Tell me a story (Ideal customer part 2)

By Kristina Coyne

March 20, 2017

Dear friend, this post covers how to take your audience analysis from the previous post and supercharge it. My previous post described how to define who you are going to do business with, work out what their pain points are, their needs and their wants, and then use that information to find or develop the perfect product or service for them.
This post is all about taking the work you have done on defining your ideal customer, and transforming it to make your ideal customer easy for you to focus on, and always at the front of your mind.
Do you remember when you were little, and your family and friends would read stories to your? Or have you recently read some to a small person in your life? Have you seen a movie lately? Read an interesting book or article?
These all have the same things in common – stories. People. Connection. Emotion.

The shortest distance between two people is a story.
― Terrence Gargiulo

Stories are incredibly powerful ways of transforming logical, rational information into emotion. The human brain interprets them very differently to reading lists, or factual information. Stories connect people to other people, encourage them to focus their attention in particular areas, act in particular ways.

How do they do this?

  1. By encapsulating emotions. We remember what we feel. Our emotions, our feelings, are more primitive and developed earlier than speech. Emotions connect with our brains on quite a different level.
  2. By giving concrete examples. Stories generally cover particular instances. They show how someone reacted in that instance, what they did, how it affected themselves and other people.
  3. By being memorable. Because stories use emotion, people and situations together, we are up to 22 times more likely to remember a story than a set of disconnected facts. (Simmons, A. 2006. The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling. New York, Basic Books)

How can you bring storytelling to your ideal customer?

Instead of just having the list of attributes you developed in the previous post, you put them together into a story, with a picture, which encapsulates the main elements of your ideal customer. If you’ve come across the terms “customer avatar” or “persona”, that’s what it is.
Creating a representation of your ideal customer, with some description about who they are and what they want in their life or business allows you to really tap into who you are serving. You start to picture them as real people, rather than an amorphous group. You can make better decisions about products and services which may appeal to them, when you get inside their head.
FYI, avatar simply means an icon or figure representing a particular person, or something that represents something else. They are not meant to be real. Just a way for you to focus on who your ideal customer is.

How do I create a customer avatar?

Follow these couple of steps.

  1. Compile the information about the characteristics of your ideal customer, using this previous post.
  2. Find a picture that represents who you see as your ideal customer. you can use a site like Pixabay.com. You don’t need to worry too much about using an image which is allowed for commercial use, as you will not be publishing your customer avatar. It is for your internal use only.
  3. Write a story from the perspective of your ideal customer. Bring in the characteristics from your research. Describe who they are, what they do, what they want out of life. Include anything which may be relevant for how they might interact with your products or services.


These are some examples for you to look at, to see how putting something like this in place may help your business.
Example persona 1
Example persona 2
Can you see how putting together the characteristics, pain points, needs and wants can give you a better idea of how to connect with your ideal customer? Put that together with the research you have done on where and how you can reach them, and you now have a very powerful tool to help your business.

Do you only need one ideal customer avatar?

You can have more than one customer avatar. Each one may focus on particular characteristics. Or be relevant for a particular product.
Work out what works for you. There is no right or wrong way to do this. It’s all about helping you to envisage your ideal customer more clearly, and to focus on them when you are developing your products and communicating with your clients.
I’ve created a worksheet which you can use which takes you through the steps to identify your ideal customer. No opt in required. I really hope that it helps you get more clarity in your business, and helps you to connect with people who will ensure the success of your business.
Download Your Ideal Customer worksheet using the link.
Let me know in the comments below how you have used customer avatars. What difference has it made in how you think about your ideal customer?
Shine bright,

Kristina Coyne

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