The avatar is the biggest joke in copywriting. And you’ve probably fallen patsy to it. We all have at some point. We’re taught when we start creative writing copy for our businesses that the “avatar” is a must-have. If you don’t know WHO you’re writing to, how can you write to them? That’s the lesson most preached. And it’s the biggest farce out there. It was the easiest way marketers and business owners could relate their products and services to a real human. We’d make up some random person (or use one of our brand lunatics – utter term of endearment) and start creative writing and creating content for Jane Doe (a bottle blonde, slightly overweight), age 36, married, 2.5 kids, and a Volvo driver. But in truth, it doesn’t matter what your avatar looks like. How old she is. Or even what he drives. What matters is their soulprint.
Everyone has a fingerprint that differentiates them from the neighbour and the thief next door. Everyone also has a soulprint, the things that makes their souls different from everyone else’s. Your soulprint is who you are. It’s what drives your values, your lifestyle, and your beliefs. It’s why you buy Apple and not Windows. It’s why you ride a Harley and not a BMW. We were all raised in different ways, with different values. So, we all have different views on the world and OURSELVES. Those views are our influencers. They are our WHYs. And there’s one thing we can say for the way we (and our customers) see ourselves: We see ourselves as unique. Everyone sees themselves as distinct from the guy sitting across from us in the tea room (because who doesn’t go to a tea room?). Our experiences make us who we are as individuals. We may have similar ideals/beliefs, but we will always see ourselves as one-of-a-kind.
Unique vs. Collective
That individuality gives us the drive to find power in the collective. So, when our customers land on our sites, they’re NOT looking for us or what we do. They’re looking for themselves. And that’s when creative writing kicks in. Now. You’re confused? Don’t be. It’s a matter of psychology. Humans are social creatures and have tendencies to want and need to be accepted, so we always look for our own stories in others. We LOOK for the threads that connect us. So, we may read about someone who got up at 3:45am to work because she can’t work after the house wakes up. But we translated that to: She got up at 0-dark thirty because she’s driven. Just like ME! Yes! I like this chick!
Create your customers’ soulprint
If you want copy and creative writing that resonates with your customers, don’t create a simple “avatar” – create a SOULPRINT that explains why they are the way they are, why they make the choices they make, and why they love the brands they love. That’s when you’ll understand and know them as well as you know yourself. And that’s when you’ll start singing the words they want to hear (you know, the ones that make them open their wallets). It’s all about the creative writing! Questions to answer to create your customers’ soulprint:
- What kind of car would they drive, if they could drive anything? Why?
- What extracurricular activities would/do they take part in? Why?
- Who do they follow on Twitter or FB? Why?
- What are their biggest frustrations? Why?
- What words do they use to describe themselves? Why?
Ask these questions and never forget cardinal rule #1 of creative writing resonating copy: Know the soulprint of your customer before putting your pen to your paper. After that, make yourself a spreadsheet and keep these soulprints. Back it up several times, as is good business practice, and refer to them in the future. You will see that they are all different, but you can learn a lot from each one. Agree? Or not? We’d love to know your thoughts.