Nine questions to define your dream buyer.
Focusing on your dream buyer brings clarity to your marketing message, and your copy becomes sharp like the tip of a spear that cuts through the noise, ultimately leading to a more profitable business. Getting to know the right people – your dream buyers – who will benefit the most and pay you most for your products and services, is vital.
Here are the nine essential questions to define your ideal customer.
1. Where does your dream buyer hang out and congregate?
Name both online and offline places where your dream buyers hang out and congregate. The more detailed and specific, the better.
“Hangs out on Facebook” is too general, whereas “Hangs out in the Mothers of Melbourne Facebook group” is more precise and actionable.
“Likes the outdoors” is too general to mean anything insightful and actionable, while “Likes going to the park every Saturday morning with her two kids” shows habits and values and is specific.
“Reads blogs” isn’t targeted enough, but “Obsessively reads Rockin Mama, Mamavation and Reddit” is defined and revealing.
Knowing exactly where your dream buyers are hanging out influences where you should advertise, what you should advertise, the tone of your copy, and the vernacular to use.
2. Where does your dream buyer get their information?
When your dream buyer is in research mode, where do they go to find the answers? Is it Google? A particular blog? Books? Magazines? YouTube? Write your findings as a simple sentence: “When Sally is curious about a topic, the first place she goes is Google search on her iPhone”.
3. What are their biggest frustrations and challenges?
Truly understanding and empathising with their biggest frustrations and challenges is key to defining your dream-buyer avatar. By knowing what it’s like walking in your customers’ shoes, you’ll be able to create better products and services that address their specific pain points and problems.
Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:
“I wish someone would just write this sales copy for me.”
“I need to lose 10 kilos before my wedding.”
“Ugh. I wish I could just have someone run my Facebook ads for me.”
Your dream buyer’s frustrations and challenges are integral to the products and services you offer. Whatever it is you are selling has to solve a problem large enough that your dream buyer will happily part with their hard-earned money for you to solve it for them.
“Imagining what your ideal customer’s daily life looks like adds a personal element to your marketing.”
Knowing their biggest frustrations and challenges will also determine the emotions you speak to in your copy and advertising. The emotions behind the challenges and frustrations your dream buyer is experiencing could be sadness, anger, fear, remorse, hope, a desire for something better. By speaking to exactly what your dream buyer is feeling, you’ll be able to connect with them emotionally on more than just a rational level.
It will also reflect the types of stories you tell. The logic here is simple. When your dream buyer sees a testimonial from a customer who solved their biggest frustrations and challenges with your product or service, they are more likely to buy from you. They can see this positive transformation take place in someone else.
4. What are their hopes, dreams and desires?
Knowing your dream buyer’s hopes, dreams and desires helps you paint a vivid picture of what life could be like after using your products and services. Think of it as selling the dream and painting a picture of the promised land.
When your products or services help your dream buyer attain their hopes, dreams and desires, it becomes much easier to write copy for your landing pages, website, ads and other assets you leverage to sell more goods and services.
5. What are their biggest fears?
What are your dream buyer’s deepest fears? What keeps them up at night? What do they worry about but never tell anyone? Fully understanding your market’s deepest and most primal fears is an often-overlooked component to crafting a customer avatar. However, in my opinion, it’s equally as important, if not more, than understanding their hopes, dreams and desires. Why? People are motivated more by pain than they are by pleasure. They are more motivated by fear of loss than they are by the desire to gain something. Therefore, calling out their fears in your copy and ads is an incredibly important element to get your dream buyer to take action.
A good example of fear used to motivate people into taking action is the approach used by insurance companies. They call out their prospects’ deepest fears more than they do the benefits of getting covered.
6. What is their preferred form of communication?
Email? Text? Chat? Facebook Live? Or do they prefer physical mail? This is a matter of where your audience wants you to communicate with them. The fundamental lesson here is to communicate with your customers where they already are. Don’t try to move them onto something that is more convenient for you rather than where they already are.
7. What phrases and vernacular do they use?
Robert Collier has this fantastic quote, “Enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind”.
You see, there is already language and niche-specific terms being used in your customer’s mind for their hopes, dreams, pain, fears and desires. Your job is to listen and write them down. What industry terminology are they using, what specific vernacular and niche-specific terms?
To research where your buyers are hanging out and congregating, you must document the exact phrases and terminology they use and store them in a spreadsheet to spark ideas for website copy, landing pages and ads. Take specific comments from Reddit, Facebook groups or YouTube, and document your audience’s word-for-word responses. In today’s day and age, scepticism is rampant. Now more than ever, people are attracted to people (and businesses) who speak their language, get their sense of humour or share the same point of view. Every time they read your copy, your goal is for your dream buyer to say to themselves, “Whoa, it’s like they’re talking directly to me”.
8. What does a day in your dream buyer’s life look like?
Imagining what your ideal customer’s daily life looks like adds a personal element to your marketing. It also becomes practical – when is the best time to email your prospects? When are they most likely to respond? When are they most attentive? Your dream buyer is a completely different person at 8 am on a Monday morning than at 6.30 pm on a Friday. Be aware of this and use it in your marketing.
9. What makes them happy?
The customer journey is more than the exchange of money for goods and services. Your clients are emotional beings, and people want to interact with companies and brands that make them feel good about themselves.
Where are the touch points in your dream buyer’s journey where you can insert surprises, do the unexpected, be remarkable, and bring a smile to their face?
Maybe it’s a handwritten thank-you note after signing up for your service, a personalised email sent on their birthday, or a free box full of company swag and cookies (who doesn’t love cookies?).
Inserting happiness into the buyer’s journey can create a deeper level of emotional connection that cultivates loyal and raving fans for the long term.
After answering all of these questions, write a paragraph summarising your findings. The end result is a much deeper, more intimate understanding of where and how to reach your dream buyers, and how to speak to them. The compounding result will cause massive breakthroughs that geometrically grow your business and allow you to dominate your market.
Defining your target market is one of the hardest parts of starting a business. The good news is that once you do it, everything else will quickly start falling into place. You just have to figure out which medium to use to effectively reach them, and which marketing strategies they respond to.
Sabri Suby, Founder, King Kong Digital Marketing Agency
This story first appeared in issue 26 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.