I have the opportunity to interact with a lot of female business owners and know that being an entrepreneur can be scary. We are working so hard to build our business and make it sustainable that we find that we end up chasing every opportunity to do so – often to the point that we lose focus and veer off track. Quite honestly it’s one of the biggest mistakes that I see business owners make.
Business gurus have long believed that if you market to everyone you will serve no one. But narrowing your business focus can feel risky especially if you aren’t making the amount of money you wish you were making. “What if I overlook someone? What if my target audience is too narrow to support my business? I can be helpful to everyone so why should I limit myself?” These are all questions that small business owners ask when challenged with narrowing their business focus or creating a clearly defined target audience.
But there are some very real risks to not having a well-defined business focus. Without a clear focus, there is no way to know what activities to engage in to build your business, costing you time and money. Without a clear focus, it’s impossible to know the language needed to attract your ideal client. If you are trying to speak to everyone, then no one will know you are speaking to them. As a result, we find ourselves chasing the next shiny object and diluting our message, products, and services which confuses potential customers and does nothing but cause us to work harder without the results that we seek.
It takes courage and confidence to focus your business. But there is power in knowing your ideal customer in a refined way. Being in alignment creates precision that results in momentum for your business. That’s why it’s so important to have clarity in this area of your business.
And here’s where your Avatar comes into play. One of the ways that you can focus or refocus your business is to ensure you have a clearly defined Avatar. What’s an Avatar? In its simplest form, your Avatar is your ideal client. Getting clear on your Avatar allows you to filter all your development strategies, including marketing decisions. When you filter your decisions through your Avatar it helps you clarify what activities you will and will not do. It determines your product and service offerings as well as helps you decide on special events, offers, and how to use social media. If you are unclear about your ideal client or still thinking you need to help everyone, here are three steps to get you there.
- List words or phrases that describe our ideal client
As I said earlier, it takes courage to clearly define an ideal client. But it’s downright terrifying to put a stake in the ground and say “this is who I specifically want to help” which is much different than identifying everyone you can help. One of the best ways to start is by listing words or phrases that describe your ideal client. Not all the people you can help but the characteristics of the people you would get the most joy out of helping.
Start simply by looking at their demographics. Are they male or female, how old are they, where do they live, what is their household income, are they married, do they have kids, what type of jobs do they have, etc.
Then you can move on to their psychographics. This would include things like their deepest desires, their internal pains, and their external frustrations.
Once you have a pretty good list of descriptive words for your Avatar, move on to Step 2.
- Figure out what makes them tick
Now that you have a general idea of who your Avatar is, it’s time to dig deeper to figure out what makes them tick. Here are a couple of questions that will help you do just that:
- What does your Avatar’s schedule look like? How do they feel about that?
- What are some things that are most important to your Avatar?
- Where does your Avatar like to shop? Where would they like to shop? What are some of their favorite brands?
- Where does your Avatar hang out? What do they do in their spare time?
The answers to these questions may not come easy but spending time to think about them are important. The better you understand your Avatar, the easier it will be to make the right decisions on how to reach them.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to nail this perfectly the first time. Your ideal client may evolve over time as you gain more clarity on what your likes and dislikes are.
TIP: It is not uncommon for a person to start a business because they are seeking to fill a need that they have had in their own life. For instance, a woman may start a coffee shop that has a play area for toddlers because she always wished “something like that existed” when her kids were young. So, if you really think about it, she is her own ideal client. Being able to recognize that fact will make it easier to begin to describe your ideal client because its you!
- Write their bio
The final step is to continue to clarify your Avatar by writing a brief bio of your ideal client. This should take 2 – 3 paragraphs. Boil down your notes and begin your bio by describing who your avatar is in a few sentences. In the next paragraph talk about what they love, their frustrations, and pain points. Then finally, describe why they need your product or services. Or, how using your products or services make their lives easier, eliminate their frustrations, or give them more of what they love.
And that’s it! That’s how you get started. Even though your ideal client may evolve over time, many of your marketing and branding decisions will now start to fall into place. You can know what to say YES to and what to say NO to. You will know how to evaluate new opportunities and activities. You will have that focus that you need to make the money you deserve.
If you are struggling in this area and would like some help, I encourage you to check out our Minerva Boss Lady Mastermind that starts in September. In this Mastermind we will use individual exercises and group coaching (via phone) to refine your Avatar so that you can make strategic decisions within your company that keep you from wasting time and money. You’ll get laser focused so that you can build momentum and start seeing the success that you deserve. To learn more visit Minerva Boss Lady Mastermind.