A common question business owners (and even copywriters) ask is: “How do you know when you have enough information about your avatars? And how do you know what information is important?”
Now some bits of info (desires, obstacles, fears) are mission-critical. No point writing a word until you know that stuff.
Aside from that, my answer to that question is “It’s all important. Dig up as much info as you can and never stop digging. You never know what will matter or how it can be used.”
Here’s an example:
I have a dollar bill taped to my computer with a large dollar amount written on it. Everyone asks “What’s that about?” and I brush it off with a joke because I don’t care to repeat myself over and over. Plus, it’s personal and I don’t need to run the risk of someone going “Ohh that’s so lame”.
But one of the women on my trip saw it and asked: “Is that your Jim Carey money?” I laughed, gave her a knowing nod, and went back to work.
(Btw, I used to think visualization/law of attraction stuff was the biggest hippie BS ever. But successful people I respect keep bringing it up. Plus, there’s enough scientific evidence of how visualization leads to success in athletics that I figure, why not use it for business?)
When she made this comment I perked up and felt a stronger connection with her. Why? Because she understood and accepted something about me that’s important to me and that I don’t talk about with anybody.
See how powerful that is?
You can gain an edge over competitors with stronger credentials because you’re the one who understands your reader and makes them feel good. Those two things can translate into them liking you, trusting you, and wanting to do business with you.
Now there’s an even deeper layer to this story.
If she called it “The Secret money” (referring to the book) my reaction wouldn’t have been as strong. To me, that book sparked a movement of people who dream of success but take 0 action to attain it. I don’t want to be associated with that.
But when someone like Jim Carey talks about this stuff, well, that’s something I can get behind.
Knowing what that dollar symbolized was one thing, but addressing it in a way that resonated with me is what created that deeper bond.
For your avatar, it’s one thing to know their general desires and obstacles. It’s another to know exactly how they think about them, who inspires them, who they do and don’t want to be associated with, etc.
While basics like desires and obstacles are a great starting point, you never know what kind of gold nuggets you’ll find that can resonate deep with your readers. So the job of understanding your audience never ends.
Luckily, it’s a damn fun job that’s only going to help you like them and want to help them even more. (In my experience, the more deeply I get to know someone the more I like them. You ever notice that, too?)