Finding Your Avatar: 4 Steps to Identify Your Ideal Audience

Do you struggle to find your avatar? Is finding your ideal audience proving to be more difficult than you expected?

The more specific you can get about your target market, the more effective you'll be. When you realize who you're writing to on your blog, who you're talking to on your podcast, and who you're creating products for, the more success you will see.

Finding your avatar and identifying your ideal audience will be the turning point in your business. Let me give you some tips to make it happen.

Find Your Avatar and Ideal audience

When I first started my online business I thought I wanted to do business with everyone. I assumed that the larger my target audience, the more potential clients I would have.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.

If you're trying to talk to everyone, you'll end up reaching no one. (Tweet that)

Until they find their ideal audience, their avatar, most people make statements that are too broad. They try to connect with anyone and everyone who comes across their work.

The problem with broad statements is that they aren't specific enough for anyone to feel like you're talking to them.

Identify Ideal Client AvatarYour readers, listeners, and customers want to feel like you're talking directly to them. They want to read your blog post and believe you're solving their specific problems.

For example, the post you're reading right now came from a message I got from Derek, one of my subscribers. When I emailed Derek to share one thought that changed my entire year, he scheduled a collaboration call with me.

When Derek scheduled the call, he said this:

I feel like I'm going in too many directions. I'd like to find that one thing and get tunnel vision. I can't seem to do that on my own. I'd love to talk through how you found your focus and apply that to my journey. Thanks!!

By the way, if you're ever in need of blog post or podcast episode ideas, just start answering your audience's questions. The odds are, if one person wants to know, other people do too.

Since I know other people have the same struggle as Derek (I know because I struggled to find my avatar too), I want to share with you what I shared with him.

4 Steps to Identify Your Ideal Audience

Step 1: Ask Yourself,

Who Do I Want to Work With?

It sounds simple, but the first step in identifying your ideal audience is to determine who you want to work with.

This is your business, and it's your choice. If you don't want to work with someone you don't have to. One of the best things about owning my business is the ability to pick who I work with.

The people Derek wants to work with are the outdoor types. They have full-time jobs and love to go hunting and fishing on the weekends.

The people I want to work with are the do it yourself (DIY) entrepreneur types. They're somewhat tech-savvy and want to build a brand with a solid foundation.

Possible follow-up questions:

  • Are they introverted or extroverted?
  • Are they technical or non-technical?
  • Are they male or female?
  • Do they have full-time jobs?
  • How old are they?

Step 2: Ask Yourself,

Who Do I Relate to?

We usually relate most to people who are most like us. They think the way we do, believe what we believe, and have similar goals or backgrounds, or both.

When you're trying to find your ideal audience, think about who you connect with offline. While you won't get far if you only talk to people just like you, it's a good place to start.

Derek relates to people who like being outside. His ideal audience is not the city-dweller or people who love their high-rise condo. Derek's avatar is more into shotguns and sweet tea than suits and riding the subway.

I relate to people who have become disenchanted with their job. I don't relate to people who think they can climb the corporate ladder.

Possible follow-up questions:

  • What topics do I like to talk about?
  • What activities do I do on the weekends and in my spare time?
  • Who do I connect with the best?
  • Who do I enjoy talking to?

Step 3: Ask Yourself,

Who Needs to Hear What I Have to Say?

Now that you've figured out who you'd like to work with, it's time to figure out who needs to hear what you have to say.

When you can meet the needs of your ideal audience, they'll come to you for other things as well. After you solve their current problems, they'll come to for guidance about future challenges.

By meeting the needs of the people in your ideal audience, you establish yourself as an authority and position yourself as a resource.

Meeting needs is a great way to build a business. (Tweet that!)

The people who need to hear what Derek has to say are the ones looking for great outdoor activities within driving distance. He'll help young couples find things to do together. He'll help the weekend outdoor warrior find activities to maximize the time they have before going back to work.

I speak to the person who wants to start building an online business in their spare time. The people who are in my ideal audience are looking for ways to shorten their startup time. They're the ones who need some guidance before going full-time online.

Possible follow-up questions:

  • What questions do people ask me on a regular basis?
  • What problems am I solving for people?
  • What is a need in the marketplace that I can fill?
  • What knowledge do I have that can help other people?

Step 4: Ask Yourself,

Who Will Benefit the Most From My Message?

This final question is the influence-maximizing question. It's the extra little bit that makes the biggest difference.

After you know who you want to work with and who you relate to, you need to know who needs you. But, the real impact (and money) comes when you know who needs you the most.

When you know who will benefit the most from what you have, you're no longer a nice-to-know person; you're now a must-know person.

When you transition your message from one that helps, to a message people can't live without, your influence goes through the roof! Plus, your ideal audience will be happier and more satisfied with your message.

Possible follow-up questions:

  • Whose life would radically change for the better if shared what I know with them?
  • Who could get out of an awful slump and begin living with passion again?
  • Who has a major headache their life that I could help them get rid of?

Be Patient

It's easy to sit here and write about finding your avatar. But, actually finding them is tough.

It took me over two years to understand what I wanted to be known for and what impact I wanted to leave on the earth. If you don't have it all figured out after six months of trying, don't worry!

When You Find Your Avatar

Identify Ideal Client AvatarOnce you finally decide on your avatar, be as specific about him (or her) as possible. Picture that person in your mind every time you write a blog post or record a podcast episode. If you do, you'll see a noticeable improvement in your quality and passion.

Then, after all the hard work of finding your ideal audience has been done, give everything you have to them. Forget about everyone else.

Focus on the people who you connect with and who want to hear what you have to say. Focus on the people who encourage you and ignore the people who don't. It'll be hard, but things that are worth doing usually are.

 

Question: How do you describe your ideal audience? Who is your avatar and how did you find him?

 

  • Chip D Thompson

    Great post Ellory. Been reading and putting my answers in Evernote.

    • Hey Chip! Thank you for reading and commenting.

      How is the avatar clarification coming?

      I’ve created a template/workbook (that is getting great feedback) for helping people through the process of identifying their avatar.

      I invite you to check out the worksheet at http://www.ElloryWells.com/lp/ideal

      Let me know what you think!

  • James Shipway

    Thanks Ellory. Just started trying to really nail down my avatar and this was helpful to me. Getting ready to create my first guitar tuition product and it’s got to be specifically aimed at a certain kind of player with certain problems and desires/goals. I’m using some of my private guitar students as inspiration for my avatar as well. which is handy because I just think “What really helped Bill with his rock soloing?’ or whatever.

    • Hey James! Thank you for reading and commenting. I just created a new resource to walk people through the process of identifying their avatar.

      I invite you to check out the worksheet at http://www.ElloryWells.com/lp/ideal

      Let me know what you think!