5 Steps to building the perfect client avatarReading time: 10 minutes

When creating a marketing plan for your business, it’s important to understand your clients and their “why”. Taking the time to give your clients a persona and thinking about their pain points, goals and potential objections, allows you to better target your marketing efforts for your products or services.

In fact, creating a perfect client avatar will assist with almost every aspect of marketing and sales for your business. Such as:

  • Content Marketing – The blog posts, videos, podcasts, lead magnets, content upgrades and more, that will attract your ideal client to your business.
  • Marketing Channels – Will paid advertising be effective? Are they likely to find you on certain social media websites? Looking at your perfect client avatar will help you to understand where your advertising budget is best spent.
  • Email Marketing – If you work with a few different types of client or customer, defining these with a perfect client avatar will help you to understand how to segment your email list and send appropriate marketing emails to each type of client or customer.
  • Products / Services – When you understand the pain points or challenges that your clients face, you can ensure that your products or services will effectively resolve these.
  • Copywriting – The language that you use on your website is important. Through the definition of your ideal client, you can target your content in a way that attracts and interests them. By engaging your ideal clients with language that they understand and enjoy, you move one step closer to your next sale.

Finding out your client’s “why”, enables you to deliver fantastic products or services that bring value and solutions to their challenges.

This sounds great, how do we get started?

The best way to get started would be to actually talk to your existing clients. Interviewing a client on the telephone or in person over a coffee, is going to be one of the best options for you, as you can talk to people who are already spending money on your products or services.

If you’d prefer not to be on the phone, you can do this via email too. Setting up a simple survey using a service such as Survey Monkey (free for up to 10 questions) and then sending this out via email to your existing client and email subscriber base is a very effective way of soliciting feedback and information.

Finally, you can also look at where your client’s hang out online. This can be a great option if you’re just starting out and don’t yet have clients that you can speak to directly. What you want to do is look at where your perfect client hangs out online. This could be in a Facebook group, online forum, in the comments of popular industry blogs and more. You can even look at product reviews or Amazon book reviews that are related to your client’s pain points.

Awesome – tell me the steps!

Alright cowboy, now you’ve saddled up – let’s think about what we want to know about our ideal client. This will be a mixture of your own knowledge of your industry and the feedback from researching your existing clients and looking at where they hang out online. Putting this all together will create your perfect client avatar.

Step 1 – Information and Demographics

Firstly, we want to think about the client and give them a persona. This doesn’t have to be a real person – you can create a fictional persona, as long as you’re using your knowledge and the data from your research, then you’re still going to have a great asset.

Demographical information that you’ll want to include will be: name, age, gender, location. You can also consider adding in other fields such as marital status, occupation and even if they have children. The idea here is that you’re creating a persona who you can understand and identify with. When creating content for your website or emails, recording a podcast, or talking directly to the camera for a video – you can talk directly to your perfect client avatar, as if they were there with you. This gives you a powerful ability to speak in their language and explain things in a way that they’ll understand.

You’ll also find the demographic details very helpful when looking to advertise to users on platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn, where you can target your adverts to certain demographics – such as age, gender, location and interests.

Step 2 – Goals and Values

Next, we want to consider the goals and values of our perfect client. You should have some of these from the client research that you’ve carried out already. If you haven’t done that yet and have skipped forwards to this section (naughty!), here’s some questions that you can ask:

Note: We’re assuming for this purpose that our perfect client is a business owner – but you can adapt these questions to suit your purposes

Q. What motivated [client] to work with your company?

Q. What are their aims for their business over the next 12 months?

Q. What’s their most important tip for success in their industry? (This one is a bit of a cheeky one, but the answers that you can gather here can actually be very helpful for your future marketing efforts)

Q. Does [client] engage in any continued professional development?

The important thing to remember is that we’re thinking about what motivates the client. What goals do they have in their business or life? What are some really important values to them? What is their “why”?

When you’ve finished with this, you should have a list of Goals and Values such as:

Goals

  • Increase business turnover by 25%
  • Scale the business and bring in more staff to enable [client] to focus on important tasks
  • Help staff to be certified in a new skill

Values

  • Providing great customer service
  • Ethical marketing of [client’s] products or services
  • 1 or more hours of professional development for all team members each week

Step 3 – Sources of Information

We want to think about where your clients get their information. Where do they go to read information? By understanding where your clients go to absorb information, you can gain knowledge of where to advertise and how to get in front of them.

Here’s a list of source points to consider:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Blogs / Websites
  • Events and Conferences
  • Industry Gurus
  • Social Media

When thinking about the answers for each of these sections, it’s a good idea to use what some call the “but no one else would” strategy. This means you’ll create sentences like these:

  • My perfect client would read [BOOK], but no one else would.
  • My perfect client would visit [EVENT], but no one else would.
  • My perfect client would comment on [BLOG], but no one else would.

The idea with this strategy is to find the niche books, magazines, blogs, websites, events, industry gurus, social media groups etc, that your ideal customer will be attracted to – but no one else would.

Here’s an example… If you’re in the football (soccer for those overseas) products or courses market – you would probably not want to set Cristiano Ronaldo as an industry guru. Yes, he is an outstanding player and a global icon, familiar with everyone in the football world. However, so is everyone else that knows anything about football – and even many of those that don’t. Instead of choosing a global football icon, you want to think about a niche football player – someone like Jordan Henderson, for example. He’s still a great player, but those outside of football would not be familiar with him. This then allows you to focus on your ideal customer, excluding everyone else who is not going to be suitable.

When you advertise on websites such as Facebook, you can use laser targeted advertising by focusing on the niche interests of your perfect client avatar, whilst ensuring that you exclude prospects that are not ideal for your products or services.

Step 4 – Pain Points & Challenges

Next, we want to think about the specific challenges and pain points that your perfect client faces. Again, this is something that you should have specific answers for from your research. Here’s some questions that can help you get these answers:

Q. What problems does [client] have with [industry] at the moment?

Q. What have you tried previously that has failed?

Q. What do you fear that your competitors could do tomorrow?

We talk about pain points in marketing a lot. Everything that we do wants to focus on the particular pain points that our prospective client has. It will define the copy that we write on our website, in our blogs, in email marketing and on our sales pages. Understanding the pain points and challenges that our customers face, allows us to easily explain to them why our products or services are ideal solutions.

Focusing on the benefits that your product or service brings, in order to resolve a client’s pain points and challenges, will bring you more sales.

Once you’ve finished this section, you’ll have a list like this:

Pain Points

  • Worried about losing business to competitors who are marketing more effectively.
  • Not enough time in the day to be able to complete all of his/her tasks.
  • Wants to stop trading time for money.

Challenges

  • Training staff and keeping hold of the best performers.
  • Scaling the business effectively.
  • Freeing up more time in the day.

Now we can go ahead and write copy that is compelling to our perfect client avatar. We can ensure that we build solutions to the pain points and challenges that our perfect client faces and get these across in our marketing message.

Step 5 – Objections and Business Role

Finally, the last step is to consider any potential objections that our perfect client would have, as well as their role in the buying process. If we consider selling business to business (b2b), then the role is likely to be a definitive one, as we want to ensure that we’re targeting a decision maker with our marketing efforts. If we don’t define who the decision maker is, then we’re going to waste time, effort and money marketing to the wrong people. For larger scale marketing, we’d also look at targeting decision makers – people who can influence a purchasing decision inside their company or organisation.

Think about the types of objections that your client may have when they’re considering whether to purchase your product or service. What may stop them from saying yes today?

Here’s some examples of objections and also a definition of the business role:

Objections

  • Does the service fit our current business model?
  • How will we track the return on our investment?
  • We’ve tried this before and it didn’t work for us.

Business Role

“Dave” is the decision maker and owner of the business. He makes the purchasing decisions for his company. He is not affected by price but is motivated instead by the return on investment of his marketing efforts. “Dave” is more than happy to spend money, to make money.

By understanding our perfect client avatar’s process for decision making, we can help our sales and marketing campaigns to be much more successful. We can overcome objections by knowing about them beforehand and ensuring that any content we create focuses on why the solutions that we’ve created, will help the client.

Round Up – Time to get building

Okay, so now it’s time to get building your perfect client avatar. The most important thing to remember is that you can have more than one of these. If you have a few different areas of your business, don’t be afraid to create 2-3 avatars for each area. Get a few members of your team involved and brainstorm this together.

Taking an hour out of your day to brainstorm a strategy with your team, taking into account their ideas and different viewpoints, will help you to create the perfect client avatar.

Above all else, take action! Let us know what you come up with 🙂

About the author

Matt Davies

Matt takes care of Web Design and Marketing services for our clients. Starting out with web design in late 1999, Matt has many years of experience and expertise to offer. He has over a decade of experience with SEO, PPC and digital marketing. Outside of work, Matt has a keen interest in Football, Geocaching and Board Games.

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