The Exercise That Changed My Business: Creating An Ideal Client Avatar

The Ideal Client Avatar Exercise

For many years, while I was part time in my career and full time parenting my small children, I had a deep desire to expand and grow but lacked both the confidence and the skills to market my services and reach the exact clients who I knew I wanted to work with.

I had been consuming Marie Forleo content (videos + posts) and found so much inspiration and motivation with the topics she addressed and the way that it felt like she was always speaking specifically just to me.

After years of watching B-School open and close one fateful March, I gathered the courage to invest with absolutely no idea how I would make the monthly payments. It was a leap of faith, and I’m glad I took it!

The lessons started and I worked my buns off to listen, learn and implement. At that time, that year’s Facebook private member page was filled with many other people who also had aspirations of creating their passionate, profitable businesses. We learned together, connected. and within a couple of months I saw my work paying off! I had gained clients and had earned enough money to not only validate my business offerings, but also paid off my investment in B-school.

Our first exercise revolved around ensuring our business idea was legit and made good financial sense. Knowing your numbers makes all the difference in how you run your business. That was easy and proved my website design business would be a sound path to follow.

Defining Your Ideal Client Avatar

An integral part of the business strategy Marie taught was learning exactly who our Ideal client avatar was, down to the most minute details. Completing the exercise was long and painstaking. Once I had named her and really defined who she was, her profession, her successes and frustrations, where she excelled and what hung her up, I knew that something important was missing. She represented only one very clear client group that I was aiming to serve, but she wasn’t the only person that I wanted to serve!

So back I went to to the beginning of the exercise. I worked through all the steps, and when it was complete again, I had another fully formulated ICA!

Someone recently commented on a post I shared that she had no idea that you could have more than one ICA. I answered with an emphatic YES! I explained that I have a wide array of service offerings when building a WordPress website – some for beginners and some for established entrepreneurs who already have a website that they don’t love or doesn’t reflect of who they are and what they do. My reality is that I serve both categories of ideal clients.

Although the exercise of creating an Ideal Client Avatar may seem trivial and altogether unnecessary to some. I personally credit it with a 97% success rate of matching my services, processes, and personality with my ideal clients. That’s pretty powerful right?

Even as a teen, I tested some boundaries, but I didn’t really play with fire. Now, as a parent it’s easy to want to stay in control and minimize risk. The downside is that without risk, any potential reward is unachievable.

As a 46 year old woman, I’m experiencing the passage of time with ferocious intensity. And I fear that all of those life experiences that have been backburnered and set aside are being pushed further out of my grasp. I wish I had said yes a little more often.

How to Define Your ICA

If you search online, I’m sure that you will find a bunch of free exercises and resources to help you define your ICA. I will simply share that the more specific and intentional you are while creating your ideal client avatar, the more your ideal client avatar will manifest in your business.

How you can serve your ideal client avatar in a community setting?

Once you have a roster full of your ICAs I recommend that you nurture the heck out of them. Create a newsletter, just for them.
Create an online community for them to collaborate, share, learn and grown
Give away whatever you can to add value to their experience in your community and support/cheer them along in their journeys. This can be as easy as sharing their services/products, motivating them, sharing how-to tips, or giving them content, templates and ideas.

Now there will be a tipping point where all of your work starts to pay off and you are booked to the max of your schedule with all of those precious ICAs. It’s imperative to carve out dedicated time in your week/month to continue to contribute to the community that supports you. Give, give, and give some more!

If you haven’t completed an ICA exercise for your business, I recommend that you make the time to give it your full attention and create your ideal client avatar as soon as possible. Here is a free checklist to follow to help guide your ICA creation process.

You’re going to nail it, and I bet you’re going to enjoy the process just as much as I did.