When was the last time you reviewed your ideal client avatar? Like really looked closely at WHO you want to attract in your business?
It can be easy to fall into repetitive routines when you’ve been in the business game for awhile. But just like you should be going back to refresh your website now and again, you should also review your target marketing efforts. This will ensure that all of your promotion and client experience details are aligned with the type of individual you want to work with.
Business maintenance tasks like this might seem to be time fillers, but they help our business run more smoothly. More efficiently. They help us embrace that slower form of living we’re yearning for.
I recommend looking at the following ideal client exercises as a bit of a retreat! Get some snacks, some fresh pens and paper, and take your laptop somewhere that brings out your creativity!
When you began your business you likely followed a course, an article, or a video that walked you through a target marketing exercise. Perhaps you even worked with a brand strategist or coach to help you define your ideal client.
I want you to go back to the basics and pull up any of those original notes on your ideal client if you can. (If you’re not sure where they are, don’t sweat it, just try to jot down a few lines about who you originally defined to be your ideal client).
The beautiful (and often scary) part about running a business is that things evolve overtime. As we grow we’ll have to subtly adjust areas of our business to grow with us. Now that you have your past ideal client notes in front of you I want to you to answer the following questions:
When you’ve fallen into a working routine it’s actually quite easy to stray from those original notes. And again, maybe you’ve connected with a new kind of client you never imagined working with because of it! But straying from those notes can also lead to muddier messaging. We start trying to appeal to everyone and are open to working with *anyone* because frankly, we’ve got bills to pay and we don’t want to get bored working with the same type of client all the time.
That being said, there is SO much value in having an ideal client and sticking to it when it comes to our messaging! That’s not to say we can’t work with clients that don’t perfectly fit that avatar (I’m all for keeping things new and exciting), but for the sake of brand recognition and consistent messaging, being clear about WHO we want to serve is essential.
As Meredith Hill says: “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no-one.”
One of the most vital parts of your ideal client avatar is the psychographics section. This consists of your ideal client’s personality traits. Everything about them that would influence their world views and ultimately their purchase decisions.
Whether you have been working with your ideal client or not this is a great section to revisit and update. You can take current circumstances into consideration that may affect certain attitudes, beliefs, or goals. Again, refer back to those original notes, are there any details you didn’t address before that you think are relevant? Now that you’ve been in business for a while, what would you add to the psychographic section?
Here are a few questions and prompts to get you thinking:
While you likely won’t meet a client who checks every single box that you may write out here, this exercise is meant to help you focus. To really visualize an actual human with goals, fears, and lifestyle choices. When it comes time to create content, write copy, and organize marketing materials you can imagine you’re speaking to this person, touching on all the chords that uniquely sing to them. When you do this, like-minded people will take notice.
“A great message is not one your ideal client understands…it’s one where your ideal client *feels* understood by you.”- Anonymous
Now it’s time to backup all those psychographic notes with real data! How long has it been since you’ve done some intentional target market research? Now’s your chance!
You’ll want to start by hunting down some “Voice Of Customer data”: Quotes, feedback, and language from your ideal client. If you don’t have a Voice Of Customer data document already you’ll definitely want to create one. (No need to be fancy here, just open up a fresh google doc or spreadsheet to store the quotes you find in).
To find Voice Of Customer data you’ll want to start with your own client base (that is, if you consider your current clients to be your ideal clients).
Essentially anywhere you can find specific quotes/language from your ideal client! We’re going to be analyzing how they speak and repurpose this information for future marketing efforts. If you don’t feel like you have enough to pull from here you could also create a survey and send it out to your past clients if they were ideal! (Survey’s are the most popular method of ideal client research as of).
If you aren’t currently working with those you feel are you ideal clients you’ll want to start your search elsewhere!
Based on your notes and updated psychographic data, brainstorm a few places your ideal client would hang out (specific Facebook groups, Tiktok communities, Instagram, Twitter etc.). What brands do you think they would follow online? What competitors of yours would they interact with? Once you have a few ideas you’ll want to scroll through comment sections and content to see what people are saying! What are they excited about, unhappy about, what topics do they find interesting? What questions do they ask?
Whether you are scrolling through your own client databases or searching for Voice Of Customer data on social media you’ll want to look for quotes that fall into the following categories:
The more specific you can get to your industry and your type of service the better. But if you are looking for more general data on social media you may not find someone talking exactly about your industry. You may have to infer what they would think, feel, or say about your service based on their responses to other topics.
For this last step I want to introduce you to an invaluable research tool: informational interviews! Sometimes the easier way to learn how your ideal customer thinks, speaks, and feels, is to ask them!
If you’ve worked with a few clients who fit your ideal client avatar, send them a message and see if they would be available for a quick chat.
*Bonus Tip* With any sort of informational interview you want you show your guest how much you appreciate their time! Consider offering a small thank you gift such as sending $10 via Venmo for a “coffee on me” or a handwritten thank you card.
If you haven’t worked with your ideal client you can do some more digging on social media and locate someone who seems to fit the bill. Reach out, explain who you are, what you’re researching, and that you would love to chat with them if they would be willing to help out.
BIG NOTE: This is not (I repeat, NOT) the time or place to be pitching. These interviews are simply for gleaning information so you can learn to reach your ideal client more effectively!
So once you have a few guests willing to chat with you, what questions should you ask? I’ve got you covered!
Tip: Let them answer the questions fully, don’t lead them to answers
“Building a good client experience doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by design”
As your business grows so will your clients. You’ll learn more about them, how to connect with them quicker, and how to get even more comfortable with them, but only if you’re checking in and refreshing your approach.
Like I said, just like your website needs maintenance so do those notes you made when you first started your business. Your plans, ideas, and strategies should evolve to reflect where you are now!
Following these above steps will help you design an even better client experience. One where your ideal clients feel completely understood by you. I encourage you to take all of this new information (all the new scribbles on paper) and create a fresh client avatar for this year.
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