I want to make something clear right up front. Your Target Market is not your Ideal Client and vice versa. Looking at the diagram, you will notice that your tribe (target market) represents the broad group of clients you serve and the Avatar (ideal client) is the fictitious character that is at the “bullseye” of your target market.
Target Market = Female visionary leaders running companies with 3 or more employees/subcontractors, generating at least $250,000 in revenue, with 5 or more years of experience in business and a passion for impacting the world with their product/services.
Ideal Client (Avatar) = Samantha, 45 years old, runs the largest conscious business consulting firm in Denver with 2 employees and 3 subcontractors. She’s married and has two children who are in high school. She is an active outdoor enthusiast, volunteers her time and expertise for several causes promoting the betterment of childhood education. She frequents Facebook to keep up with her friends, family and keep an eye on her teenagers and she’s known to have an avid collection of the places she’d love to visit in the world on Pinterest… I can go on and on… you get the picture.
The Avatar is someone who has the attributes of your perfect client – highest lifetime value, pays on time, follows your expert advice, is your most raving fan, and is someone you are always excited to see on your calendar.
Why Identify your Avatar?
It helps you and your team:
- Craft your Message
You speak differently when addressing a room of grown men vs. a classroom full of Kindergarteners. You will also write using different lingo when talking to 30something Hipsters vs. highly educated Empty Nesters. Your messaging and the way you position it should communicate your message directly to your tribe. The easiest and most effective way to do that is to speak directly to your Avatar. Then, when he/she comes in contact with your brand online or offline, they will know you are speaking directly to them, and are more likely to take the action on your offers. Think: websites, business cards, flyers, banners, etc.
- Create the visual aspects of your brand
Pictures speak a thousand words. Choosing the wrong images to represent your brand can repel your ideal clients. Similar to words, you will use different images to attract 20 year old women than you will 65 year old men. Before you create visuals for your upcoming workshop, think about your ideal client and what would attract them. Always put yourself in your Avatar’s shoes and ask what’s in it for them? What do they need to see?
Think: Facebook tiles, website images, images on brochures, business cards, etc.
- Make sure your content is valid
Ever tried to sit down and write a blog post to “anyone”? Almost as frustrating as writing about “anything,” right? Your avatar is a symbol to talk to when writing, creating videos, audios, etc. This helps keep your voice, tone, and message clear and concise. When making videos, I’ve even taped a picture of their face underneath the eye of the camera so it feels like I’m talking directly to my ideal client.
- Magnetize your ideal client
Ok, so I’m about to get a little woo woo, but that’s me, deal with it 😉 I encourage all of my clients to meditate and visualize this ideal client before they write the description of them. Seeing them in your mind’s eye makes them more real. I also encourage clients to pull out the description of this person once a week, review it, and feel yourself magnetize them to your business energetically. I swear it works. You’ll see after doing this for a while that you begin to get more and more prospective clients with attributes of your ideal client and before you know it, you’ll have a practice full of people who light up your world!
- Never fire another client again
When you only take on the best clients possible, you’ll never want to, nor need to let them go! Only those who have had to fire the “bad clients” know what I’m speaking of here!
How do I start the process of identifying my ideal client?
I recommend discovering who your target market is first; if you don’t know, consider my Target Market Catapult as an option. Once you’ve decided who to target, get into a meditative state with a clear mind, an open heart, and think of how your favorite past clients have made you feel. When you can, imagine one single representative of your target market. Visualize this man or woman; see them in as much detail as possible. Write down everything that comes to mind about them.
Here are some subject areas and questions that can help you identify additional aspects of your Avatar. Note that if you provide a product or service to a B2B market, you’ll want to identify the characteristics of the decision maker and the company both.
Demographics: Name, age, marital status, children, pets, personality, living situation, neighborhood, household income, education, profession. Hair color, body type, stature. Hobbies, interests, community involvement. Details, details, details.
Psychographics: What is most important to them in life? What do they fear the most? If they could change anything about their lives right now, what would they change?
Now, put them in the hypothetical situation of hiring your company to help them.
How did they feel before they met you? What were the problems they were running from? The pleasures they were running toward?
What was it about your company that they loved so much? Why did they hire you?
What did you do to help them? How specifically did you make their life better by working with them? What problems did you solve for them?
What does their life look like after having worked with you (or if they still work with you, what continued benefits do they get from working with you?)
There is never too much information you can know about your ideal client. My description of my avatar is 4 pages long. I haven’t had to fire a client in over 3 years and I can’t tell you the last time I looked at my client calendar and dreaded a name on it. My business is FULL of clients I LOVE to empower! My clients who embrace this concept completely shift their businesses, contribute drastically to their bottom line, and have way more fun doing it!