How To Create A Customer Profile & Why It's Important

How To Create A Customer Profile

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Having a clear understanding of your target market and creating a customer profile is one of the most important things you can do for your business. By knowing exactly what your target audience needs, you can design services or products that they want, create content that matters most to them, and define your messaging and marketing to appeal to them. In turn, you will increase your sales.

Back in 2001, I got a wild hair to open a women’s clothing store in a small college town. I rented the perfect location – a shop on the main street with wood floors, brick walls and gorgeous tile ceilings. I spent the next few months picking out oriental rugs, antique furniture, the most expensive fixtures & display racks. It looked sharp; I have to say.

Then the fun part came – going to market in Atlanta, GA. The market is where I selected which lines of clothing I would carry in the store. With my shop fully stocked, I opened my doors. Because of the title of this post, can you guess what happened next? Yup, crickets.

Over the next year, sales were slow. I barely made enough to cover my expenses. It was brutal. I started asking people what they wanted and quickly found out that my price point was way too high, and the lines were too “old-looking” and not casual enough. By that time it was too late, I was already in debt and did not have the capital to start over.

I sold & closed the shop a year later.

Knowing your ideal customer’s needs, dreams and wants before going deep into creating and selling is imperative. I learned this lesson the hard way, and I want to help you not make the same mistake.

“I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. Personally, I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?” – Dale Carnegie, author

4 Concrete Steps For Creating An Effective Customer Profile

Answer the questions in these four steps to develop a narrative that will help you define why and how your products or services will be relevant to your customer.

Step One: Demographics/Psychographics

  1. Give your customer a name.
  2. What is their occupation, income, gender, and age?
  3. Are they married, single, divorced? Do they have children?
  4. What kind of content do they like the most?
  5. What brands do they buy and what places do they like to shop?
  6. Describe their personality and values.
  7. What are their interests and hobbies?
  8. Where do they hang out online?
  9. Describe their lifestyle. Sometimes it’s valuable to create a story about the “day in the life of” your customer.

Step Two: Dreams/Goals

  1. Who does your customer want to become?
  2. What are their dreams?
  3. Both personal and business related, what are their goals?

Step Three: Needs/Obstacles

  1. What does your customer need as it relates to your brand?
  2. What external struggles or problems do they want to overcome?
  3. What internal conflicts do they want to defeat?
  4. What is their greatest hesitation with buying your product or service?

Step Four: Solutions

  1. How can you help & empower your customer?
  2. What will your customer’s life look like after they use your product or service?
  3. Looking at the needs and obstacles, how can you exceed those needs?
  4. How will you be able to cater to your ideal customer?
  5. How can you solve your customer’s problem?

Example Customer Profile:

customer profile template.001

So, I know you are saying – this is great, but how do I use this information? Print it out to keep it beside you for everything everywhere.

I have found by keeping a printed customer profile near you at all times, helps to keep your customer front of mind from product development to marketing. Here is a list of common ways you can execute the information you now know about your customer.

  1. Features and functionality of products and services
  2. Copywriting
  3. Social Media
  4. Blog Posts
  5. On your website
  6. Photography
  7. Content delivery methods
  8. Customer service
  9. Webinars and presentations
  10. All touch points with your brand

Remember, by understanding your customer and staying consistent, you will make not only an enormous impact on people’s lives but also increase your bottom line.

2 Comments

  1. Amy Valentine

    This is fantastic! I have a client who simply does not understand the question “Who is your target audience?”. She keeps saying ‘everyone!’. I’m going to send these questions over to her right now;) Thank you for putting this together.

    Reply
  2. Adrienne Tichy

    Hello! TY for this lovely post. Although knowing both who you are selling to AND any current pain points are essential in business, it still is amazing that this vital step is skipped. You have provided an easy to read, step-by-step to answer those very ?s (plus tons more!). Many ‘how-to’ posts these days offer more fluff than function. Bravo for providing the latter. I’m looking at the Balance child theme- so new to this! I sure do appreciate your efforts in making it as painless as possible!

    Reply

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