Celebrity Expert Series #04
Today, it’s time for me to continue my Celebrity Expert series (click here to read my introduction to that) by talking about something that every successful businessperson needs to know about. I’m talking, of course, about identifying your target market.
In today’s world, we can get to know more about our prospects and our target market than ever before thanks to technologies like Google and Facebook. But this is a double-edged sword, because there’s a good chance that your competitors are already taking advantage of those exact same tools.
If you want to sell something, you need to avoid the most common mistake of all, which is believing that you understand everybody and that you know what they want and need. When businesses start out this way they lack focus and are effectively heading blindfolded into the world without knowing who their potential customer is or what they need. You know what they say: If you attempt to attract everyone, your business will attract nobody.
Creating an avatar
If you’ve ever played a computer game (who hasn’t?!) then you’ve probably created an avatar. I’m not talking about blue people on an alien planet, I’m talking about visual representations of a person or of a group of people. Entrepreneurs love avatars because it helps them to visualize the kind of people that they’re trying to reach with their products. When you create an avatar, your business should be built around solving that avatar’s agony points and answering their needs. It’s because of customers like your avatar that your business will thrive rather than dwindle.
Your first step should be deciding what your avatar will look and sound like. After all, it’s difficult to start your own business and to achieve success without knowing “who” you’re doing it for. And if you’re reading this and thinking “but I’ve already started my business”, don’t worry. It’s worth creating an avatar whatever stage you’re at.
1. Name your avatar
2. Find a picture to represent them
3. Define their personality, lifestyle, likes, dislikes and values
If you ever struggle, you can always look online for avatar templates, buyer persona templates, character sheet templates and whatever else you think might give you some inspiration. Getting your avatar just right is absolutely vital. As an entrepreneur, you’ll encounter thousands of decision-making situations, many of which will have a huge impact on your life. Having an avatar can be a great help.
How to use your avatars
Once you’ve created your avatars, they should become an integral part of your decision-making process. After all, your avatar represents your target customer, and so you’ll want to change the way you do business with those target customers in mind.Ask questions like:
• What kind of content will my avatars enjoy?
• What is the focal point of my content?
• How long should my posts be?
• When should I publish my content?
Knowing who your avatar is and understanding everything about them will allow you to quickly (and correctly) answer questions like the ones above. Your decisions will be based on your knowledge of your ideal customer.
The power of the avatar
A lot of people wonder how an avatar can help them to make decisions when they’re not “real”. The truth, as any novelist worth their salt will tell you, is that characters take on a life of their own. Once you’ve defined your avatar, you’ll start to think of them as a real person. Then, when your new clients and customers start to come in, you’ll notice that they look – and act – a lot like your avatar.
That’s the point at which you can start talking to people, asking them questions and even starting to sell to them. And don’t worry if it feels as though you’re never going to find them. Your “tribe” exists. You just need to go out and find them, and you can find them everywhere if you look hard enough. Some of the places to look include at in-person meetings, through online communities and through your own network/referrals.
Once you’ve found the real-life equivalent of your avatar, you need to get to know them. Open questions are the best because they allow people to expand on the points and to explain what they’re talking about. Listen carefully to what they say and start to incorporate the language that they use in your own communications. Remember that it’s all about changing the way you do business to suit the customers, not just finding people who might want to buy whatever you’re selling.
This Week’s Action
Start to build an avatar to represent your ideal client or customer. Remember that you don’t necessarily need to get it right first time because you can continue to refine it as you go. It’s more important to have something than nothing at all. Just make sure that you have at least something that you can refer back to so that everything you do is designed to bring your ideal customers in.
Now that you’ve created your avatars and you have a solid understanding of the type of people that you want to reach, the next step is to actually reach them. You’ll need to create content that caters to these avatars and which includes a compelling call-to-action that they’re going to want to click. The good news is that by getting to know them through the avatars you create, you dramatically improve your chances of creating a proposition that they’re interested in.
I’ll be exploring this in more depth in the rest of my Celebrity Expert series, so be sure to subscribe for further updates. In the meantime, spend a little time creating and refining your avatars and putting what you’ve learned today into practice. Good luck.
About the Author
Cydney O’Sullivan is a multiple best-selling author, award-winning international speaker and communications consultant who helps experts and businesses stand out from their competitors.