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  • Writer's pictureJay Manning

Finding Your Perfect Match: Crafting Your Ideal Client Avatar


"When it comes to the business of coaching: it's not about closing a sale; it's about opening a new relationship" - Jay Manning

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When it comes to romantic relationships and finding the perfect partner, people will spend ages dreaming up 'Mr or Mrs. Right' and thinking about all the dreamy qualities they're looking for in the perfect match.

Yet, many coaches miss this game-changing step and opportunity when choosing the perfect-match clients they want to attract and get into a coaching relationship with.


If your a new coach and you've been wondering how to get your first coaching clients then put this on your must-do list, right after niching!


As a business coach, I often work with new and startup coaches who struggle to attract their ideal clients. Yet, many coaches believe that the Ideal Client Avatar exercise is an unnecessary waste of their time and that niching down is enough to attract clients. If you think the ideal client avatar exercise is a waste of time, you're either doing it wrong or missing the point entirely.

The simple truth is, creating an ideal client avatar is a magic tool in your client-attraction toolbox that, when used well, will accelerate your ability to attract clients who are the right fit for you, who are a joy to serve and work with, and who are most likely to achieve great results working with you. But, just like finding your perfect match on a dating app, you must get crystal clear on your perfect-match criteria to attract clients who tick all your boxes and vice versa.

In this post, I'll explain why creating an ideal client avatar is so important. Using the dating app analogy, I'll also explain how the quality of your search criteria affects the quality of candidates recommended that swipe right, and how the same concept applies to coaching. We'll also discuss the difference between niching and an ideal client avatar and provide tips on designing your ideal client avatar.


So, swipe right and let's dive in!


What dating apps and ideal client avatars have in common.

When using a dating app to find your ideal partner, you start by setting your search criteria: age range, hobbies, lifestyle, interests, etc. The more specific you are, the better your chance of finding a candidate who matches your vision of someone you'd have a great connection with.

The quality of your search criteria will dictate the quality of candidates recommended for you.


Imagine the mess of responses you'd wade through if the only criteria you selected was ☑️ male ☑️ has a pulse.


And likewise, if the only information you filled in about yourself was ☑️ female ☑️ single, well... I'll leave that up to your imagination.


Awesome analogy Jay, but how does this apply to finding coaching clients for my business when there obviously isn't an app for finding your perfect client that works like a dating app?


I'm so glad you asked because there absolutely is an app that does exactly that. Several apps actually. Ever heard of Email, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, LinkedIn or Youtube.

While those platforms don't ask you for an upfront checklist of perfect-match clients, what they do is allow you to post content that does the same job, but the only way that works is if you are crystal clear on exactly who you are creating that content for. So the more specific and detailed you can be in creating your ideal client avatar, the better.

Warning: Many new or startup coaches believe that not setting criteria means they'll attract everyone, and nothing could be further from the truth.


Not getting clear on this piece of the puzzle and trying to attract any and everyone will lead to attracting no one, and here's why.


The online world is noisy and getting noisier by the second.

The average person online is getting hit up with between 6000 and 10 000 marketing messages every single day.


The only way our brains can avoid imploding with all the information hitting us up every single waking second of every single day is to reduce all information that is not hyper-relevant to us to white noise.


So if you don't know who you're looking to attract, and you don't know how to create messaging that is hyper-relevant to them, you, my friend, will only be contributing to that noise.


Conversely, designing a well-thought-through ideal client avatar is a game-changer because when you become hyper-relevant to your ideal clients, your content can cut through the noise and attract the right people like a magnet. Your messaging will resonate with them, and they'll feel like you're speaking directly to them. They'll be drawn to your offers because they feel like you understand their needs and desires. This will not only make your marketing efforts more effective, but it will also lead to better client relationships and, ultimately, better results. So, just like how you would use Tinder to swipe right on the ideal match, use your ideal client avatar to attract and connect with the clients who are the best fit for you and your coaching business.


Niche vs Ideal Client Avatar

As a coach, you may have heard the terms "niche" and "ideal client avatar" used interchangeably. However, they actually refer to two different aspects of your target market. Understanding that difference is key.


Your Niche

Your niche is the target market for your coaching services. It refers to the broad category of people you want to work with and who can self-identify as that market. Your niche is based on identity, identity stage/age, and challenge or aspiration.


Here are some examples of niches to illustrate what I mean.

New moms struggling to lose post-pregnancy weight.

New [identity stage] moms [gender + identity] struggling to lose post-pregnancy weight [challenge]

Single divorced dads in their 40s, looking for love.

Single [identity] divorced [identity] dads [identity] in their 40's [identity stage] looking for love [aspiration]


Startup coaches struggling to turn their coaching ideal into an online business.

Startup [identity stage] coaches [identity] struggling to turn their coaching ideal into an online business [challenge]


Creative agency owners ready to scale their business with a team

Creative [identity] agency owners [identity] ready to scale their business [identity stage + aspiration] with a team [challenge]

Middle-aged women who are struggling with work-life balance

Middle-aged [identity stage] women [identity] who are struggling with work-life balance [challenge]


Niching is important. In fact, it's the first foundational step you need to take to turn your coaching idea into a business.


However, it doesn't stop at niching because it stands to reason that not every person who ticks that small handful of niche boxes is:

  1. Someone you would genuinely love to spend time working with

  2. Someone who would genuinely love to spend time working with you

  3. Someone who would get great results working with you

Your Ideal Client Avatar

On the other hand, your ideal client avatar is a specific and detailed fictional character representing the type of person within your niche that you would love to work with all day long and who feels the same about you. This person fits within your niche but has additional characteristics that make them an ideal fit for you.


It goes beyond the basic demographics of your niche and dives into the specific qualities, beliefs, behaviours, characteristics, challenges, goals, and values your ideal client possesses.

Having a well-defined ideal client avatar within your niche means you can use their language to speak directly to them in your marketing, messaging, and content, address their specific challenges, and offer solutions that matter and truly resonate with them.

This level of specificity and personalization helps you tailor your coaching programs and offers to their specific needs and preferences. This enhances the quality of your coaching and ensures that you attract clients who are a good fit for you and your coaching style. By understanding your ideal client avatar, you are better equipped to provide the support, guidance, and accountability they need to reach their goals. It also impacts the journey and results of working together. When you work with clients aligned with your values, goals, and interests, you're more likely to achieve better outcomes and lead to better testimonials and more referrals.

In summary, while your niche is important, it's equally important to identify your ideal client avatar within that niche. It allows you to create messaging that cuts through the noise of the online world and connect with your clients on a deeper level by tailoring your marketing, content, coaching programs, and offers to their specific needs, ultimately leading to a more successful and fulfilling coaching business.


Designing Your Ideal Client Avatar

Now that you understand the importance of identifying your ideal client avatar within your niche let's dive into how to create one.


Just like on a dating app where you're looking for your one perfect match, you should approach designing your ideal client avatar as a single character, not a broad audience.

Give your avatar a first and last name, and an age (not an age range), and be specific about their personal and professional circumstances. Are they married? Do they have children? If so, how many, and what are their ages and names? Design them like your imaginary best friend - no one else can see them, but you know them inside and out, and you know exactly how to talk to them and what to talk to them about!


Knowing them in this way and understanding these personal details means that you can create far more compelling and hyper-relevant content than coaches who resist this work.


Here are some key elements to consider when designing your ideal client avatar:


Demographics:

This includes basic information about your ideal client, such as age, gender, location, occupation, income level, education, and family status.

Remember that this information must be relevant to your niche and the type of coaching you offer.

Psychographics:

This refers to the psychological characteristics of your ideal client. This includes their attitudes, beliefs, values, personality traits, interests, and lifestyle choices. What motivates them? What are their biggest fears, desires, and pain points?

Knowing their psychographics will help you connect more deeply with them and create content and offerings that resonate with them.

Pain Points:

What are the main challenges, frustrations, or problems your ideal client is experiencing that your coaching can help solve? What is keeping them up at night? What kind of support do they need to achieve their goals? Understanding their pain points is crucial to creating targeted marketing and messaging that positions your coaching services as a solution to their problems.

Aspirations:

What goals or aspirations does your ideal client have? How do they envision their perfect future? What does your ideal client want to achieve in life? What are their goals, hopes, and dreams? How can you help them get there?

Knowing their aspirations will help you tailor and position your coaching services as the vehicle to get them where they want to go.

Content Consumption and Communication Style:

How does your ideal client consume content? Are they more likely to respond to visual content or written content? How do they prefer to communicate? Email, phone calls, or in-person meetings? Understanding their consumption and communication style will inform how you connect with them.


Be as specific as possible when creating your ideal client avatar. Avoid vague descriptions like a woman between 25 and 40 who wants to improve her self-confidence. That's not specific enough. Instead, you might describe her as a 30-year-old marketing professional who struggles with imposter syndrome and wants to develop a more assertive communication style in order to advance in her career.

"Can I have multiple ideal client avatars?" This is the question I get most often from coaches doing this work. And my answer is always this: You can have as many avatars as your marketing budget can afford.

While having multiple ideal client avatars is possible, it's important to consider the resources required to effectively market to each one. Each avatar will require tailored messaging, content, and offers that resonate with their unique needs and desires.

So if you're in the early stages of building this business, with limited time and money, it's best to focus on one ideal client avatar and develop a strong connection with them. Once you have a solid client base, you can expand your reach to other avatars.


It's important to remember that creating an ideal client avatar is not a one-time task. As your business evolves and grows, your ideal client avatar will also evolve. Regularly reassessing and refining your avatar will help ensure you continue to resonate with the clients who will benefit most from your coaching offers.

Here's an example of a well-defined ideal client avatar:


Meet Jess, a 46-year-old HR Manager living in a suburban area outside the city. She's been working in HR for over a decade, and although she's great at her job, she doesn't want to spend the next 20 years tied to a desk job. She want's to impact the world more meaningfully, and honestly, she want's a lot more time and money freedom in her life. She's always been interested in coaching and has been studying it for years, but now she's ready to take the plunge and start her own online coaching business. She's a confident, independent woman unafraid to go after what she wants.


Jess is passionate about good food, good wine, and traveling, so she dreams of an online coaching business that allows her to work remotely from anywhere in the world. She's ambitious and willing to invest in her growth and development, but she needs help with the business side of things because she can't afford for this to be an expensive hobby - she has financial obligations to meet and bills to pay. Jess is looking for a coach who can guide her through the process of building a sustainable and successful coaching business.


What keeps Jess up at night is figuring out where and how to find paying clients. She worries that she's too late to the business-building party and might not have what it takes to make it in the competitive coaching industry. Her biggest fear is that nobody will pay her high-ticket prices and that she'll be stuck in her HR job until she's 65 and can eventually retire. She's afraid of looking like a fool for trying and failing. But that won't stop her. Jess is determined to push past her fears to make her coaching business dream a reality. Her ultimate goal is to have a business that has a small but steady stream of amazing clients and a decent and predictable income working 20 hours (or less) a week.


Jess values honesty, transparency, and a strong work ethic. She's looking for a coach who can provide her with strategic business advice, mentorship, and accountability. Jess is ready to take action and build the coaching business of her dreams with the right coach by her side.


Jess sure does sound real, doesn't she? And that's the point of the ideal client avatar exercise!


When coaches tell me they're struggling to create content, write sales pages, create copy for their websites, or convert leads into paying clients on webinars or during launches, not knowing their ideal client intimately is often at the heart of the problem.


Don't make that mistake.


Conclusion

As a coach, understanding who your ideal client is can make all the difference in the success of your coaching business. If you're creating content, showing up in all the places, doing all the things, but you still haven't figured out how to get clients as a coach - this is probably one of a few steps you may have missed - as always, it's never just one thing that makes a business work.


In this article, we explored the difference between a niche and an ideal client avatar and discussed the importance of identifying your ideal client avatar within your niche. I also outlined the key elements to consider when designing your ideal client avatar, including demographics, psychographics, pain points, and aspirations.


It's crucial to avoid vague descriptions and to design your ideal client avatar as a single character, just as you would when looking for your perfect match on a dating app. And I provided an example of a well-defined ideal client avatar to demonstrate how this process can help you better understand your client's needs, desires, and challenges.


Ultimately, having a well-defined ideal client avatar allows you to tailor your marketing and coaching approach to the unique needs of your target audience, creating a stronger connection with your clients and improving the journey and results of working together.


So Coach, take the time to identify your perfect-match and start crafting your ideal client avatar today.







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Hi! I'm Jay

Bona Fide Business Nerd

My job is to help new and startup life coaches just like you to not only make an impact in the world, but make money doing it! 

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