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Before we get in to talking about the editorial calendar, there is one more very important thing we need to think about. Creating your Ideal Client Avatar! This is a great exercise for your business as a whole, not just for your blog. What can you tell me about who you are talking to with your marketing?
Years ago, I attended a workshop for wedding photographers and the speaker asked us to describe our ideal client. Most of the people he called on answered, “A bride looking for photojournalism wedding photography.” Or maybe “A couple getting married in Houston.” Really vague, general answers. My hand shot up in the air. I was giddy with excitement, ready to answer his question.
My ideal wedding photography client* is in her late 20s to mid 30s. She had chosen to have a career before getting married. She drove either a Honda or a Toyota. She carried a Coach or Kate Spade purse, but she bought her t-shirts at Target. She had no qualms spending money on luxury items – but liked to keep things simple if it was something she didn’t value much or was just a staple. She had a college degree, and often additional education. She was likely marrying an engineer or a geek. Most of the time one if not both of them were from the Midwest, not Houston. They loved good local restaurants, great wine, and dinner with friends and family was one of their favorite activities.**
The speaker was stunned. He did tours around the USA, and he said that in years he had never had someone describe their ideal client in that much detail. (Which, by the way, was exactly what he was looking for in an answer.)
Knowing with that much clarity who I wanted to speak to made writing so much easier for me. You need to be authentic in what you share and in your passions, and especially be aware of what passions your ideal client or ideal blog reader shares with you. Coming from that place allows you to be you with no apologies! Once I figured out who my ideal client was I discovered something else that was really important – I fit that description as well. (I didn’t finish college, but I’ve owned a number of successful businesses over the past 15 years, so I’m counting that.)
How can you know what to say when you don’t even know who you’re talking to?
Grab a piece of paper, and lets dig in. Skip something if it really doesn’t apply. I went with “she” for the pronoun, but if your ideal client is a man? Change it. Here is what I want you to think about:
- Hair color / eye color
- Location (city, state, country)
- Neighborhood (if in your city)
- Married or single?
- When does she wear makeup, if she does at all?
- How does she normally style her hair? Is it often in a ponytail?
- What are her interests?
- Does she have any hobbies?
- Any causes or things she is passionate about?
- Magazines she reads?
- Favorite books / movies / TV / music
- What other blogs does she read?
- Her favorite social media platforms
- Her favorite stores to shop at?
- What kind of car does she drive?
- How does she dress? Her favorite clothing item?
- What is her favorite type of restaurant?
- Beer or wine? Coffee or tea?
- Mac or PC? iPhone, Android or Windows? iPad or Android tablet?
- Does she like to travel? Where does she like to go?
- Is her favorite Saturday night one out partying on the town? Or home with friends?
- Where will she share your website with her friends?
- Where does she go to ask for recommendations?
- What is her favorite guilty pleasure?
- What are the luxuries she can’t live without?
- Why is she reading your website?
- What will she want to buy from you?
- What problem can you solve for her?
Putting it together in a Ideal Client Avatar
Do you feel like you are in their head now? Awesome! Your next step in creating your Ideal Client Avatar is to give her a name! Whatever you want. I want her to be so tangible to you that you feel like she could walk up to you on the street at any moment. You know her almost as well as your best friend.
Take all the information you’ve gathered and summarize it in to a brief. Tell me what her name is, describe her to me. Where does she live, what is she like, why is she reading your website. Keep it to just one page. If it helps you visualize her, find a photograph that matches your vision of her. (This is only for you, so you can use any photo you want.) If one of the questions does not apply to you? Leave it off. Use as much as you can and be as detailed as possible.
Now, with every post you write, you can ask yourself what you want her to know. What do you want to say to her? What would she get out of the post? What problem are you solving for her with your content?
Creating an ideal client avatar helps you know exactly who you’re talking to in your business & your blog. << >>
The fastest way to clear writer’s block? I think of it as if I’m writing a letter to my ideal client avatar. What can I tell her that will benefit her? Once I think of it from that angle, the words just flow.
Now that we know who you’re writing for and why you’re talking to her, we can create an editorial calendar full of content that will speak to her!
If you want, I’d LOVE to hear about your ideal client avatar! Leave a comment for me and tell me all about them!
* I rarely book weddings now, only taking them on for family, friends & referrals from my past wedding clients. My ideal clients now are in their 30s-40s, and probably having a destination wedding. The rest still applies!
** I didn’t realize as I started to describe her, but as I was talking I knew I had an exact client in mind. I later told Tricia that she was my “poster child” for wedding photography.