Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

How to Define Your Target Client Avatar: A “Persona” Deep Dive

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Some time ago I had the privilege of speaking with a former director of marketing of a condo conversion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The gentleman had been responsible for driving sales for this project during the pre-recession boom, and back then anything superior to a cardboard box was flying off the market like a SpaceX rocket headed towards the International Space Station in 2020.

I remember seeing lines of buyers waiting to get into a new pre-construction development sales office to buy a condo or single family residence similar to what you may have seen outside of a popular night club or at an Apple store the morning of the release of a new iPhone!

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Even with all of the fast equity buildup hype, developer sales still had lots of competition and I was very curious to know how this marketing pro ran his customer targeting to optimize sales. Here’s the “Aha!” result I got from his answer: market segmentation!

Start With Building Your Buckets: Market Segmentation

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The former marketing director told me that he identified 20 types of potential buyers – that’s 20 different client avatars – and created a landing page with copy and graphics that specifically spoke to the wants and needs of each customer segment. Now, I was not a novice about market segmentation. During grad school, I took a feasibility studies class on hotel development and we segmented our prospective hotel guests into three groups: business class, government, and travel/leisure. But this was way beyond that! To identify 20 types of buyers is hyper-focused, granular research (and a lot of work!)

I LOVE IT!

So, the next obvious question should be, “where do I begin?”Fortunately, you’re reading this article and I’m about to guide you through the marketing segmentation forest!

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5 Ways to Segment Your Target Market:

  1. Demographics (age, race, gender, marital status, income, education)
  2. Geographics (location specificity)
  3. Psychographics (Lifestyle)
  4. Purchasing Behaviors (by life stages)
  5. Brand Loyalty (Affinity)

Disclaimer: This segmentation is not intended to redline or dissociate any class of persons, particularly U.S. federally protected classes, from being presented with an opportunity to purchase your goods or services via your marketing efforts. Rather, you should market to all classes using communication skills that speak to each class in a way that resonates with them while accomplishing your marketing objectives (making sales). I would not travel to France and expect the wonderful residents there to speak in English to me. In point of fact, while studying abroad there, I tried to speak the little French I knew at every encounter. C’est mon plaisir!

You can use these 5 marketing segments as “characteristics of your client avatars.”

For instance, you can start defining a client avatar as: male, 25-30, 4-year degree, mid-level professional, married with children, $75k-$100k salary, lives in Miami, works from home, wants to home school his children, needs two extra rooms, one for a home office and another for home schooling, drives luxury vehicle, enjoys smooth jazz, fine European wines from Total Wine, follows Jane Monheit, Emilie Claire-Barlow, and Sophie Milman (my personal favorite jazz singers), and enjoys outdoor recreational activities that include hiking and paddle boarding. Websites visited include Pottery Barn, Ashley Home Furniture, Toll Brothers Homes, and Lennar Homes. Favorite clothing includes Nautica and Polo by Ralph Lauren. (Okay, so I’m borrowing my own personal characteristics – you gotta start somewhere!) 🤷🏻‍♂️

So there you have it, we just defined ONE client avatar; 19 more to go. 😉

After you go through the tedious process of defining your client avatar…🛑 (hold the phone! Isn’t there an easier way to get this task done?! Yes, there is. You need 20 profiles, so target yourself first, then ask 19 people that are different from you in 19 ways, but would still have a need or desire for your product or service, to target (identify) themselves, bada-bing! Get it done smarter, not harder.

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Next, craft your marketing message to each client avatar with the following Q in mind: “How can I satisfy this person’s wants and needs”❓

Your answer should include a curated version of your brand message; the main content is about the features and benefits that your product or service offers, graphics and video that (1) showcases the value and benefits of the product or service in action, (2) includes testimonials that validate your authority and reliability, and (3) includes a call to action, all of which appeals to that one specific client avatar.

Third, find out where they are. each niche client avatar has social media platforms that they prefer to hang out in. Go there.

Fourth, give them what they want. Attract your client avatars by presenting information that either solves a problem or satisfies a desire. Your goal in the initial engagement stage is to drive them to your webpage, so present a compelling call to action that drives traffic to sales or a lead capture page.

In closing, getting hyper-focused on who you are trying to serve will improve your chances of getting higher conversions and the bottom line is the bottom line. 😉

Posted in Sales and Marketing Tips

How to Target Your Ideal Clients Using Keyword Research

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In today’s noisy world of information, your marketing message needs to be more than just a face in the crowd. To do that, you’ll need to shape your content to reflect what your potential clients want by conducting keyword research and weaving the results into your copywriting. Here’s how.

What Are Your People Searching For?

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Reflect those words & phrases (KW terms) inside of your content to drive qualified leads, with higher conversion potential, to your landing page while weeding out disinterested traffic (that will cost you money and lead to high bounce rates.)

5 Steps to Conducting Keyword Research!

  1. ⌨️ Start with Google Search. Type the topic of interest into the magic search box to see if any autosuggestions surface.
  2. 🖥 Select a Keyword research tool. The top apps include: VidIQ, Google AdWords, Keyword Planner, Keyword Researcher Pro, BuzzSumo, and Google Trends (for seasonal keywords).
  3. 📝 Create a “seed list.” Brainstorm a group of initial seeds (KWs) to work from. To expand your list, think of some questions your ideal clients would ask, then make a list of words and phrases (KWs) they might use to search for answers.
  4. 📑 Refine your results. You want to locate words and phrases that are high in search volume, low in competition, and highly relevant to your business offerings. For instance, if you are a personal injury attorney, common phrases like, “personal injury lawyer” have high search volumes, but they also have a high amount of competition too. 🚩High Volume + High Competition = Low Relevance. 😧 Everyone else is using it, so take “…the road less traveled” and try ranking by using long-tail KWs (phrases with 3 or more words). Be EXTREMELY specific. For example, you could identify your practice area by location: “How can I find a car accident lawyer in Jacksonville Florida” has relevance (car accident = personal injury), “lawyer” is a common KW, and the search phrase is geo-specific! That’s hyper-focused and specific enough to bring a narrowly defined amount of semi-qualified (interest + location) leads. ✅ Lower Search Volume + Less Competition = Higher Ranking! 🏆☺️
  5. 🙋🏻‍♀️ Go SEO. Include your newfound targeted keyword phrases within your content. This is not so “ninja” marketing these days, not since SEO became a stamp of features offered by companies from A to Z. So, how do we do it? By creating videos, blog articles, and any other types of verse or written communication to your target audience that weave these KWs into the fabric of your messages. When you write ad copy with KWs scribed within the message, you’re creating data-driven coding that catalogues your answers to your prospects’ questions, which is what the algorithm digital spiders are searching for within the web.
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In closing, taking a shotgun approach is like spinning the slot machine 🎰 at a casino and hoping you win clients. Without a targeted audience and a tactical approach to attracting their eyes and ears to your message, you’re essentially 🎲 rolling the dice 🎲with advertising. Instead, take a 🎯 targeted approach! Implement this 5-step KW research model into your marketing and start attracting the right prospects to you. You can thank me later. 👏