Ad agencies always know who the target market is for their clients’ products. They interview potential customers and create a set of Customer Archetypes from the research. A Customer Archetype describes the kind of customer that is likely to buy a product. The process of creating one can take weeks or months, and the work is done by an experienced strategist.
I propose a shortcut for you that I call a Fan Persona. It does the same job as a Customer Archetype but is much more powerful for a solopreneur.
- Make a list of four people that fit into one or both of these categories:
- They would call you a friend.
- They are existing customers, or could realistically become customers.
- Of these four people, which one of them would you most describe as being risk-taking, competitive and imaginative? This person is your Fan Persona. It’s as simple as that.
- Now invent a new first name for your Fan Persona and write it down. Nobody needs to know who it’s based on. Change the gender or age of your Fan Persona if these align more closely with your product.
- Write down your Fan Persona’s demographics:
- name, age and gender
- partner or marital status
- children, if any
- education level
- Now ask yourself about your Fan Persona’s needs:
- What problems and challenges does your Fan Persona struggle with?
- What does your Fan Persona want from life and what’s stopping him/her from achieving it?
- What worries your Fan Persona?
- What does your Fan Persona waste time on?
- How could your product help your Fan Persona?
Each time you speak to a prospective customer, or post a message online, imagine that you’re talking to the friend that you based your Fan Persona on.
- Use natural language.
- Don’t worry about grammar.
- Don’t put on any kind of act.
The richness of your relationship with your Fan Persona will help to define your marketing strategy because you’ll be able to easily and clearly define your target market.