A lot of you like to jump right in and start building ads, writing copy, creating landing pages, and doing all that other fun marketing stuff. 

BUT if you don’t have a customer avatar, you’re seriously hurting your results. If you don’t know who your customer is, then how in the heck can you market to them?! Getting a clear understanding of your customer will impact virtually EVERY aspect of your marketing and sales process.

One caveat—as you’re creating this avatar you may need to actually reach out to your customers and buyers, don’t let that stop you from starting this process. 

Number 1: Identify the Goals and Values

Now, these aren’t YOUR goals and values so don’t project them onto your ideal customer! 

Let’s start with goals:

What are the goals of your ideal customer that YOUR business, service, or offering can help them achieve? 

To take this out of the abstract, I’ll use one of our Avatars: “Agency Eric” 

What are Eric’s “want” statements? This will make it abundantly clear what his goals are:

“Eric wants to…”

  • Increase his agency business
  • Increase the capabilities of his team
  • Scale his business

Having someone who can help you achieve their goals doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t have matching values. I could have an offering that will supercharge your traffic, but if I’m a shady dude doing all of the black hat tricks in the book, you likely will stay away. 

That’s why you have to list out values at the same time as goals. 

A good way to start this exercise is to phrase it like this:

“[Customer Avatar name] is committed to…”

What are his/her personal or professional commitments? What does she want to achieve? By what means is she willing to achieve these things? 

Using our Avatar:

Agency Eric is committed to…

  • Professional Development
  • Providing value for his clients
  • Using white hat marketing tactics

This type of information will help you drive product creation, offer copy, content, and more. 

Number 2: Find their Sources of Information

Marketing at its core is just getting the right message in front of the right person at the right time.

This understanding misses one other important factor: Marketing to them in the right place.

What books are your customers reading? What magazines?

Do they frequent particular types of blogs? What about specific blogs?

What conferences or trade shoes to they go to?

Who are their “gurus”?

This will help you nail down where you can advertise and how to speak to them in a language they understand.

The BEST and EASIEST way to answer these questions without it becoming this massive list of nonsense is to use the “But no one else would” trick…

“My ideal customer would read [BOOK], but no one else would.”

“My ideal customer would attend [CONFERENCE], but no one else would.”

This is mission critical for figuring out WHERE to target your audience, what to talk to them about, and in what way.

Number 3: Write out their Demographic Information

This section always felt weird to me and I honestly thought it was lame. Creating this fictional person seems odd, but it really does give you a complete picture of your customer. It makes them “real” or as real as a fake avatar can be…

You’ll want to name your avatar—just like we have Agency Eric.

How old, what’s his or her gender… does it matter? What about their marital status? Do they have kids? Where do the live?

Next, you’ll want to fill in the more baseline data—occupation, title, income, education.

One other thing you’ll want to do is try to list out a “quote” they’d use. This helps you get into their head.

For us, Agency Eric is a 40-year-old married male with 2 children living in Orlando, Florida. He’s the CEO & Founder of a digital marketing agency making ~$150k per year. He’s been known to say, “I surround myself with people smarter than me” more than a few times.

That paints a way prettier picture than just saying “Oh, our main prospect is an agency owner.”

Number 4: List out their challenges and pain points 

Now that your avatar is a bit more real, you want to dig into what their challenges are and their main pain points (or in some cases their fears).

Obviously, you should limit these to challenges and pain points your business or service can help with!

This step will help you identify your main copy hooks and help you out in filling any holes in your product catalog.

Number 5: Identify the Objections to the Sale & Their Role in the Purchase Process

These are often overlooked, specifically the objection part. Nobody has a product or service so great that literally everyone will want to use it if they become aware of it. That just doesn’t happen. 

The important thing is WHY wouldn’t your ideal customer want to work with YOU at this point in TIME. 

Asking this question will get you into their head more and will help you better anticipate objections in your marketing copy and sales scripts. 

Finally, and this is more on the B2B side, are they the decision maker or an advocate? If they’re a decision maker, then you can push for the sale. If they’re an advocate who would need approval, you’ll need to switch up copy and likely provide other types of content like, pitch decks, proposal templates, etc.…

So, to recap, in order to build a customer avatar, you need to: 

  1. Identify their Goals and Values
  2. Find their Sources of Information
  3. Fill in their Demographic Info (and NAME them)
  4. Identify Challenges & Pain Points
  5. List out their Objections & Role in the Purchase Process