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Alright, it’s time for “Proper Planning and Preparation,” part two: building your ideal customer profile.

No matter how hot your writing is, it won’t do a lick of good if it isn’t relevant to your ideal customer’s needs and wants. The phrases that stimulate interest in specific market segments are as niche-specific as the structures of persuasion are general. So, all successful sales copy is comprised of basically two things: 

1. Niche-specific, benefit-rich language,

2. Structure and content that make it as easy as possible for your readers to take the desired action.

The contents of part 2 are universal, and will not vary depending on the type of reader you are targeting. The contents of part 1 will depend on the kind of reader you’re interested in; so, in order to craft them effectively, you will need to develop a basic profile of your ideal customer. And that will be the focus of today’s lesson.

How To Create An Ideal Customer Profile

It’s pretty easy to learn how to build an ideal customer profile, though it takes some patience and discipline to really master the skill.

The process of customer profile (or “avatar”) building is basically an extension of your market research. Through your market research, you uncover the basic, essential facts about your potential customers, including:

  • Age.
  • Gender/sex.
  • Location (country, state, city, etc).
  • Income level.
  • Profession.
  • Political affiliation (if applicable).

These basic demographic elements make up about half of your ideal customer profile. A lot can be discerned from just the hard data on your customers; for example, based on a group’s age and gender, you should be able to determine whether or not they’ll be likely candidates for membership in a Justin Bieber fan site.

So doing your basic market researh and collecting information about market segments (see my last post for more on this) is the beginning of building an ideal customer profile.

The second part of the process is much more subjective.

Once you understand the demographics of the market segment most likely to buy your product or service, you need to start “coloring” this faceless data with some specifics. You need to start asking questions like “what keeps this customer up at night?” and “what does this customer like to do with his free time?” You can’t fall back on statistics to answer these questions, you need to use a little imagination and take a chance on what your intuition tells you.

The best way to find out what a customer wants is to flip the question from “what do they want” to “what would I want if I were in their position?” You need to really imagine yourself in your ideal customer’s position, then answer questions that are relevant to their deepest wants and desires. For example, you might ask yourself the following questions:

  • If I were a potential buyer for this product, what kinds of problems would I be facing in my day to day life? What would stress me out the most? What problem would I want solved?
  • If I were a potential buyer for this product, what would my main goals, ambitions and aspirations be?
  • If I were a potential buyer for this product, what would I be worried about?
  • If I were a potential buyer for this product, what would I find annoying or irritating?
  • If I were a potential buyer for this product, what kind of newspapers and blogs would I read? What forums would I post on?

Once you have your market research in place, and have answered all of the questions above (note: that list is not definitive, read Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Sales Letter” for more questions to answer), you have the building blocks for a great ideal customer profile. All that’s left is to organize this information in a coherent fashion. A list of bullet points will suffice, although some people like to write a brief essay for their ideal customer profile. Once you have your ideal customer profile in place, it’s time to create your sale’s letter outline.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to do in the next and final installment of this series, so be on the lookout for it next week!

Until then,

Happy copywriting,

Andy.