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How to define your ideal customer avatar

business strategy free download marketing tips Apr 23, 2020

As a business owner, you have a product or service that you want to get out in the world. Ideally, everyone is going to want what you’re selling, right? Wrong. You may have heard the saying, “When you try to attract everyone, you’re going to attract no one.”

Today I’m going to share with you one of the fundamentals of marketing—defining your ideal customer avatar. If you take some time to do this work and some real reflection, your business will thank you. Better yet, your customers will love you for it!

Last week, students in my “How to Start an Online Business” workshop series used a worksheet to identify their ideal customer avatar for their own online business. I’m going to share that worksheet with you as well, because I feel like every business owner needs to be really clear on who they’re selling to.

When business owners tell me they struggle with creating content or getting noticed on social media, usually the root of that problem is they haven’t clearly identified their avatar. It’s difficult to create content when you don’t know who you want to attract to it, right? When you can get very specific with the words you use and the visual elements (even the colours your avatar is drawn to), you’re able to create content that is valuable and compelling to your avatar.

Let’s explore what an avatar is and how you can define yours. Your avatar is your ideal customer, super fan, target demographic and target person. Notice I didn’t say target audience. If your target audience was filled with one person, cloned 1000 times, who would this person be? When you’re creating a product, service or content, you need to know who you’re talking to. You want to know this person inside and out: their loves, their hates, their challenges, their aspirations, their wants and their needs.

When you’re laser-focused on your avatar, it doesn’t mean that people who are similar to your avatar are the only ones who will buy what you’re selling. You're not excluding others because you’re targeting your avatar. You will continue to attract people who fall outside of your avatar’s profile, so have no fear!

Your avatar is someone you love working with. They need or want your content, products or services. You can offer a solution to their needs and wants. And they will actually pay for it! You know how to solve their problem because you know what “makes them tick.” They are your perfect customer because you are able to contribute to their life in some way.

Your avatar can be imaginary or based off of a real person. Who was your favourite client who you loved working with? Do you have a raving customer who refers other customers to your business? Who have you been able to get amazing results for? I’ve found that when we are defining our avatar, we are often describing ourselves—either a present or past version of ourselves. This is normal and you’ll find that over time, you’ll continue to refine your avatar’s description as you have more interactions with your ideal customer.

Let’s get specific. When you download my avatar worksheet, I’ll walk you through a description exercise where you’ll answer questions like:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What do they do for fun?
  • What do they value? 

As you do the work to define your ideal customer avatar, you may need to do some research to dig a little deeper. Consider diving into some Facebook groups where your avatar hangs out, reading the comments section of other people’s blogs or scrolling your competitors’ Facebook pages and Instagram profiles.

Things to look for during your research:

  • How are people engaging with that business?
  • What words do they use?
  • What are their interests?
  • What questions do they ask?
  • Where do they live?
  • What kind of content gets the most engagement?

After you’ve done some research, my mentor, Amy Porterfield, recommends that you do seven to ten validation calls with people you think are your ideal customer avatar. “The goal is to ask questions that will help you to validate your product or service offering by truly understanding what your ideal customer avatar wants, what they need, what they’ve tried before in the past, what they are hoping to do in the future, and of course, really understanding their pain points,” said Amy during episode #235 of her Online Marketing Made Easy podcast.

You will listen more than you talk during these validation calls because your avatar can help you uncover areas you may have overlooked. Ideally, you will record these calls (Zoom is great for that!) so you can listen to the replay and use the words your avatar uses in your future content.

I’ve found that defining your ideal customer avatar makes creating content less painful and it serves as motivation to get your product, service, program or online course done because you know your avatar needs it in their life!

Remember to download my avatar worksheet so you can start defining your ideal customer and get super clear on how you can contribute to their life. If you need help completing your worksheet, you’re welcome to schedule a FREE 30-minute call with me so we can work on it together.

Keep shining bright!

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