How to narrow down your avatar

Having a hard time narrowing down who you serve?

Our client Seth joined our program and as a full-service web design agency, he has always had a hard time zeroing in on who he served.

He’s had clients in all markets, industries, you name it.

If this sounds familiar, you’re probably like Seth…

In a spot where the only way of getting new clients was from referral or word of mouth and even then your existing clients didn’t know how to explain what he did.

There’s a good chance that many of the other problems you’re facing all stem back to the fact that you don’t really know who you serve.

Lack of automation? Likely an avatar problem.
NO systems? Likely an avatar problem.
Every project starts from scratch? Yup, same situation.

Sometimes the common “ways” of narrowing down your avatar don’t work for agencies.

If that’s you, try watching this video.

​Transcript / MP3

In this video, I'm going to break down how you can narrow down your client avatar. In other words, really hone in on identifying who your ideal client profile really is. And Hey, if you're new here, my name is Greg Hickman and I'm the founder of all [email protected] and we help agency owners, service providers, and freelancers really start to systematize and scale their business so that they're not stuck working at nights and weekends. So if you're new here, click that subscribe button because we release a new video each and every week. So if you're watching this video, you've probably had a hard time narrowing down who exactly you serve and I get it. This can actually lead to a much bigger problem down the line in the growth of your business. And oftentimes when you lack the systems or the automation that you so desire, a lot of it spins back to actually the lack of knowing who actually you serve. ...Now, if you're not really sure if this is actually a problem that's hurting your business right now, I want to share a kind of two things that we see happening often with agency owners when they don't have an ideal client avatar. Number one is that you are heavily reliant upon referrals and word of mouth and even if and when you get those referrals, it's still really difficult for your client. The one who is giving the referral to accurately describe what it is you do. So the referrals that you're even getting are more of those types of conversations where it's like, Hey, you should check out with my guy or gal over here. They're really helping us. Maybe they can help you too. Like it's sort of these weird introductions where we're not really sure if they can, they can be helped by you. So if that's you, then this is definitely a problem in your agency right now.

The second sign that this is an obstacle for you or a challenge to your growth is that every single time you get a new client, the solution that they require is unique. So every single client is like starting from scratch because no two clients really ever need the same thing. A real quick story is how I noticed this in our agency. So when we started our agency, we were building sales funnels and marketing automation for online, uh, online businesses and we'd get someone coming to us that really wanted to tap into the potential of automation, deploy their webinar funnel or, or their sales funnel. And when we kicked off the relationship we'd ask them like, well what do you sell and to whom do you serve? And it always was responded to that question always came with a response of, well what do you mean?

Like we have this like full service agency and we work with a lot of different types of people and that's when it hit me that most people have no who they actually serve or what they actually even sell, which is why everything becomes manual and automated because you can't just go to the marketplace and start running Facebook ads saying, Hey, we help everybody with anything that they need help with. Like those ads wouldn't work. And automating something that is unique every time is actually really difficult. So one of the easiest ways to simplify and automate your business is to hone in on who you are serving and really starting to automate around the process that you have for serving those people. Because again, if you serve everybody and every solution that you sell is unique, you're never doing the same thing over and over again enough to actually gain the efficiencies in the first place.

So we really need to zoom in and hone in on who we serve so that we can actually benefit from having automation and clear messaging that will attract people to us instead of only being reliant on word of mouth. So that being said, I want to share a couple of different ways that you could really start to think about your avatar. And I'm going to start with ones that are kind of obvious that you've probably heard about. And I'm going to finish with one that I think is commonly overlooked and seems to be something that a lot of our clients focus on that finally allows them to unlock success. So how do we actually narrow down your avatar? Well, method number one is to do it based on a vertical or an industry. Now this one is obviously the obvious choice, um, but if you're able to say, Hey, we work with dentists or chiropractors or, um, we work with online course creators.

That in and of itself really helps to narrow down who you work with. And when we got started, we actually had kind of that method plus one layer more, which was we worked with online course creators who used infusion soft. So by adding a, you know, kind of layering in criteria of online course creators, that was kind of, I'll say the vertical or the industry. And then tacking on kind of a criteria like uses. Infusion soft was a way for us to hone in. And that worked really, really well for us, especially in the beginning. And in many cases that can work for you too. But it doesn't work for everybody. And I often find when you're a full service agency and you've worked with a wide variety of people, uh, and you've had success with a wide variety of clients, that option just doesn't always work right out of the Gates, which could lead you to continuing to be confused.

And we've had clients that come to us that have, you know, tons of dream clients that are in various verticals, but they're all still different. So if vertical and industry doesn't work, we move on to the second option, which the second option is demographic and psychographic. Again, these are common things that you probably have heard of before. And in this case, you know, you're looking at maybe you only have ever served people in your local area or you serve a type of business that's only in certain geographic locations or the psychographic stuff. Again, these are the, some of the ones you've probably heard before, um, that maybe have frustrated you because they haven't necessarily helped you in any way narrow down yet. Everybody else is out there saying you need to first go down to a vertical or an industry or a type of business.

And have you thought about demographic or psychographic and you're probably over it. So what are the other ways that you could consider narrowing down your audience? Well, the ones that I've found to be successful for a lot of our clients that have been in this situation of having served a lot of different people, uh, are the, are these two, the first one is, which is technically the third. The third of this entire list, if you're tracking me, is problem-based. So we get a lot of, a lot of, uh, clients of ours that through either their full service agency or even their specialized agency, they find that they're actually solving a common problem that multiple verticals or multiple industries have. So an example would be, um, a client of ours who actually is really good using paid traffic to help get their clients appointments. It's an appointment based business.

And so they've worked with urgent care clinics, they've worked with chiropractors, they've worked with dentists. And if they had just taken the advice of, well, we only work with dentists, well if they had trouble growing that area of their business, yet their exact solution in their exact system could apply to other types of businesses that also are based off of appointment based scheduling. They could easily expand to a slightly wider audience, but still not having to change their solution. So they're still specialized in the solution. They're just a little bit more broad in the types of clients they can work with. But the criteria has become, do they need more appointments and does their business success come down to the number of appointments on their calendar? And so if that's the case, you know, you can now help those people, whether they're, you know, uh, a dentist, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, um, you know, urgent care clinics.

I mean, a lot of businesses are based off of appointments, especially in professional services verticals. So it doesn't necessarily just need to be dentists that need appointments. It could be multiple types of clients that you've worked with, but you're just really solving the same problem over and over again. In our situation. Kind of how that plays out. The reality is that a lot of agency owners, both big agencies, we've had clients that come to us that are doing over a million that are not very profitable and they want to launch a productized service or a coaching program. They need to follow the exact same process as a small agency owner who just realized that they to do that a lot sooner or the freelancer who realized that they love teaching and they have, they can add a new revenue stream by introducing training and coaching, so it could be a big agency, it could be a small agency if they both have the exact same problems and my solution could work for both of them.

I could be using, I'm updating my messaging and my marketing to talk to each of those different parties in a slightly different way. Knowing that even though my marketing might be subtle to the differences of a large agency versus a freelancer, if my solution still solves their problem, I'm okay now. That's problem-based. Now, the fourth one, which I think really is counterintuitive and really often overlooked is looking at the identity or the traits and characteristics of your ideal client. So Seth, one of our clients, he has spent probably close to 10 to $20,000 going through online programs and courses, not stuff to hone in his avatar because as a full service agency that focuses on branding, web design and social, like they've served a lot of different people. And so the whole, you know, vertical or demographic really didn't work for them. The problem based was there, but there was still something missing that prevented him from going into the marketplace and speaking directly to his audience.

And you'll know what I mean because if you ever speak directly to someone and they come back to you and say, Hey man, exactly. You know those words like it was like you were inside my head. When you have your prospects coming to you saying that you know you're onto something. And it wasn't until Seth narrow down his messaging to focus on identity and trait based characteristics that allowed him to kind of get through the clutter to find and to connect with his ideal client. And so as we broke down says situation, one of the things he realized about his favorite clients and many of the clients that they worked with that they had success with looked at themselves as, um, the term that he used was a Maverick. And while they were in different industries, they all sort of did things differently than the rest of their industry.

So client a was in a specific vertical, but they sort of still did things counter to what the rest of their industry does. So they were sort of the disruptor or the game changer, the new way of doing things in their space. And he realized that their best clients had the mentality of being the disruptor, sort of not adhering to the status quo within their own particular industries. And now he gets to take his messaging to the market of, Hey, look, if you're in this industry and this is how you feel, like it's okay. Like there's opportunity here. And he's attracting those people into his, his, uh, marketing agency to help them better communicate that to, to the world, to their own industry, to their prospects. So he helps them with branding and the website design. But his ability to go into multiple industries and speak to the person who feels like they're going against the status quo or trying to kill those sacred cows is extracting and attracting the people inside those verticals that meet his kind of ideal client avatar.

And if you're the type of person like Seth who has tried all of these other methods and has still kind of been stuck because you haven't been able to focus just on a, an industry or a vertical, then I highly suggest you try the identity based narrowing method because like Seth, I think you'll find some success there and you'll really start to see commonalities. So we talked about vertical or industry. We've talked about demographic and psychographic, we've talked about problem-based and we've talked about uh, identity-based and trait based. So lastly, number five is as simple a combination of all of those, which is pretty self explanatory, but you can start layering in, you know, different elements of each of these four options to really, again, narrow down your focus so that you're really speaking to a specific type of person, which is gonna make your sales and marketing a whole lot easier.

So speaking of making your sales and marketing a whole lot easier, what are some other reasons why you should be narrowing down your avatar? Well, obviously like the first one I said sales and marketing get easier to building an automated sales engine. Automated marketing engine actually becomes simpler when your entire business is complex and you try to serve everybody. Creating systems that are repeatable is a lot more difficult because you're never doing the same things over and over again. There literally is no repeatability. There really is no standardization. So when you really focus on who you serve and what you sell, that's when you can really start to unlock and utilize. The benefits of something like a marketing automation tool.

Okay?

The the third reason is that you'll actually start to achieve mastery in what you do. If you serve the same type of person over and over and over and over again, you're going to get deeper and deeper into what's actually helping them achieve their goals. And when you start solving the same problems over and over again, you'll start to see patterns. And when you start to see patterns, you can create solutions for those patterns. And again, if you keep doing that over and over and over again, this is where mastery is born. Another reason is predictability. If you know exactly who you're talking to and you have a solution that serves their problems, you're going to find more predictability in your own revenue, in your own lead generation and in where you spend your time in the day to day like you're going to find predictability and it's going to feel as chaotic because each and every client won't be different.

They're going to be very similar. And lastly, when you start doing all of that, guess what? You're going to be able to repeatedly get your clients, your ideal clients results. And so when you go into your own marketing and you can say, Hey look, I've helped 300 other people like you or even 50 other people, like you get these sorts of results consistently, it's going to also help your sales and marketing. So predictability in you getting your client results obviously cascades back all the way up through the lead to client journey, making your life a whole lot easier and we'll probably build your confidence as well. So there you have it. If you've been feeling a little bit of resistance or friction in why things seem to be manual, why things seem to be all over the place and disorganized, I'd really challenge you to revisit who your ideal client avatar is and start to narrow that down using some of the methods that we talked about today or obviously a combination of the methods that we talked about today. So my call to action to you is comment below with which of these methods has been most helpful for you and which of them you're going to, or what combination you're going to use. So leave a comment below, and again, if you are liking this content, make sure to subscribe and we'll see you in the next video. [inaudible].

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