Marketers often talk about this concept of the avatar, but very often people new to the business are confused by what it is, how to use it, and how to make it up.
In this episode, we discuss the reader avatar and how to actually develop it. Doing so will allow you to create much more effective content as well as products your audience will actually want down the road.
First of all, I want to welcome you into 2015!
This is my first podcast to the year. I almost thought I might not get this thing out on time today. See, I have a Wednesday and Saturday release schedule that I have imposed myself for this podcast, but I actually brought in the New Year with a cold, which kind of suck. 🙁
I actually went out in my RV to finish planning out all of my business goals for 2015 and I came down with a cold while I was in there. So I spent a lot of time snouting and all that. I only bring this up because I was really hoarse, I actually didn’t know if I was going to sound okay to record this episode. But as it turns out, my voice is fairly normal today. Still coughing a little bit, but I am going to go and get this thing out because once I set a goal; if Wednesdays and Saturdays is my time to get these episodes out, I want to stick to it as much as I can. So that is what we are going to do.
Today, we are going to talk about how to define your Reader Avatar.
What’s An Avatar
Now, an avatar is something that you may be familiar with. This does not refer to the James Cameron movie. 🙂
The avatar is basically a concept of coming over the caricature of an actual person that you are going to be talking to with your blog. Now, we have got what is called the Reader Avatar which is going to be your typical blog reader. And then we have got your Customer Avatar which is going to be the typical person who is going to buy things from you. And they can be two different things. The honest truth is that a majority of your actual blog readers are not going to become buyers of yours. And that is just pretty much normal.
So you want to know what type of person typically is going to be buying from you but you also want to know what types of people are coming to your blog because it is going to definitely have an impact on what type of content you make and how you address them. So, that is what the Reader Avatar is. It is a caricature. In the same way that it worked in the movie, by the way. I mean, in the movie; the characters that we saw in the movie were symbols of the person who was in the real world and they have this character they use in this other world that was their avatar.
That was kind of the entire idea behind the word there and it is the same thing in regards to what we are doing online, is that we are creating this caricature of the people that we are talking to.
Knowing Your Avatar
Now by doing this, we are coming up with a lot of different traits. This is not something where we are coming up with a cartoon character just for our own giggles. This is really something that we are doing it so that we can really learn all of the nitty-gritty about their attitudes, their demographics, how they view things, what they are looking to achieve, and things like that. It is super important so that you can really tailor your content to them but you can also create the exact products that they are going to want. When you create the sales page for that, you can make that copy really resonate with people. And you are not going to be able to do that unless you have a good understanding of exactly who you are speaking to.
So let me go through some of the questions that you might ask yourself when it comes to coming up with your own avatar for your readers…
Creating Your Avatar
I am going to be going by a worksheet that I have inside the Training Area of the Blog Marketing Academy. I am just kind of giving you a few highlights here off of this worksheet.
It starts off with the person’s name. Now I will say; this is an avatar. So, the avatar; you can give that person a name. It is going to be something that you made up. Or if you have a reader whom you noticed is constantly coming in all things, they bought things from you… basically they are like your ideal person, use their name. This avatar is not something that is going to be used by anybody but yourself. But the whole idea is you want to make this person as real as possible. So you can either use a real person’s name here or you can simply just make one up.
Now you will also come up with their age, whether married or not, how many children they have, where they live, did they go to school; high school or college, etc., etc… What do they do for a living? How much money do they make? How long have they been employed; that gives you an idea if these are the types of people who are constantly jumping from one thing to the next, looking for something better or whether they are more in the longevity… how many jobs have they held during their career? That’s the same basic idea.
What are their political viewpoints? Now, again, it doesn’t really matter for what we are doing. Not so much. But politics and the next one is religion; do give you an idea of the kinds of people you are speaking to. Now again, these are all average ideas. These are not something that… you know, obviously, when it comes to politics you are probably going to have people in your readership who are all over the political spectrum. That is normal. What you are doing is coming up with an avatar. It is a caricature. So if you knew that the majority of your readers lean one way or the other in terms of politics, then the majority what might be the one you put in your political views.
Now, you might ask yourself why questions like these matters. Well, for example, political views usually are going to come with different viewpoints on life that goes along with the typical viewpoints of that political idea. And if you want to know what those people’s life viewpoints are so that you can resonate with them and have a reality with them when you speak to them about a different topic. Same thing with religion; obviously, you know, unless you have a religion or a politics blog you probably are never going to talk about either one of these topics but it is just a matter of you knowing what type of person you are dealing with. Just off the top of my head, if you knew that a lot of your readers were hard core Catholics, you might not want to cuss on your blog. I mean, I’m just coming up with that off the top of my head. So it is useful to know those types of things.
Keep on going down the list; you got what are their interests, what are their hobbies… But then you want to go deeper. You want to go into things like, what are their favorite brands? What websites do they frequent? Are they active on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or any other social networks? What are their personal goals and their business goals and their family goals? What are their top three problems that they are experiencing that would make them an ideal customer for your business? What are the bad things that could possibly happen to your ideal customer if this problem that they have is not solved?
What Keeps Them Up?
You know it has been said before; when it comes to avatars, is the common phrase of “What keeps them up at night?” You want to know that. It might not be literal. These people might not literally be losing sleep over something but the whole idea there is you want to dive into what is on their mind. And specifically, related to your niche and what you are going to be talking about on your blog because those are the problems that you want to help them solve. And that is what we discussed in previous episodes here. Your business is going to be built off providing solutions to their problems so you definitely want to know what those problems are.
Now, when it comes to those problems, you want to dive a little deeper into what the meanings of those problems are. For example, how do those things make them feel? How was it going to make the people around react? What could happen to their life because of that problem? How might that problem affect them financially? What are the interpersonal consequences that they might have? What about career consequences? What are they secretly afraid of?
Now you are getting deep. And I’m not going to go through every little piece of this worksheet that I have here. In effect, if you want to dive deeper on that, I obviously have training on that inside the Blog Marketing Academy Membership Area. But all these being said; I want to make this one final point and that is you might not necessarily know some of these things. So you might get confused on how the hell you are going to fill out this profile of this avatar. Well, there is a process that you can go through, but I will give you a few general ideas…
One is that you can actually go out and connect with some of the people who would be potential or real members of your audience and actually communicate with them one-on-one. Maybe invite them on to a Skype conversation and ask them. And be upfront with them. Let them know what you are doing; give them the “out”. Make sure that if they feel anything is too personal they do not have to answer the question but you can actually ask people directly, some of these things.
The other thing that you could do is by observing what people are talking about. In fact, if you go back to the episodes that we did where we talked about Niche Research, these are in Episodes 38, 39 and things like that, and you can go out there and do Market Intelligence. You are going to be out there observing what people are actually talking about. Well, in the process of that you are going to be observing what people are talking about. And usually, by looking into the wording that they are using, what they are talking about, you can actually infer some of the things that we are talking about with this Reader Avatar.
So you want to go through it. You want to do the best that you can. It is not going to be perfect; it is going to evolve over time. This is not something that you are going to create once and think, “Done! I’m never going to have to think about this ever again!” No. The more that you learn about people over time on your blog or people who buy from you, you are going to update this thing. Because over time, it is going to be a very useful tool for you when it comes to actually tailoring everything that you do to the exact people that you are looking to serve.
The other thing from a copywriting perspective and also from a sometimes even just the idea of making videos, it really helps to envision you speaking to an actual person rather than this anonymous bunch of crowd out there. And by really knowing who your avatar is and what many people do with their avatars, they will actually assign a photo to them. They will actually have a profile and they will literally put a photo on there. Now, it might not be a photo of that actual person because this actual person is a character that you have made. But you go out there and find a photo of a person that seems to represent that type of human being to you and throw them into your avatar profile.
And then when you are creating videos or when you are writing or when you are doing what I’m doing right now; that is talking to you, I could envision you sitting on the other end of this, having your earphones in your ears as you are listening to this podcast and I could envision you; it makes it much easier for me to speak to you because I would have this idea, this avatar in my mind of who you are even though I might not have ever met you before. And that is a very useful tool when it comes to creating your content. It is going to make your content better. It is going to make your products better, too.
So that is the Reader Avatar. I definitely recommend you put some thoughts into this.
If you want to dive deeper into that head over to the Blog Marketing Academy and look at the VIP program because that is the program that gets you into the Membership Training Area of the Blog Marketing Academy and we do have a course in there that is currently called the Content Marketing Clinic and it goes through this Avatar Process in more details. It also has the full worksheet that will walk you through everything on actually creating this avatar.
So that is over at the Blog Marketing Academy. That is where it comes from, so that is where everything can be found.
Okay! That is pretty much it for the day. I hope you found that useful. Definitely put it to use.
I will see you next week! Or actually, no… it won’t be next week. I am doing two episodes a week, so that will be probably on Saturday, if everything goes according to schedule, that will be Episode 45 or actually we are going to pause and do a little pit stop and look at where we are with Coffee Break Blogging. Kind of do a little bit of review and see what is coming up. Because these episodes do go in a particular order, these episodes do go in an orderly sequence from beginning to end so it is helpful to kind of see where we stand.
Okay! I’ll see you then! 😉