How to Create an IDEAL Customer Avatar Using Surveys | Interview With Dave Lindenbaum
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How to Create an IDEAL Customer Avatar Using Surveys | Interview With Dave Lindenbaum

How to Create an IDEAL Customer Avatar Using Surveys | Interview With Dave Lindenbaum

How to Create an IDEAL Customer Avatar Using Surveys | Interview With Dave Lindenbaum

This week, I welcome a special guest to the Performance Marketer Podcast!

Dave Lindenbaum is an online marketer, copywriter, and founder of Get Kombucha. One of his most recent clients is a fertility expert who is helping women achieve their life-long dreams of becoming a mom.

I invited him for a quick chat because he’s very insightful, energetic, and I always have tremendous fun talking to him! 

We both adore just geeking out on marketing and spitballing ideas, so I figured you guys would love to tune in to one of our conversations!

Today, we’re diving deep into customer avatar research. We’ll discuss the best practices for creating a customer avatar and explain why surveys are such a CRUCIAL part of this process.

Let’s get to it!


Customer Avatar Research: Understanding Your Customer’s “WHY”


Customer avatars depict the characteristics of your ideal customer. As marketers, we create these profiles to structure the knowledge we have about our audience.

There are many different types of information that you can use to create a strong representation of your ideal customer. Demographics, psychographics, goals, objections, needs, fears… Whatever you can find that will ultimately help you understand your customers better and create a meaningful connection.

Dave makes an interesting point about how discussing avatars and customer profiles can be misleading because it can get pretty technical and cast a shadow on the human component. After all, you must never forget – you’re dealing with ACTUAL people here.

A good way to always stay on track with customer avatar research is to aim your efforts at understanding your customer’s “WHY.” The data you acquire while guided by this simple question will make all the difference.

So what’s the BEST way to understand your customer’s “WHY?” 

Lots of marketers will rely on their experience and try to guess the right answers. They’re betting on assumptions about people they’ve never met, or interacted with directly.

Instead of doing the simple thing – asking them.

Surveys remove the guesswork from the equation and provide unparalleled insights about your customers. Without them, any customer avatar research should be considered suboptimal.

“With surveys, you’re either researching the market or you’re segmenting the market.” – Eric Beer


How to Write Copy That CONNECTS You With Your Audience


To get your audience to listen, you need to learn to speak their language. Different keywords trigger different audiences, but furthermore, the same keywords may carry an entirely different meaning from one niche to another.

Marketers and frat boys have a completely different association when they hear the word “funnel.”

Understanding your audience’s language is a precondition to creating a connection with them and developing trust. For it to work, they need to be able to relate to your message.

Surveys, once again, play a very powerful role in helping you connect with your audience, and Dave gives us some examples from the latest project he’s been working on.

When reaching out to people, Dave loves to use a time-lapse technique he calls “Day in the Life.” He leverages information gained via survey to describe everyday situations that he KNOWS will resonate with his audience – because THEY are the ones providing the answers.

He even copies actual bits from survey responses and places them directly into his email copy!

Mastering your audience’s slang is crucial, and surveys go a long way in helping you achieve that.



Check out the full episode to get even more tips for creating your ideal customer avatar!

Huge thanks to Dave for joining me today. I’m always excited to talk to him, and I hope you got a lot of good stuff from our conversation.

If you’d like to get more cool content about performance marketing and surveys, make sure to sign up for my SurveyDetective VIP waitlist!

🕵️‍♂️ Sign up for the SurveyDetective VIP Waitlist HERE

Thank you for tuning in, and I’ll see you next week!


Listener Love…

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Read Full Transcript

Eric Beer 0:00
From my perspective on surveys, there's two ways you do it. There's... Either you're researching your market or you're segmenting your market. The language in my world is you're asking an open-ended question. So you're not giving anybody multiple-choice and making them choose which one, because you don't know what to give them as choices yet. So you're asking them a question, and letting them write in their own words, and their own copy of what's going on with them. So you can understand them, like you said, right. And then that's how we end up going and building these segments afterwards. Once you figure that out, that's when you build a segmentation survey funnel, so that you can identify which one they belong in.

I spent the last 17 years building my eight-figure performance business without using any of my own money, working with some of the most brilliant direct response marketers in the world today. Now I'm looking for entrepreneurs to join my affiliate army, built on ethics, transparency, and good old hard work. Join me to change the perception of how people view the greatest business in the world, affiliate marketing, and follow along, as I learn, apply, and share performance marketing strategies, working with some of the brightest people on the planet. My name is Eric Beer, and welcome to the Performance Marketer Podcast.

Let's just talk. You're Dave, when you're you, you're awesome and you're gonna like drop gold. So talk to me,

Dave Lindenbaum 1:25
Really, this is what I want to talk about. Really understanding a day in the life of your avatar.

Eric Beer 1:32

Dave Lindenbaum 1:33
Because, actually, because when I... When we talk about like when... Whenever people would talk to me like avatar research. Just the word avatar, I don't even like to forget, like your, like, my, actually our mutual friend, Julie talks, and she calls it your human, you know, just changing the word from human to avatar, right? It just changes things. So when... And admittedly, it's funny, because as you know, like I started out in eCom. And I literally, like I understood the avatar thing at some level, like, obviously, if I'm selling Kombucha Kits, I want to sell it to people who want to buy a Kombucha Kit. But I never did the real deep research, because the fun place for me to play is the marketing of it, which is funny because the avatar research is the foundation of the marketing. But it's like boring classes, sometimes you have to take in college to get to the real fun classes. And so through the last couple of years of being able to coach like, now hundreds of freaking people's businesses from like physical products to digital services to every niche you name as being the applaudable coach and wrote with for Russell's at 2CCX, I've gotten greater respect and appreciation for the avatar. And I even hate that like really understanding. And so a combination of my love for the Beatles and getting my four and a half year old into the Beatles. As I was writing copy for this client, who's in the fertility space, which by the way, like understanding your human there, or your you know, your avatar, your audience, you need to be so mindful and sensitive, doing research for that audience. One of my businesses is Sensory Scout, which we, you know, we provide physical products to parents who have kids on the spectrum. And so that market is also a pretty sensitive, but you cannot get more, you know, for me writing, really understanding to serve a woman who has possibly had something I learned, you know, possibly having miscarriages. So the goal is understanding that the goal isn't to be pregnant it is to have a baby. And then what we found out later on, it's actually to be a mom. And but the word mom is could be very triggering, because we all have our own moms that are on craziness associated to that and love and respect and confusion, all that stuff. So, so this type of thing, but actually taking the time. And so there's the research part. And then there's the empathy part as like when you're writing copy, really putting on that hat. And so I call it the day in the life. Okay, so I could share with you some things that everybody could do so in the Amazon world, right, if I'm selling physical products and my physical products, brands, and now I'm going to go in the shower buddy because I'm going to talk a mile a minute, because now you know the...

Eric Beer 4:11
No, but it's really good. It's funny, you're like you're overlapping with what I do, where you just set it right? All you got to do is like you can't relate to a woman who's trying to get pregnant and then actually have a child, right? But if you're in the marketing game of that, then you got to think okay, how do I get into that person's mind? And then people sit there and they start thinking, Well, what would a woman think? Hmm, it's like, you just stop just ask them ask your best client, the customer who you're working with, what's going on? You said the why right. Like, what's your issue? What do you How are you feeling and that helps you with one understanding your segments in to it helps you with how they speak in the market so that you can write your copy. Exactly.

Dave Lindenbaum 4:54
Absolutely. Yep. And the cool thing is is like you know, if you don't have a list, or a community yet, you know, doing things like surveys And quizzes and stuff like that is boom, right out of the gate. But the craziest thing is when I'm, you know, when I'm doing coaching so that people who do have a list, they don't even think, to just go directly to their current list, they have buyers and they record. So it's like, we have no problem selling, it's almost in some form psychologically, possibly. It's like, it's like, we have this disconnection online. But if you literally just break that, that that you know that the fourth wall and just ask your customers ask. And so this client has a Facebook group of like, 10,000 women has a email list of 60,000 people. And as you said, We twisted a little bit. So usually, when you when you do a pressure launch or something we teach, you know, what's your number one question, right? Wait, what's the number one question for you getting the blob? And then you can compile it. And that's great insight. And you could also use that for leverage to then answer those questions and alive and then maybe, you know, offer make an offer. But instead, as you said, we asked them, what's their why. And it changes where their brain is, because especially women who were trying to become fertile and carry a baby to term, what we found was, it's not like it meant in other words, they've already been trying to they're already in this cycle. And they're focused, sometimes you forget, and which is the interesting thing, because that was my correlation. When I did like this research, I looked at all these messages in the groups and looked at different products and Amazon reviews. The through-line was entrepreneurs. And I know it's crazy. Like I was like seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but like, Why do entrepreneurs stop because we get so you know, we get so caught up in the day to day mechanisms of getting the thing we forget about why we wanted the thing in the first place. I know it sounds crazy, because life and children, but when you get to that point, when you are, you know, 10 years trying to have a child, and you've had miscarriages and, and put so much time and money into this, you get so focused on the mechanism. And the thing, and it becomes like a lot like a like a very mechanic, just like a lot of small business owners that start out and they forget the whole reason why they wanted to start in the first place. So that's that's the first thing. Any thoughts on that?

Eric Beer 7:12
Yeah. 100%. I mean, I think what you just said earlier how you have a group of 10,000 people, right? That's the research side of the business. That's what for my perspective on surveys, there's two ways you do it. There's the either you're researching your market, or you're segmenting your market, if you don't know your segments, you got to research. So by doing that, what you're saying the way the language in my world is you're asking an open-ended question. So you're not giving anybody multiple-choice and making them choose which one, because you don't know what to give them as choices yet. So you're asking them a question. And letting them write in their own words, and their own copy what's going on with them. So you could understand them, like you said, right. And then that's how we end up going and building these segments afterwards. Once you figure that out, that's when you build a segmentation survey funnel, so that you can identify which one they belong in. And then you customize the messaging to a point where what you said a word earlier, is you show them you understand them, you empathize and relate with them that you understand what they're going through. And that allows you then to transition into whatever it is, your solution is, because they're gonna think that you're designing it specifically for them. And that's where you're creating, like perception, right? You sell the same offer to four different people, but you're focused on what's your issue, right, and the four main things that's cool, but,

Dave Lindenbaum 8:30
And the and just to kind of baby bridge that I never used that word before. But now here's the thing, our Bay Bridge is, you know, if you are mainly in a business, let's say that you're an expert on you, and you teach and, you know, like, where maybe lead generation and then affiliating to lots of different segments and then making specific offers versus a someone like herself where she's just focused on this one offer for her then the change is could be just in the messaging, right, same offer just messaging and if you want to baby bridge that before segmenting, there's still a huge leverage win that you could do very quickly and that is just take all four buckets and put them in your sales copy whereas before you didn't even have anything you were just throwing things against the mud. I'll give you like a couple of you know like anyway just to go ahead so that's what we did we asked that I want you to be mindful of that but there were takeaways on here that we don't have anywhere even in our copy we have a long-form copy and so that's where you know just making your headline having the three benefits instead of your one benefit is a is a baby bridge once you see that working then maybe more specific as very specific email subject headline even right Don't waste the bait baby bridge those things which I love about you because we can talk about this

Eric Beer 9:50
Yeah, I mean exactly what you're saying is there's certain language that different audience and speak like if you if you're in the funnel hacking world, right like with Russell and you talk about it. funnel. Everybody knows what that means. But then you go to Thanksgiving, and you're talking about a funnel and your mom and dad are like, Huh, I forgot, I got like a funnel, like, you know, or you go to college and they're thinking funnel like, oh, you're gonna build a funnel, right? It's like the language of that audience that you're talking to, you understand from that copy. So now you're able to speak in that slang. And then it's a it's a powerful thing to be able to write copy, there's no doubt. That's awesome. Really cool.

Dave Lindenbaum 10:27
Yeah. The last tip, then is how you bridge that. So now you have this, you have this research, you have this data? And a lot of times, like, you know, are you left-handed or right-handed?

Eric Beer 10:39
That's a funny question. I play sports. And I do everything else writing

Dave Lindenbaum 10:43
Hilarious... I play sports writing, I do everything else lefty. And so my gut, my gut, my gut was that you know, you have a you also have a combination of an analytical brain and a creative brain. And so for many of us, so it's sometimes hard to jump back and forth in those in those zones. And so the nice little exercise is taking this research. And then how do you then make that into a story. And this idea of a day in the life where I've actually used it, copy and pasted it right into my copy, because it's calling out your avatar, it's aligning to their pains, their desires, because you're literally saying, and this is the template to the framework if you will, does this story sound familiar? And I call it a day in the life but it's really any time-lapse. So for instance, in this niche fertility, it's like, zero to six months, the had the headline was, we'll just see what happens. Like, we're not really trying to have a baby, but we'll just see what happens. And by the way, you're smiling. It changed it right. You're smiling because I just wanted to those are the actual words people say to their spouse was when they hear their friend just had a baby, and then you look at each other, like, should we ever made a mama, let's just see what happens. You know, let's start having, you know, I mean, so we're using the exact words that people are saying, and then you just paint that what happened 06 months? And then we said six months? to a year? Hmm, you know, maybe, you know, I got off birth control, I went to see the gynecologist, and or you went, sorry, you it's all you. So it's like, does this story sound familiar? And to soften it, I use even just a little bit. In other words, time lapsing, if you have so many at bats to for this person to connect with, even if they're not connecting with everyone, you know, you don't. And then all of a sudden, you know, you're too, you know, maybe you know, you and your spouse are, you know, are just maybe you're the couple that doesn't have kids in your social group. Maybe you're thinking about adoption, how can we actually afford this, and what you're doing is your time-lapse, and so from for myself, and yeah, buddy, I know you'd love this...

Eric Beer 12:51
I could totally help you with like just breaking that down, you need to do it into segments, you're like on the 15-yard line. And I could give you the next 15 yards to get into the end zone for your outcome pages, which is the results afterwards that you're going to then hit on exactly what they're talking about. You're not going to have your four things, those your four segments, right, you have your four things, and now you're going to focus on the people that are adopting versus the person that.

Dave Lindenbaum 13:14
Oh, for sure. I think we're where we're where... The dance is, is how detailed do you get? Is it the chicken or the egg? Do you scale and then get detailed? Do you get detailed and then scale because this is where to put the leverage of resources if but the but this idea of time lapsing. Obviously, if you are, have trouble sleeping at night, so then the time lapse is, you know, in a day, you wake up, you know, groggy feeling like crap, saying that tonight will be the night you're gonna go to bed early, then at 12 o'clock, you're on your fifth cup of coffee, you keep peeing, and then at two o'clock you this. And it's such a great exercise to really understand your avatar. And it becomes so good that you could just copy and paste it and put it in your sales copy.

Eric Beer 13:58
Totally so so when you're building this avatar, you're asking them questions, right? You're one question about why right, you get all these answers. So what do you do with that data now to now build your avatar to a place where you understand them? So one, you can obviously talk to them through your copy, but to which is really important. We all know this, right? All it's marketers is that that's how you're going to buy your traffic. That's how you're going to create your targeting. So how do you do that? you name your avatars. And a lot of people like to name the male, the female, whoever it is, right, like is this Joanne and you're thinking of Joanne, you know, like, but if Joanne is your only avatar, but you have four segments, Joanne can't be all four of those avatars, right? So it's like, how do you go about now just like you have something on the wall that shows you who your avatar is?

Dave Lindenbaum 14:46
We so it's funny when we did the avatar workshop worksheet we did we have somebody's name on it, but that was it was good. It better than nothing, because at least we have a We're aiming towards something, but it was before we had, but that avatar at the best was an hypothesis on, on my clients experience of working with, you know, working in this space for over 20 years, but now that we have literal people that are not made up that are real that are have been on her list, some of them and then obviously the deeper the deeper human resources that people have bought into the, into the program and getting more deep with them and understanding their why because essentially, at some point, you could correlate the people who wrote the why's that purchase this program and look at just like you know, your for your hottest audience kind of like running a look-alike audiences on steroids, right? Because you have like, so check like, like real psycho psychological things, not just like, oh, they're from they're all from like Detroit, or Michigan or from California, they're old, 50 years or so. But we have not gone back. I mean, this is hot off the presses. So now it's gonna be great actually going through this, and then recreating it based on actual, like, reality, not just hypothesis.

Eric Beer 16:12
Where's all this data? Is it? I see it printed out? But do you have it on the computer?

Dave Lindenbaum 16:16
It is right now. It's on a simple word doc, I asked my client to just copy-paste every email she got and put on a Word Doc.

Eric Beer 16:23
I can totally help you with this, by the way, later, we'll talk about later. But let me ask a question. I think some, I think it's important that people would think about when you ask them the why was there anything from you incentivizing them to get to answer it? Or you simply just ask them why? And they gave you their deepest thoughts?

Dave Lindenbaum 16:43
Let me look that up for you, my friend,

Eric Beer 16:44
Because that's important, right? Like some people, they just want to talk about their situation. And I can see that happening when they're in a community, right? in other ways. It's, you know, you could position it as, hey, I want to serve you. And I need to understand what you're going through for me to do that. And so just what is your biggest challenge in x? Why do you want to go through this process? And what's the result you want to get? Right? So by understanding that, I can help you now with your problem.

Dave Lindenbaum 17:16
Yeah, so we, I love that. So we did it in reverse. Again, this is based off of a pressure launch. So our hope was that she was doing some, you know, Facebook Live some content leading up to this first email. And it was all about you know, when to take your temperature how to feel good during you know what to do. And so then this email then was framed, you know, for the last few weeks, you've been watching, I've been a we've been doing this, this and this. It's like I've been sharing with you what, you know the what, right, but I haven't I want to share but an order on... Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And now that we are we're about to do an evergreen, we changed a little bit to her story. But you know, so in 2020, she closed her practice or fertility practice, and decided to extra time defended that seeing private clients love them to feel a spark of possibility that despite the stay-at-home order, I could support even more women becoming fearless in their fertility.

Eric Beer 18:16
So she really she ultimately told her story that so that she can show these people that she went through the same thing they're going through, she's relating to them. And now just saying, This is what I figured out, here's where I am today, and I can't help you, right.

Dave Lindenbaum 18:30
And then it says, in order to feel in order to have something to share with you, but in order to do in a way that feels really aligned to me, I'd love to hear more about you can always share the what to do when and how to do it. But it's important for me to understand your why what's your why, and this is a delicate thing, because it sounds so weird. Like, you know, we hear and I do ag it's a very delicate thing, because in the entrepreneur realm and the personal growth Well, it's like, what's your why, you know, like, but here's like, like, what's your why, like, what my fucking lie like, I'm afraid I've been, I've been, you know, shooting my hormones up. And my husband and I are fighting every night. And sex is now like, a chore. So it's so it was a delicate thing. So we said, I know you want to have a baby. And I think I understand why but hearing your words be helpful for me to create. So it's, it's giving it asking them it's the why that keeps us going and keeps us returning to our purpose even when it feels like all the things aren't working. The Why is what can help you trust that you can be fearless in your fertility. And, and that's it. I mean, yeah, and what we were overwhelmed. We did not really think that people would actually reply back and then no, boy, did they reply back. I mean...

Eric Beer 19:36
So you sent an email to this group or?

Dave Lindenbaum 19:39
Yep, this was an email.

Eric Beer 19:40
How did you get the people from the Facebook group to get on your email list?

Dave Lindenbaum 19:45
This was from her email list. So but when she was doing Facebook Lives, the call to action was to get an email list like a waiting list.

Eric Beer 19:53
Understood, good, and which is smart. And I just want to hit on that for a moment because Tim from a lead generation perspective... Have a lot of people think build up your Facebook group build up all those things. And that's amazing. That's all great. But the number one quote that you should be focused on, is using Facebook, if you're creating groups to get them off of Facebook, because if Facebook shuts you down, of course, done, but what she did, which was really smart, she brought them from Facebook onto her subscriber list so that she can now just send an email and ask them questions. And if Facebook shuts down that group, she still has that list. Oh, yes, it's your business. But the only thing you made me think about was, you know, when you have your why, remember, when I was a funnel, hacking live, we started getting deep about this stuff. And you'd ask yourself as an entrepreneur, what your y is, and what I found was usually your y is answered in your fifth or sixth. Why? You know, when you ask a child.

Dave Lindenbaum 20:47
Oh, for sure...

Eric Beer 20:48
Your kid will say to you, like, Daddy, how come this? And I'm like, bah, bah, bah. But why? Because of this, but why? And you keep asking why? Usually, the first why, like in entrepreneur world is not the right answer. And then you ask it, why? Well, why are you in business? Because I want to make money? No, but why do you want to make I want to make money? Yeah, right. Sure. Because I want to have a good life for my family. Why do you want to have a good life? Your family? Because when I grew up, I didn't have this and I want it for my kids. You know what I mean? So it's like, you really get down to the core, which people don't like, they're like, Oh, my God, no, it's, there's this self-awareness of like, oh, okay, so that's the big, all right, I want love, or I want people to respect me, you know, like, it's, it's really an interesting thing if you play that exercise out. But that's cool, man. So I love it, it sounds like you, you really got something going. So I'm excited to see what happens. And I'm happy to help you if you want to brainstorm about how to take it to the next level where you create your segments. And then I'll show you a way that you do it with my, what I call my perfect survey method. How we can create that for you. We can test this be fun. I'll do that for you.

Dave Lindenbaum 21:54
Yes. So yeah, the answer is yes. Anything to do. I mean, we haven't we have traction now. And we do have we are using surveys to for like a self-diagnosis. But we're not leveraging it in a way then to go just by maybe asking one or two extra questions in that survey.

Eric Beer 22:12
So now the whole idea now is right. So they use the first part of the survey for research, right? What what I'm focusing on and what my world is about, like SurveyDetective is using surveys to generate new leads. So this is where you, you now create a survey to go out to the market, you use the first survey to go to the people, you know, right? The whole idea is now That's powerful. And you're going to speak to people that don't know anything about you. So this is a way you can use a survey, a quiz, and assessment to generate a cold lead, cast a wide web, you generate high-quality leads, and then through that process, they're going to start to be nurtured. And then you're going to convert those people into customers. It's, it's very, very powerful. I'm telling you, though, it's when we start to your...

Dave Lindenbaum 22:54
Let's do it. Let's get more... Listen, man. I'm finally following my dream to getting more women pregnant. And in the most ethical, like, like, like, like, like karma amazing way, like what I could. It's a mean, it sounds ridiculous, but so does Mr. Golden Showers until you realize it's endearing. And at the end of the day, like, I feel like I am really doing some good in this world. We didn't even mention, this person has a... Over a 75-76% success rate. Right? Which is still unheard of. So it's always nice to be right to be working for people that actually are getting results and get results.

Eric Beer 23:31
Right. But you're not only getting people pregnant, you're getting them to the finish line where they're...

Dave Lindenbaum 23:35
That's, my friend. Yes.

Eric Beer 23:37
Right? That's right. And that's got to be, you know, something where you're able to now take a person who's struggling, and that's, we've all been through this right in some way, shape, or form when our wives are pregnant, and we're scared. And, you know, I totally empathize with that. But what you're doing is I mean, how impactful for you not only get them pregnant, but they're freaking out throughout the whole pregnancy, because of all the things that have happened just past that when they actually have that baby. It's like, the miracle of miracles. And you're helping in that and that's powerful. That's really awesome. And the beautiful thing is, you can do it, and you can also earn a very nice living.

Dave Lindenbaum 24:14
It's pretty awesome. All right, my friend, dude, I love you. Let's, let's go at it another time, another call to actually go into that a bit deeper and just catch up in life. Okay, I got to...

Eric Beer 24:24
I'll send you something you could fill out to give me like a higher level, and then maybe I could just do some of this stuff for you. And then kind of just put it in your lap to take home. So...

Dave Lindenbaum 24:33
Yeah, I want to hear more about another. If you haven't worked into the… I think that space is similar, obviously different but similar in terms of relationship and serving.

Eric Beer 24:43
They work. It works for any business. Any business that needs leads it's gonna work for it's not about them. It's about just if you're selling something you need leads. We could Yeah. All right.

Dave Lindenbaum 24:53
All right, buddy. Have a great day, man! Good to see you.

Eric Beer 24:56
Love your kid. Bye-bye!

Dave Lindenbaum 24:57

Eric Beer 25:00
Would you like to learn how I built my business using other people's money? If so, then go join my 21-day challenge at I look forward to meeting you and welcome you into my family. And remember, results don't lie, but the people who don't have any tier. Thanks for listening.