You never really know someone...
You never really know someone until you get inside their skin and walk around in it for a while. Or, as I like to say, walk a mile in their shoes.
Shoes are funny things, yeah, I know we all wear them, but they’re often a reflection of our own personal style. If you’re a woman, do you wear towing heels, flats, trainers (sneakers), boots… there’s a plethora of different styles and heights.
Growing up, my mother told me never to wear someone else’s shoes because it was bad luck and because they had already been shaped to the way that person walked. I have no idea if this has any basis in fact but a pair of well worn, pre-loved shoes can say a lot about a person.
A lot of you coming here are probably working on courses that help you to build a business or brand for yourself. Helping you to turn your ‘side hustle’ into something more meaningful.
As part of that, you’re often asked to complete an ‘Ideal Customer Avatar’ and from what I can tell, from my own research, many of you are finding them a little challenging to put together.
Professional Avatar Creator
I’m what you might think of as a professional avatar creator. Although I actually call them Persona. This is the term that people who work in the digital design industry call them. The people who normally create them in this industry are User Experience or Information Architecture professionals. I am both (although I really hate the term ‘user’ but I’ll explain why at another time).
We create persona after researching the people who are likely to use a product or service that we’re building. We then use the insights to help shape the journey that the person is then taken on.
In some respects, persona have gotten a bad wrap in our community, with them being marmite* among the practitioners. Some say they’re useful some say they’re not. The one thing we all agree on is that the research that’s done to create them is priceless and basic requirement when designing human centric things.
The problem is, that they can be REALLY daunting things to put together.
Interviewing someone, if you’ve never interviewed anyone before, can be, well a bit daunting.
Here’s a professional secret, I’ve been ‘interviewing’ people, one way or another, for the whole 21 years of my life, and it still makes ME a little nervous.
If you’re doing one of Amy Porterfield’s courses, or if you’re lucky enough to be on Marie Forleo’s fabulous B-School (registration opens soon – what’re you waiting for – it’s BRILLIANT), then you’re going to need to create an ICA. Which, I’ve noticed is a pain point for some of you.
Which is why I’m building content, a giveaway (sign-up to my newsletter below to be the first when I post it), and a course that’s specifically designed to help women like you, with this aspect.
*Marmite, is a very potent yeast spread that we Brits either love or hate. If someone says something is ‘marmite’ it means you’ll either love it or hate it, there’s no middle ground. Well, except when it comes to me, I don’t love it or hate it, but it is bloody nice with cheese on toast.
In Their Shoes
In their shoes, is what the concept is called.
I’ve had this idea bubbling away in the back of my mind for almost 9 years. Having gone to a creative writing class at a literary festival, it just stuck with me.
When you combine that with my absolute love of To Kill a Mockingbird, I’ve always loved the quote Atticus says about climbing inside someone’s skin to understand them. Although this is a tad creepy, I think in their shoes is a fantastic concept.
In the meantime, if you’re coming here because you’re working on a course that requires you to design an ICA, and are stuck, plonk a comment in the section below and I’ll do what I can to give you some support.