If you’re like most businesses, you have multiple different types of people who buy from you — commonly known as avatars.
What you may not realize is each of these avatars can have different core emotion related to the problem that you solve. Which is important to know because it changes how you talk to them.
Connect with that core emotion and you can draw readers in and close more sales. Overlook it and they won’t even glance your way.
For example, I recently wrote ads for a product that helps people with knee arthritis relieve pain.
There are a few different avatars here. On one end are the people who haven’t had this pain long and haven’t done much to fix it. To them, this pain is frustrating and annoying to deal with.
For those who had this pain longer, tried to get help, and were told by doctors they need surgery, it’s far more serious. They’re not just annoyed, they’re afraid. They don’t want to be cut open — which is understandable.
You probably have a similar issue. Let’s say you’re in health and fitness. You’re could have some customers who have “tried everything” and are frustrated. Then another group of clients that only come after hearing terrifying news from the doctor.
It’s important to know how your customers relate to their problem because it changes how you talk to them.
Because to connect, you’ve got to enter the conversation going on in their head. And after you promise your benefit (lose weight, be pain-free) you’ll have to deal with a string of objections. And those will be different (and come in a different order) based on how aware each customer is of their problem and the solutions available.
If this is getting wonky, let’s simplify it. Here’s how you can use all this in your marketing with a quick story of how I used it in mine.
Knowing I had customers on different ends of the spectrum, I wrote 4 different ads that each targeted different avatars.
For the ad geared towards people afraid of surgery, I started with a story about surgery gone wrong. Then showed how they could avoid surgery altogether through my client’s product.
This can be an effective way to motivate one part of my audience because it immediately taps into the emotion that’s already strongly associated with this problem: fear.
But other people in this audience who aren’t that far along won’t give a damn. Because surgery isn’t on their mind at all. They’re not that afraid because they don’t think or realize it’s a possibility for them.
So for them, I wrote a separate ad addressing the thoughts and emotions they feel in relationship to their problem. I based this ad around frustration.
For them, I wrote a different ad which starts with the line “Why does my knee still hurt?”
Keep in mind, both audiences are being pitched the same product. But how you frame that pitch depends on how well your audience understands their problem and the solutions available.
And since people are all across that spectrum, having different pitches depending on where they’re at allows you to talk to them more directly. And show you understand them while pressing the particular emotional hot buttons which’ll help get them engaged and motivated.
The lazy way to figure out your reader’s emotional hot buttons
Before writing these ads, I wasn’t in touch with these different levels of awareness or emotional hot buttons. I had to do research to figure it out.
So I copied an old Jay Abraham trick: I went to Amazon and read 5 and 1-star reviews of products that promised to help people with knee arthritis.
I had to be careful though. Because a lot of products were for arthritis in general. Reviews there could have sent me in the wrong direction. (The experience/desires/pain of someone with hand arthritis will be different than those with knee arthritis.)
What was I looking for?
Anything that could help me better understand their pre-purchase experience (how they felt before buying and how they viewed their problem), what drove them to buy, what they were hoping for and what they actually got from the product they enjoyed (or what they wish they got).
Reading these reviews helped me see what people in this market were going through. For example, one of the first quotes I saw was someone talking about how afraid they were of surgery and that caused them to go racing for answers. This showed me fear was an emotion ripe for addressing early in my copy for those facing surgery.
Then I saw other quotes like this:
“I was very frustrated and looking for answers.” — Ahhh you feel frustrated. Good to know, perhaps I can address that, or tell a story of someone feeling frustrated looking for answers about their knee pain…
“Very informative and easy to understand.” — This came up a lot and reinforced the value in explaining their situation/options in easy to understand language (not medical mumbo jumbo.)
“It left my entire leg feeling more alive.” — So your leg didn’t feel “alive” and you’re glad it feels that way now?. Good to know. Using language like “help your leg feel more alive” may resonate better than whatever words I would have thrown since it’s what my audience is actually saying.
A nice way to shortcut your understanding of your market is to read the amazon reviews of the book promise to solve the same problem you do.
How to use this
Create multiple customer avatars (2-4 is probably good) that reflect the different stages of awareness in terms of what they know about their problem and their available solutions.
Here’s a link to my recent post that describes the 5 levels of awareness (as you can tell I’m on a bit of an awareness kick this week.)
What is the primary emotion they feel right now in regards to their problem? Fear? Frustration? Anger? Hopeless?
Is it different for different customers?
You’ll want to know because that can change how you engage your audience. Including how you start your copy and the underlying emotions behind the stories you tell.