Buyer persona exercise – ideal client avatar inner thoughts

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As part of developing a buyer persona or ideal client avatar, we are often aware of the techniques around identifying demographics, attitudes, pain points, challenges, the transformation they’re seeking and objections. But I love an exercise that Marie Forleo gets people to do in B-School, and that is to write a bit of a memoir or a thought piece from the perspective of your ideal client. This buyer persona exercise will dig into who your clients REALLY are.

People buy on emotion

This is a fabulous exercise as people buy on emotion first, and validate with logic. This helps you tap into their emotion. If you don’t know your customer well enough, ask around. Get questions out there to get your clients talking and expressing their feelings and emotions.

Recently I’ve had several people contact me about some of my posts like perfectionism and dealing with family and friends, and they said to me ‘it’s like you’re reading my mind’. Well, to be honest, it is!

Insights into your ideal client

I’ve had the fortune to speak to over 1250 clients one-on-one in the past five years, and that has given me tremendous insights into client psyche, the things that make them tick, and their concerns. So doing this exercise for me was a no-brainer.

Sneaky tip – making writing so much easier – talk!

By the way, I did this exercise relatively quickly by using Google voice typing on my phone. So much quicker than trying to write it! I then turned it into a ‘handwritten’ document using my own font created using calligraphr. Even though I wrote each letter, my handwriting doesn’t look like this in real-life!

I trialled Otter the other day, but I found it so slow, whereas Google voice typing on my phone, is so quick and keeps up with my voice. It has the odd little glitch, so make sure you pause if you see underlining, but otherwise, Google, please stay in the market in Australia!

Business proposal to happy clients - buyer persona exercise works

Are you an ex-corporate? Do you relate to this buyer persona?

If you’re ex-corporate, I would love you to tell me how connected you are to this. How much of this resonates true with you or has resonated with you in the past? Even if you’re not ex-corporate, you’ll probably find a lot of this relates, as that’s why you’re here!

Buyer persona exercise – tapping into your client’s inner thoughts and feelings

You can reach out to your clients and prospects and ask questions around:

  • how they’re feeling
  • what’s keeping them up at night
  • what fears are hampering them
  • what do they feel is holding them back

If you know your ideal clients well, then you can write (or voice to text this exercise). It’s a game-changer! Tapping into client emotion makes a big difference.

Sample FAQ Business buyer persona – Charlie an ex-corporate small business start-up owner client


Thoughts from Charlie, ex-corporate in 40’s, 9 months into their first service-based small business

Wow, I’m freaking out right now. Things have just not gone to plan. I left my corporate job nine months ago, and I thought it’d be easy starting my own business. But it’s just not what I expected.

In corporate, I was head honcho. I was excellent at my job. I knew what I was doing, and it was so easy. It came to me so naturally. But I find in small business the smallest things seem to derail me. Some simple little admin task, or how to keep my day productive throws me!

This is causing me to have a lot of self-doubts. I’m second-guessing myself, and I’m wondering why people would buy from me when there are so many other more experienced people than me out there. Starting to second guess whether I can do this, and those other people seem so much better at this than me.

I’m feeling the pressure of not having my corporate job salary. I knew it would take a bit of time to get some new clients coming in for my new business. But I really didn’t think it would take this long or be this hard. I really didn’t get how much marketing and sales I would have to do to get this business going. I haven’t had to sell before, I’m not good at it, and don’t like pushing people by selling.

I’m used to being so independent. I hate the fact that I’m not bringing in money to the family and relying on my partner. They’re starting to pressure me too and suggesting ‘maybe you should go and look for a job’. But I really don’t want to. I’ve always wanted to have a small business, and this is my opportunity to do it.

I left corporate with 300 connections on LinkedIn thinking I had it made, and I would do well. Then I realised many connections aren’t actually useful to me and my new role, but also compared to other people, I seem to have a lot fewer connections and don’t get traction. I put up a post, and it gets crickets.

I’ve been to so many events. I watched so many webinars. Listened to so much advice, and all it’s doing is confusing me more! I don’t know who to trust, and I get the feeling something’s not right, and I’m being scammed, but I just can’t put my finger on it. After the session, I either don’t look back at the notes I took, or I tried to implement, and I’m left confused because there are gaps in the instructions.

There are so many things. All THE things that I ‘have’ to be on and ‘have’ to do according to all these gurus! I’m left confused. How can I do them all? I don’t have the money to outsource them all, and I don’t know which ones are important to me and my business.

Maybe I’m charging too much. Too perhaps people don’t like what I have to offer. I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m going wrong. In fact, I’ve even offered my services for free, and people still don’t seem that keen. I don’t know. Maybe I haven’t got it right. Perhaps I don’t know what my clients want. But I don’t even know how to start to work out what they do want.

Where to find my clients is proving trickier than I thought too. I thought it would be relatively easy to reach out to my old connections, but they’re just not translating into sales or activity. It looks like I need to reach a new audience. I have no idea where to find them or how to engage with them.

Every time I do a new course, I get even more bamboozled and confused by all the things there are to do! I know I need help pricing as that I really don’t know how to do.

Been burned in the past. I reached out straight away and got a website done, but I think they didn’t do a good job because it doesn’t seem to be helping me at all. I don’t think it’s generating me any customers or any traffic and I don’t know how to look at how that works.

Everyone seems to want to take my money with their great ideas, but I’m not sure who to trust. Particularly when it appears my website didn’t do what they promised me. I get all these emails about SEO. Do I need to do that and go to one of these people?

My days are so busy, always doing something, but I’m not getting anywhere. I don’t even have any clients. What’s going to happen when I get clients in my day. How is this going to work? I have no idea how to manage my day. It used to be easy when I had deadlines set for me by my boss.

There’s always something shiny and new on offer, and it’s putting stress on my day and my finances.

One-on-one consulting is my business model, but I’m not sure that’s right. I hear people talk of passive income. Not sure how to get me some of that action!

I’m fighting with my partner and not seeing my family and friends enough because I’m so engrossed in getting my business working. It’s adding to my stress.

So I’m feeling stuck and discouraged. I know I can only probably carry this on for another three to six months before I will have to chuck in the towel and go back to corporate. Which I really don’t want to do, but will have to if I can’t make this work.

I do need help, but I don’t know who to trust or who can give me the practical advice and structure I need to move forward.

– – – –

Give this buyer persona exercise a go

You may feel more connected to your clients and can create more meaningful products, services and messages.

Put yourself in the client’s shoes and their headspace. Think about what they would say and how they are feeling because this will help you get into your client’s emotions, which will help you with your marketing messaging down the track.

Need help with identifying your target market, niche and buyer persona?

Please get in touch with us, and look out for our upcoming online business school!

About FAQ Business Training

If this is the first time you’ve come across us you may want to know who we are! FAQ Business Training has a mission to educate and empower small business owners to learn enough to do it yourself (DIY) or outsource with confidence. We do this via face to face training in Western Sydney (currently all training is provided online), speaking at conferences, events and networking groups and we have launched our online school and membership, offering online courses and webinars to appeal to a global (English speaking) audience. Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.


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