Starting Your Virtual Business – Before You Create Your Website CreateThis
You’ve started your virtual business. Whether you’re a Virtual Assistant starting your own company, trainer or coach or just exploring your potential side hustle, there’s something you need to do before you jump into building your website. If you don’t do this, all of your marketing will fail. I don’t say that for dramatic impact, I say it because if you don’t this then you’re going to struggle to grow your business.
Have You Ever Been Networking When…
You’ve been asked to do a 60-second pitch or elevator speech. You don’t know what to say, so you listen intently to the people that go on before you. One of them gets up and says “I sell Goji Berry drinks. You need Goji Berry drinks to give you more energy. I sell them in vats of 20 gallons that site perfectly in your garden, and you’ll never run out of Goji Berry juice again! Everyone loves these drinks they give you so much energy”
You’re going to remember this person for all the wrong reasons, but the good news is you also hear another speech that makes you think of a referral.
A woman gets up and says “I’m a virtual assistant, I help tradespeople like plumbers, roofers and carpenters get their invoices out on time, and I follow up for them so that they can focus on the parts of their job that they do the best. If you know of a plumber or roofer drowning in admin please introduce me”. You think of your neighbour John, and how he’s up late with paperwork most nights of the week. You make a mental note to see if he’s looking for help.
The second person at the networking event knew her audience. Because she knew her audience it was easier for you to think of a referral than it was to think of one for the Goji Berry juice seller.
Know who your audience is
Before you can sell any of your services, design your website or write any content you need to know your intended audience. Knowing exactly who your audience is, is so important. Owning a business isn’t about marketing to everybody as you think everyone needs your services like the Goji Juice seller thinks. Marketing to everyone is the fast track to business nightmares. Knowing your audience is more about knowing what an individual person is like than an overall demographic. What is your dream client doing Monday evening at 6.30pm? On a Friday evening? What makes her smile? What makes her angry? All of these little details help you create a customer avatar that creates audience connection.
Creating Your Customer Avatar
When you’re first starting your business planning your customer journey is easy – this is the simple, frictionless pathway that takes your website viewer through to becoming a paying customer. But (there’s always a but) you can’t do that until you know who your prospects are. Here are 8 questions that will help you create your customer avatar with ease:
- Research Current Customers – If you already have customers, look at the data that you collect in analytics from social media, your shopping cart, your website visitors, and any other data you can look at.
- Look for Trends – When you see the data, it’s important to look for trends. Do you notice a pattern? Are most of your audience members men or women? What age are they on average? How much money do they earn? What do they do in their free time?
- Draw a Picture – Once you have the data organised and have realised there are trends, use the most prominent trend to draw a picture of your Customer Avatar. You can also cut out pictures from magazines to represent your ideal audience member.
- Name Them – Once you’ve drawn the picture, go so far as to give them names that you expect your audience members to use. This will help you think of that person in your mind as you create, organise, and plan the content that you’ll share with your users.
- Know Their Goals – Know what goals your audience members have. Some will have different goals. Pick the most common top three to five goals and ambitions so that you know where your audience wants to go.
- Understand Their Fears – Everyone has fears; try to identify your audience’s fears. Is it being fat? Being sick? Not living a full life? Are they afraid of not having enough money or time in the day to do right by their kids? When you can name the fear, you can name the product they need.
- Identify Their Pain Points – Fears often go right along with pain points. Is your audience too hungry, too busy, too sick, or too tired to do what they need to do fix their problems? How can you help?
- Take It Further – Try to dig a little bit further into your audience’s personality so that you can direct the content, marketing, products and more right to them. They’ll think you can read your mind if you learn to do this effectively.
Once you create a Customer Avatar, you can use that to help you create the best customer journey, the best website, and the best content. But, here’s the real magic – you can even give copies of your Customer Avatar to outsourcers to use to help them with website design, content writing, product creation and more.
Take that one step further and imagine how much easier it would be for you to do your job if you had a customer avatar from your client!