Every time I bring up the Avatar as the first (and often forgotten) step to brand loyalty I get a few questions. Let me address them with a simple assignment.
The Avatar Exercise
Pull out a sheet of paper — or the note section on your cell phone — it’s time to make a list.
1) Who are your favorite people to work with?
Depending on where you are in developing your business you may be able to create this list by looking at your clients. If not, then consider your past jobs. The Big Question is: Who did you enjoy working with?
On this list include the names of clients that you enjoy your work with them. There should be at least three people on this page. And since you just need enough to track a simple pattern, a five person listen is pretty good. Once you have your five, move on to the next question.
But remember, the end goal is brand loyalty, yet
the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step (Lao Tzu).”
So let’s get back to this Avatar Exercise, as your first step in the process.
2) Your least favorite?
Make a separate list of your least favorite clients to work with. You need three to five people on this page as well.
Now, if you feel guilty about this portion of the exercise, then use code names but keep it moving. This section will not only make you feel better, the way the truth tends to set you free, but it helps you get clear about who you want to help.
Once you have created the two separate lists, it’s time for comparisons, so let’s move on to the next question.
3) What do your favorite clients have in common?
On your list of favorites write down the qualities that you appreciate the most. Under each person will be a list of qualities.
Now, circle the traits that all or most of them have in common. Again, you’re looking for a pattern.
Are they in a certain age bracket? Are they a certain sex? Are they quick to pay or take a full 30 days? Were they start ups or established businesses when you worked with them? Are they financially savvy or absolutely clueless? Are they fashionable and trendy or could they care less? Do they have a limited income or lots of expendable money? Do they have a clear dream and plan or is it confusing for them right now?
This list is your avatar. This is the man or the woman that you’re trying to reach. This is who you want to help. But let’s do one more step to make it extremely clear.
4) What do your least favorite clients have in common?
You cannot create brand loyalty, if you don’t understand who your audience is. And you cannot reach your audience if you waste time pursuing the wrong set of people. So let’s address this final question.
Write down the qualities of your least favorite clients. Circle the traits that they have in common. This step helps you crossover from trying to please everybody — and an everybody marketing strategy is a dangerous one.
To be effective you’ll have to let the wrong people go and focus on your core audience.
If you are still having a problem with seeing and naming your avatar, then for now write and design your marketing for one of the people on your list of favorites. For a while, everything at GrittyWriter.com was written to attract the attention of my singer-songwriter sister. She’s what I call a Creative Leader, young, gifted and far more in love with the art than the business end of things. She needs quick and simple solutions and loves a clean design.
By writing for her my avatar became crystal clear and my marketing message became far more engaging which lead to more writing and training opportunities. Plus, people often say things like
it feels as if you’re talking directly to me.”
That’s the power of an avatar — focus, clarity, and eventually, brand loyalty.
But Brand Loyalty Doesn’t Just Happen
Developing brand loyalty and designing a message that connects is a powerful marketing strategy, but it doesn’t just happen. You have to do the work. In other words, don’t skip the Avatar Exercise. Do the work.
Besides, understanding your Avatar will make it easier to communicate with your team – another key element to brand loyalty. And your team carries your core message to your public. So you want to get this right.
Now, you’re ready for step #2. I’ll see you next week for that. But, if you can’t wait, then you’ll find more on this in Chapter 25 of When Women Become Business Owners.
Talk soon, Ms.J