Your course may be a great fit for a wide range of people, but your marketing never is.
The big mistake many course creators make is creating a sales page that speaks to the masses. Marketing to everyone means you are marketing to no one.
Choosing an avatar, ideal customer profile, will help you make better decisions when marketing your training.
When we were creating our Etsy™ crafting course we were all over the place with ideas. We jumped in headfirst without considering who we were serving. The initial planning was messy, to say the least.
Our training modules became massive. Too many lessons were needed to get the point across. We had idea notes everywhere! We were facing hours and hours of video production ahead.
It was time for a re-group meeting. Sheri, my wife, and I knew we had to settle on an ideal customer avatar. We had to pick a profile and solve only their pain and struggles and not feel like we had to education the masses.
We came up with 3 different profiles to consider:
- Those who are not currently on Etsy. Crafters who want to start a business and sell their products online.
- Those who just started with Etsy, but haven't quite reached 1000 sales.
- Those who have been on Etsy for a while, but looking for strategies to improve their business.
We settled on #2.
We didn't want to teach Etsy from the beginning. We didn't want to teach seasoned sellers and try to convince them we had a better way.
We transformed our outline to match only the pain points new Etsy sellers were facing. And breathed a sigh of relief. This was going to be so much easier.
Choosing an avatar (ideal customer profile) helped us make better decisions. It will certainly save us time and money in education creation and marketing.
Why choose an ideal customer avatar
- You talk to people differently.
It helps when I try to imagine sitting across the table in the coffee shop from my avatar candidates. How do I talk to them? Can I teach them from the same outline?
With our 3 avatar candidates above the answer would be a strong NO. The crafter who has never sold online has several tech hurdles to overcome that the seasoned Etsy® seller does not. There's a whole module the newbie needs that others can completely ignore. That's a lot of wasted effort in education creation that isn't needed if everyone who buys the course is already selling on Etsy®.
- There are always a profile of users you like working with better than others.
Your avatar should be the profile candidate you would enjoy working with day after day. Because you will be. Do you love teaching pure newbies? There's is a niche there. Whatever you teach there is a group who is just starting out from step 1. Many still need to start in the mindset phase. Module zero.
We decided we didn't want to help crafters climb that hill but rather catch them at the beginning stages of their journey. Somewhere around step 2. That's where we pick up.
Then there are the people who have been on the journey of your niche for a long time. Possibly they've stalled or just looking for advanced training on your subject. You don't need to include any “how to get started” training. You can jump right into the high level stuff.
- You will always reach more by narrowing down.
It seems counter intuitive at it's core. Teach less and reach more people. But that's how people work.
If they feel like you understand exactly where they are in their journey and how to help them. They will trust you. Customers who trust you give you money.
Specialists make more money than generalist.
This is why we have stores that have specific product lines. Shoe stores, Gardening centers, Flooring centers. Cooking gadget stores. I don't mind general shopping, but when it comes to specific questions about choosing a great pair of running shoes I'd rather talk to someone who knows the product not the guy who also stocks the soup can. If I want to make an investment in new kitchen appliances I don't want to speak to someone who also mixes the paint and runs the cash register.
I want to talk to a specialist. Your next customer is no different. Show them you understand where they are in life.
We do this by working the process to select an avatar.
Benefits of selecting an avatar
- You will make better decisions.
What do I need to teach? What will my marketing copy look like? What price point is best for my course?
All of the above questions and many more are easier to answer when you have an avatar selected.
Decision making can stall your business. Bad decision making can derail your business.
Quick, vision aligned decision making can make you money.
Choosing an avatar early in your business journey will help you make better decisions.
- You will save time
Stop wasting time on the outliers. The right avatar guides what your next step is. There's no ambiguity, only clarity.
Why? Your customer's journey in your training dictates the next logic step. You will only create what your ideal customer needs to complete the next phase of their education.
- You will save money
First, stating the obvious from the above point, saving time will definately save you money.
The bigger part of saving you money in your business comes from your marketing.
Targeting is narrowed with a great avatar choice. This means you don't waste money marketing to the masses with mixed messages and ad copy that doesn't hook anyone in.
A narrowed target can also mean cheaper ad costs, especially on Facebook. Reaching a smaller, targeted audience in our experience has resulted in lower cost per click rates. Nothing will make you smile more than acquiring a customer for less than expected.
Take the time to create your ideal customer avatar. The speed of making quick decisions will make a huge decision to your business growth.
What is your ideal customer profile?