Best Clients, User Personas, and Ideal Customer Avatars

Myth of the Ideal Customer Avatar

Ask any “marketing person” what you need to know before you start marketing your product or service and they’ll tell you some version of:

  • ideal customer avatar
  • buyer persona or user persona
  • voice of customer research (this one’s a favorite of copywriters!)

But do you know what’s wrong with all of that? It’s jargon. And jargon-y language has no business in the real world. It’s great if you’re at a conference, learning your craft among people with similar education and experience. But all jargon does when you’re talking to your audience, to a potential client, is set up a wall between them and you.

When you go to a good doctor they say to you, “Wow, that’s a nasty bruise.” Their notes in your medical chart will say something more along the lines of, “Patient presents with a significant hematoma.” They reserve their jargon for THEIR notes, not their interaction with you, the patient.

best client persona

When marketers throw around terms like the “ideal customer avatar” it sets up a barrier between them and you. It’s a way of shortcutting, it reeks of expert status run amok, and in the end, it doesn’t serve either party.

Are you working with customers or clients?

Service providers working 1:1 or in small group programs should be getting to know their clients. Do they need to best friends? No. But they likely desire more personality exchange than you might find from your local Target checkout employee (not to be confused with your target audience, of course!).

Also–most course creators genuinely care about their students learning from their courses. They’re embarrassed to hear most courses have only a 5-15% completion rate, depending on the stat source. Treating your audience as potential clients, rather than potential customers, is something course creators can learn from the service business mentality.

I prefer working in as little a transactional way as possible, whether it’s a client choosing my $37 course helping them organize their content planning or a client choosing to hire me for a full content measurement dashboard, working together for several months. Thus, I call them my best clients.

What is a Best Client?

A best client, simply put, is the person you can most easily (and happily) help with a problem they most urgently want to solve.

To channel Liam Neeson a bit, you’ve got a particular set of skills. They probably come easy to you or perhaps you’ve developed them with care over time. And those skills are really good at fixing a particular kind of problem.

Your best client may share some identifying characteristics with others–those pieces of demographic information you often hear bandied about when people talk about avatars. Perhaps all your clients are middle-aged women–or maybe instead of that being what identifies them, it’s people who happen to have a particular fitness problem and people with that problem tend to be middle-aged women. Demographics can be an important component of understanding your customer avatar and can help you tailor your marketing strategies to target the right audience, but they are not the only thing that matters–especially to a solo-ish service business owner online!

One of the characteristics is physical, and another is psychological. Knowing both helps you define your best client. They are both valuable information data sets to consider.

If you need help putting together the best client profile that helps you create better content and marketing, the Best Client Builder is an easy download and quick way to focus on what matters and skip the things that don’t.

Targeted Content About Your Best Client:

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