Everyone in marketing has talked about ideal client avatars (ICA) at some point. When it comes to the exhaustive details of avatars, some simply amount to tedious work that does not advance marketing.
Here is what does work for ideal client avatars along with how far you actually need to take the details to get results.
What Doesn’t Work
I’ve helped small business owners who have been through the wringer with this exercise – getting down to their avatars’ number of kids and their ages, extracurricular activities, and whether they buy organic produce.
For most of us, this set of details does not matter to our marketing and could even delay our progress toward marketing that truly does work to attract ideal clients.
So if you find yourself stuck on deciding how many children your ICA has when your work with them doesn’t cover their family life, stop and consider what other details truly matter to the description of your ideal clients.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on to how you work with your clients.
Next Up: You
How do you interact with your ideal clients? What work do you provide to them that is different or unique? Take the time to truly dig in and focus on the part of that work that lights you up, the work that you want to do more of rather than the work that steals your energy.
For you to attract more of that type of work you’ll need to attract the people who want that type of work.
You’ve probably worked with some clients who would not fit into your ideal description and that’s a normal part of building a business. The experience can be a good indicator of who you do not want to work with, so pull from your knowledge to sketch out the work you do not want to do. While you’re at it, jot down what about that experience would indicate that it was not your ideal. You will want to come back to that during your copy creation process.
Now, What Part of Their Lives Does Your Work Cover?
Do you help them in their personal or professional lives? Does your work with them cover a little of both? Get specific on what details your clients must have in order to work with you. Do they need to be parents, a small business owner, a teacher? Must they have a specific problem that you help them solve like back pain, a seemingly unmanageable schedule, or disorganized business files?
Take the time to write down the specific details of what someone needs to work with you then take it further with what details are necessary for them to be your ideal person that would make working with them your ideal.
To work with some of the details I listed earlier, your clients may need specific details to fit their ideal client avatar. Here are some examples from work I’ve done with small businesses plus the work they do:
- ICA must have two children younger than three (A child sleep consultant)
- ICA must have a busy family with extracurricular activities (A work-life balance coach)
- ICA must want to value buying mostly (or all) organic produce (A nutrition specialist)
Although the three details above were necessary for each type of business, they wouldn’t necessarily be needed for the ICA of the others: buying organic produce may not help a work-life balance coach and her clients achieve success.
Find Your “Must-Haves”
What details are “must-haves” for someone to fit your ideal client avatar? Map out what they need to have or need to be so they fit the type of person you truly want to work with in your business.
Are there details you’ve been attempting to fit into the typical mold of ICA creation that is actually unnecessary for you and your business? Drop them. Let go of getting so detailed about your ICA that your marketing progress stalls before it gets moving.
In short, what can you take off of your ICA to-do list because it simply does not apply to you? Then can you make your list of “must-haves” so simple that you can identify your ideal clients within a few minutes? Make the list short so you can focus on what truly matters in the process of finding your next ideal client.
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