Say hello to your imaginary friend

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were a kid? You know, the invisible playmate who was your best friend and took the blame for all the stuff you did. Maybe your Mom set a place for her at the table for months, hoping the psychology books were right and you’d eventually forget about her.

Well, meet your new imaginary friend – your ideal customer.

Most consultants, authors, and small business owners have a tough time defining who their market really is. Rather than trying to describe this person in a sentence or two, write a complete description of him or her. Make her as real to you now as your old invisible playmate was when you were a child.

  • Is your new friend a he or a she? (I’m going to use “she” for the rest of this article as I think more women will get into this idea. Feel free to prove me wrong.) Give her a name while you’re at it. Let’s call her Betty for our purposes.
  • How old is Betty?
  • How much education has she had? College? What was Betty’s major?
  • Is Betty married? Single? Divorced? Gay or straight? Does she have kids?
  • Where does she live?
  • What does Betty do for a living?
  • What does she read? Watch on TV? What kind of music does she like?
  • Politics? Religion? World view?

This isn’t as excessive as it sounds. If you create this person on paper, you’ll be able to write your marketing copy, your blog, your Facebook updates, and your Tweets directly to Betty and the market she represents. How much easier would it be to write to a person (even an imaginary one) than to a faceless hoard?

Give it a try. I’m going to work on fleshing out Betty. I’m thinking she and I are going to get along really well.