Whether you’re designing a new product or service, writing copy for your website, writing emails or creating social media updates – it will help you immensely if you have an idea who your ideal customer is.
Creating an ideal customer persona is a great marketing tool to really improve your messaging. And it’s free! You just need to spend some time and effort (and you’re up for this, right?)
So, let’s dive in!
What exactly is an ideal customer persona?
Your Ideal Customer persona is a fictional character you come up with who represents your target market and who you keep in mind whenever you’re creating something for your business.
Now, before we go on, I can already sense some resistance to this idea. You might be thinking, “But wait! I don’t want to be so specific that I start to exclude people. My offerings really can help everyone, and everyone needs them in their life!”
You gotta trust me on this one! If you want your business to succeed, do not try and market yourself to everybody.
Trying for example to be a yoga teacher for everyone is a losing proposition. It’s going against one of the most important laws of effective marketing:
If you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody.
Meaning if you try to sell everyone on your product or your service, you’re not going to sell to anyone. If you try and market to everyone, your messaging will be completely bland, it’ll be forgettable, and there’s a big chance it will be lost in an ever-increasing sea of internet noise.
Instead you must focus down and get clear on exactly WHO is your ideal student or client or customer.
If you specifically talk to the person you are trying to attract, they will be drawn to your brand because it feels like it is created for them and their needs.
So you’re going to be serving people who are genuinely a good fit for you, and that’s going to make running your business a lot more fun and a lot more profitable.
Now, let’s talk about crafting your Ideal Customer Avatar.
#1 List all the common traits of your idea customers
So both demographic, think age and gender and occupation, and then also think about the psychographic, like attitudes and values and lifestyle and hobbies.
Think of your customers. The people you love to serve. What do they have in common? How old are they? Where do they live? What do they do? Gather as many demographic facts (for example age, gender, occupation…) and psychographic facts (for example attitudes, values, hobbies…) as you can.
Check out Google Analytics and your social media stats for insights. You can also do a survey or hand out feedback forms.
#2 Imagine one person within this set
Now it’s time to get creative! Imagine one single person and give them a full identity with as many details as you can. Give them a name, age and occupation, and even a hair color.
Here’s a short example (you can go into much more details):
Nancy is 32, female, from Los Angeles. She works as a receptionist and earns $38k yearly, she’s 5 feet 4 and weighs 145 pounds. She practices vinyasa yoga twice a week at her local studio…
This wonderful person is your ideal customer persona.
The goal is to describe this person so well that you can easily step in her shoes. You want to know her intimately so that you can think like her, speak like her, experience her emotions and, for the purpose of this exercise, be her!
#3 Step into the shoes of your ideal customer persona
What primary emotion, or set of emotions, does she feel at the exact moment she’s about to buy your offerings? What’s she saying to herself in her head? What specific words and phrases is she using? What story is she telling herself?
Here’s an example:
Nancy gets very emotional about buying yoga clothes in retail stores, especially yoga pants, because she rarely can find a pair that fits. Recently, she turned to online shopping to avoid the hassle of buying in stores. But she’s frustrated that she doesn’t see how the pants would fit on a “real” person and that the offered sizes in fact fit differently with every brand.
You want to come up with struggles and emotions that are related to what you’re offering. This exercise is a lot easier if you to know your real customers well. You can imagine a lot, but nothing goes over real information from real people.
Stay to chat with your students after you taught a yoga class, give your favorite customers a call, go in Facebook groups or schedule some short interviews. Ask them about their live, their struggles and their dreams related to what you offer. Listen more than you talk.
The goal is to develop a deep understanding for your potential customers and their struggles and problems and dreams, so you can develop new offerings and talk about them from a place of compassion.