Have you mapped out your ideal client avatar (ICA) for your business? Do you refer to it often or is it accumulating dust in a drawer?
Would it surprise you to know that becoming obsessive about your ideal client can help you revolutionise your business?
When you are clear on who you want to serve, what their needs are, and where those people hang out you can begin to build up a fantastic detailed profile to help you create bespoke content. Entrepreneur, salon marketing coach and Instagram expert Jennifer Louise took this concept one huge step forward with extraordinary results.
You can hear our full conversation on our Interviews With Experts podcast.
Jennifer’s hair salon was charging rock bottom prices to undercut other local salons. She was operating at a loss, but by getting strategic around her ideal client and becoming an expert on Instagram she progressed from small business owner to having an international presence in the business community.
How to build your ideal client avatar
Jennifer: “I looked around the salon one day and could see that all our customers came for the discounted prices. I realised we were serving the wrong clients! As if by magic the door opened and a woman wearing a beautiful cashmere coat and a pair of Jimmy Choos floated in. She was everything I’d want in a client and more.
I studied this woman, Sue, for 12 weeks and I know her better today than she probably knows herself! I took her out for lunch, dinner, or coffee and learnt more about her likes and dislikes.”
How to use your ICA to maximise business
Getting to know your ideal client helps you make good decisions in your business and share content that interests them, but Jennifer took this to a whole new level.
Jennifer: “I got the whole team to question their actions based on what we knew about Sue. We would change the music by thinking about what she might like to listen to. When we got dressed for work we’d think about what Sue would say. We obsessed about Sue. Every time I sat down to write a marketing email or text I’d pretend that I was interacting with Sue. The concept of Sue became fully integrated into our business; we actively designed everything around her.
We quickly moved from losing money to bringing in clients who lived in beautiful homes and were happy to pay high-end prices. We’re more expensive than some salons in London but they love the experience of coming to us because the whole customer journey is designed specifically for them!”
It’s easy to pay lip service to the concept of an ideal client but Jennifer has shown how impactful it is when you live and breathe it. Sue just waltzed into her salon one day and she used that experience to turn her business around (and she can teach you to find your Sue!). What’s really fascinating about Jennifer’s story is that it was another chance encounter that connected her to the power of Instagram!
How to get the most out of Instagram
Jennifer: “I overheard a conversation between two guys in the gym. One told his friend he was going on a date and although he didn’t know the girl she must be nice because she had more than 3,000 Instagram followers. I was fuming! It really triggered me!
I was nearly 40 and single. I had no idea how many Instagram followers I had but I was clearly undateable! I started to think about the relationship between dating and marketing and realised I had to make my business as dateable as possible! I set about learning how to grow the business account, quickly got to grips with it and fell in love with the whole process!”
Jennifer discovered that the clarity she had on her ideal client (Sue) made her marketing flow with ease.
Jennifer: “Every time I wrote a message I wrote it as if speaking to Sue. We sent direct messages inviting people in for a hair consultation; 70% of them turned into paying customers generating more than £700 in revenue.”
Jennifer’s creative thinking led her to use Instagram in a way that most people don’t even consider, and instead of it feeling pushy or desperate she knew that her potential clients would love it because of the depth of her ideal client work.
Serve your ideal client at the highest level
Jennifer: “If people don’t book after they read the first direct message I make them a really lovely personalised video and send it straight to their inbox. It helps grow our business in a really fun and friendly way! We make it easy for them!”
What I love about Jennifer’s attitude to business is that she actively builds and nurtures relationships. She isn’t only interested in her bottom line, she wants to serve her clients in the best possible way and give them an amazing experience!
What could you do to build your personal brand with more fun and enthusiasm? Does your ideal client avatar need to be revitalised? Do you need to rethink your social media content?
Come and share your thoughts with us on Facebook, and, if you’d like to know how effective your personal brand is right now (and learn how easy it can be to build it) download your free scorecard here.