How to find success by forgetting your ideal client avatar

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Business

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably been told that you need to define your ideal client avatar. This is the process of creating a detailed profile of your ideal customer, including their age, income, lifestyle, and so on. The idea is that if you know who your ideal customer is, you can more easily target them with your marketing efforts. 

But here’s the thing: in today’s world, the customer journey is anything but linear.

People don’t simply decide one day that they need a product or service and then go out and buy it. Instead, they may see an ad, do some research online, ask their friends for recommendations, and so on.

In other words, there are so many factors that influence a customer’s decision-making process that it’s impossible to predict what will work for any given individual. 

Some industry leaders are set to give this “popular” piece of advice in our small business world:

“You need to create a client avatar. Give them a name, a favorite Sbux drink, what they had for lunch…” (excuse the eye-roll but, really?)

Of course, I want to work with people who love tea and are into giving their dogs unlimited belly rubs…

But I have thoughts. And unpopular opinions.

I wholeheartedly believe that to grow your business you need to understand your customer’s journey.

Not their coffee order. β˜•οΈ

What is an ideal client avatar, and why should you forget about them?

An ideal client avatar is a fictional representation of your ideal client or customer.

This persona can help you better understand the needs and motivations of your target audience, enabling you to better market your products or services to them.

However, it’s important to remember that your ideal client avatar is only a model or idealized version of real people.

In reality, no single person will perfectly embody all the characteristics and needs of your ideal clients, so it may be more useful to forget about ideal client avatars altogether and instead focus on catering to the actual needs and preferences of your target audience.

By doing this, you can create marketing campaigns that resonate with real people and drive tangible results for your business.

So it’s not all bad, but it creates frustration 😫 because now you have your full avatar for Sabrina and know she’s probably hanging out on that FB mom’s group chatting about the new Restoration Hardware collection, or the amazing new order she discovered at Sbux… (and yes the name Sabrina came from the 90’s witchy show πŸˆβ€β¬›)

And that doesn’t get you far.

You don’t know how to get her in your circle, how to have your business on her radar, or how to stay in touch with her. And all the other things that actually grow your business.

But really, this means you don’t need a cookie-cutter avatar creation for your customer. You actually need to understand them in their purchase journey!

How do you create a customer journey map for your business growth?

By understanding the customer journey, you can create a roadmap for your business that leads to more sales and satisfied customers.

First, identify your customer.

Who are your ideal customers? What do they care about? What are their pain points? Once you have a clear understanding of your target customer, you can begin to map out their journey.

Second, identify the key touchpoints in the customer journey.

These are the moments when customers interact with your brand, from awareness all the way through to purchase and beyond.

For each touchpoint, ask yourself:

  • What does the customer need or want at this stage?
  • How can my business provide value?

By answering these questions, you can start to map out a customer journey that leads to conversions and brand loyalty.

This can be done in a couple of ways but my favorite is using Google Analytics.

If you have a website and collect data (which I’m sure you do if you have Google Analytics set up), you have a TON of information at your fingertips to understand how people interact with your brand.

Looking at things like:

– what pages they explore

– how long they were on each page

– if they subscribed or purchased anything

This will help you understand the steps they took in their customer journey in direct relation to your business revenue and audience growth.

How does understanding your customer’s journey help your business growth

Knowing your customer’s journey is key to brand growth.

By understanding the steps your customer takes from brand awareness to purchase, you can optimize each touchpoint to create a seamless and satisfying experience.

This, in turn, leads to loyal customers who are more likely to recommend your brand to others. In addition, understanding your customer’s journey can help you identify areas where your brand is falling short.

By making small changes at each stage of the journey, you can make a big impact on your overall growth.

So, if you’re looking to take your brand to the next level, it’s time to start understanding your customer’s journey. With a little bit of effort, you can create a roadmap for growth that will help your business reach new heights.

When building your customer journey, think about:

  • What touchpoints do they need to be a cold lead?
  • How about nurturing them, what avenues do they interact with?
  • What will make them happy to purchase from you? What will keep them coming back?

I want to encourage you to start small, look unto your past clients (the amazing ones you wish you could clone), build that step-by-step journey, and keep it fresh. Revisit, refine, execute!

I get it, it’s hard to think about all the steps that a customer takes, but that is what makes GREAT qualified leads, so I encourage you to switch off the avatar and instead look into that customer journey!

You totally got this πŸŽ‰Β (and yes, if you feel like you need a bit more help, rememberΒ you have aΒ brand strategistΒ at your serviceΒ πŸ˜‰ *wink wink*)

In recap

First, ideal avatars can be limiting. If you focus too much on reaching a specific type of customer, you may miss out on other potential customers who could also benefit from your product or service.

Second, ideal avatars can be static. Your ideal customer may change over time, so it’s important to keep track of their evolving needs and preferences.

Finally, ideal avatars can be impractical. In the real world, customers don’t always follow a linear journey from awareness to purchase. They may jump around or take detours along the way. As a result, trying to force them into a mold can actually make it harder to reach them.

So, should you forget about ideal client avatars altogether? Not necessarily. But it’s important to remember that they are only one tool in your marketing arsenal. Use them as a starting point, but be prepared to adapt as your business grows and changes.

Need help strategizing your customer journey? Send me a message, as a brand strategist I’d love to work together and create a plan for your unique customers’ journey!

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@penguindesigning

I'm Ingrid, welcome!  I'm a branding designer + Showit Design Partner, doggy mamma, and tea drinker.

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