The old way of building a customer avatar is so uninteresting.

Not only is it an outdated and superficial practice but it rarely works in today’s fast paced online world.

I could probably think of just one good reason to stick to the old way of doing things, meaning it’s time the customer avatar exercise got an upgrade.

That upgrade is known as an empathy map.

What’s an empathy map you ask? Let me demonstrate.

I’ve been getting a pretty nasty headache on and off for the last several days. It’s a chronic dull ache enveloping my skull. Kinda like a soft sweater on a cold day except definitely not as comfy nor pleasant.

Tylenol, ibuprofen…none of it works well enough to ease the pain completely. I’ve tried all the home remedies I know, removed my contacts, stretched, turned on the blue light filter mode on my phone…nothing is helping.

So while cruising the Shanghai Expat Show this weekend with the kids, I randomly stopped at a functional medicine booth. I got to talking to the resident chiropractor and in 2 minutes he had me on a table.

Now, if you know anything about me you know I love natural remedies. I’m a big fan of essential oils, acupuncture, massage, energetic medicine and whole food for healing.

My beliefs are in line with chiropractic care, so while I have little exposure to it in the past I’m open to it when it comes to solving my current problem.

He places his hands on my neck, inspecting my cervical spine and alignment.

“Do you have headaches?” he asks.

I say yes.

“And your shoulders, tight?” he asks.

Again, I nod.

He then goes on to describe nearly every symptom I’ve been experiencing for the last two weeks with (I kid you not) one or two small touches to my neck.

He doesn’t reprimand me for my daily habits or lack of postural alignment. Instead, he meets me where I am.

I’m in pain. Uncomfortable. Fed up. And not functioning at my best.

An empathy map helps you do the same thing, this time with your ideal client.

It puts you in their shoes, giving you their point of view, beliefs and helping you feel/see/hear everything they do.

It’s more than just their age, name, hair color and income.

It’s their most sacred internal world.

It’s meeting them in their pain and walking them toward a solution.

And you can bet that chiropractor not only got my name and email address, but an appointment booked for later this week.

I currently love this version of the empathy map. Feel free to download & use immediately.


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