Building Your Customer Avatar [Full Instruction + Visual Examples]

Dariia Kotman

Apr 27, 2021

Marketers like to talk about building a customer avatar and ask you to picture your ideal client. But what does it mean and how do you do it?

In this article, we offer you the fullest free step-by-step instruction with detailed examples. You will find the answers not only how to do it but why it is so important. Here are the 4 major steps to build your customer avatar.


1.Demographic segmentation

The very first thing to do is specify your ideal client’s demographic: age, gender, occupation, income, etc. If you have a wide target audience, try to divide them into groups by one of the characteristics.
demographic segmentation.png

For example, you have an online English school where you teach English for different purposes like business, traveling, and personal use. Your ideal customers’ age varies from 20 to 65 years old. In this case, you can create more than one avatar and the best way to make it work is to materialize them.

Give your avatars real names, write down their demographics and try to imagine their average day. You can even pick a photo. Right below you can see a quick 3 avatars’ description I come up with for our English school example.
online english school avatar (1).png
(right-click and open in new tab a picture if you don't see it properly)

2. Before and After State

This part is about their pains and gains. Before state is the one where your potential clients are right now (before they purchased your product). Take a pen and try to describe their feelings, fears, and struggles. Don’t use general words, try to imagine what they are actually going through right now.

Your product/service is a key to a better future. It doesn’t matter if it is a physical product or an online course, a vase, or financial advice. It solves a specific problem for your customer, it makes their lives happier. Think about the main benefits of your product, what makes it different from your competitors. After that, describe your customer avatar’s after state. How does he feel? What fears does he overcome? What does he gain after purchasing from you?

Here is the canvas for one of the avatars for Online English School.
before and after (1).png
(right-click and open in new tab a picture if you don't see it properly)

3. Customer’s goal

Understanding the goal that your ideal customer is after will help you in many marketing aspects. Write down all the possible goals that your avatar is trying to achieve with your product. You can use it later for copywriting, content marketing, and offer customization itself. 

4. Obstacles

After identifying your customer’s avatar goal, you need to understand what stays on his way in achieving it. What is it between him and the purchase decision? Not all decisions are taken easily. There are many obstacles we need to overcome on the way to our better future. Here is an example of the main struggles of Marco, Maria, and David.
(right-click and open in new tab a picture if you don't see it properly)

It is crucial for a business to understand who you are selling to. Knowing your ideal clients and understanding their needs leads you to successful marketing and email campaigns, social media and content strategies, offer customization, sales copy, and many other things. Building your customer avatar will only help you connect with your ideal clients and give lots of opportunities to grow.

In this article, we gathered all the main steps, but if you are looking for a detailed canvas and want to get perceptive marketing insights, join our StoryTelling in The Digital Age Masterclass.

In Storytelling in The Digital Age Masterclass we answer the next questions:

  • How to tell your story online?

  • How to not “feel dirty” after filming a sales video?

  • What tools work best in today’s digital marketing?

  • How one powerful story can change your entire business and maximize your profit?

  • How to get the right audience and connect with your ideal customer?

Sing up now and get access to James Cook Media case examples and to the Bonus Lesson about building your funnel!

Written by:

Dariia Kotman

Content Creator

Apr 27, 2021


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