I talk with Black women entrepreneurs consistently about the importance of creating a customer avatar. You’ll see this all over the internet and in sales courses everywhere, including the Sistahbiz Global Network coursework. Despite how often it comes up, though, it’s still common to see customer avatars being misunderstood, taken for granted, or straight up underutilized once the initial activity is completed. Point blank, that’s just a waste of an amazingly valuable exercise and business tool!
So today I want to talk a little about how to use your customer avatar to make money for you. But first…let’s get clear on what a customer avatar is.
A customer avatar is a detailed profile of the ideal customer for your business. And I do mean detailed – unlike a marketing overview, which will help you figure out who your target market is in general terms, a customer avatar goes in depth on specific characteristics. So, a good customer avatar might include information such as spending power, social media usage, and social circle, as well as demographics, goals & values, sources of information, and challenges or pain points faced. Then, you’ll write all this up as a short sketch with a name attached to it.
Here’s another way to think of it – a customer avatar represents the person who creates the best-case scenario for your business. So, depending on your business, your customer avatar might be a big spender, a repeat client, an organic promoter or champion of your company, or something else entirely. It all depends on who you most want to see buying from you, and why.
Maybe you can already see where this is going, but it’s worth reiterating just in case.
A customer avatar is important for your business because once you’ve created one, then you know what kinds of customers you should be focusing the most energy on reaching!
So now that we’ve covered what a customer avatar is, let’s talk about how you make sure that yours is helping your business generate revenues. Here are four important ways that you can take advantage of your customer avatar to grow your revenue, reach, and more.
1. Use your customer avatar to find the customers who will buy from you (and who you want to buy from you).
In the Sistabiz Ideal Customer Kit, you’ll complete activities and research that help you define your ideal customer. Think about where this ideal customer lives, what they read, where they look for information, where they shop, what events they attend (for professional development or personal enjoyment), and more. While this may seem like busywork at first, the pieces do come together: answering these questions will reveal several places where you could reach your ideal customer if you advertise your business there.
Over 90% of Black businesses are solopreneurs and many black women in business are bootstrapping. This usually means that time and marketing budget are bare-bones or nonexistent. Locating your ideal customer strategically will make your marketing efforts so much more effective, while also saving you the time and money that otherwise you might have invested in places that just won’t work. Being able to locate your ideal customer in geographic, spatial, or social media terms will also give you a sense of where to network, as well as who the competition is and what kinds of ads tend to work well in that space.
So if you’re not using your customer avatar to help you locate your ideal customer or decide where to advertise and network, then you’re probably underutilizing this tool! One small tip for digital advertising is to use the avatar information to define your ad audience.
2. Use your customer avatar to find the ways of messaging ideal prospects that will encourage them to respond to you and trust your business to meet their needs.
If you know the worries, needs, and aspirations or obligations that your ideal customer is facing (also known as their “pain points,” their “gain points,” and their jobs, respectively), then your messaging can assure those customers that your product or service will help them address those things. Use the avatar to develop messaging that convinces customers that buying from you is a win-win scenario!
Better still: addressing pain points, gain points, and other needs will do more than just attract the customers you want. If you use keywords, or terms that people commonly use to look up things online, then search engines will rank your site and your content more highly among search results. This process of search engine optimization, or SEO, is invaluable in an increasingly world where more and more business is moving online. (For more on this plus a beginner’s guide to SEO, check out this handy guide from Moz!)
Demonstrating that you understand your customers’ needs also gives you credibility and begins establishing trust. This is also particularly important online, where your prospective customers are facing a veritable buffet of choices and information. If they see that they can trust your expertise, your delivery, and what you’re selling, then they’ll keep coming back for more.
So, after using your customer avatar to list out the pain points and other needs that your ideal customer is facing, don’t let that crucial information just sit gathering dust on a shelf afterwards! Instead, those pain points need to be incorporated into your website keywords, your SEO campaigns, your blog post titles, your ad copy, images and photos, and your social media or email marketing content. Likewise, your customers’ needs should be driving the content for your lead magnets and becoming key points in your sales scripts.
Overall, if you’re not referring to your customer avatar often for marketing purposes or content development, then you’re missing out on valuable opportunities that could drive your sales and growth to new heights.
3. Use your customer avatar to make or adjust the products and services that will serve your ideal customer better.
In the same vein as knowing your ideal customer’s pain points, there’s also this: when you know what your customer needs, wants, and is looking for, then you can use this information to think about how to make products and services that better meet these needs.
And that isn’t all! If you know what your ideal customer is facing or trying to solve outside of their interactions with your business, then you can spice up the customer experience they will receive from your company. You can create an experience tailored to provide additional little conveniences or services that speak to that customer’s unique needs or situation. For example, if your customer avatar has shown that your ideal customer has young children, then you might think about what small, kid-friendly goodies could accompany their mom’s purchase. This kind of personalized touch will make you stand out from the crowd.
So, if you’re not referring to your customer avatar on an ongoing basis, with the goal of upgrading your products, services, or overall customer experiences, then you’re probably leaving money on the table and missing out on opportunities to stand out from your competitors.
4. Use your customer avatar to design and push a brand that creates loyalty and group identity.
People love to feel like they belong to something bigger than just themselves, and the experience of shopping and purchasing is not exempt from this! The best way to make your customers feel like part of your tribe is to create an identity that resonates with who they are, what they believe in, and how they want to interact with the rest of the world. Then, show them how your products and services will create this sense of belonging, either in itself or in support of values they already hold!
This is worth thinking about because different customers will also have different goals, values, and sources of information, and if you know your customers’, then this can also become an important part of your brand too. When thinking about goals, consider: what are your customers trying to accomplish, and how can you support their desired accomplishments? For values, think about what they hold dear or important: how can you show that your products and services either support those values or come from the same place as them? For sources of information, you can think about where your customers prefer to learn new things, and market your offerings there so that you’re showing your products and services in the spaces that already have their trust and loyalty.
So, if you’re not using your customer avatar to think about what will instill loyalty and create a valued identity for your brand, then your brand itself won’t align with the aspirations and values of your ideal customer and you’ll be missing out on some prime opportunities for reaching them. If you’re a Black woman in business who wants more assistance with customer clarity, sign up to get notified when the next Sistahbiz Design Bootcamp opens.
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