Knowing your customers well is vital when you run a business. You need to know what they like and dislike. Where they hang out (on and offline), and what they like to do while they’re there. You need to know which people, and brands, influence their buying decisions, and why. You need to know what will make them come back to you, again and again. Probably you’ve spent time talking to them, gathering feedback and reviews, and understanding what really drives them. But what about your ‘anti-customer’ personas?
What exactly is an anti-customer persona?
What about the people who don’t realise (or want to admit!) that they could be (or indeed, should be!) your customers? The question of the ‘anti-customer’ has come up recently with a couple of my clients, and while they have both become the most lovely friends of mine, I am also an ‘anti-customer’ for both of their businesses.
When I first met Chloe Leibowitz, a life coach, whose mission it is to inspire and empower women, I would never have imagined that I would become a total convert to the world of vision boards and bullet journals. I have always taken the ‘powering through’ approach, but knowing Chloe and learning some of the tools of her craft, has been truly transformational – something that I was neither actively seeking, or expected. I am her anti-customer persona. The one who would hugely benefit from her support and guidance, but who would be unlikely to admit, or perhaps even realise, that I needed it.
My second example is my wonderful friend Karen of Inspire My Soul, who makes beautiful, hand-stamped, jewellery featuring initials, symbols and charms that resonate with the wearer. She has the most amazing vision that her jewellery will inspire people, and give them strength and purpose, and for so many people, that vision has become a reality. However, I’m just not a person who seeks meaning in symbols – it’s as simple as that. What I do appreciate though, is Karen’s beautiful jewellery. I am her anti-customer persona: the person who would love a product, just not for the reasons a seller might expect!
How do you find them?
Yes. Without doubt, it’s important to spend a lot of time getting to know your ‘obvious’ customers, as they will most certainly be your quickest and easiest sources of revenue. However, if you can find your anti-customer persona, they could well represent a market that you hadn’t even considered. So talk to the people who say ‘thanks, but no thanks’. Ask them why it’s a ‘no’. Find out what’s troubling the one who just looks a little confused, or sceptical. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, and try and think about the groups of people who wouldn’t jump and the chance to be your customer, and ask yourself why. Think about what makes these people tick, and then most importantly, think about how you could tweak what you’re offering to make it more appealing for them.
As part of developing their social media strategy, I encourage all of my clients to think about and develop a series of personas (also known as customer avatars). This is a great way of really getting to know your customers (and anti-customers!); understanding what drives them (and puts them off!); and making sure that the messages your business is putting out there are exactly what those groups want to hear. So if you need some support to find both your customers and your anti-customer personas, get in touch and I’ll be happy to help!
*And if you were curious – I am now a proud customer (and anti-customer!) of both Chloe’s and Karen’s!