The customer avatar is a powerful tool your small business can use to get a clear understanding of your customer so you can market, sell to, and serve them better. A highly effective customer avatar goes beyond just demographics and into psychographic. Most businesses have many customer avatars, they just have never written them down.

The term “customer avatar” is sometimes used interchangeably with “customer persona”. Here at Websites For Anything, we follow the approach laid out by Digital Marketer. (You can watch a 7-minute overview of their approach in this video.)

If you’ve never spent the time to define your customer avatars before, but you want to make a huge improvement to your website, start here. This is our “Customer Avatar Light”. It can be defined in just a few minutes, and it will help you connect with, and start building a relationship with, prospects and customers.

Define it, design it well in your website, and pretty soon you’ll reap the benefits of a more effective, relationship-focused website.

Level One: Category

Level One example of customer avatars light from Trucking and Hauling company website design

  • A level one customer avatar is just a broad categorical or demographic label. It isn’t an avatar in the true sense, but it’s a starting point. It’s often the label used in the “Who We Serve” portion of your website.
  • Examples:
    • Landscaping: Residential, Commercial
    • Dog Boarding & Training: Dog owners
    • Web Design: Small businesses
  • This is a start, but it lacks a “punch”. It might eliminate a few leads that aren’t a fit, but it’s not going to wow or woo anyone.

Level Two: Position or Title

  • Get more specific about who they are. Now you’re starting to group your customers into personas!
  • Examples:
    • Landscaping: Homeowner, Property Manager, Realtor
    • Dog Boarding & Training: Commuter, Vacationer, Overwhelmed Owner, New Puppy Owner
    • Web Design: Micro-Business Owner, Small Business Owner, Office Admin
  • When designed properly on the website, this is a good start. It sends the first message of “Hey, you belong here. We help people like you!”

Level Three: Pain Points

  • This is where you really start to connect. Demonstrate that you GET them. You understand their concerns. You know what their priorities are. While the service you provide may be more or less the same, you understand that each avatar has different primary and secondary concerns which may not be the same as the other avatars.
  • Examples:
    • Landscaping: Homeowners want to talk about design. Property Managers want to know the all-in one-year maintenance contract. Realtors want to know if we can come out like… yesterday?
    • Dog Boarding & Training: Commuters want a convenient location and hours. Vacationers want to know about overnight options. Overwhelmed owners are stressed out and desperate for help. New Puppy Owners tend to worry about the time commitment.
    • Web Design: Micro-business Owners want to know how it will work. Small Business Owners want to know how much of their personal energy it will require. Office Admins are worried about updating it and adding more to their long list of responsibilities.
  • A couple of bullet points and a paragraph or two can turn this into the most powerful part of your website. It helps prospects feel that they belong here. That you get them. That you’re going to take great care of them because you truly understand their pain, their goals, and their needs.

Level Four: Language

  • Put the icing on the top by communicating with the words they prefer to use when discussing their issue or your solution. Don’t expect them to know the proper term. Talk to them in their language
  •  Examples:
    • Landscaping: Homeowners talk about “grass” and “bushes”. Property Managers call it “property maintenance”. Realtors never refer to it as a house, but rather it’s always “the home”.
    • Dog Boarding & Training: Commuters call it “doggy daycare”. Vacationers call it “boarding”. Overwhelmed owners might talk about “angry neighbors”. New Puppy Owners use words like “frightened” and yes, “peed on the carpet… again”.
    • Web Design: Micro-business owners ask about a “website”. Small Business Owners ask about “marketing”. Office Admins want an “update” or a “refresh”, and shy away from words like redesign or rebuild that sound expensive.
  • This takes the connection to another level by really increasing how comfortable they feel. You’re not making it their job to figure out what they need. You’re talking to them in their own words.

If You Want To Dive Deep