Avatars vs. Audience: Defining Your Ideal Client

create-avatar

One size does not fit all.

For years, business owners have been told to know their audience so they can market to them better. Many entrepreneurs heed this advice but don’t dive deep into their data.

Don’t make this mistake.

Defining your ideal client and customer can shine a focused beam of light on your audience instead of a wide swath that missed the mark.

Identifying your avatar is one of the first steps we take with our marketing consulting because all other decisions are based on who your ideal client is.

Audience vs. Avatar

An audience is often thought of as those who are most likely to buy from you. Business owners can spend a lot of time and energy assessing data to create a comprehensive profile of their audience. They can then use the profile to craft a marketing plan that speaks to those people.

However, only targeting an audience is not the most effective marketing strategy. Your marketing efforts can be in vain when you apply them to a wide range of possible customers.

Let’s say your audience is composed of men aged 18 to 50. Your marketing must focus on everyone within that age range. Since an 18-year-old male probably has different experiences and expectations than a 50-year-old female, your marketing might fall on deaf ears. 

That electrifying ad with the popular song pulsing in the background might appeal to a younger audience member but be too brash for someone older. You can’t connect your brand to every audience member simultaneously.

You can’t disregard your audience. You’ll have no business without them. What can you do to hone in on each primary demographic?

Creating an avatar from your audience data lets you narrow your marketing approach.

Russel Brunson teaches entrepreneurs to seek out their “avatars.” He defines an avatar as someone with the exact needs, pains, fear, wants, and desires as the customer you want to serve.

The big difference between an audience and an avatar is that the latter focuses on working with those you want to work with. This is not always the person who is most likely to buy (for now).

An example of an avatar is an 18-year-old female about to enter college or the workforce. They might not have many life experiences. They could use some guidance to maneuver through the transition period. They like a particular type of music. You can specifically market to this avatar better than you can a group of people with many differences. You can incorporate younger models or educational settings in your images. You can use songs that might attract avatars. Your options are tuned to a specific audience member.

Once you define your avatar, you can build an audience of those most likely to buy around those who you are happiest to serve.

How Defining Your Ideal Client Will Help You

Marketing is about alignment. Matching your products and services with people who will buy them is crucial. Defining your ideal client is worth the trouble in the long run. In addition to saving you time and money, the vital process can help you:

  • Speak through your marketing only to those you want to work with: You want to deal with the people who are most likely to convert to paying customers. Anyone else can be a waste of resources.
  • Increase your happiness inside and outside of your work: If you’re not happy, then you might be inclined to quit because you don’t see worthwhile results.
  • Identify who will be a pain and avoid working with them: Problem clients can negatively impact your enthusiasm, business resources, and performance.
  • Increase your motivation and job satisfaction: You might be more likely to achieve more when you see your hard work pay off.

Defining Your Ideal Client

Creating an avatar of your ideal client involves more than looking at data to create a simple description. Each avatar should have a story of their own.

A Better Example

The example presented in this article lacks detail and depth and is not the ideal avatar profile you want to create, but it’s a start.

Your avatar should be the character in their own story. You can name them and describe what they look like. You should know things about them that you could find out about an actual person.

For example:

Kelly is an 18-year-old female who just graduated high school. She currently works part-time at her local public library. She makes around $7,500 a year, not enough to live on. She has to choose whether or not to seek full-time employment or enroll in college.

She doesn’t want to move from her home in Anytown, Any State. She likes living with her parents and younger brother. Single, Kelly is most concerned with her immediate future. Work or college?

She knows that a college degree generally means a higher-paying job. She also knows that’s not always true. She’s worried about making the wrong decision that will make her unhappy and regretful. She knows there’s more to life than money, but she’s envious of her friends who appear to be on track to attaining prominent jobs after college.

She found your company when she was looking online for guidance. Since your service can help her, she hopes to make the right choice that leads her to a happy life.

Realigning Your Audience to Match Your Avatar

Sometimes your avatar will not align with who will be most likely to buy from you. What then?

You should consider realigning your business so you can serve those who best match the types of clients you are most interested in helping.

How to Create a Customer Avatar

The Basics

Being your avatar’s story with these questions:

  • What is their name?
  • How old are they?
  • What is their gender?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What’s their salary?
  • Where are they from, and where do they live?
  • What actions would lead them to your company? 
  • What do they reveal about their habits and behavior?
  • Are they married?
  • What is she/he lacking in his personal and professional life?
  • What is she/he interested in? Hobbies? Personal or professional growth?
  • What are their goals?
  • How do they measure success?

Alternatively, you can create a composite profile based on your customer data. Searching for common themes can help you fill in the blanks.

Go Deeper

Once you get the basics out of the way, it’s time to dig into what makes your avatar tick. Be sure to ask the following about your ideal clients:

  • Why does your ideal customer buy from you (or will buy from you)?
  • What are your strongest points of credibility with your ideal client?
  • What are the most attractive and unique forms of exclusivity for your ideal client?
  • What is your ideal client’s greatest concern/fear?
  • Where is your client’s mindset regarding your service/product? Do they know that you exist? Do you have brand recognition within your industry? Do they know about you but aren’t quite ready to buy?
  • What can you offer your ideal client that will help to overcome their concerns/fears?

Sometimes your product/service is not what they will immediately need. You can build a bridge offering that will guide them to you so you can nurture them.

Creating Multiple Avatars

Multiple avatars are great to have. However, if you’ve never made an avatar before, then you should concentrate on one. Creating avatars takes a bit of practice. Once you get used to the process, you can make various ones for each product/service you offer.

Take Advantage of Your Ideal Client Persona

Focusing on your ideal client can drive more revenue your way. Once you know why they think and act a certain way, you can customize your marketing message to directly speak to them. Go beyond targeting a broad audience. Use avatars to make your life – and your customers – happier.

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About The Author

Matthew Post

Matthew Post

Matthew Post has dedicated over two decades to building and optimizing websites. He has worked in-house for nationwide e-commerce companies and large local firms to increase customer engagement through conversion rate optimization and search engine optimization. His expertise covers both the development and growth of digital properties.