Picking a Niche & Customer Avatar
Welcome to Day 1 of my ConvertKit Product Creation Masterclass Experiment.
I have to be honest. When I read ConvertKit’s Day 1 material, I wasn’t too impressed.
There wasn’t anything here I hadn’t seen before...many times.
But I decided to go through it anyway because I had promised you all I would and because thinking through these basics when starting a new project is never a bad idea. Plus, some of you have told me one of the biggest reasons you joined this experiment was because you feel alone and you wanted to see how someone else went through the process.
So here are my answers to the questions ConvertKit asked on Day 1.
What are your natural-born talents?
I like to research things that interest me and figure out how they work. I can envision how mechanical things work and explain them to the uninitiated. I can write in ways that connect with many people in a natural and friendly way. When I meet people in person, I usually build trust quickly.
What are your learned skills?
Computers, websites, online marketing, leading groups, search engine optimization, in-person networking, public speaking, nurturing relationships, writing to inform and connect with others, and listening.
What would your friends and family say is your superpower?
My wife says my superpower is the ability to take seemingly unrelated pieces of information and put them all together in a way that helps whatever situation I’m in…call me the Combinator?!
Past co-workers would say my superpower is turning mediocre groups into high-performing groups by building an environment of respect and genuine support.
Nearly everyone that really knows me says I stay calm in stressful situations and help others calm down and develop creative, realistic solutions or ways to deal with difficult/stressful situations.
What are your weaknesses?
I like to start things, but am not as good at finishing them. I jump to conclusions too quickly. I stay quiet too often. I have a hard time staying on schedule.
What title have you used to describe yourself? Does it still fit what you do?
Superman…Batman…follower…yes…and not so much.
What do you want to be known for?
Loving Christ, serving others and being helpful.
What is a Customer Avatar?
A customer avatar is simply a written representation of your perfect customer.
Building a customer avatar helps you get to know your customers and serve them better. It helps you understand the world through their eyes. It helps you communicate in ways that connect with them rather than repel them.
Ultimately, building an avatar or ideal customer profile and then using it in everything you do keeps your focus where it belongs…on the customer. You should use it everywhere from product development to marketing to gathering testimonials to customer service.
When companies develop products for, market toward and build systems to support themselves rather than the customer, they fail. Think of our government or many churches or the Ford Edsel or WorldCom or the 2008 housing crash.
How to Build a Customer Avatar
Lesson one from ConvertKit doesn’t provide much guidance regarding how to build a customer profile. It just asks a bunch of questions. If you need more resources, check these out.
Below are my answers to their questions. If you have thoughts or opinions, please share/ask in the comments.
Just to be clear, for the purposes of this product creation masterclass, my target customer is chiropractors and my product will help them get page one rankings for local Google searches.
If you have no idea where to start getting the information for your own customer avatar, there are some helpful ideas in my article series about how I chose my target market.
My Customer Avatar
What does my ideal customer’s day look like?
They are busy people, bouncing between patient appointments, running their business and trying to fit marketing in around the edges. They never have enough time or money and are unsure if their marketing efforts are productive, which frustrates them.
Where do their motivations come from?
They want to help others, take care of their families and grow a profitable business.
What do they value? What don’t they value?
They value predictability, results, stability and rationality. They don’t value hype, ridiculous claims, get-rich-quick ideas, anything unproven or anything that sounds gimmicky.
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths - relating to people one on one, business acumen, patient care, academic knowledge, industry expertise, financial management, prudent risk taking
Weaknesses – lack of time, lack of money, inability to see ‘out of the box’, think they need to run the business by themselves, reticent to try new things
Why do they want to learn about your niche or product topic?
They know online marketing and where they place in Google results has a direct impact on how many customers call them to book appointments, but they’ve been burned in the past by search engine optimization firms and online marketing efforts that didn’t produce the promised or hoped for results.
Problems with today’s lesson
Realistically, the idea that someone could come into this masterclass with no prior knowledge or experience and walk out 30 days later with a product is somewhat unrealistic.
Unless that person has a TON of time and motivation on their hands, anyway.
I was able to sit down and type out the answers to the questions almost non-stop. But that’s only because I’ve been through similar exercises in the past. Plus, for at least 6 or 8 weeks, I’ve been working on my product idea and doing market research.
I also have the advantage of having a friend that’s a chiropractor. And we’ve talked a number of times about marketing efforts so I know some of his pains.
I still need to validate with him, but that definitely put me a step ahead during this exercise.
The second issue with this lesson was there seemed to be a logical piece of the puzzle largely missing from the conversation. They leapt straight from self-focus and identifying your skills into creating customer avatars without explaining how to make that transition yourself.
They gave just two short paragraphs with one example each of how you could turn strengths into a target market or niche. This severely short changed anyone truly starting from scratch.
Here are a couple resources I found that may help:
The second site primarily discusses building niche affiliate marketing sites, but it still has a bunch of great info on determining and developing your random ideas into potential markets and niches.
My biggest issue with today’s lesson is that little to no help was given if you didn’t already have a market or niche picked out. I think they should’ve given some additional resources to help with that.
A framework to put all your ideas through would be helpful as well. For example, there was no discussion of market size, competitors, places to go for research help, etc.
Join the conversation!
Tell us about your journey or comment on mine. We’d love to hear from you.