Create Your Customer Avatar

Who’s your dream customer or client?

Hello! We’re back with even more from the Website Copy That Converts checklist. I’m holding your hand on a friendly journey through each point on the list, so you can learn more about writing (or hiring out the writing of) effective website copy. You can download your very own copy of this handy checklist today.



Check out the previous installments about pain points, keywords, and headlines.

Today we’re on installment #4, which is:

Target a specific audience; keep your customer avatar in mind.

Business owners, especially new ones right out of the gate (Hi! You’re doing great!) tend to get a bit itchy at the thought of focusing their marketing or services to a narrow niche. Certainly we don’t want to exclude any potential clients when prospects are already few and far between?

Stand strong for yourself and your brand, because narrowing your focus can open up possibilities.

Figure out who your prime customer is, and speak to her.

Just her.

happy dog with mouth open, text overlay

One super useful exercise to determine who that is, and how to address her, is using a customer avatar.

I gotta tell you, the whole customer avatar thing was HOT at the Digital Summit Portland marketing conference I went to last year. Maybe this year there’ll be a new hot topic, but it looks like customer avatars are here to stay. (BTW, are you going to Digital Summit Portland in June? Let me know so we can say hi!)

What’s a customer avatar?

Blue lady 8)

Still from “Avatar”


No, not that Avatar.

Digital Marketing Institute and Forbes have some smart things to say about it.


A customer avatar (aka buyer persona) is a “semi-fictional” ideal client. Instead of thinking about a range of people who might buy your product or service, you’re drilling down to think of one.

One person.

What’s her name? How old is she? (Not 18-45, but maybe 32.) What does she do for fun in her spare time? What magazines or blogs does she read? Does she use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or does she claim she doesn’t have a smart phone?

Yes, it feels strange and reductive at first. After all, you serve a number of fabulous and unique people. But there’s a point to all this, so stay tuned.

Creating your customer avatar

A lot of very smart digital marketing folks have written a bunch of smart articles about creating your avatar, so I’ll let you have at it.

You might be thinking of one person in particular who you’ve worked with, mixed with your idea of the perfect client. This kind of thing is fun for me, since I’m—you know—a writer. I like to ponder human behavior and then make things up based on that. It’s my thing. If it’s not your thing, grab a friend/marketing professional/copywriter and talk it out over a cafe au lait.

It's a cat in a cup!

“Cafe au lait? What am I, Marie Antoinette? How about a nice mug of Folgers?”

That’s how specific you can get!

(See what I did there?)

Take ten minutes and brainstorm whatever comes to mind for your customer avatar worksheet, then come back to it the next day or the next week. Your subconscious will do plenty of work for you here if you let it. After all, you’re thinking about your customers throughout the day as you’re wooing and serving them.

If you have a fun customer avatar, I’d love to see it. Email, or leave a link in the comments.

If you have a boring one, just keep it to yourself, I guess. (KIDDING, YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND NEVER BORING)

Writing to your customer avatar

Now that you have your ideal customer in mind, you can talk directly to her.

By the way, I really mean directly to her. Using the second person, or “you,” is currently considered the effective way to go. After all, your customers aren’t interested in what you can do. They’re interested in what you can do for THEM.

Which is more compelling?

We have the best customer service in town.

You’ll enjoy the best customer service experience in town.

Thought so! Even better if you can describe this wonderful experience in detail.

Writing in the second person helps your prospect see themselves as your customer.

Reign in the specifics

Say your customer avatar likes lavender lattes and marionberry scones. Great! That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily mention those things in your website copy. Maybe you’ll talk about grabbing a cup of coffee, which your reader will know can certainly mean a lavender latte (or cup of tea) if they like.

Maybe you do want to mention lavender lattes. They’re totally in right now. If that fits your brand, go for it.


Keeping your ideal client in mind will help you keep your focus on sales and storytelling. It will also plain help you write and get words on the page.

We tend to procrastinate and get stilted when writing. It’s normal. But when you’re thinking of your client who is Really Into Star Wars and orders in pad kee mao at least once a week, there’s a good chance the words will start to flow a little more easily. You’ll put more of your personality into your work, which will attract the right clients for you. That friendly face, real or imagined, can guide you through the process, whether you’re writing your own copy, or thinking through your messaging while working with a professional writer.

Like me!

You can hire me to help you through this process, too! You will need to go through part of the thought process that goes behind strong writing and marketing, but you won’t have to do any of the heavy word lifting. That’s what I do every day, because I love it.

What do you love? <3

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It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

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