Business Bites Epi 12: The Magic of a Client Avatar

The Magic of a Client Avatar

Episode 12 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode: Being crystal clear on who your avatar is, how they think, buy, and act will make business EASY for you. It won’t make it FREELY easy. But it’ll make decisions way easier. Check it out.

What you will learn: 

  • Mowing a dead lawn–why your marketing efforts may not be paying off
  • The importance of a client avatar
  • Questions to ask yourself as you develop your avatar
  • How the bell curve works
  • How to use your avatar in your marketing strategy
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Welcome to this episode of the business bites. I am your host Rachel Brenke and I am super excited. Wait, I probably say that almost every episode. Well, I only talk about content that I think is really important, really exciting for your business or else if it’s on the legal side it’s because it’s a necessity. This topic of marketing messaging, cutting through all the BS, getting directly clear exact of what we need to do, this is a topic that I feel like permeates almost all the aspects of business. When I’m working with other clients I feel like I want to just grab their face in my hands and look them directly in the face.

Often times, I feel like I’m mentally doing that to myself because by focusing and getting really crystal clear on this one aspect will help to set the tone for everything in your business or how you manage your business, how you manage the employees in your business, the marketing message that you put out, the content you’re going to create, the social media messages that are going to go, how you’re going to approach explaining legal documents to customers, clients, et cetera. How you’re going to handle issues, being clear on who exactly that you’re selling yourself, your product, your service, whatever it is to.

Being crystal clear and visually being able to see that person sitting in front of you is going to make all of these other aspects completely easy and clear and give you a nice little framework to set yourself up for success. I don’t know how many of you actually follow me on social media but if you do, you know that one of the big things in my life is that I’m a triathlete. I am not athletic, I just do triathlons and so it’s really kind of hard for me to embrace that whole triathlete title. The other day I was huffing and puffing down the road. I was [wheeling 00:02:33] one foot in front of the other.

I just wanted to get the run over with. I knew it needed to be done. It was on my checklist for the day. People say it’s fun. Some days it may borderline be but for the most part it’s something that I just need to get accomplished but I was [sliding 00:02:48] down the street and there was a low hum of a riding mower coming around the side of a neighbor’s house. If I didn’t know the sound I would have wondered what the heck was happening. I had my headphones on, I was in another world and there was this huge cloud of dust and particles were whipping around like a small tornado and it was totally crazy and kind of blew me away.

Not literally but just kind of my brain went, “Whoa, what’s going on?” It was my neighbor mowing his dead lawn. Yes, he was working hard, putting in the [apparatus 00:03:14]. He had his little safari hat on, his sunscreen on his nose and he had the right machinery. He’s gone out and bought this really expensive nice riding lawn mower with all these bells and whistles. At least it looks fancy with all the bells and whistles, but he was mowing dry and broken glass blades and they were just kicking up dust. Towards about this time, I’m slugging along and I thought to myself, “Okay, so obviously he sees the dust.

He probably sees me. He probably won’t spew all of this dust into my gaping mouth as I’m just sucking wind over here.” Well, he did because he wasn’t paying attention. He was so concerned on making sure that he fulfilled his mission of cutting the grass that he’s completely unaware of his surroundings and ultimately the failure of his plan. Now had he been the next door neighbor over with the lush and beautiful green lawn, the cut pieces were settled just right into the grass. They had all been absorbed and not showing a great display of unwelcoming pieces of vegetation.

I’m going, “Yeah, why couldn’t I have been the other neighbor, the one with the good lawn?” My fit of coughing to get the dust out of my lungs, I started to realize that a lot of you guys had excuses with marketing because you’re mowing the dead lawn and you’re not mowing a nice lush lawn. Cut as this guy might, [work 00:04:22] as he might, he wasn’t going to have a lawn he wanted. He failed to provide the correct cultivation strategy and he basically was throwing machinery and activity at it but resulted in no success. Many of you have done the right things.

You’ve figured out the equipment you need, the style you have, got your logo or maybe even settled on pricing you need to sell your products or service but just like this guy you’re just barely mowing in a feeble attempt to preserve what little or may. You’re not doing anything but kicking up dust. I use all of that to say it’s time to quit kicking up dust and it’s time to get serious on marketing the right way. I want to ask you before we dig into the lesson. How many potential clients do you think you’ve driven away by blowing dust into their mouth?

What about the ones that were your target client but you unknowingly pushed them aside when kicking up the dust particles when attempting to cut the lawn? How many repeat clients haven’t achieved repeat status due to the lack of follow-up? How many individuals have you missed as clients because you weren’t in the proper path? All of these different things that I just listed out are marks that you’re missing in business. Marketing is not that difficult.

Messaging is not that difficult, but it’s who you’re talking to and being crystal clear on that is exactly what is going to cut through all that BS and get you onto the good lawn mowing so that you start getting people attracted, you start cutting it properly and you have the cultivation going and you don’t have all these dust and particles and no success happening at all. Let’s jump right in to the client avatar lesson. Till you’re crystal clear on exactly who we’re talking or selling to, you’re going to create what I call a client avatar. There is a reason I use the term avatar.

A lot of times this isn’t really used on the inter-web anymore. This is more back from the days when the Internet was really new and you spend a lot of times hashing over what color hair should your avatar have. Should they look like you? Should they not? Are they going to be similar to your features or are they going to be somebody completely different that is an online identity that you’re going to have? I just love using the term avatar because it doesn’t have to be who you are. You’re physically going to be creating this person in your mind as though they are sitting in your office in front of you.

For any time you’re going to do anything, communicate with a customer, create a marketing message, decide what to include in a legal document, anything in your business, you’re going to visualize this avatar. Imagine they just appear holographically and sit in the desk chair, right next to your desk and you guys are going to communicate, okay? We’re going to walk through this procedure, exactly what I do with all of my consulting clients and I’m going to explain a little bit why we’re going to do that and how you’re going to use it so that in the end all of this becomes really crystal clear.

The very first step is I want you to look and see who is it sitting in that desk chair next to you. What do they look like? What are they wearing? How old are they? What are their demographics? Do they have kids? Do they not have kids? What type of occupation could they be? Get as specific as possible. It sounds very counter-intuitive when you’re going through these items thinking, “Why would I want to be so narrowly specific? What good is that going to do? That’s going to alienate all of these other customers.” I’m going to explain that here in a second.

Let me run back through the list and then I’ll come back and explain to you exactly how the Bell Curve works of all these demographics and all these characteristics. Like I just said, we want to make sure we identify their gender or their age, what they look like, what they would be drinking if you were going to offer them something to drink if they walked into your office to talk to you? Is it going to be coffee? Is it going to be a decaf coffee? Would it have almond milk? Be as specific and crystal clear as possible. Do they have kids? How old are those kids? How old is this person?

Are they working? Are they not working? What are their specific hobbies? What are their preferences? What are their dislikes? This is the exact checklist I did write it out to you that I go through. Anytime I’m going to going to create a new brand I need to know who I’m going to look at and talk to that’s sitting in the chair across from me. I often times find that people fall their avatar into one or two categories. Often it’s someone that is the exact mirror image of who they are. Well, guess who mine is. My avatar, her name is Eva. Yes I’ve named her. She is pretty much me sitting in the chair across from me.

I work with a lot of clients and I have a couple of brands this way who their avatar is a 180 of who they are. There’s not a right or wrong answer. It’s just who you desire to service. It’s the market that you want to provide you, your product or your service to. Go ahead. I want you guys to pause for a second, work through all of those, the checklist I just talked about. Add on extra things as you think about it too. Maybe think, “Oh she likes to shop at Coles but she doesn’t really care for it except around sales days.” Those things are very important. Don’t just be general.

Get as specific as possible as you can for your avatar because we’re going to work through kind of how the bell curve works and how you’re going to gather other people. Even though you’re talking specific, we’re going to throw a net. We’re going to get everyone that’s surrounded around that little specific person. Already so you guys just finished filling out and hopefully naming the avatar that’s going to sit in your office in front of you. The person that you’re going to try to sell your product or service to, if you didn’t name them, please go ahead.

Just quickly come up with a name that came to your mind because I want you to be able to talk to this person even with the door closed in your office so people don’t think you’re crazy, but I want you to be able to talk to this person any time you take an action. The reason I want you to get very specific on who they are is because it helps your messaging to be very clear. I want you to visualize for a second a bell curve. In the bell curve, if you don’t know what it is, go Google it real quick and then come back. At the very top of the bell curve, in the very center top, there is a point.

That point is my Eva the avatar, whatever your avatar’s name is. That is where your person sits. That’s where all those characteristics that we just outlined are all going to be listed and fall right there. The reason I want to get very clear on that middle point is because we’re not trying to attract just that person. You may be very specific and may be very particular in your business but you’re going to see that even when you market into every single one of those characteristics you’re not going to always get all those characteristics. What happens to the bell curve as it starts going to the right or the left, it starts to slope down a little bit.

It’s just a decrease in number of the characteristics on your avatar list that we just did. Nothing wrong with it until we get to the further edges and those are the people that we don’t want. Those are the people we don’t want to waste our time in because they’re probably not going to buy into us. That’s not who our ideal avatar, ideal customer, ideal client is so in the center, focus on those 10, 15, maybe 20. That’s probably a bit much. Stay around 15 characteristics. In the center is 15 characteristics and the great thing about it is as you market to those, you may get some people that have more than all those 15 and then some.

You may have some that are less than the 15 but they’re all on the top of that bell curve. They’re all on that pool of people. That right there identifies the pool of people that you want to be marketing to. This should make all of your messaging clear so when I sit down for example to create my social media marketing strategy, by knowing that Eva’s sitting there, she’s drinking a white chocolate mocha, latte, whatever from Starbucks, nonfat skim milk and she is nicely dressed but she’s short on time because she’s got to go pick up her kids from school since she just came from work, she’s stopping off to see me.

See, that’s just an example right there. Exactly how I envisioned this avatar. When I am going to create my social media marketing strategy that’s what I think of. If I had to tell her a message right then and she’s sitting in my office in that limited amount of time, what would it be? If I’m going to create a picture to show her, it needs to be something that’s going to attract her. [Normally 00:12:21] to try to attract anybody, any females generally in the area it needs to be a female of this age, of this occupation, of this type of life situation. I hope you guys are following where I’m going with this.

That is how the lens that I want you guys to look through when you’re creating any piece in your marketing, any piece in your content, anything in your business, right there, is exactly who you’re speaking to because you’re going to gather the other people around her. She has friends. Think back the bell curve. She’s at the very top. Her friends are standing a little bit to the right. The other friends are staying a little bit to the left. We don’t have to be identical. They’re not all identical zombies. They are not cookie cutters of each other but they’re similar. Birds of a feather flock together and that’s exactly the entire goal.

It’s going to make everything easier for you guys so I want you to work through this process and know that that answer’s out there. You just have to think about exactly who you’re trying to reach. Now, here’s another part of the exercise I meant [inaudible 00:13:20] for you. You may have been in business a while or you want to double check to make sure you’re doing things right as you go along, which is good, is what you should always be doing, always re-evaluating, but now with social media and Google analytics and we’ve got Facebook insights, Instagram insights, everything tells us all of this data, you guys should be looking at this data for a couple of reasons.

One, you can look at it now and see, “Okay, before I change any of my marketing messaging, who have I been reaching?” Everything I just listed is inside all of those insights. It’s in Google analytics. It’s in Facebook insights. It’s in all of those, so you can look at that and go, “Okay. Maybe I’ve been doing things right. That’s the avatar that I’m trying to reach. I’m on the right path,” or you can look at the insights and go, “Men, I am reaching the entirely wrong person and that’s why stuff’s not selling or that’s why I’m having problems and it’s exactly where I don’t want to be so I need to sit down and get very clear on my avatar and flip my marketing message and flip everything on its head.”

Your tools are in front of you. The tools are free for you guys to use. You need to utilize them but utilize them in the box that I’ve given you of this client avatar. Make this a routine thing. Stick it onto your calendar. Do it on a quarterly to evaluate. Any time you do a large new marketing, push, evaluate. Are the insights changing? Are the demographics changing? At the same time, inwardly look and see if maybe your perspective of your avatar is changing as well. If you’re really crystal clear from the very beginning who you wanted to be, it’s not changing, you’re just focused on the business changing. Really clear cut.

The insights are there. Try to mirror exactly what you’re trying to reach, which is that list that I gave you guys. I hope this helps you guys a little bit more to understand why being clear on your client avatar is so important. It will teach you and show you down to pricing exactly what words to use in marketing, what works best in client psychology to build the buyer confidence to make it easier for them to sign that contract or click that “buy now” button. It will also shape how you’re going to explain or handle issues that you have with an individual.

Maybe they’re in the industry and then you’re going to explain it to them probably a little differently than somebody who’s not in the industry. These are the things that I want you guys to be thinking off. Scribble all of them down. These are the big categories that you’re going to be using as client avatar in. I wish you luck and really hope that this does help keep you and I’m doing it, I’m making the hand motions in my office right now. Put your hands on either side of your head, look at yourself in the eyes and go, “Who is your avatar for the social media message?

Who is your avatar for exactly who you’re talking to?” Guess what, I have an avatar of exactly who this podcast was for and I almost guarantee when I go back to look at my insights I’m going to be spot on. Good luck.

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

As a mom, team USA athlete and cancer-survivor, I want a real life while I have a real business.  This is why my resources don’t promote hustle-culture, rather tough-love and no-holds-barred tips to achieving both.  In addition to this website, I have a top-ranked business podcast, been featured in places like Forbes and work 1:1 with so many of you.

Enough about me though. I am proud of you for pursuing entrepreneurship. It is rewarding and amazing.  Keep at it!

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