Creating Your Customer Avatar part 2: "Creating Your Zero"

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Creating Your Zero

The concept of creating a customer avatar is nothing new.

In a nutshell, it’s taking a group of people (your tribe) and creating one avatar, or one profile that encompasses them all. This avatar is then considered your target customer or your ideal customer.

The point is to have a person (though fictional) to aim your conversation at. It makes your content seem more personal, like you’re directly speaking to someone.

Have you ever experienced that? Where you’ve read something and felt like it was written for you? There’s a good chance that it was, because you fall within that businesses customer avatar.

From here on out we’re going to call this customer avatar your Zero.

Now I know, I know. That sounds really bad, but it’s not meant to.The Zero is the lost character at the beginning of the story. Luke Skywalker before Yoda. Frodo before Gandalf. Daniel-san before Miyagi.

We need to frame them as the Zero because we need to learn to have empathy for them. Empathy is the magic key that will help us to unlock the true potential of our brand.

Empathy creates understanding and understanding will help us to talk on their level in a tone of voice that they will respond to.

N.B. If you’re feeling a bit uneasy calling your target customer a Zero, be comforted by the fact that this is for internal use only. This is in no way meant to be seen by public eyes.

Step 1: Demographics

Click here to download the worksheet for this lesson.

Step 2: Pain

Let’s determine some quick demographics. We don’t want to spend too much time here because honestly, demographics are kind of useless. At least on their own they are.

Psychographics are infinitely more important these days and guess what? You’ve been recording psychographic information this whole time! BOOM!

We’ll still take some demographic info to fatten up our Zero profile though.

Step 3: Interests / Hobbies

What do they enjoy doing in their spare time?

Consider what sports they play, how they relax, what time with their family looks like.

Don't get too caught up in finding out exactly it is that they enjoy. You don't need to survey half the city to discover this.

This is just an idea of what YOU think they would enjoy based on your years of experience in your field.

As you collect data from your website traffic and advertising campaigns, you'll start to discover whether or not your assumptions were correct.

You can tweak this profile over time to accurately reflect your perfect customer as you learn more about the,

Step 4: Favourite Websites

Where do they like hanging out online?

What social media platforms, blogs, news sites, entertainment sites do they enjoy?

This isn't just a random interest I've picked. The sites a person visits can tell you a lot about them.

You can study posting behaviour and comments. You can study the content strategies of successful brands in your field. Especially if they have been around for a while. If they're sharing a particular type of content, it's probably for a reason.

Step 5: Favourite Books

What books do they like to read?

Fiction or non-fiction?

Cooking or business books?

Doesn't matter whether it's paperback or an audio book. Write a list of books you think your target audience would be interested in.

Here's why.

I learnt a nifty trick from Miles Beckler (an awesome online marketer who gives away a ton of free valuable content).

Using Amazons Kindle store or Audible, you can study the best and the worst reviews on any book and any topic.

That's all the 5-star reviews and all the 1-star reviews.

By doing that, you get to read what people are passionate about. What they liked most about that book and what they hated most about it.

Monitoring other peoples success and failures helps to give you insight to what your target customer is looking for.

Step 6: Favourite Magazines

What are their favourite magazines? Either digital or print.

This one isn't random neither.

Another great tip from Miles (legend).

Did you know that most magazines have a thing called a media kit? A media kit is simply sales brochure that they give to potential advertisers, explaining why they should spend their advertising bucks with them.

It lays out the specifications, costs, how many issues they print, how many people read their magazine and...wait for it...customer demographics.

Go on. Gooogle 'Fast Company Magazine Media Kit' and see what you find.

These are just ways to give you some insight to who you're having a conversation with.

Step 7: Name Thy Zero

Go on, give him or her a name. While you’re at it, search Google for an image of what they might look like. Having this as a reference makes it seem so much more real. I literally have a photo of my ideal customer, my Zero, on my desk to keep me focused and on track while I’m writing.

You now have a pretty rad Zero profile.

Once completed, be sure to share your results in the E3 Community.