Have you heard the saying,
"When you're talking to everybody, you're talking to nobody?"
In my experience this couldn’t be more true and let me tell you, I had to learn that lesson the hard way.
Honing in on your ideal client can be one of the stickiest spots for many business owners (myself included) and to have a thriving business filled with ideal customers it’s necessary.
This post is part of a bigger series around How To Create A One Page Business Plan That You Will Actually Use and today we are going to deep dive into one very important part of the plan, Defining Your Ideal Client.
Defining Your Ideal Client
There is no shortage out there, of exercises and processes to find your ideal customer or clients. But, even with all of the available resources it did take me awhile to find a process that actually worked and didn't leave me more frustrated and confused at the end of it.
Let's take a moment to define what an ideal client avatar is.
Your ideal client avatar or ICA for short is the one person that represents your ideal target market, demographic, or person. It is more specific than your target market and is actually on the person (fictional or real) that you are passionate about serving and providing value to.
I get asked all the time, “does it have to be one person?”.
I know it can feel restricting to get your ICA down to this one person, but using the process I’m going to share with you today I'll show you how you can do it and feel great about it.
Why Having One Ideal Client Avatar Is Important
Now more than ever, there are an abundance of products, services, and offers out there in the market. Anybody and everybody can be a business owner and can promote their products and services through things like Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
Because of this, as consumers, we're getting more sensitive and need to create defense mechanisms to filter all of the information that's coming at us. So, what we do is create filters. Unless a message is deemed directly related or important to us, our needs, our problems, we will filter it out.
When it comes to defining out ideal client so often people cast the net too wide. They get scared about niching down and getting really specific about who it is that we're serving and what exactly this person is all about.
The problem is when this happens the message gets watered down and it all of a sudden isn’t directly relevant to anyone and everybody is tuned out.
You know you have nailed your ideal client avatar when you are turning some people off of you, your product or service, and you are turning other people on.
The Million Dollar Ideal Client Question
So, take a moment to check in with yourself here and see,
Do you know who it is that you are committed to serving?
If you know the answer to that question, awesome. Stick with me. We're going to dive even deeper. And if you don't know the answer to that question yet, do not worry. This next part of the process will actually help you reverse engineer that and get clear on who this person is.
Straight Demographics vs. Psychological Demographics
There’s an important distinction to make between straight demographics and psychological demographics.
Straight demographics are often what people talk about when defining ideal client avatars. Things like age, gender, location, etc.
Those demographics are fine, but they're really general and we need to hone in more specifically than that.
What we need to do is get into the heads of our ideal clients and create our ICA using psychological demographics.
What Are Psychological Demographics
Psychological demographics tune into values, motivations, and belief systems.
To do this we are going to explore some specific questions. You can find some of these questions on the One Page Business Plan as well.
How do they want to feel?
What are they passionate about?
What are their fears
What problems are they trying to solve?
What are their goals and their aspirations?
What matters to them most?
What brands or people do they follow?
Take some time to explore these questions for yourself and then take a look at the data that you have. From there you will likely be able to reverse engineer who this person is and bring them to life giving them a name, a photo, where they work, some of those straight demographics we put to the side to start.
Bring Your Ideal Client Avatar To Life
Your next step, once you've got your ICA is to bring them to life by creating a bio for them. This is something they might have on their website or maybe on their LinkedIn profile. A little snippet of who they are, what's important to them and what they're out to achieve in the world.
The reaction many people have at this point in the process, is something like, “this feels kind of limiting. I've identified this one person but what about person or group x?
Just because you have identified and defined this ideal client, doesn't mean you can't serve other people. It just means that you have created your “ideal” client. Some clients are going to be exact matches for you and others may not be exact matches. But, this is where the psychological demographics come in handy. If you match on things like meeting the needs for the problems that they're wanting to solve or for what they are out to achieve then great, you're likely going to be able to serve them on a really high level. And that is a win-win.
The Most Important Question - So What?
You've now got this amazing bio of your ideal client and you're excited, but so what?
None of this matters unless you do something with that information.
It’s now time to start creating your content, your offers, your marketing speaking directly to your ideal client avatar. Find out where your ideal clients are, both online and offline and connect with them. Share yourself and what you are all about.
Are You Ready?
Now you’ve got my top tips for creating an ideal client avatar that you can use to cater your messaging, your products, and your services, to makes sure that you're connecting with the people that you are committed to serving and that you're going to serve on a really high level.
Because it is a shame if people do not know what you're able to offer and how you're able to help them, you're doing them a disservice, and we cannot have that because your message is way too important to share.
Download Your Copy Of The One Page Business Plan.
Kristin Constable, Whole Life Leadership + Business Coach