In today’s post, I am going to talk about an exercise I was offered to do as part of learning how to write the perfect copy. For those unfamiliar with what copy means in the Internet Marketing language, it is a piece of writing related normally to commerce, aimed at presenting a product or an idea mainly with the aim of selling it. I have decided to share it with you since I found the exercise very insightful. It made me think about the people I am aiming to sell my products to in a way I had never thought before. I suggest you do it too if you want to get into the psychology of your ideal customer. Here is the avatar I have created as a result of the exercise, answering 10 leading questions:
An Avatar Of My Ideal Customer
John works as a security guard a shopping center, 9-6, 3 days on, 1 day off. Sometimes the shift falls on a weekend, which means that his girlfriend has to spend the weekend on her own, which makes him feel guilty and her sad. The couple has been talking about getting married for ages, but have been postponing the plans because of being unable to save enough money for the wedding and the honeymoon.
They have also been discussing buying a flat of their own, but again – the fact that the bills (rent and utilities), as well as food and daily living expenses, have been taking a big chunk of the budget, they have been unable to save for a deposit for the mortgage. John’s parents have some money saved, and have promised to put up half of the deposit, which means that the couple still needs to get another half somewhere – and that is $35K. They have managed to save about $4K over the 3 years they have been living together, but at this rate, they would need to spend another 30 years or so saving for a deposit – something that neither is prepared to wait for.
The pay is low, so money doesn’t last long – especially after the bills have been paid. If it wasn’t for his girlfriend working – she is a school teacher at a primary school, and her pay is higher than John’s by about 50%, the couple would really suffer. The fact that his girlfriend gets a higher pay makes John feel insecure and guilty.
John hates his job and his boss who bullies him. He is fed up getting up early, traveling by bus for 40 minutes, often standing, among crowds of stressed commuters. He has to deal with people at work, so the days when he is off work he tries to spend at home, sleeping, and not making an effort to see anyone – except for an odd weekend when his friend calls and asks him to come over to watch football with a few other friends. He loves their company, but all of his friends are better off, in much better-paid jobs, which makes John angry and frustrated, since sometimes he thinks that they are teasing him about what he does for a living, and his girlfriend is the main provider.
In the past 2 years, John has been following internet marketing and hearing lots of success stories. Some of these stories he believed to be slightly exaggerated, to say the least, but there are also some very powerful and highly believable stories which have inspired him to keep trying to make something out of it. He has been spending his days off at the computer, trying to use the strategies described in the products he has been buying. So far he has made 300 dollars through affiliate marketing, but it was accidental. Still, it inspired him enough to keep going.
What keeps John awake at night staring at the ceiling?
John hasn’t been able to sleep well for a long time. He often stays awake for hours staring at the ceiling, with the same thoughts churning in his mind:
The wedding plans have been put on hold for years, since the couple need at least 10K to go ahead with it, and John needs about 1K for an engagement ring, which he can’t afford yet.
John’s girlfriend is 35, and her biological clock is ticking away. The couple want to have children, but children cost money, and this has been a continuous cause for discussions and arguments, resulting in stress for both.
The arguments have been having a negative effect on the couple’s relationship not only during the day. They haven’t been intimate with each other for about a month, and the pattern has been repeating itself in the past 8 months. Every time John tries to hug or kiss his girlfriend, she moves away, and this has been the most serious cause for the worries. He has tried to ask why several time, but she always avoids the conversation, and only when they argue she gives her reasons for her cold attitude – she feels that they haven’t got a life, don’t go away, spend little time enjoying doing what they used to love doing together in the past.
Laura (the girlfriend’s name) resents that they always have to budget, that they can’t afford not only to get away on holiday but even to pay bills on time. She doesn’t see how it is going to improve in the next few years if things continue this way. John feels really guilty, but also small and insignificant. He feels that his girlfriend is with him because she feels sorry for him, not because she wants to. He has even started doubting her desire to get married and have a life together.
What Is John afraid of?
- That he will come from work one day – to an empty house because his girlfriend will have left him for someone else, or just simply left.
- That his father who has been suffering from ill health for some time will deteriorate to a point when he will need a 24-hour care, which John’s mum cannot provide, and John cannot afford.
- That he will be stuck at his job forever, get old, with no family, no children, and one day just dies alone, with nobody even knowing that he has died.
What is he angry about? Who are they angry at?
- The product sellers he has bought from. They have promised so much, but he has failed to make any money from it. He is very angry about it. How can they be making so much themselves, and selling the products which promised thousands and thousands within days, but failing to deliver on the promises? Are they keeping stuff away from him, and are only revealing outdated strategies, and only parts which are never meant to work on their own? How come he has spent so much hard-earned cash, and hasn’t earned a dollar from it?
- He is also angry with his friends for being more successful than he is, although he doesn’t show it when he sees them.
- He is angry with his girlfriend for not appreciating his efforts, not seeing how much he is trying to succeed, refusing to be with him on many occasions under a pretext of being tired.
- What are his top three daily frustrations?
- Having to go to work and seeing the boss he hates, day after day, having to deal with customers at work, in often unpleasant situations.
- Having to get up early and commute a long distance to work and from work.
- Arguments with his girlfriend about money.
What trends are occurring in his life?
Buying a product, working on it for a period of time, then moving on to another product. He doesn’t follow through with any of these products to the end, because he sees them as only another piece of the puzzle he is trying to put together, with vital pieces still missing. He feels like he is going in circles.
His life is also going in circles, without any resolution to his innermost wishes – to get married, have children, make his girlfriend feel proud of him.
John is fairly short of time – he has 2 days off work per week, and this is not enough for him to start with a serious project such as product creation and marketing, and he cannot leave his job, and he cannot leave his job because there would be no way he and his girlfriend could cope on just her salary.
What does John desire most?
Freedom. Safety. Security. Respect from his girlfriend and friends. Control over his own life and decisions. Recognition. Being desired by his girlfriend, and for her to be proud of him.
Is there a built-in bias to the way John makes decisions?
Yes. When buying, he is influenced by the factors such as reviews, testimonials, recommendations from the people he knows and trusts, email campaigns, pre-launch talk in FB groups he is part of, refund guarantees, whether he has heard about the product creator before. He is also influenced by how successful the product creator is, and what people are saying about his previous products. He is influenced by whether the product is being sold by itself (from a website), or through the Warrior Forum / JV Zoo, even though he has heard of quite a few rubbish products being sold on both. He is influenced by how much energy the product has generated – in other words, how many affiliates are promoting it.
He is somewhat influenced by the price, but not to the extent that he wouldn’t buy something if he didn’t think it was a great investment. His normal price range is $30, but he would buy a higher-priced product – $100 if he believed in it, and had great feedback from others to prove it. He also knows that if a product has a money-back guarantee, he can return it and get a refund if he is unhappy with it, although he has only used it twice in 2 years.
He is now researching a range of coaching programs, and one of them – a coaching course by Chris – has caught his attention. It is a hefty investment for him at $600, but he is considering it seriously since he understands that he hasn’t achieved much by working on his own, and there is time for a serious move.
Who else has tried selling them something similar and failed?
I don’t know but will research to see what I can find.
I suggest that you do this exercise too, in order to get into the psychology of your ideal customer. Once you know who you are targeting, and what their needs are, finding answers to their needs will be so much easier. All the best with it!