If you’ve seen the film Taxi Driver, the scene where Robert De Niro delivers the famous line “You talkin’ to me?” has probably stuck in your mind. You probably also feel that it is not a very positive or friendly question, and definitely not one you want your potential clients or customers asking. So, how do we avoid this?
When communicating online with a large number of people, either through a blog, social media or via paid ads of some sort it’s important to decide who you’re actually communicating with. If you don’t do this, your communication will probably be very vague and general in nature and might inspire the receiver to pose the very question “You talkin’ to me?”.
To be really effective in our communication we need to be clear on who the receiver is. One way to do this is to create an avatar that is a sort of individual representation of the group of people you intent to reach. You do this by answering a few questions and writing them down in a document that you can reference later. So, how do you know what the answers to those questions are?
Let’s start with what the essential questions are:
- Approximate age or age range
- Gender (optional)
- What are the person’s goals?
- What are the person’s challenges?
- What are the person’s values?
- What are the person’s pain points?
- What are the person’s sources of information?
- Who are the person’s gurus/role models?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you greatly when it comes to both targeting the right people with your ads and choosing the right tone and subject for your marketing and communication. The way to answer these questions is to either use yourself as a starting point or to use someone you know fairly well. If your ideal customer/client is looking for the same things you are or were a number of years ago then answer the questions as yourself, either who you are today or who you were some years ago. If this isn’t appropriate then find someone else whom you know well and use that person as a starting point.
Here’s an example how one could answer these questions (do try to come up with more than one or two answers for each question):
Age: 35-45. Goals: financial freedom, more quality time with family. Challenges: don’t have a mentor, confused about what step to take next. Values: helping other people succeed, do charity work. Pain points: Losing money each month, nothing has really changed since last year. Sources of information: The 4-hour Work Week, Getting Things Done.
Take the time to do this work properly and you’ll have a greater chance of succeeding.