One of the biggest concerns I hear when I ask my clients to describe their ideal customer is, “but I don’t have just one type of client” or “I don’t want to limit myself”, which are both very understandable and normal responses. No one wants to be shoed in, especially when you’re trying to reach more potential customers, not less.
After all, you’re trying to grow your business. Narrowing your focus on who you’re selling to can feel, well, limiting, and the last thing you want to do, right? Wrong.
Clarifying who you most want to buy from you – who you most want to serve – can be one of the most powerful things you can do for your business and your brand’s success.
And though at first it can feel a bit counter-intuitive, it will actually free you up and support your business efforts across the board.
What Is An Ideal Client Avatar?
An Ideal Client Avatar (ICA for short) is a detailed profile combining all aspects of your projected ideal customer. It can be an imaginary profile or modeled after an actual client, or a combination of the two. An ICA can also be called a Target Customer, Ideal Customer Profile, Client Persona, Target Audience.
You can think of a Client Avatar like a beloved character in your favorite movie or book. When you think of the characters you’ve connected with the most, they are usually the ones that are the most developed, complete with all the details that help you get inside their heads, understand what makes them tick so you can feel like you really know them.
An Ideal Client Avatar is very similar, but for your business. You put in the time and attention to flesh out a detailed vision that embodies the qualities, both broad and specific, of your target audience.
Can you have more than one ICA? You bet! Most businesses have a few that they draw on.
Once created, a persona is a valuable tool you can refer back to again and again for clarity and direction in almost any area of your business.
How Will An Ideal Client Avatar Help Me?
You see, identifying a vision of your ideal customer with whom you can connect does not mean they need be the only people you will be marketing to. What it does provide is a clear touchstone or focal point to help you make more informed and strategic choices in your business.
Having a clearly developed Ideal Client Avatar will help you answer questions like:
- What kind of lead magnet should I create?
- When writing copy for my website, what shall I focus on most? What’s going to persuade my visitors the most?
- Who shall I target in my Facebook ads? Where do I find them, what pages and groups do they like?
- What social media platforms are the best for me? Which ones are my future customers most active on?
- What kind of blog topics should I write about?
- I’m thinking of developing an online course/offering, what exactly should I offer?
The answers to all these questions get a lot clearer when you have a specific client in mind. Especially one that closely aligns with your goals and dreams for your business!
A good ICA will enable you to make more informed and strategic choices in all these areas:
- brand voice
- product and service development
- advertising and promotion
- blogging, videos and other content
- brand and stock photography
- website and printed materials
- social media
Pretty powerful stuff!
Client Avatars enable you to connect to your customers on a deeper, emotional level which is the place we humans make most decisions from. When you can reach your customers at this level you will be more effective because they will feel like you’re speaking directly to them and their specific challenges and needs. You’ll begin to hear things like, “somehow you knew exactly what I needed”, “I feel like you really get me”, “where have you been all my life!?”. These are signs that what you are providing, saying and who you’re saying it to, are all in alignment.
Creating Your Own Client Avatar
- Make a list of 5 – 10 of your favorite clients.
- What about these clients do you like and why? What characteristics do they share? What patterns do you see?
- What are the most common challenges or problems they came to you with?
- Make a list of 5 – 10 of your least favorite clients. What are the common traits and patterns you see? Knowing what you don’t want can be a powerful tool to create clarity. Use this info to make sure your ICA does not sub-consciously embody these qualities.
- What qualities or criteria would you like to attract in your future clients that you aren’t already experiencing?
- Think of a dream client you would be totally thrilled to work with but perhaps think they’re out of your league – stretch yourself here – think big!
- Describe this person in detail.
- What do they have in common with your favorite clients?
- What qualities are different or new from who you are serving now?
I hope these questions help you to begin clarifying your ideal client avatar.