Aren’t Avatars the Blue People in that Movie?

Blue AvatarWhen you type ‘avatar’ into the Google search bar the first thing that comes up is James Cameron’s “Avatar” from 2009. A sci-fi movie about blue aliens basically. About 4 entries down you’ll get to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition that says that an avatar is an incarnation in human form: an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person.

An avatar is a human form, an image. In the business and marketing world an image of a human form comes in many different forms; customer avatar, customer profile, ideal client, target market, persona. All pretty much meaning the same thing, a human.

Our work days consist of setting a goal, developing a strategy to meet said goal, making a plan and then executing that plan. But where is the human in that plan?

It’s easy to get caught up in forgetting about the humans that we serve with our business because there’s a deadline to meet and a goal to hit and tasks to complete and the list goes on. You get the point. But at the heart of everything in our business it’s about the people. The people we serve and the people we work with.

It isn’t uncommon for business gurus, coaches and consultants to tell you that you need to create one of these blue aliens mentioned above. They might phrase it more along the lines of understanding your target market or audience. When probed a little further on how to profile these foreign beings, they might say things like, ‘who do you like to work with?’ or, my personal favorite, ‘ask your customers lots of questions.’ OOOHHH KAAYYY. And that’s it… Well now what?

If You Build It They Will Come?

Check your facts

There isn’t much else out there after that advice. Marketing research seems to be a big business strategy and you are not there yet despite all your goal setting and plan execution. So then most people post a few random questions on Facebook, just make up an imaginary person and call it a day. Then wonder why that well laid out plan isn’t working the way you want it to.

I’ll tell you why. You don’t have any facts. Like real facts. About who your clients are, what their problems are and how they speak and communicate. Your imaginary friend that represents your target customer is based on you. So are you communicating a message that will attract the right people? Probably not.

do it yourselfer
not enough time

Listen, really listen.Quick Tip for Building a Customer Profile

Your ideal client is not a blue alien, although at times it may seem like it. Here’s a down and dirty quick way to create a customer profile that works.

  1. Pull out your client list and find that 1 person that is your favorite client (I know you have one, we all do, we won’t tell the others).
  2. Email that person and invite them out to drinks or coffee or a Skype meeting if you are not in the same town.
  3. When you meet with them ask them these 3 questions (this is in regards to what you do):
    • What are you struggling with the most?
    • What would feel like a miracle at the moment?
    • How do you get most of your information to solve your problems? Or in other words, how do you like to communicate?
  4. Stop talking, seriously, stop talking. Sit and listen. Then listen some more.

After that interview you’ll be able to understand that person. The human that you want to work with and what her problems are. Now is the tricky part, use her words in your marketing messages. Not your words overtop of hers or business jargon interjected into it. Use her exact words. Because that’s how people talk and feel. And remember people don’t buy features, they buy feelings and results.

It’s not hard, it’s really hard. We want to overlay our thoughts, belief and knowledge onto people because we think we know what they need but that won’t resonate with them because they just don’t get it. If you want to learn more on how to research your customers and create effective profiles about blue aliens then download this handy workbook on how to Facebook stalk your clients. We’ve all gotten lost in the Facebook feed vortex so why not make it a legit business strategy.

Facebook Stalking 101Get your copy of “Facebook Stalking 101” written by Ronii Bartles!

Ronii is an Operations Marketing Rockstar to creative entrepreneurs who want to understand their tribe to build products + services that sell. Through her straightforward blog posts, results-driven workshops + Champagne Thursday brainstorming, she’s here to teach you how to get in the hearts + heads of your perfect clients {because there’s a little stalker in all of us} all while sipping on bubbly + making it feel like you’re partying with movie stars. And when she’s not channeling her inner detective, you can find her indulging in soul fulfilling girlfriend talk, feeding her Instagram addiction + the occasional sparkling glass of champagne (well, not so occasional).

Links to her websites