Car photo by Luntzer
First rule of any kind of marketing or copywriting is:
Know your target market
And this is good advice.
When you know who you want as a customer, you have a better chance of finding them and impressing them with your wizardry and expertise. If you don’t know who your customer is you sit and wait and wonder why you’re not getting as many bites on your bait as you would like.
It’s like creating an amazing stand to sell contents and home insurance and then setting up in the middle of a skate park. It’s not going to work and you’re going to get in the way of people trying to pull off a triple-slingback-half-roll doo-daa… (may or may not be an actual skateboarding term, if I skateboarded it would be, I’d invent the move).
Fine, I will do a customer profile!
Now, when you know who your customer is it makes it so much easier to market to them and write to them in your blog or in a sales page. So you do a little Googling (no mum, that’s not something illegal) and you download a couple of customer profile outlines to fill in.
And for small business owners, that’s usually when you hit a brick wall.
Because you’re asked questions like:
- Where do they live?
- What car do they drive?
- What is their income?
- what cereal do they eat for breakfast
- If they had to be a species of flying squirrel, which species would they be?
And you realise you’re in a tricky spot because:
You have no clue what car they drive
Not only that, but you’re not even sure what you would do with that information if you did have it to hand. You see for most small business owners, particularly trainers or entrepreneurial coaches, your customers can come from all walks of life. One might ride a bicycle, one might only use public transport and another might only skip everywhere.
But they could all be your perfect customer.
Let’s say you’re a freelance career coach. How do you write differently in copywriting about changing their career depending on what kind of cereal they have for breakfast?
You see, where most customer profile templates fall down is they only ask you about the “hard facts” about your customer. This kind of information might be useful to large corporations with millions of customers, but what if you’ve had 10 clients in the past year from all around the world with totally different backgrounds? Well you need to…
Look for the glue
Photo by Bananaism
I was working with an incredibly talented lady recently who was struggling to pin down her customer profile because she worked with people from all industries and all backgrounds. So we began to look for the glue that bound them together, that made them part of the special club that loved what she did.
We started to look at their personality traits.
Now, in fancy terms, this is called “psychographics” but that sounds boring so I include it for reference only…
Just as groups of friends tend to have common interests, likes and dislikes, your customers will also have similarities between them, you just need to pin those down.
Working with the client I mentioned, we looked at glue questions like…
- Are they shy and quiet or excitable and adventurous?
- Do they have a creative streak in them? Would they like to write a book one day or paint?
- Are they rebellious or do they like to follow the rules?
- What kind of people do they admire and look up to?
- Do they get annoyed easily? What kind of things wind them up?
- Are they ambitious, are they willing to work hard or do they want an easy solution?
And we discovered that they were all incredibly hard working, ambitious and with a strong creative streak that they felt they had been previously unable to express. This made writing her copy so much simpler than knowing if they were an accountant or a lawyer.
Adjust your copy accordingly
When you have an idea of your ideal customer’s personality it is a lot easier to write content or sales copy that appeals to them. You know how excitable you can be, whether you need a lot of proof and factual evidence, whether you can joke around or if you have to be more serious.
You can also drop in little hints to let your customer know they are in the right place when they visit your website or sales page. For example:
- You know there are no quick fixes, you’re willing to work hard if it means solving…
- As a fun-loving creative creature you don’t want to learn by studying reams of technical jargon
- And if you’re a little shy that’s fine, all group participation is completely voluntarily…
So if you’re struggling to pin down who it is you’re writing too, have a little think about their personality and see if that makes it easier. If it doesn’t, let me know in the comments and we’ll hash it out together.
Oh, and don’t forget to click the green re-tweet button at the top of this page. I love it when you do that (and I notice who you are and store up good karma points for you, so build up your balance).
Till next time!
Hey Marcus – thanks for joining in the conversation!
That glue can be a tricky thing to find, but when you do it can make things a lot more clear about who is listening to you (and how to write to them!)
Marcus Baker says
Janet sent me here saying I’d enjoy your post and she was not wrong.
You make huge sense. We must write for our audience and finding the glue is the key! As your post demonstrates so well it’s al about asking the right questions.
Thanks for an excellent read Amy.
Janet @ The Natural Networker says
Amy, aloha. As you have probably already figured out from the times I have tweeted this, I absolutely love this piece. In my opinion, it is a must read.
You answer so well a question we all struggle with in identifying our customers/audience. Looking at the personality traits makes so much sense.
Your car analogy is a great visual.
Best wishes for a terrific weekend, Amy. Aloha. Janet
P.S. Off to share on facebook.
From Triberr to here – so lovely to have you stop by and thank you for sharing this post!
One of the reasons people get stuck identifying their ideal customer is because they think they have to all look exactly the same and do the same job etc, it’s so hard to think like that. When you start looking for that common glue it’s a lot easier. Just like my friends are all widely different from each other, but there’s a common spark in all of them that I love! 🙂
Your headline brought me here. I think pairing demographics with cars is a brilliant little twist. It’s something that had never occurred to me before — your demographic more or less determines the kind of car you drive. Or whether you drive at all.
Loved the skate park analogy – very sensible and visual; and every blog post on copywriting should allude to flying squirrels. That’s the kind of thing that makes you stop and pay attention. A little humor goes a long way.
Hey, thank you for the comment.
The “what car do they drive” is such a common question in customer profile and it can be useful, but for most of my clients they can describe their ideal customer to a T personality-wise but they don’t have the “hard facts” that they’re “supposed to have.”
And there’s always room for flying squirrels in my blog posts… 🙂