Creating Your Personas and Avatars to Build Your Business
So you’ve decided to create a blog...Now what?
I have totally been there, and literally took me about 15 months to truly figure out what my blog is and what it could be. I wish I actually saved all the different iterations I had with this blog in the past to show you how far out I was when I started, and how I’ve gained much more clarity to what I want my blog to be in the future.
Enough about me, though (that’s not what you’re here for, although I love those who follow me!)
One of the biggest key factors that helped me find clarity and a focus for my blog was to figure out who is my ideal client or reader (also known as an avatar). An avatar is that person that you want to read your blog, your ideal person that you want to draw in and help with your content.
So that's why it's REALLY important for you to spend some time to figure out exactly who your avatar is - who is it that you want to help?
Here’s some strategies along the way that have helped me discover who my personal avatar is. Note: *For the rest of this post, I will refer to my avatar as a ‘she’ as it makes writing easier, and my audience is primarily female*
Be prepared to get specific:
The thing about creating your avatar or deciding your persona is that we have to get really specific. We’re talking not just personality traits, likes, and dislikes, but specifics on what she spends her money on, what brands she likes, does she like to drink water from a glass or the tap, what places she hangs out at, does she like cats or dog or both, etc. I am very much a visual person, so I like to imagine I’m at a coffee shop having coffee with my most perfect customer. Give her a name - I call her Olivia.
Find their needs:
Ask yourself, What are their needs? By need, I mean what are the things/the wants/the values that are most important to your audience that they need help with. Is it wayfinding <backlink what to do when you get stuck> or is your ideal audience someone who has already started on their solopreneur journey and need help with social media marketing management? To find your audience’s needs, and therefore lead you to finding your value that you provide for your audience, sit down with a blank piece of paper, write down your ideal client’s name in the center, circle it, and draw several lines coming out from that circle. That’s right, we are going to mindmap.
You will need to figure out her aura, her beliefs, and her motivations. Set this up for now to include these topics (you can add more if you like):
Now, sit back and imagine just for a second, this ideal client, imagine the setting you’re in, imagine what you’re talking about. Now, read below for more questions under each topic to really understand what she’s like and who she is as a person:
Does she prefer coffee or juice in the morning?
Does she prefer Starbucks coffee, or is she always on the hunt for that new cafe mom/pop store that opened last week?
Where does she shop?
Is she a yoga-pants wearing kind of girl or does she prefer professional clothes most of the time?
Does she like to hang out and party at night on a Friday or does she like to Netflix and chill?
Does she prefer the water or the mountains?
Does she prefer yoga and rock climbing for sport or is she more of a gym and sweating it?
Does she enjoy packing her bags and hitting the road to explore without a plan or does she prefer to travel with a structured group?
Where does she hang out on in social media?
What is she afraid of the most?
What is her ideal job?
What is she currently struggling with?
Does she like to travel and if so, does she travel locally or internationally?
What is her philosophy of life, why does she think she’s here in the world?
Is she religious or spiritual?
What is her dream?
Is she an independent thinker and does things on her own or does she require a push to do things?
Is she pragmatic or more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl?
Why does she show up and wake up in the morning everyday?
What motivates her to get up and continue working day in and day out?
What inspires her?
What pisses her off the most?
What 5 things does she like to do on her own?
Look through your mindmap. Are there any things that particularly stand out? Are there any particular themes that you see across the board - for example, does she seem more laid-back, a pragmatic thinker, kind of an introvert that likes to hang out with close friends?
Putting it all together.
Using the mindmap you created as a guide, find some adjectives that best describe your avatar’s personality in terms of her dreams, her energy, what motivates her, what inspires her, and how she views the world. Here’s an example of Olivia (my avatar):
She’s Approachable, Bold, Optimistic, Positive, Enthusiastic, and inspired by Possibility!
How to use your avatar?
This exercise may seem long and arduous, heck even tedious. But PLEASE DON’T SKIP THIS! It’s an important step to lay the foundation for who your audience is, who you’re talking to, and hone down on the values that you create for your persona. Whenever you’re writing your content, imagine your avatar and what she’s struggling with, and as you write, make sure your topic speaks to her individually. This will help you create amazing content that’s focused and, most importantly, valuable.