A part of planning your business is knowing who you are servicing. Yes, we want the world to be in love with, desire and use everything that we create. In some form or fashion, our service or product will meet the need of the citizens of the world. Well, wouldn’t that be lovely. The truth is, there is a specific market for your work and within that market is the ideal client for you. Exactly how do you find that client or even know who they are?
I have a greeting card business that I started a few years back. Not being the marketing magician, I decided to try to find some help. A friend of mine told me about a coach that he’d been following for a few years. I began listening to his podcast and thought he had great information. The opportunity arose to attend his grand convention in Arizona. It was free, all I had to do was get there. I convinced my husband to make a birthday trip out of it for himself. It would be a win, win. So, we booked our flight and headed out.
The atmosphere was electrifying at the convention. We heard from different speakers. We had work time to take us through the concepts that they were teaching. There were all of these amazing testimonials of how companies were achieving greater success due to the guidance that they received from this coach and his team. I turned to my husband and told him, "they can help me." We were both convinced and signed up to be a part of the club.
We got back home and I was more than excited for my first meeting call. We talked about the ideas I had for my business, how I planned to get there and how I would market my business. The gentleman on the other line said, “Well, who’s your avatar?” “My What?” I learned that the avatar is your ideal client. You have to understand who your ideal client is. What they eat, where they shop, what makes them tick. I knew nothing of the such. All I knew is that I was a creative with something to offer the world and I couldn’t get out of my box. My family and friends were a part of my market, which I am grateful for, but they were not my ideal client. Identifying my avatar stumped me. I received no help because I couldn’t figure this out. Needless to say, I dropped out of the group, took the financial loss and stuck the idea of an avatar in my closet of nightmares and dark secrets.
Fast forward many years and a new business, I have figured it out. I had to work backwards but I got it. Some people say you have to have your ducks in a row to march but, sometimes you have to march while you are getting it together. I took a training that taught about developing brand identity. Brand identity is everything you pull together to visually convey to your customer who you are as a brand. It's elements of the brand, such as color, design, font and logo, that identify and distinguish the brand in customers minds.
To help us hone in on our brand, we were told to turn our brand into a person. We were then asked to use the five senses to bring our brand to life. What would it look like, sound like, taste like, feel like and smell like? We noted these things as they pertained to our brand. Then we created a mood board to visually represent the persona of our brand.
This activity helped me to get a clear feel of my brand. Then I asked myself, “Who would want to hang out with my brand and what would my brand and that person be doing?” Based on my mood board and the answers to the questions that I asked myself, I began to understand who my ideal client was. I understood the temperament of my client. Then I looked at who I am currently serving and what do you know? You guessed it, I am reaching my avatar.
I’ve taken the avatar out of the closet and have given it its rightful place in my business. When you have tried one way and get stuck because it’s not working for you, try another way. It may take some time, it may be unconventional but what you need, you will find and it will work for you. Before you can know your avatar, you have to know your brand. Going beyond the visual elements of your brand, you have to know your brand as you know yourself. It has emotions because it evokes emotions. It has personality because your ideal client has a personality that will mesh with your brand. When you understand your brand, you begin to understand the client that will be the best fit for you in your market.