4 Foolproof Ways To Craft A Customer Profile (For People Who Hate Figuring This Out)
Hint: Try Online Dating First!
According to popular dating site eHarmony, 36% of Canadians have tried online dating (the other 64% are 'no comment' 😐 ). Being lucky in love, especially in the age of online dating, can be challenging. Sure, there are 'plenty of fish' (yes, another dating site) but you've got to stand out in a sea of swipes and an ocean of love options. How do you go about getting the attention of anyone, let alone the right someone?
Just like with online dating, small businesses face a similar 'pick me' challenge. Even if you have a great product or service, you may launch your brand into the world - and nothing…Just disappointment and the loneliness of an empty checkout cart.
However, applying the principles of online dating to your small business is like an instant crash course in marketing. The better you master how to create an irresistible dating profile for your (virtual) love life, the better you’ll be at crafting a profitable customer profile for your business.
What is a customer profile?
In marketing, a customer profile (or buyer profile, persona or avatar) is "a description of a customer, or set of customers (you can target more than one group) that includes trends, traits, personality and past purchase behaviour."
Example: Is your target customer adventurous and outdoorsy, an introvert who loves movies or a mid-30's, ambitious and self-employed female pet-owner? When creating a profile of your perfect customer, specificity is key.
Here’s an easy, foolproof framework to help you get started (dating site membership not required!):
How to identify your target customer and 'find love' for your small business
1. Figure out your brand's 'type'
Before you launch your product or service, it's hard to know who will most benefit from it. Start with market research: find out what people are buying, who they’re buying from, and what problems or needs they're addressing.
The best way to validate your hypothetical target customer is to go directly to the source: talk to them. Have a conversation. Don't be afraid to challenge your assumptions. Just like individuals make unexpected love matches, don't assume that your assumptions are valid. Follow your gut, but make sure the research backs it up.
2. Define your love match (your most probable, profitable,
With research out of the way, you're ready to begin profiling your customers. This is where you develop a customer avatar that represents your target demographic. You want a specific, realistic and representative character. For best results, use both demographics and psychographics:
Demographics refer to face-value attributes such as age, income, marital status, location.
Psychographics are internal personality traits such as personality and lifestyle (ie. self-motivated, outdoorsy, etc.)
Ask questions about your ideal customer and give them a persona so they feel like a living, breathing REAL person. Imagine that you had to write a dating profile for your buyer persona for a dating website - who, what, why and how would you describe them?
Example: if you are targeting a health food and yoga enthusiast mother (let's name her Health Conscious Heather) you’d want to know:
What is life like for Heather?
What does she like to do in her free time?
What does she value?
What are her biggest challenges or pain points?
What products or services can she not live without? Why?
When she has free time, how does she spend it?
What media does she consumer the most (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn)
Which brands does she most admire? Why?
Which celebrity does she most admire? Why?
Real-life Example: read the story behind Jimmy, the avatar created by the wildly successful podcaster, John Lee Dumas. He credits his painstakingly-precise avatar (along with his three greatest strengths - productivity, discipline and FOCUS*) as the reason why his award-winning podcast, Entrepreneurs on Fire, is widely recognized and able to secure top name guests such as Tony Robbins, Barbara Corcoran, Gary Vaynerchuk and 3000+ more.
* We admire the same strengths! At ZIpLaunch, we promote being fast, focused and productive.
3. Assess the competition. Stand out from the crowd.
By profiling your ideal customer profile - their likes, dislikes, motivations and values - you can confidently construct an irritable brand that stands out in a sea of competitors.
Similarly, you also want to check out your competition to see who (or what) you're up against.
If you’re swimming in a sea of me-too brands, it’'s critical to find a differentiated niche that only you can dominate. 'Big fish, little pond' may not be a truism for online dating, but it’s absolutely essential in business.
4. Build your brand to attract
Whether scrolling or swiping for your online love match, you need to firstly determine what you desire (Steps 1 and 2) and be honest about what you offer in return, aka your desirability quotient. This is at the heart of dating.
It’s the exact same thing for your business. Take a critical look at your product or service, the value that you deliver, and who will most appreciate your offering. This is your ideal customer.
The perfect buyer persona will love your product or service unconditionally, identify with your brand's messaging and keep coming back for more - and hopefully tell all their friends, too!
Remember: you're trying to find the one
As every 6-figure business owner knows, your customer profile is the backbone of your brand and marketing strategy.
Just like how a meticulously crafted dating profile attracts a very specific type of person, a hyper-targeted customer niche is more effective than a broad, generalized approach. A quality customer avatar ensures you attract quality sales leads. While a ton of buyer attention is great, if it doesn’t translate into sales (or dates) - you’re just messing around. And we’re playing the long game here.
So get profiling. Your love (sales) connection awaits!
ZipLaunch helps solopreneurs and small business owners build a 6-figure business with hands-on, 1-day workshops that drive real results and get you fast, focused and productive. See whether ZipLaunch is right for you.