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Avatar Content Ideas

avatarOver this past weekend, I learned about a terrific exercise from Don Crowther that not only provides relevant content fodder but helps keep marketers focused on their audience in all of their communication.  It is simple, efficient and extremely effective at ensuring laser focused communication with your customer.  The exercise does however, require that you know your avatar.

In case you aren’t aware of what an avatar is, it is essentially a description of your ideal customer.  Many marketers advocate creating a description of your ideal customer to the point of finding a picture to mount on your monitor and even giving him or her a name.  This practice reaches far beyond merely identifying demographics.  The point behind the work is to better facilitate the conversation you are having with your customer.   Any communication that is then written to that person will then be more on target than one written to a group of 40-45 year old males, for example.

To get you started thinking about your avatar, some of the things you may want to know about your avatar include (but aren’t limited to);

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Is he or she married?
  • Does he or she have children?  How many?
  • What is his or her profession?
  • Where does he/she work
  • Where does he/she live
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Political or religious affiliations
  • Fears
  • Frustrations
  • Worries
  • Aspirations

Once you know who your avatar is, and where you can find them, you then learn as much as you can from them about their ‘what’, their needs, interests, worries and frustrations and here is where this great new exercise comes in.   Given all that you know about your avatar, develop a list of 50 topics that they are interested in and want to know about.  This list is pure gold and if you do know about your avatar, won’t take an extreme amount of time to develop.  Ideally, you can then grow your list to 100 or 150 topics.

Now armed with this list of key topics that are 100% targeted to your avatar, you have a blueprint for new content for your blog posts, email and any other communication that you may want to send to your customers.  You will never struggle for topics again.

I hope this exercise provides as much value for you as it did for me.  It’s so simple and yet so far-reaching.  How well do you know your avatar?  Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

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40 Responses to Avatar Content Ideas

  1. Gary Young China Sourcing September 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Wow, 150 topics. I can’t come up with 15 topics that describe me. I would pay good money to someone who could come up with this level of demographic for my target market. (CEO Manufacturers in the US) Maybe that is a new service. I would buy.
    Gary Young China Sourcing recently posted..Links for 2010-09-12 deliciousMy Profile

  2. Linnea September 16, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Hi Gary,

    It does sound like a challenge at first but if you do focus on one person rather than a group of people…one ‘typical’ person, it makes it much easier to drill down into the detail. From there, you can determine what their needs are and in doing so, encapsulate the needs of the larger group. To start, your avatar might be concerned with profitability amongst many other topics as one very small example or perhaps import/export topics. I hope this helps but you are right…might be an interesting service or may even already exist.

  3. karin@social bookmarking September 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Describing the avatar is an old marketing exercise that works very well. I have done it many times. I find that it helps to brainstorm it with at least one other person, but preferably more.
    I have to say, though, that I never thought of using it to come up with topics for my blog. I will have to try that.
    Thanks for sharing. Don Crowther is always a good source.
    karin@social bookmarking recently posted..Does the new digg still have an effectMy Profile

  4. Linnea September 17, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Hi Karin.

    Great point…indeed it is always easier brainstorming with another person. That isn’t always do-able for folks but definitely does help if another person is available.
    I hadn’t heard about the exercise either but it sounded so great that I just had to share it with others. Imagine having such a rich resource as 50 (or more) topics to draw upon.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Mr. Personal Development Michael Berry September 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi Linnea,

    Yes this is absolutely the right approach. I think of it as working with the law of attraction. When you create in your mind the ideal prospect you’re looking for you will take the steps necessary to bring the person to you. Make sense?


    Mr. Personal Development Michael Berry recently posted..Mind PowerMy Profile

  6. Vanessa September 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm #


    This is a great use of the information that you will discover as you define your ideal client. Nothing really starts to work at full speed until you know who that Avatar is.

    I’ve never heard the ideal client referred to as an Avatar. Kind of interesting.

    This post goes right along with and adds to the post I recently made regarding finding your ideal client. Thanks for posting. I’ll definitely be putting this advice to good use.

    Live with passion and purpose,
    Vanessa recently posted..Are You Lost In The TwitterverseMy Profile

  7. Scott Pollov September 18, 2010 at 5:08 am #

    Hi Linnea. The simple knowledge of who your customer is, what they want and need, etc. is the basis for any profitable business and effective marketing campaign. It is not easy coming up with a steady stream of new blog articles, but I can see how using your approach makes alot of sense. Thanks for sharing that with us. Scott Pollov
    Scott Pollov recently posted..What’s the Value of Your Business Part 2My Profile

  8. Monty Ferbert September 18, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    What your saying if I take you correctly is a picture says a thousands words are you giving them the right picture when your talking to them?

    Monty Ferbert

  9. Debbie Lattuga September 19, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    I forget who originally shared this concept with me, but I also give my avatar a name. It really helps make that person real.

    I’m also in the coaching business and I do that when I’m trying to attract new customers. I even set up a folder for them.
    Debbie Lattuga recently posted..Best Idea for HumanityMy Profile

  10. Ted Hunsaker September 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Thanks for posting this Linnea. Great information on how to come up with your Avatar. This is some good information that can use on my future blog posts and other content.
    Ted Hunsaker recently posted..How to Make Money Marketing the 2010 Silver MS70 Australian KoalaMy Profile

  11. Gregory Elfrink - Network Marketing Books September 22, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Nice! I enjoy learning more by target audience and have compiled a similar list to the people I target in the network marketing niche using different data resources.

    However never knew there was a technical term for it like Avatar. I like that, cause an Avatar is a picture of an identity of someone. The metaphor makes perfect sense :-)

    To the top,
    -Gregory Elfrink
    Gregory Elfrink – Network Marketing Books recently posted..Make Money in MLM Lesson 3- The Power of Network Marketing Books!My Profile

  12. Linnea September 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Hey, Michael.

    Very interesting way to expand the concept. I had only considered that it makes sense for a more focused approach to creating messages and content etc., but hadn’t thought of it with respect to actually attracting that person. Given the law of attraction, however, it makes perfect sense that it would also apply here. Thanks for adding value to my post.

  13. Linnea September 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Hi, Vanessa.

    Yes, the whole idea of identifying your target market and/or ideal candidate is old as the hills but I think the “avatar” ideal is a modernization of the overall concept. I’ll definitely check out your post. Sounds like great minds thinking alike :) Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Linnea September 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi, Scott.

    You are most welcome. I too, think the exercise makes a lot of sense…which is of course, why I wanted to share it with everyone after all, who wouldn’t want a nice long list of articles waiting to be written? Thanks so much for stopping by.

  15. Linnea September 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Hi, Monty.

    That is absolutely right. If you craft your articles and messages directly to your ideal candidate (aka avatar), your message will be more focused and right on target and as a result, be much more effective. If you give it a try, let us know how it works for you, okay?

  16. Linnea September 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi, Debbie.

    I’m glad to hear that you are already doing this and wonder if you also select a picture of your avatar? It’s fascinating that you even set up a folder for your new customer. I’ll admit that I haven’t gone that far and done that as of yet but it sure can’t hurt. You must be an advocate of the law of attraction?

  17. Linnea September 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Hi, Ted.

    You are very welcome. Glad you found the information to be of value for you. If you do put it to use, I hope you come back and share your experience with us. Let us know how it works for you.

  18. Linnea September 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi, Gregory.

    So glad you found some value in my post and good for you that you have compiled a list for your audience. Targeting your market is definitely a best practice for professional marketing and sales and I agree with you that the “avatar” syncs beautifully with that practice. Best of luck with your targeting!

  19. Nancy Burke Barr, JD September 26, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    Hi Linnea,

    This is a fantastic exercise and an excellent way to narrow down your focus. It is easy to get carried away and try to be all things to all people. That’s when you just lose everything!

    Thanks for the reminder and the great TIPS!

    Mentor Mama

  20. Robin van der Merwe September 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Great resouce! Like Gary, I can’t imagine a list of 150, but it would be interesting to see just how long it could be. I’ve always felt every business has to do demographics research on their customers and clients. Even bloggers need to know their readers in similar fashion.

    This technique goes way beyond basic demographics…. and you are right, the results are pure gold!

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Robin van der Merwe recently posted..Six Ways to Get More Blog CommentsMy Profile

  21. Linnea September 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Hi there, Mentor Mama.
    Thanks and you are most welcome!
    I too, thought it was a great exercise and couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.

  22. Linnea September 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi Robin.
    I’m so glad you found value in this post. I’m actually with you and Gary…as it seems like a large hill to climb to get to that many topics but my goodness what a value that would be. No more ‘thinking’ of what to write. Although 150 seems like a tall order, if we take a look at the wellness industry for example, those folks would be interested in diet topics, exercise topics, the inner game topics…and more. If we just take those 3, I would think it not too far a stretch to come up with 50 topics in each. Seems as though it may be more doable than some might think.
    You are very welcome. I hope to see you again soon.

  23. Janette Stoll September 29, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Hi Linnea,

    I’m such a fan of Don Crowther’s work! Thanks for the great list and a must print for bloggers and entrepreneurs that are looking to write and reach their ‘avatars’. You really do have to know to whom you’re writing for and where and how to reach them to have a chance of being successful online and offline.

    Janette Stoll

  24. Linnea October 2, 2010 at 5:37 am #

    Hi Janette,

    You are very welcome. I’m very glad to share good stuff and you are right about knowing to whom you are writing. Writing to an individual is so much more clear and personable than writing that is aimed to an entire demographic. Thanks for stopping by.

  25. Kimberly Wagner October 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    It’s essential to know your target audience. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the details of what we want to accomplish instead of focusing on the demographic that we wish to reach. If we don’t know the demographic, we won’t be successful. I really like the avatar analogy.
    Kimberly Wagner recently posted..6 Habits of Effective ReadersMy Profile

  26. Linnea October 5, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Hi Kim,

    Great to see you again and you are so right that it’s terribly easy to get caught up and sidetracked. I think that is one of the reasons some marketers put a picture of their avatar on their monitor. That would certainly keep your avatar front and center while you work!

  27. Wendy Hewlett November 4, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Great post Linnea! It is so important to laser target your customers. This is a great way to do just that and the idea of defining your posts based on your highly targeted ‘Avatar’ is great.

    Wendy Hewlett recently posted..Focus of Average People vs Successful PeopleMy Profile

  28. Xavier Caldwell November 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Knowing your target audience is so important and so many people including myself are searching for effective ways to do this. One thing I do that I find helpful is visit forums that pertain to my niche. Once I join the forums and meet members, browse treads I get an idea of my target audience. Another thing that helps, are youtube video analytics. This tells you the age group, sex and location of your of viewers. It even shows the age group and sex ranking from most viewers the the least viewers. Now thanks to your post I have a new tool for success!


  29. Linnea November 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Hi Wendy,

    Thanks so much! I love the idea of the avatar-inspired posts. Don’t see how you can go wrong if doing that. If you do try it, let us know how it works for you. I’d love to hear your feedback.

  30. Linnea November 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Hi Xavier,

    Sounds like we are on the same ‘audience’ page and thanks for the additional tips for my readers. I agree that forums are a vital piece of ‘research’ where you can not only spot trends but learn about your audience’s needs and desires. I’m fascinated by your report on YouTube analytics…I’ll definitely explore that further. Thanks for sharing that info!

  31. Pearly January 4, 2011 at 11:17 am #


    Great blog ! I enjoyed reading your post. Let me be frank to you :-))
    I came across the word “Avatar” many times and I didn’t even try asking around the benefit of using it. It just makes me think the image of a movie I have watched.

    But now, you have made me realised that I don’t know how much the price it is like for being ignorant. This is absolutely very helpful to remind anyone to get information needed from a potential customer. Sometimes, we may even forget to find out some of the important information about another person.

    Very well explained meaning of Avatar ! Thank you, Linnea.

    Pearly recently posted..It All Starts In Your Cell Part 1My Profile

  32. Linnea January 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Hi Pearly,

    You are very welcome. I’m so glad that I could be of help and I hope you get out there and learn more about your customers. I strongly believe that the more you know about your customer, the more successful you will be and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it as well. Best of luck to you.

  33. Andrea Goodsaid January 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi Linnea!

    Boy I like the idea of making a ‘to do’ list for content (doesn’t even have to be just blog posts – could be youtube vids or webinar topics, or even stuff to yack about in email follow-up – groovy).

    Also love love Karin’s thoughts on doing it with a mastermind of marketers who have the same or similar target market.

    Very cool – tyvm for the idea!


    PS. dontcha just love when a blog post just keeps on working for you??
    Andrea Goodsaid recently posted..10 Things I Learned About Doing Webinars TodayMy Profile

  34. Linnea January 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Adnrea!

    So great to see you. I’m really glad you like the idea as did I and absolutely yes, I do love it when the post continues on. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  35. VaNessa Duplessie July 20, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    I have been doing this in my own business where I recommend it to my clients. As well I have my avatar on a sheet on my wall for my business units – as it is different for each one. This is a great post teaching about the importance of really KNOWING who your customer is…love that you lay it out and give the questions for people to get started.
    VaNessa Duplessie recently posted..Ask and Answer The Hard QuestionsMy Profile

  36. Linnea August 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Hi VaNessa,

    Congratulations on paying close attention to your clients! I think that is the single most important thing you can do both for your business and for your customers. It’s a win-win all around. Best of luck with your business.

  37. Linnea August 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Thanks VaNessa,

    You raise a very good point. Somehow when we have multiple ideas streaming it doesn’t quite feel the same. It doesn’t feel as though we are getting scattered but rather that we are in the flow (at least most of the time). You know that it is time to get calm when so many thoughts are racing that you can no longer focus on the most important thing in other words, when it starts draining your productivity rather than enhancing it.

  38. Kevin Martineau August 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Hi Linnea:

    This is an awesome exercise! I am definitely going to have to give this a try.

    Kevin Martineau recently posted..3 important reasons to have a mapMy Profile

  39. Linnea August 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Hi Kevin,

    Great! You’re welcome.
    I’m glad you like it, I sure did. I’d love to hear what you think once you’ve given it a whirl.


  1. Building the Avatar – what’s yours look like? | - January 13, 2011

    […] (Very) Basic Tips, Branding, Marketing Online, Niche Picking If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Just read a super post by Linnea Kline about putting together a running list of blog posts geared specifically towards the person you most want to attract to you (aka. your avatar). Her original post is here. […]

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