By Karon Thackston. © All Rights Reserved
I have an amazing team of writers I work with on a regular basis. Each has his/her own specialty from article writing to technology. It’s fun to watch these pros go through the process of creating copy that speaks specifically to the target customer we’re aiming to attract. Sometimes everything flows smoothly, but occasionally we hit a bump or two before getting the details nailed down. Here’s an example.
One client sells a car-care product. They told us that their target customer was a guy in his mid-twenties who loved his car. The overall picture of who we were writing to, however, really didn’t click until we got down to the nitty-gritty and developed a complete profile.
We wrote the article this client commissioned and turned in our first draft. “Too serious and too complex,” was the response. So I asked a few more questions (the only way to create a truly accurate profile) and found out that this was the guy next door. Not only did he love his car, he * l o v e d * his car. If it came down to a choice between eating or fiddling with his car, the car would win. What’s more, he was (most often) a blue collar worker. Whether he drove a VW or a BMW, he worked a regular job. He was not an executive or career professional.
Going Deeper Makes All the Difference
With that in mind, we made some additional changes. While the response from the client improved, they felt the article was still written on too high of a level to hold the interest of their target customer.
“We need a picture. We need to actually see what this guy looks like,” was my thought. We’d given him a name, but something about him wasn’t clicking. I went on a hunt to find a photo online that would represent our car fanatic. It didn’t take long to find a guy in his mid-twenties standing by a car engine. Clad in a flannel shirt and jeans, hair rather tousled, this dude was the epitome of our man.
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I could just envision him every Saturday out in the driveway meticulously washing, waxing or otherwise detailing his vehicle. He lives for his ride and it is pretty much the sole source of his pride and joy.
This particular guy knows his car inside out and wants nothing more than to care for it, and keep it looking and running like new. With the photo available to round out the profile, it was easier than ever to write to our guy and the millions of others just like him that fall into the target segment.
Developing Profiles Pays Off
Creating profiles helps give you an inside look at who your customers are, what they want and how they will use your products/services. And you can certainly have more than one profile. Look at Jenny Craig (the weight loss company). They’ve matched the profiles of their target customer segments to celebrity personalities including Kirstie Alley, Valerie Bertinelli and Jason Alexander.
With physical attributes, personality quirks, habits, likes, dislikes, photos and other details in hand, you can create personas of your target segments. This simple exercise takes only a few hours of research and work to compile, but can pay off enormously in profits once your copy or content really hits the mark.
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