I’m going to show you that if you’re serious about working fewer hours so you can spend a little time with your awesome family, you can’t skip building a customer avatar.
The problem is that so many business-owning moms are trying to appeal to everyone rather than a specific customer. Their messaging, content, and products are too general and only mildly relevant to any one market.
And that might work for a big company that has a lot of money for marketing and promotion. But the smaller you are, the more focused you need to be so you can use your money and time wisely.
A general message also might have worked better a few years ago than it does now. Because the online marketplace is so crowded now with ultra-specific offers, a general offer is not going to get much attention.
Why don’t business-owning moms embrace the customer avatar idea?
Sometimes business owners feel that casting a wide net is the best way to catch the clients they’re looking for. And sometimes, it’s because their corporate backgrounds didn’t teach them to think about niche markets.
But the biggest reason seems to be that many business owners are afraid to focus their efforts on a narrow rather than a broad market. Even when they buy into the idea that a niche makes sense, they’re afraid to commit to just one customer avatar.
I know I was in denial about this one for a while. I didn’t think I was afraid, but I still had trouble working out a niche and a customer avatar. My fear turned out to be a self-confidence issue. I knew picking a niche was the right answer, but I had trouble believingI would pick the wrong one.
Hint – as my self-confidence increased as I built up my business, I realized two things.
- There is no wrong niche or customer avatar.
- By working through the niche and customer avatar process over time, I found I could incrementally put something together I believe in.
Fears & Excuses
The biggest misconception I run into with clients is that all this analysis/research into your customer avatar takes too much time. And that even if they do the work, the benefits won’t be worth the time spent.
What they don’t know is that instead of restricting you, deciding on a niche and building a customer avatar actually saves time. As soon as you decide, ideas instantly come to you because you’ve given your brain a direction. I am a big believer that constraints encourage creativity.
The customer avatar speeds up the time it takes to filter through ideas and research. Instead of a deep think about every option out there, you can just ask whether or not the idea would appeal to your customer avatar. And if you don’t know, you can go find an actual answer.
If you didn’t have a customer avatar, you wouldn’t know who to ask. If you asked just anyone, you really wouldn’t know if that person’s opinion would be a good representation of the people who would buy your products.
Time-saving benefits of using a customer avatar
A customer avatar can bring clarity to your messaging and all of your daily tasks.
Your content is easier to write and produce because you’re focused on communicating with someone specific. It’s much easier to say things to a specific person than trying to talk to the entire Internet.
You can stop wasting time creating content that doesn’t resonate with your customer avatar. If it’s not going to resonate with her, don’t bother with it just because you think you “should.” With the customer avatar, you’ll know if your content idea is one that your audience will consume.
And this will get easier and save you time the more you refine your avatar and learn more about them. You’ll figure out what they like to see and the formats they like best. For example: if your audience loves your videos but never listens to podcasts, you can stop doing podcasts.
Finding new customers
A huge way a customer avatar saves time is in finding new clients. If you’re struggling with finding clients, it may be that you’re not focused enough and your messaging is bland and in too many random places to be effective.
Here’s what I’ve figured out: When marketing folks say to “be everywhere,” what they really mean is, “be everywhere your ideal clients are.” If you have a focused customer avatar, you can determine where your ideal clients are and most importantly for us, where they are not.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think that my ideal clients are on TikTok, at least for business help. Eventually, I’ll probably need to test that, but for now, I can ignore TikTok and focus on places that I know they are. Even with repurposing content, this saves so much time.
Having a specific customer avatar can help you build relationships with your audience as well. You can learn and research about a group of people and deeply understand their frustrations and problems.
And I think that we women feel much more comfortable buying from and selling to people we have relationships with. For me, it’s a huge trust factor. And trust is the hardest thing to build in the know-like-trust progression sales model.
Save time developing products
If you want to develop products to help your audience, but you’re not sure what to build, a niche and customer avatar will help you figure out what your audience wants.
By focusing on attracting people like your customer avatar, you have a more cohesive group that you would if you just had a list of random people. (Bonus tip — yet another reason buying emails lists doesn’t really work).
You need fewer products if you have a more cohesive audience who all have similar problems. And fewer products means that you can save time in product creation, sales collateral creation, product promotion, and admin around each product.
You can also improve your sales and launch strategy for all products incrementally because you’ll be going after the same group of people. So when you find something that appeals to them, you add that information to your customer avatar, and then improve all of your sales collateral.
If you’re ready to create your own customer avatar, read my previous article, A Business-Owning Mom’s Approach to Ideal Customer Avatars.
And if you’d like some help creating your avatar, just ask in our Done by 3:00 Club Facebook Group.