Clarity on Your Avatar: Lessons from the Multi-local Persona

Gaining clarity on your avatar is not only research-intensive, but also a self-reckoning process for entrepreneurs, especially in a customer-centric market that’s become more consumer-conscious and refined.

You’re either launching a business idea, adding an offering, or testing a brand, but somehow you’ve gotten stuck and now need clarity on your avatar.

As you go through this process of identifying and understanding your avatar, we wanted to steer you towards a tiny tasting detour. Rather than gobbling down the hors d’oeuvre, we’re asking you to pause, take a proportionate bite, use your palate, and enjoy the tastes of summer peaches, pancetta and fresh basil. This Mind Expansion session does just that. Read on.

The Multi-local Persona

You may be familiar with BoominGroup’s Mind Expansion sessions by now, but for every session we have, I always gain a little more texture in my own process, as I take the Mind Expansion topic into context with my work. For those readers who are new to Mind Expansion, it’s a weekly, 90-minute team session which begins with each of us declaring our gratitude for the week and concludes with a discussion on the team member’s topic of expertise, curiosity, or interest.

Recently, a team member shared a Ted video which featured Taiye Selasi, who is the author of “Ghana Must Go.” She is based in Brooklyn, raised in Boston, and born in England to parents from Ghana and Nigeria. Her definition on being “multi-local” broadens our scope of possibilities and deepens our understanding of the complexities of identity.

Through this video and some post discussion, I discovered 2 insights that enriched my approach when defining my avatar. First, it emphasized the value of personal experience -that it cannot be undermined. Second, in her process of finding a solution for self-identification, she found themes that connect people’s similarities, despite the vast difference in their national backgrounds. Take the time to watch the 16-minute video now. It will warm your palate all over.

As we put our product or service out into the world, we realize that it’s harder to grapple what the market is willing to pay for, and the type of language we should use to market our business. But by the same token, we have an unprecedented amount of resources and new technology to help us fill in those gaps. There’s also more language today to help define our refined experiences, which helps us understand where our avatars may be lurking. And in the process of it all, we uncover the similarities we have with our avatar, and ultimately find ourselves, perhaps, at the very center of our target market.

Who is Your Avatar?

Now that we’ve tasted the fresh basil, we can revisit some insights that can help with your process.

#1 – Experience, experience, experience.

The more we get behind the experiences of our avatar, the more concise you can get with your offering, and developing the language that will market your product or service. In the video, Taiye Selasi posed a challenge that puts into question how we declare our identity and the importance of our background.

What if we asked, instead of ‘where are you from?’ ‘Where are you a local?’ This would tell us so much more about who and how similar we are.

-Taiye Selasi

Take this as an insight to develop very specific questions around your avatar. How does your avatar identify themselves? Create a list of questions that will help push your avatar’s identity into clear view. In so doing, you’ll also gain immense clarity on ‘yourself as entrepreneur’, your purpose, and your target market.

a.) Where does your avatar live? Where are they local?
b.) Where does your avatar travel?
c.) What are their daily rituals?
d.) What are their relationships like? Are they family oriented? Are they single and ready to mingle?
e.) What are their restrictions?

#2 – Your Avatar and You

When you unravel your avatar’s persona, you may also discover yourself at the center. You discover “localities”, similarities between yourself and the avatar. You become reunited with your purpose and understand that the business you’re creating emanates from your core and is a gift to the world.

As you go through the process of defining your avatar, keep a fine-tuned ear and a keen eye to opportunities that enrich your experience of becoming. This is a process that you as an entrepreneur must be willing to attain on your own, in your self-discovery. These are just tiny steps and insights that we capture in whole within the Booming Model, towards the fulfillment that can be achieved when we approach entrepreneurship from the heart.

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