What Is An Ideal Client Avatar & Why It's So Important For Your Business?
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
Okay, so if you noticed today’s blog post title and you’re thinking “what the heck is an ideal client avatar?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
When I first heard the term "ideal client avatar" or I.C.A for short, I thought the educator was talking about a character in the James Cameron movie - Avatar. I was like "hmmm, I’m pretty sure that the storyline doesn’t have any hidden business tips or take-aways".
But after digging deep into the idea of an I.C.A, I soon realised how important “creating” one can actually be for business. And when I used it inside my own business, it gave me so much clarity and focus - and I want that for you too.
Now when it comes to marketing your business and your offers, my belief is this:
“If you speak to everyone you speak to no-one”
Without your client avatar or a target market nailed down, you’ll most likely fall into the trap of using all your time and energy creating a brand and business that might attract the wrong client or even worse, no one at all.
What is an Ideal Client Avatar (or I.C.A for short)?
An ideal client avatar is a detailed profile of your ideal or dream client. It focuses on one person and outlines everything about them. Rather than being general or broad about the details of your customer, your I.C.A goes into great depth providing you with the necessary details to create a business and brand that will have your client eager to book your services.
Your Ideal Client Avatar includes demographic and psychographic information that you can use to speak to them which makes it feel as though you’ve almost read their mind.
By creating an avatar, you’ll be able to determine exactly who you want to attract. You’ll also know what motivates them, what they’re passionate about, and figure out the most effective way to connect with them.
And you might even be surprised to discover that the first avatar you create might sound like yourself as generally people start a business to scratch their own itch or solve their own problems.
So now that you know what an ideal client avatar is, how can you create one for your own business?
The key is to be detailed & specific.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you are starting a service-based business offering your services as a copywriter. When people first think of their ideal customer, they might start with off with something like this...
“My ICA is anyone who needs a Virtual Assistant.”
Now, this is WAY too broad. So you might change it to this:
“My I.C.A is a female online business owner and is looking for help with admin tasks inside her business.”
This is getting there, but still too brief. Instead, you want your ideal client avatar to sound a little like this:
“My customer avatar is a 35-year-old mum of one. Her name is Jessica and she runs her own online business, serving other female entrepreneurs by helping them to create graphic design and branding for their business.
She currently works in her business around 40 hours per week from home. It’s important for her to be able to provide an additional income for their family whilst still having the flexibility to raise their 2-year-old daughter at home.
She has big dreams and goals for her business but is struggling to get herself organised. She feels as if she is time-poor and seeks fast and efficient solutions.
On the weekends she enjoys going down to the beach with her family but lately has been frustrated by the extra time she needs to be spending on her business during her weekends and family time.
Deep down she feels it makes her feel like she doesn't have enough time to split between her family life and business life, and it's making her feel anxious. She dreams of opening up more time during the week to focus on the tasks that move the needle forward in her business so that she can have more time on the weekends.”
See the difference? When you create your ideal client avatar, you want to feel as if you know them personally and understand what makes them tick!
And think that being too specific will mean that you drive potential clients away?
Well, think again.
People are bombarded with marketing hype and are “sold to” all day, every day. So to really connect with your ideal clients, you need to be able to relate and identify with them on a more personal level.
You can never have too much information about your I.C.A either. Get even deeper by asking questions like:
How much money do they make in their business?
Where do they live?
What’s their age?
What kind of business do they run?
...you can really go on and on.
Ready to create your own Ideal Client Avatar?
I like to break down this into three simple steps. Let’s go these steps now so you can get to work on your own I.C.A:
GET TO KNOW YOUR ICA.
You don't just want to create your ideal client avatar from nowhere. You want to use some actual facts, data and analytics.
Now just remember, your services are available to help your clients, so you need to figure out what they need and work your business and marketing around that.
It’s time to forget what you think you know and start researching who your ideal customer actually is.
To do this you first want to research their demographics. Start with information like:
Their age range and gender
Their business and title
What’s their business income and educational level?
Are they married and have children?
Next, we want to research their psychographics, ask questions like...
What are their biggest challenges?
What worries and fears keep them up at night?
What would their ‘perfect solution’ look like?
What websites, blogs do they visit
What’s their favourite social media platform
DIG DEEP INTO THEIR PAIN POINTS.
The reason you’re in business is that essentially, your service solves a problem.
That’s it, really.
Without a problem, your potential clients won’t be motivated to hire you for your services. So when you’re thinking about the finer details of your avatar, dig below the surface to the real, raw emotions underneath.
Remember that purchasing decisions are driven by emotion, and justified by logic. Your clients will book your services because it makes them feel better, it fills their need.
Let's go back to our example of the Virtual Assistant.
If you asked a client why they didn’t invest in your services, they might say "it's not the right time" or "I don't really need the help". But that might not really be the truth. It could be that they are putting off booking your services because they don't believe they will get a return on the investment.
Maybe they’re not motivated because they don’t have clear vision and goals. Maybe they’ve hired another virtual assistant before and it didn’t work out for them, so they gave up trying.
Really take the time to think about these pain points and see how you can alleviate them with your service. How can you prove that your services will take them from point A (their struggle) to point B (the solution).
CREATE YOUR CHARACTER
Now that you have all the hard work done, now comes the fun part… bringing your Ideal Client Avatar to life.
Creating your character can be broken down into 3-steps:
Create a mental profile of your I.C.A. What colour hair do they have? How tall are they? How are they dressed?
Give them a name. This helps you to identify and imagine them when you’re working on your business and offers. This also helps with separating them when you decide to create more client avatars, as you expand or focus on different services within your business.
Write up your client avatar summary. Make sure it’s easily accessible so you can reference it whenever you need.
Okay, so there we have it an overview of what an Ideal Client Avatar is, why it’s so important for your business and a breakdown of the steps so you can create your own Ideal Client Avatar.
Now I truly believe in the power of creating an ICA for your business, so it’s no surprise I cover it in more depth inside the Start-Up With Services 5-Day Bootcamp.
So if you’re thinking of starting your own service-based business from home, then I would highly suggest signing up. If you want more info you can go check it out over at aliciarafiei.com/bootcamp
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