Day #03: Target Audience & Ideal Client Avatar
Updated: May 19
How to Niche Down and Focus Your Marketing
If you're struggling to reach the people you want to reach, then you probably need to spend some time working on your target audience and ideal client avatar.
Quick Summary if you're in a rush.
The Basics > Brief explanation if you've never done this type of work
Choosing an Overall Target Audience > These steps will help later when we dive into design and define our Mood Boards
Ideal Client Avatar How To > Super fun worksheet! To bring a clear and vivid example of who you're targeting
KRD/Brand Spin > Tip: Think of real people you know as examples for each of your ICA types. This helps you get out of your own head, and makes things feel a little more realistic as you work through everything.
Reframe / Refresh / Remind > Print and use this as a guide to help you as you build content moving forward
Define Target Audience
The demographic of people most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Basically: The bigger, broader look at who you're targeting.
For Us: We'll use this to set the general tone, direction, bigger picture thinking and style direction.
Define Ideal Client Avatar (ICA)
Dictionary definition of "avatar" as a digital technology term is "a graphical image that represents a person, as on the internet."
Basically: Specific examples of your ideal client or customer, within your Target Audience.
For Us: We'll use this to reframe while creating and building out content. Think of it like a checks and balances system. While you're working, you can keep checking your ICA worksheet and ask yourself, is this what my ICA wants to hear? Does it make sense or seem attractive to them?
A distinct segment of a market; a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing. As a verb, to place (something) in a niche.
Basically: Another way of saying Target Audience but can also be used as a verb.
For Us: In essence, we're looking at bigger picture, then niching down until we land on the right ICA (or later right mood board, design, etc.)
This is probably rule #1 when it comes to marketing, know who you're marketing to, and niche down.
So often when I've asked business owners, "Who is your target audience?" they answer with, "Everyone." While I'm sure there's the potential for everyone to benefit from your product or service, that doesn't really make sense or help us market your product.
When you aim at too many targets, you'll miss.
So obvious, it seems silly. When you think of it in terms of literally taking aim at a physical
target, then of course, duh, what else. But you'd be surprised how often this comes up. Even for myself, after working through this with clients numerous times, over many years, when I built this blog, I did the exact same thing many new business owners did. I didn't take the time to niche down and get a specific idea of my ICA set.
Choose Your Target Audience
Bigger Picture Thinking
Directions: Use the best method that makes sense for you, but some ideas are to use a mind map approach, free write a long list, or download the worksheet.
I'm sure you've got an idea of who wants your product or service, so keep exploring.
What are all the options of group types you could target?
What do these groups like? What do they look like?
What is your competition doing? Are they targeting any of these groups? Is there a potential group your competition isn't targeting?
2. Start Niching! Cross Out Groups That Don't Make Sense for You
Are they too hard to target? >> If it feels too unrealistic or unreasonable for you, then let's not entertain it for now. We want to set you up to succeed, and often times that means setting small, mini goals that build confidence, gain momentum, and will create your avalanche forward.
Do they resonate and align with your natural style, culture, personality? >> Compatibility is important, birds of a feather flock together, so might as well cancel out any groups who may not be the tribe for your vibe.
Will they buy? >> This is a biggie. There's a fine line between showing the benefits of your product or service, and marketing in a way that feels like we're trying to convince someone to buy.
We're not trying to persuade anyone to buy. We're trying to make sure the people who already want what we have to offer, know we exist, and why we're the best for them.
3. What are your options?
What have you come up with? Ideally you'll be left with one solid, ideal target audience, but definitely no more than three options.
Choose Your Ideal Client Avatar
The Fun Part! Client + Ideal + Avatar = Ideal Client Avatar
1. Define the 1-3 client personas within your chosen Target Audience
Within the target audience you chose, could you segment into general types of people?
Using myself as an example, for Kat Reyes Design, my branding and design services, no matter what packages or services I offer, I always have 2 Target Audiences:
Small Business Owners
2. Define what makes a client or customer IDEAL
Niching down, again! There are lots of factors that can make a client great for you, or not. Some of it we will define during the Avatar stage, but for this step, we want to sort out the major deal breakers that filter out who we want to target, and who we don't. This could be based on what different services or tiers your business may have.
So, for example, I used to only have one major service offering, my Brand Identity Process. It was the same system, used for both small business owners and solo entrepreneurs. Now I've expanded my services to suit a wider range of needs.
Brand Identity Process > Same services as before
Brand Clarity > To fit businesses who have an existing logo or brand, but need more clarity, refinement, don't know how to create cohesive collateral, etc.
Starter Brand > New offering for clients who need a quick jumpstart brand, who don't need as much of a process, and trust me to make all the design calls.
With these services in mind, my ICA would be clients who are:
Ready for next level growth. They're usually well past the start up stage, they're looking to hit bigger, newer audiences, they want to be taken seriously, they want to be a more recognizable brand.
Able to afford and value the investment
They're not DIYers, they want a professionally made brand. For #1 and #2, they want and appreciate the process.
ETC, and more reasons!
3. Creating the Avatar
Okay so this is the part that I always find so fun. Answer the questions below and craft an ICA
persona. It helps to make it something visual, to help clarify the concept of the person in your mind. The more realistic you can imagine this person, the better and more specific your content and structures will be.
Answer the questions below, or download the worksheet.
When creating these avatars, I find it's helpful to think of real life examples. It may feel a little odd to write down your Great Aunt Sally as an ICA example, but sometimes crafting an ideal person from our own mind can feel unrealistic. We forget the real life problems, worries, priorities, and all the many factors involved in that person's life that may conflict with our vision.
Say your business is massage therapy, and your specialty is injury, chronic pain, or geriatric massage. Great Aunt Sally might be exactly who you're targeting. But if all your content uses hip new lingo (hello #hashtags and acronyms), your marketing pieces feature small sized fonts, or the only way to contact is through text or social media, then you probably have some restructuring to do.
Thinking about a real life example, helps us double check our own work and make sure we're crafting realistic ICAs.
Want to see an example? I filed this out too!
Refresh / Reframe / Remind
On that note, there are multiple reasons to work on your Target Audience & ICA.
Helps us Refresh > If you've been in business for a while, it's nice to occasionally come back and do all this type of work again. Often times your ICA changes over time, and it's good to refresh and update what that persona looks like in your mind.
Reframe Your Approach > As with the Great Aunt Sally example, it's helpful to keep coming back to your ICA form and make sure everything you're doing really makes sense for your client.
Remind > ICA helps us remember the driving Why of our business. It keeps us focused on the mission and the purpose of what you're doing and why. Any goal you ever make, will be reached by maintaining your focus, energy, and vision, and this is another one of those little tricks to help you get there.
What Is Your 'Target Audience' in Marketing? by Laura Lake
Defining Your Customer Avatar: Who is your Ideal Client? by Ryan Battles
What Is An Ideal Customer Avatar? by Henry DeVries, Forbes
Hero Banner Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@ryoji__iwata
Choose Your Ideal Client Avatar Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@stilclassics
Refresh/Reframe/Remind Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@thatsmrbio
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