So you’ve chosen a niche, Now What?
In order to market any product or service, the first thing you must do is determine and get completely clear on WHO your ideal customer is, where they are hanging out and what their challenges are.
This is where the proverbial rubber hits the road. Where the real grunt work comes into play and whether your strategical methods will spell success or failure for your campaign.
This exercise will impact virtually every aspect of your sales and marketing process and will improve your entire funnel performance when you are completely clear on who your customer avatar is and what troubles them.
After all, it’s a person that we are targeting…
and hoping to buy our products and services so, it pays to be completely clear on the characteristics of that person so we can find and present them with a message that moves them to action.
But we’re not just looking for any person. No, we are looking for a specific person. We’re looking for the low hanging fruit. The person who is most important to us is the person who is experiencing (massive) emotional pain (and is urgently and desperately looking for a solution to that pain).
Who are these people and what is their profile?
Who exactly are they and what exactly do they want?
Where do they hang out to talk about their “pain”?
What is their WHY? (This is huge)?
A WHY is a person’s deepest, most emotional/pressing/important reason for doing something.
The WHY is one of the most powerful driving forces behind human behavior. It explains and justifies pretty much any action your prospect will take in the process of becoming a loyal long-term customer.
The why will give you the all – important emotional triggers and hot buttons that is their real motivation for seeking out a solution.
Why is it that people in the Internet Marketing Niche want to learn how to make money?
Why is it that a bride-to-be would want to lose weight before her big day?
In both cases it’s not simply to “make money” or to “lose weight”.
These are just the surface outcomes that they desire, but it’s not the emotional reason why they’ll seek help.
No the real why is much deeper than that.
Take the bride, for example …
some of the emotional reasons why she’d want to look stunning (in her own mind) may be because she wants to have really great photos.
Photos which are a snapshot hard-coded in time. For family to see. For future offspring to see. Something special and amazing to look back at in 40 years time.
Perhaps she wants to be the best she’s ever been for her husband-to-be.
Maybe she’s let herself go a little … and she REALLY wants to fit into her mother’s size 6 wedding dress that has been passed down to her?
Notice the emotional reasons there … the deep WHY?
OK, time for a more detailed example of what we’re talking about.
Here’s Steve’s story:
Steve, a 56 year old guy wants to make money online because in his mind he needs to be the bread winner (very important for a man).
Yet he’s recently lost his $65K white-collar job as a Mortgage Lending Adviser at a local bank.
The bank was hit hard when the global economy tanked. Now due to “downsizing” he finds himself unemployed … and worse still, unemployable.
At $60,000/year the bank can hire two (and a half) twenty-nothing whippersnappers to do Steve’s job — plus they’ll jointly get 3 times as much work done as he ever could on his own.
In Steve’s mind he’s totally screwed. He has 3 kids. His 4yr old angel. A 12yr old. And a 17yr borderline genius who has her mind set on attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
To help cover the bills Steve’s wife, Jane, goes back to work. But because she’s 48, it’s not exactly easy to get employment either.
So she works two jobs. Does daycare during the day and does waitressing 3 times a week in the evenings.
Steve is stressed out. He feels that he’s let the team down.
Jackie his 17yr bright-spark can’t stop talking about MIT. She’s already applied. Steve hasn’t broken her the news that one year at MIT is going to entirely wipe out the family savings coffers.
Of course, Steve won’t tell her. He’ll send her on her way to MIT with a big smile on his face…
… because Steve has a plan.
It’s a long shot — but it’s his only option as he sees it. He told Jane his master-plan. She doesn’t understand. But she can see that he’s a broken man. A shadow of his former happy-go-luck self.
So she relents and says … “OK Steve, but you have four months to prove that this crazy-idea of your will work.”
Steve has one last credit card with a $6K limit. Perfect.
Do you see all the emotion in that little story?
If you knew that story before hand … how easy do you think it would be to sell Steve an affiliate marketing product?
So with this information in mind,
- What is it (exactly) that your ideal target customers want to achieve?
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- What need are they trying to satisfy?
This is what we’re trying to uncover so we can go to work to put together a concise solution to these pain points and emotional needs.
There are 5 major components to the customer avatar.
- Goals and Values
- Sources of Information
- Demographic Information
- Challenges and Pain Points
- Objections in Purchasing
Goals and Values
– The first thing we want to do is to make note of the goals and values of our ideal customer and relate them to the products and services that we have to offer.
Let’s take Steve as an example:
Steve’s Goals and Values
Steve wants to…
- Find an online business that will enable him to bring in the needed cash to pay for Jackie to go to MIT.
- Earn enough money to enable Jane to quit at least one of her two jobs and get back to normal around the house.
- Solidify their nest egg so that this problem never happens again and they are secure in their retirement.
Steve is committed to…
- Providing for his family
- Proving to Jane that his plan will work and that he’s not a failure
- Doing whatever it takes to seeing his plan through and once again being the main bread winner of the family.
As a result of this knowledge, we could draft an email or an ad to this avatar that promotes our online business model with the subject line:
Looking for a new start with substantial income opportunities?
That should get Steve’s attention.
Next we want to look into where our avatar gets their information.
Sources of Information
– Where do they get their information?
Books: Think and Grow Rich
Magazines: Wired/ Entrepreneur
Conferences: Home Business Summit
Gurus: Anik Singal, Frank Kern
Other: Spends time on Facebook
This section of the Customer Avatar is critical to determining the “where” of your customer avatar.
You will determine the best places to advertise and the targeting options you’ll use to reach your avatar by listing their sources of information.
Amazon.com is a goldmine when it comes to uncovering information about what people like and dislike about products (solutions). You get to see the language they use.
Their pain points (what really gets them hot and what THEY care about most). A great tip here is to copy any phrases from the comments sections that you think you’ll be able to use later.
Make use of the reviews to pick up on what’s important to the searcher. This is valuable information which can be extrapolated and used at a later time.
Notice this gem: Customers also bought these books. Now we’re picking up on other interests.
Next, we want to dive deep into our avatars demographic information.
Marital Status: Married
#/Age of Children: 3 (Age 4,12 & 17)
Location: Orlando, Florida
Quote: “I can have anything I want so long as I give enough other people what they want”
Occupation: Online Marketer
Job Title: President
Annual Income: $150,000.00 +
Level of Education: College Graduate
Other: Spends time on Social Media looking for leads
Applying demographic information to your avatar will bring him to life. While the usual demographics are critical, the exercise of filling in the Quote field can be particularly helpful to “get inside the head” of your ideal customer.
The demographics are another useful part of the Customer Avatar when choosing targeting options in ad platforms like Facebook.
When writing content, use this information to write as though your customer avatar were sitting across the table from you. Demographic information like age, gender and location will give your avatar a persona or a look and feel that you can relate to and easily communicate with.
Psychographic Information – This information takes Demographics a step further by analyzing our customer avatar’s lifestyles and behaviors. These behaviors are the psychological characteristics that shape the avatar and make up his likes and dislikes and can be the difference maker in how you communicate with your avatar. You can pick up things like how they communicate and the lingo they use through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and apply this information to your avatar profile. This will be extremely helpful in how you communicate with your audience and ultimately how you get your message across to them.
Hint– Whenever you uncover specific issues, language and emotional pain, copy those verbatim and use it exactly as it was discovered. This information is pure gold to your campaign.
This is how great copywriters write killer copy…. by uncovering emotional pain points and then effectively incorporating them into the sales copy. This tactic speaks the prospects language and communicates your message directly to them.
Challenges and Pain Points
Steve is Challenged with:
- Keeping up with the monthly bills
- Finding the money necessary to send Jackie to MIT
- Plugging the leak of his finances
- Fear of losing his retirement nest egg
- Fear of falling behind on his bills
- Fear of family strife due to insufficient finances
When selling our make money online opportunity to Steve, we would do well to build solutions to his challenges and pain points and use language that addresses them in our marketing messages.
For example, our sales letter should include copy like…..
Are you tired of searching for the answer to the drain on your retirement nest egg? Earn high ticket commissions and not only plug the hole, but start filling the boat with income once again.
Objections in Purchasing:
Objections to the sale:
- Does the business provide a real solution to his problem?
- How long will it be before he actually starts making income?
- How much does it cost to acquire the skills?
- Will my wife object?
Why would your customer avatar choose NOT to buy your product or service? These are called objections and they must be addressed in your marketing.
For example, if we know that Steve is concerned about whether or not he can earn real income with this business, we might create an ad or provide a testimonial that testifies to this precise concern. Testimonials are powerful in this regard and can provide Steve with the push that he needs to overcome his skepticism.
Lastly, Build Multiple Avatars
Start by building a single avatar. But don’t stop there. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be churning out multiple avatars representing the different segments of your market. Don’t go overboard, but any lucrative market segment with a distinct set of goals, sources of information, pain points, etc. is deserving of a customer avatar. Use the Customer Avatar Worksheets below (there are male and female versions) to get clear on your ideal customer.