Hot Seat: Ideal Customer Profile
So let's do a hot seat. And I'm making Tawny come up, so we can bring up our flip chart as well. So Tawny made the mistake of telling me that she hates ideal customer profile exercises, which made me think that she really needs to do one. (laughs) So why don't you tell us who you are and what you do.
I'm Tawny Reynolds. My jewelry company is Sundrop Jewelry, and it is sun-melted glass made using a giant magnifying glass to focus sunlight to melt the glass.
Awesome. I really need to see this process. Like I have a vision in my head, but I don't exactly know.
I have videos on my website.
See? I should actually go to that page on your website. Alright, so clearly you hate this process because, I'm assuming, it's a struggle for you.
So, tell me where you're at. Do you think you have some? Or are you like "I really have no idea"?
I do have some, and my problem with this is that they are people who do not shop online. Or do not like to ... Who don't even know what social m...
Oh, okay. So, let's start with ...
Let's talk about one of those profiles 'cause maybe that'll help me start to think about who would be buying you online.
So tell me one of your profiles that you know, as I'm assuming buy, in say, stores or craft shows.
Um, yeah, Sally is
My best customer. She found me at the California Science Museum.
And she likes big earrings. She is older, she is retired.
So, like how old?
Okay. She's retired.
Yeah. And she likes to lead tours of historical buildings. I actually profiled her on my blog.
Awesome, So she leads tours in historic buildings. What is her, since you do sell jewelry, what is her style like? Besides the big earrings.
Okay, so colorful.
Would you say, like, colorful and fancy or colorful and casual?
I'd say, like maybe, business casual.
So, to my mind, fairly fancy (laughs).
Seems like such a contradiction, right?
I know. (laughs)
Colorful and biz casual.
If you saw her on a normal day, would she be more or less dress up than I am right now?
About ... Yeah
About that I'd say.
Alright, perfect, yeah. I like it. Colorful and business casual. Alright (laughs) And so she is buying your products in a museum store?
That is where she first found me.
And then she looked me up and found me online. And now she orders custom pieces.
Gotcha. But she is not actually buying them through your shopping cart, 'cause she is getting custom, right?
Once in a while she buys something online.
Sort of, okay
But she definitely did not discover you online?
Alright. So what can we, sort of, extrapolate from Sally to get us to someone who might be shopping online? So what do you think?
What about this? Right?
So, probably someone who likes color. Which is funny, because when I look at you, and when I look at your website and your brand, I don't think that. So right there, that maybe tells us something that, like, are you creating content that's got enough color to it?
Right? So, like, even though we haven't gotten to a profile yet, we've already got some information, just off of Sally, about the types of content you could be creating.
Right? You may actually be too modern and minimal in the aesthetic on your blog just based on what you just told me about Sally.
Alright. So, okay. So colorful might be something. What else do you think we can think about, from this, that might lead us to another profile? (clears throat)
Big earrings and science museum (laughs shyly) Yes
Okay. So we're gonna skip big earrings for a second
'Cause I know that your customer is not really a style person, right? At the end of the day, that's probably not what they're seeking.
So, this one might lead us astray.
But what about this one? Right? It's someone who is interested in things like science.
Okay. So if I were a person who was interested in science and I spent more time online, what websites would I be looking at?
Um ... (laughs)
And you guys can help. If you guys know, if you guys have ideas, like help. 'Cause this is not my ideal customer, so I don't know a lot about this person. So, we're blind leading the blind right now, right?
So if I was a person who was interested in science, what websites would I look at or who would I follow online?
Bill Nye The Science Guy?
Like maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson? Right? Would they? You don't, you seem very unsure about that.
I'm not sure.
Well, my small earrings did well in science museums and then I raised my prices. And that I think has changed my customer a fair amount.
So, what I would say is that it might have changed your customer but it actually might more just changed the fact that people only spend to a certain price point in the gift shop of the science museum. So, I talked to some people who worked with the Smithsonian Institutes and they were like "there is definitely a budget in science museums that people spend." Like science, natural history, things like that.
They don't spend like they would in the art gift shop, necessarily. So that might not be because of an interest in science and just potentially more in that particular location.
But okay, so if your customer is not interested in science, what is she interested, what, what else could you think about?
(laughs) This is my problem. (laughs)
I tell you, I'm so stuck. Okay. So let's skip, let's get rid of, let's go back to this one. Right? So, person who is bright, colorful and fun. What other ages do you see, like do you see a person ... So like she's obviously older, that's probably why she's not spending a lot of time online. So someone who's younger, and into things that are more colorful, what could we think about her? What kind of job would she have? Is she working in corporate? Maybe she is ...?
What about ... So one of the things that I've always heard, which I thought was really interesting, if we go back to big earrings and colorful, is that professions where the only place they're allowed to express their personality is through their jewelry, so like a nurse, because she wears scrubs all day. I'm not saying that's your customer, but I'm just trying to get you to think in that direction.
Who else have you ... Have you sold a lot online?
Um, I sell a reasonable amount online.
Okay, so, who else is buying from you? Do you know anything about them? Like, where they're coming from? Is there locations? We're gonna back way up here.
Um, a lot of them are older retired women,
Especially living in the south.
Based on the social media that I've found,
Okay. traced them back, they tend to be very religious
Interesting. (laughs) So they're not following Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Yeah. Okay, alright. (laughs)
I don't know if it's the stained glass reminds them of stained glass windows, I don't know.
Okay. Interesting. So, I ... yeah. So, now I'm like, okay, I'm picturing ... which actually, like, this and this together makes sense. Because let's think about everyone in the northeast is wearing black and gray, or like everybody on, like the northern part of the west coast is wearing like black and gray. Right? I'm, like, looking at you guys. I mean, I know you guys were told not to wear a lot of color, that's like part of being in the audience here, but like, where do people wear more color? In the south. And where are they not afraid to mix in more color, generally? Right? So So maybe, so I don't see any reason why, if a older, retired woman in the south is wearing your work, there's nothing about this that says that also maybe like a younger mom in the south who's wearing a lot of color and has to dress up for church every week,
Wouldn't also be interested in your earrings. Now, I'm not saying that this means that you should create, like, posts about what to wear to church.
But maybe think about what else this person is looking at. And maybe they're just looking for things that are fun, and colorful, and playful. So let's create a profile now for you, of someone (laughs) that we think is gonna work ... I sort of now, I'm having a feeling like by the time this class is done, we're gonna have like completely redesigned the aesthetic of your brand.
Oh dear. (laughs)
I have a feeling. Because what I see in your brand and what you're telling me don't, visually, don't match up. I don't think.
Okay. Okay, so let's try this here. Let's pick a person. Picture her in your head. Who is she? Tell me right now.
Louise? That's not a very young name.
What if she's Lindsay? Can she be Lindsay?
Alright. I think she's a Lindsay. Alright, how old is Lindsay?
(laughs) You and I have very different people in our head.
I had a kid late, so I think of kid, kid-aged ...
Oh, but in the south, they don't.
Again, we're making pretty broad demographic things here, but I think that's the thing. It's like, this is not you.
This is Lindsay, who likes color and lives in the south. And is she having a kid late? Probably not.
Probably not. Okay.
Because she got married by the time she was 25. So how old is Lindsay? Let's try again.
Alright. That's better, I like it. So Lindsay is 34. She lives in?
Like in Atlanta suburbs. She probably lives in Atlanta suburb, so ATL, in the burbs. 'Cause that's where most people live. What else?
She has two kids.
Two kids. And what else is she buying?
Purses. Like brands or she buying ... I'm not asking for specific brand. Is she like a brand-name purse or she just like "I'm going to go to Target and buy all the purses all the time" kind of person.
I think she see a color she likes
So she's buying ... That's one of her places
And the design
Where she is going like, pop of color.
Okay. What is she reading online?
Okay. And probably also then following those people in Instagram.
Anything else we should know about her?
She likes to go to the beach, on vacation.
Alright, she likes to go to the beach.
So right, so this right here is where maybe we're starting to get something. 'Cause I'm assuming that you don't want to become a mommy blog, right?
But maybe, you should start to think about some content around: where she's going to the beach? What she's doing when she's traveling? What she's wearing? What she's bringing? How she's incorporating color into that? So those are maybe some of the things that you're starting to think about there. Does that sorta starts to make sense?
And it takes, it does take a little while. Like, clearly we're, like, working some things out. But this gives you a place now to maybe start to experiment with some content. And maybe that content, maybe this content isn't necessarily all directly related to your product, right? Maybe some of it's like, you know, the best restaurants to eat out with kids in Charleston, South Carolina, or whatever. I'm not saying you have to write that kind of ... I'm just throwing, I'm just starting to throw examples to get you guys to think about how this works, right? And so, from here, now we can start to brainstorm those content ideas. It takes time. You have to kinda let it settle in. But I think you might have to step out of, sort of your old audience comfort zone and maybe push a little bit more. And start to think about ... And we'll get to this later. So, now you know that you're also going to be on the hook for the blog critique hot seat (laughs) Sorry, it's too late now. It's too late for you. Because we also wanna talk about, is, then, the aesthetic of your blog or all of those things, are they attracting Lindsay? And I think, this profile, I feel like, feels a little bit uncomfortable for you. I can see it in your face. So I would encourage you to think of a second profile that feels a little bit more in your wheelhouse, in addition to hers, so that it gives you a place to start creating content that's a little bit easier. So like for me, let me just explain. So on my blog, I have the two profiles of Annie, and the BT, the entrepreneur, like obviously that, the entrepreneurial-works-from-home profile is a little bit easier to create for me, than the professional living in D.C., because I've never had a real job in my life. (laughs) So, like, when I make posts about what people wear to work, I just guess, 'cause I don't know. I've never worn, I don't have, I don't go to work. Right? So, like that's my stretch-profile and the, you know, works from home-entrepreneur, who only has to get dressed on certain occasions, like that's the one's the one that feels a little more comfortable to me. So this one is your stretch, right? So, you can also then, I won't make you do it here in the group. We can always talk about it when we take our break, but the second, I want you to create something that feels a little more comfortable but is obviously not this person, since you know your blog it's not attracting her.
Alright. I'm sure we have some online. I know we do. This exercise always brings up questions.
Yeah, well I think that that last part you were talking about was, I guess, being comfortable with these personas that you create, and Carla had posted a question: "What if I think that someone like me is my ideal customer? Is that possible?" And sometimes that's easier, right? To create these.
Yes, Yes, So first of all, it is totally possible to have someone like you to be your ideal customer, especially if you created your products out of a place of, like, "I want this in the world", right? So like, it's very possible. I think you see this a lot with people creating kids' products, right? I wanted this thing for my kid, and me and all of my friends are, literally, the ideal customer, right? You see that a lot, I think, with people in that space. So it's totally possible for one of your profiles to be like you. Annette.
I have a question about the content generation for your blog and your ideal customer. In your experience, how much do people care about how it's made? Like, when you were doing hers, I was thinking "okay, she makes jewelry from, you know, the Sun. "Maybe someone who's a sun worshiper". Is that, I mean, do you find that people care a lot about how things are made or is it mostly just the end product that they care about, how it looks?
Mostly it's the end product. So you can make a little bit of those ties because you have such a, like, quirky process, but the reality is that most people don't because they don't understand. And people don't like to buy if they feel stupid, right? Like, I'm not even kidding here. And when you start talking about process, then you start to feel like "Oh my gosh, I don't get it at all, this is so not for me because I don't understand". So I think in the case of, like, Tawny's product, the fact that it's like fun and colorful is the start and then when you are trying to deepen the connection, then you can talk a little bit more about, like, it's made in the Sun and things like that. And I do think there might be some connection with, like, the Sun worshipers from, like an aesthetic, fun, happy, colorful, vacation standpoint; but I think it's less about the process.
The process. Okay, cool.
Yeah, good question, though. I know that this exercise is hard. Like, I'm not gonna lie to you guys. I know that it's a hard one, and I can stand up here and talk about my customers because I've been selling for so long now. So, it's ... You know what I mean, I've been working on this, I've been refining, I've been doing these exercises. So just pick something, just like way back in the first segment, that feels like a long time ago now. Way back in the first segment, we just said "we're gonna pick a platform and we're gonna commit to it for the moment". I want you to pick a profile and commit to it for now. Because just like everything else, your profile can change, it can evolve. So I just want you to pick a starting point. Imagine someone. And if you are super, super, super stuck, I'm gonna give you guys the same piece of advice I gave in our e-mail class, which was "think of a friend". If you cannot imagine an actual person, an actual customer for your product, then think about a friend who would love your product. And use them to fill in this whole profile. Because at least it gives you a starting point, right? So think about a close friend who would like your product. 'Cause then also, you can like go on their Facebook page and stalk everything about them, 'cause you're friends with them, right? And you can figure out what they're watching, what they're reading, and what they're thinking about. So if you're super stuck, start there. But then just pick something, pick a profile, and start moving forward. And know that it may need to evolve over time.