Understanding Target Market and Ideal Client Avatar

Ideal Client Target Market Windy Lawson

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Think niching down is a waste of time? Convinced that creating a target market/buyer persona/ideal client avatar is just leaving money on the table? I feel ya, and today I’m going to give you the one reason you need to identify your ideal client.

But first, let me go all Merriam-Webster on you to make sure we’re talking about the same thing.

Target Market is a marketing term. Marketing speaks to the masses to educate and inform, and Target Market identifies the people who would be a good fit. Marketing takes strangers and turns them into prospects.

Ideal Client Avatar or Buyer Persona is a sales term. Sales creates a relationship with prospects to move them from being a prospect to becoming a customer. Developing a relationship doesn’t have to mean one-on-one contact, like an old-school phone call, but it’s a more personalized touchpoint. Relationships are built between people, not masses, so Ideal Client Avatar or Buyer Persona refers to one person, not a group of people.

Example: I wrote this blog post for my target market. If you dig my vibe and sign up for my email newsletter, you’ll get a personalized email from me and hopefully, we’ll become penpals, just like Tupac and Tony Danza. {For serious!}

Because marketing exists to support sales, your Ideal Client Avatar will always live within your Target Market; but your Target Market will not be exclusively filled with ideal clients. You will have some less than ideal clients within your target market. So, it makes sense to start with Ideal Client and then widen the net to build your Target Market.

Creating Your Ideal Client

The entire point of creating an ICA is to whittle down your audience from the 7.8 billion people on this planet, to a more realistic audience. In an effort to make that as easy as possible, most ICA exercises have you start with a few key factors because it narrows the audience down quickly. The primary two are:

  • Demographic factors: Demographics are very black and white, cut and dry, and include categories like age, sex, education level, geographic location, etc
  • Psychographic factors: Psychographics help round out the personality and include things like hobbies and interests, opinions.

But here’s the problem. Most people stop there. And that information alone won’t do squat for you.

The number one factor to consider and the real reason you need an ideal client come down to these two questions:

What are her pain points?

And, how can you solve them?

Start by identifying the problems you solve. Because people don’t buy products and services, they buy solutions to their problems.

And you cannot effectively convey how you solve someone’s problems if you don’t know what problems they have in the first place.

So, creating your ICA is not about knowing that it’s a woman who’s 45-years-old and married with two kids and lives in the suburbs and went to college. That information can help craft your message to her, but what really matters is identifying her problems that you can solve.

Creating an ICA in Action

Problems and Solutions

My ideal client’s pain is she is not making as much money as she would like in her microbusiness. The problem is amplified by her lack of marketing knowledge and experience.

I solve her problems by teaching her marketing strategies that work and don’t cost a lot of money.

Digging into Demographics and Psychographics

Macy walked away from her career as a helper {teacher/nurse/social worker} to start her own business. She is college-educated, but without a business background.

She and her husband have a comfortable lifestyle, so she isn’t hustling to pay the bills every month, but she is driven to succeed. Starting her business was a huge leap of faith for her, and she is terrified of failing because she’s never failed at anything.

She has been moderately successful, but she knows if she wants a stable, healthy business, she has to uplevel her marketing efforts. She has/is working through her imposter syndrome, so she’s ready to put herself out there, but she doesn’t know how.

Target Market {Wide Net}

Female microbusiness owners who have been in business less than five-years.

The Takeaway

You should have both an Ideal Client Avatar and an Ideal Client. They are designed to help you market and sell more efficiently, so you can make mo money.

Start with problems and solutions, then add psychographic factors to round out your ICA. Once that’s done, identify the larger universe of your Target Market.

I’d love to hear about your Ideal Client. Tell me about her or him in the comments.

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