If it sometimes feels like your marketing is getting lost in all the online noise, it might just be time to revisit your ideal client avatar — or create one, if you haven’t already! In this post, we’ll go into detail about what an ideal client avatar is, why it’s crucial for your business’ success, and how to create yours.
In my experience, the way that we’re traditionally taught to define our ideal client isn’t always the most effective, and can actually cause more harm than good. That’s why I’ll be sharing some more inclusive ways that you can define your dream clients.
Prefer to listen than read? Get a quick overview of ideal client avatars with this episode from The Copy Dates Podcast:
Why defining your ideal client avatar is important
Truly connecting with your audience (and writing high-converting copy that sells) means being able to speak your audience’s language. And that’s exactly where your ideal client avatar comes in.
By defining your ideal client, you’re giving yourself clear guidelines to follow in terms of who you’re targeting, making it a lot easier for you to tailor your messaging and marketing to them.
Not only is this going to help you attract more of the right people to your business, but it also increases your chances of being able to convert those people into paying clients or customers.
How focusing on the right things makes your ideal client avatar more inclusive
Traditionally, we’ve been told to focus our buyer persona or ideal client avatar on things like demographic information.
When I was doing my marketing degree, my professors were constantly telling us to narrow down our audience based on things like age, nationality, gender, education level, and other demographic and socioeconomic details.
This didn’t exactly change in the corporate world, either. How many times have you seen a brand brief where the ideal client is defined based almost solely on their demographics and what kind of media they consume?
Don’t get me wrong. Demographic information can be important… but only if it’s actually relevant to what you’re selling. If you’re trying to target stay-at-home moms, for example, things like age range and family dynamics are important.
Most of the time, though, defining our ideal client based on where they live, what they look like, or what they order at Starbucks isn’t actually serving our business goals. Instead, we can be far more inclusive (and far more strategic) by focusing on the things that really matter when it comes to reaching and converting our perfect-fit clients.
Writing inclusive copy allows you to reach a broader audience, while also putting your values first. If you’re curious about making sure that the language you use in your business is more inclusive, I highly recommend checking out my friend Danbee Shin’s “Global Inclusion Basics” mini course (affiliate link).
Gathering information about your target audience
The first step in creating your ideal client avatar is to gather as much intel as you can on your target audience.
The easiest way to start is to look at your existing customer base. Out of all the clients you’ve worked with up until this point, what do they have in common? Is there something that differentiates those perfect-fit clients from the ones that were kind of… meh?
In general, what problems are people coming to you for help with? After they’ve worked with you, how would they describe the outcome or transformation they received?
If you don’t have a huge existing audience, dig for this information in places where you know your ideal clients are hanging out online, such as Facebook groups, Reddit threads, and other social media platforms.
Effective ways of conducting market research at this stage can include surveys, interviews, and analytics.
How to define your ideal client
We’ll go into each of these criteria in more detail in the following subsections. But the simplest way to define your ideal client avatar is to make sure that it answers the following questions:
☕ What is my ideal client’s biggest problem?
☕ How is that problem showing up in their life?
☕ How is that problem making them feel?
☕ What outcome are they looking for, once that problem is remedied?
☕ What would their life look like once they achieved that outcome?
Remember, it’s also important to ask yourself: “Does it truly matter what my client’s gender identity is, how many children they have, or whether they live in a city or the suburbs? Do any of these demographic details actually make a difference to the problem I solve or the transformation I deliver?”
If the answer is no, it probably doesn’t belong in your ICA.
If you want some extra guidance as you figure these things out, our Messaging Clarity Journal has an entire section dedicated to defining your perfect-fit clients.
Identifying your ideal client’s problems and pain points
To connect with your ideal client, you have to understand what’s driving their search for your offers. How can you put yourself in their shoes and identify the challenges their facing, specifically as they relate to your business?
Remember to go beyond the big, scary problem and also think about how that problem is affecting their day-to-day life — i.e. their pain points. The more specific you can get with your examples, the more effective your messaging and copy will be.
By showing your ideal client that you understand their struggles, it becomes much easier to position your offers as the solution they’ve been looking for.
Understanding your ideal client’s motivations
On top of your ideal client’s problems and pain points, it’s also important to understand their goals and desired outcomes.
What are they hoping to achieve, as it relates to your business? What is driving them to want to solve that problem? If they were to invest in a solution, what transformation are they hoping for?
Again, your ideal client wants to know that you can actually solve their problem — and part of this means showing them that you see a reality on the other side of their problem that they might not yet see.
Researching where your ideal client spends their time online
Knowing these key messaging points isn’t enough, though. If you want to make sure your messaging is actually reaching your ideal clients, you need to know where they’re hanging out online.
In your market research, be sure to identify which social media platforms, forums, websites, and even offline media they’re consuming. TikTok can be an effective marketing strategy, but not if your ideal clients won’t dare to touch the app.
By meeting your ideal clients where they already are, you’re making the buying process that much smoother for them — plus you’re maximizing any time or money you’re investing in your marketing by increasing your chances of engagement.
Tailoring your messaging to your ideal client avatar
As you start to get a clear understanding of who your ideal client is — specifically what’s bugging them and what they’re looking for — you can start to develop a brand messaging strategy that ties it all together in a neat little bow.
Having a clearly defined ideal client avatar within your bigger messaging strategy helps you make sure that you’re keeping things consistent and always speaking to your intended audience’s pain points and desires.
It’s so important that the work you do here actually plays a role in your content and marketing strategies. The things that you know about your ideal client should inform the topics you choose to talk about, the marketing channels you share those messages on, and even the offers you create.
The importance of regularly reassessing and refining your client avatar
Feel like you’re starting to get a sense of who your ideal client is, and how to properly define and target them? Awesome.
But remember: creating your ideal client avatar isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process.
As your business evolves, you add new offers, and your audience changes, it's crucial to regularly reassess and refine your client avatar.
Make sure that you’re not just paying attention to your audience’s evolving needs, preferences, and challenges, but that you’re also noting them down — and adjusting your marketing accordingly.
By staying connected, inclusive, and strategic, you'll continue to attract and convert the right people throughout the lifetime of your business.
Ready to create your ideal client avatar (and messaging strategy)?
Our Messaging Clarity Journal is designed to guide you through the process of defining your vision, your audience, and your unique positioning so you can confidently share your offers and magic with the world.
Through 60+ guided prompts, it’ll help you distill your brand’s essence, so you can develop a clear messaging strategy and write copy that is memorable and impactful.