Creating your ideal customer avatar is not an easy endeavor but it’s absolutely crucial to your business success. No matter what business you’re in, you need to niche down and position your product to serve a particular market segment. That’s a bold statement but it is actually true for most small businesses, unless you operate in a highly-regulated market.
Before we dive into the how-to of things, let’s explain what is a customer avatar, how is a niche defined and what brand positioning means.
What is a niche
Whether you pronounce it “nitch” or “neesh”, one thing’s for sure: focus is king. In fact, I designed this, printed it out and it’s hanging on the wall of my office just to remind me every single day how important, “Focus” is.
A niche, as defined in the BusinessDictionary, is a small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer.
It’s important to understand that:
Market niches do not exist by themselves but are created by identifying needs or wants that are not being addressed by competitors, and by offering products that satisfy them.
Have you ever thought of how difficult it is for business people to say what they do in one sentence? Instead, when you ask them what they’re working on, they give you a list of five or six things they do.
While as a small business owner you might be naturally multi-passionate, it’s of the utmost importance to know exactly what you sell and to whom. It is part of your success to be able to build a memorable brand by focusing on the one thing your business does best.
By niching down, a solopreneur or small business owner is able to give a proven valuable solution to a specific group of people with a certain need instead of trying to sell a product that pleases everyone—and we all know you can’t please everyone.
Ideal customer avatar defined
The ideal customer avatar or buyer persona, as HubSpot explains it, is a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect.
When complete, it will help you see what the motivation, fears, dreams and desires are that influence your customer’s purchase decisions.
Your ideal customer avatar will help you streamline your promotional efforts whether it be through Facebook ads, lead magnets or landing pages. It will also help you better understand why some offers sell better than others and how to do A/B testing the right way. The ideal customer avatar helps bring to surface important gaps or inconsistencies in your brand message.
What is brand positioning
Positioning refers to the place that a brand occupies in the mind of the customer and how it is distinguished from products from competitors.
In other words, brand positioning describes how a brand is different from its competitors and where, or how exactly, it sits in a particular market. The differences might be tangible, but not have any motivating qualities about them.
Niche, customer avatar, positioning… they all tie up
All three concepts, niche, customer avatar and brand positioning are interrelated and affect one another other. Let’s see how it all works together and how you can define your ideal customer avatar.
How to find your niche
Start with this question: What valuable services can you offer your desired audience?
Think of services and products as solutions to problems; think of them as experiences that create a transformation from the present state to a desired state. Deeply understanding your industry and niche is the first step before painting the picture of your ideal buyer persona.
Here are a few prompts to help you through the process of determining your niche:
- What one word describes myself?
- What do I want to be known for?
- What role do I imagine myself in 5 years?What are my natural-born traits?
- What are my learned skills?
- What would other people in my circle say are my superpowers?
- What am I not as good at?
- What do I hate doing?
- What is in demand at the moment and seems to have a good outlook for the years to come?
Your answers can help you solve the puzzle of finding your niche.
When determining your niche, you want to find the sweet spot, that is the convergence of talent, interests, skills and market demand. And you want to become an expert in that niche.
Creating the ideal customer avatar
After you have defined your niche, you need to know who your ideal customer is.
Defining your buyer persona will help you to understand their situation, feelings, and needs, thus, create better products and marketing material with your ideal customer’s needs in mind.
The better defined your customer avatar is, the easier it is to create a marketing strategy that establishes you as an expert in your niche.
Why exactly are customer avatars so important to your business?
Buyer personas make it easier for you to tailor your blog and marketing content, messaging, product features, and services to match the particular needs, behaviors, and concerns of different consumer groups.
Put simply, you may feel you understand your target audience, but, with buyer personas, get to know their specific needs, interests and purchase drives.
How exactly do I create a customer avatar?
You can find hundreds of guides and worksheets around the web on how to create the ideal customer persona, but there’s something common among them.
The basic idea behind all of the methods is the answers to a series of questions which describe the character and their situation precisely.
A great tool that can help you create your ideal customer avatar is Scriptly. Scripty has a lot of value-packed features, but with regards to buyer personas, it give you an easy-to-use wizard that helps create the ideal customer avatars in minutes not hours.
Click here for a free trial or watch the following video to see how Scriptly tackles the overwhelming task of creating buyer personas.
With Scriptly, you can create as many customer avatars as you want, understand their situation and find the big concerns that they have so you can then build better solutions and better content.
Again, let’s list here some brainstorming questions to help with digging into the mind of your perfect customer. Think of your demographic.
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- What do they do professionally?
- What does your ideal customer’s typical day look like?
- What’s their household income?
- What are their aspirations and dreams?
- What’s your ideal customer avatar biggest challenge?
- Where do their motivations come from?
- What do they value? What’s not important to them?
- What are their strengths? Their limitations?
- What transformation can your ideal customer avatar experience when they consume your product?
- What are their fears?
- What would stop them from buying your product?
Ideal customer avatar for an existing business
If you already have an audience for an existing product or service, try to paint the picture with that audience in mind. Consider what type of blog readers or email subscribers or social media followers you already have and what kind of content they like to consume. How are that reader persona and your ideal customer avatar alike?
How about the perfect buyer for a new business?
If you’re just starting out with your business or you want to launch a new product, you can search on social media and find people who match your perfect customer. See what questions they’re asking, what problems they’re facing, what’s important to them and makes them happy. It may also help to think about people who are already in your network who may fit your ideal customer profile.
But wait! Is every customer the ideal customer? It’s natural that not every new customer you get will exactly fit your ideal customer avatar, but keeping your marketing focused will help you attract more of your perfect customers.
How to position your brand for success
Now that we’ve explained what a niche is and how to create the ideal customer avatar, let’s briefly discuss what positioning is and how all these notions—niche, customer avatar and positioning—fit together.
You have your niche, the part of the specific market that you want to serve.
You know your ideal customer, their needs and wants.
Now you’re setting off to create a product or solution for that ideal customer avatar in the specific niche. But what features are you going to attach to that product and how are you going to market it so it attracts your perfect customer?
This is were positioning comes in place, and frankly, it’s very important to your business to get this part right.
As we previously explained in this post, brand positioning is the process of putting your brand in the mind of your customers. Brand positioning is also referred to as brand strategy or positioning strategy. It’s all about the image that people hold of your brand. How valuable is it to them? What feelings does your brand create?
To create a strong brand positioning you need to find your brand’s uniqueness and determine what differentiates your product from your competitors’.
Take a minute or two to contemplate the following brand positioning questions, and remember to always keep your ideal customer avatar in mind.
- How do I differentiate my brand?
- Does the actual experience match my ideal customer perceptions of the brand?
- Is my core message believable and credible?
- What’s the unique value to my customers?
- What’s a clear picture that describes my brands? How is it from my competitors?
- Is my brand streamlined for my core customer’s profile?
- Is it memorable? Inspiring? Motivating? Fun?
- Is it consistent in all areas of my marketing?
- Are the value and benefits easy to grasp?
- Is my brand difficult to replicate?
- Is it designed for long-term growth?
- Does my brand have a unique voice?
- How are my products priced compared to the competition.
The answers to those questions will most likely help you solve the mystery of how you should position your brand to better serve your ideal audience in a specific niche.
Consistency wins the race
Next, you need to impress your brand positioning upon your ideal customers. To do that, you must start from within your business.
Everything in your marketing needs to be consistent. This includes every member of your business that touches the customer. Each customer touchpoint needs to be the perfect expression of your branding.
And remember to always come back and revisit your ideal customer avatar when new prospects and sales data is available. And if it’s something you want help with, we’re happy to work you through it. Just schedule an Action Plan call with us here!