and make use of the group search bar.
Deep Dive To Find Her Specific Persona
When you’ve done some research, you’ll eventually find that your customer avatar will be split into a few different clusters of people.
These are known as customer persona’s.
You’ll find that there tends to be 2-4 different persona’s within one customer avatar.
For example, your ideal client might be women who want to lose weight after having a baby. But when you dig deeper, you may find that you have four different persona’s within that one avatar:
- The exercise-loving new mom: She is interested in getting her figure back in shape mainly through exercise.
- The health-eating new mom: She is interested in losing her weight by healthy eating only. She doesn’t like exercise.
- The ‘too busy’ new mom: She wants to lose weight but wants a fast and easy approach to weight loss.
- The tight-budget new mom: She can’t afford all the healthy, organic food which is sometimes advised in weight loss diets.
So can you see how these four different persona’s will actually have an influence on the type of product you create?
So in effect, you could write four different weight loss ebooks to target each persona.
However, that will probably be unlikely for you to execute because you might only specialize and be qualified to write such an ebook in only one of the above areas.
So if you’re specialty area is weight loss on a budget (being frugal with shopping and cooking), then you’ll want to find the ‘tight-budget new mom’ persona’s to sell your ebook to.
So whatever area you specialize in, you need to narrow your customer avatar down to a very specific persona that matches the problem you can solve.
So let’s get back to the very basics as if you were researching your ideal avatar from the beginning.
Validating Your Idea
You’ve actually done all the hard ground work already by doing all of the above.
- Found your ideal customer persona
- Identified their most pressing problem(s)
It’s these problems which you’re going to create your product around.
BUT, still don’t go ahead and start creating your product just yet. We want to make sure that people will actually get out their credit card and buy your product.
The best way to do this is to ask in 2-3 of your favorite Facebook groups (if you have permission from the group owner).
Make a post in a Facebook group with something along the lines of:
Hi, would you be interested in an eBook on “How To Lose Your Baby Weight on a Budget”
The book will focus on losing weight without having to buy expensive organic and specialized foods. (solving their specific problem) and will cost around $27.
If you’re interested, please leave a yes/emoji/gif in the comments below.
Thanks for your input in advance!
If you get a dozen or so yes’s, then there’s a few yes ‘votes’ in your favor. You can then make the decision to go ahead with your ebook or not.
Creating A Second or Third Product?
I would also like to point out that if you create a new product (a second or third one), then you still need to create a new customer avatar for that specific product.
Don’t think that your target audience or current customers will want or buy your new product.
This is because there are different person’as within your target audience – as discussed above.
A new product means you need to find a new ideal customer
A new customer means a new avatar must be created
Also, when you print off the worksheet and write your customer avatar out, keep it near your workstation where you can look at it each time you’re about to create some new marketing content, whether that be a blog post or a social media post etc.
Every bit of content you create should written and aimed at your customer avatar. This will show that you understand her pain points / desired outcome and your content will draw her in to eventually buy your product.
Customer Avatar Worksheet
Go and download the free customer avatar worksheet and get started filling it in, but don’t guess at everything. Take some time and do your market research, as described above, and get as accurate a picture as you can of your ideal customer avatar.
I would even go as far to give her a name to make her as real as you can. Then when you create new content, you can say to yourself “Will this content appeal and get the attention of Lucy?”
Hi, I’m Claire Bullerwell
I’ve ran dozens of home-based businesses, both offline and online, since my early twenties. I started this blog to share all my wealth of knowledge and experience to help women just like you; to find your dream home business. Fill that empty nest, work around your menopause and just live your best life at 50 something!
Follow me and let’s get acquainted…