You’ve heard that you need to talk to your “Ideal Client Avatar” aka your ICA either from me or from other business marketing experts. But, you know that you can teach anybody. I mean, Pilates is for everybody right? And, yes, you probably have been trained well and can teach all types of people. And Pilates meets everyone where they are. But, that doesn’t mean you get to talk to everybody. In fact, you can’t. You literally cannot write a post on any social, a newsletter, blog, or journal and talk to everyone and get attention. Even big brand names like Coke, Pepsi, or think of any big brand talk specifically to one person. Why? Because people need to feel like you see them, you get them, you understand them. They need to know that no matter their pain, problem or goal you can help them specifically. So, does this mean you only get to have one ICA? How do they do it and still appeal to so many people?
A simple answer is yes you can have more than one avatar. But, you still cannot talk to all of them at the same time. So, sure, you can have 3 avatars (I would keep it to 3 tops if you really can’t narrow down) but you still have to have total clarity around each one and know which one you’re talking to when you are promoting who you are, what you do and why you rock.
How do you know who your ideal client is?
This gets more complicated but it doesn’t have to be. I find that many teachers and studio owners struggle with this because they think about all the clients they have that they like. But, if I ask them if they would want 20 of that person they quickly remember that the client they like is late all the time, doesn’t want to pay their rates and is inconsistent.
So, first, you need to not worry about what will happen to the current clients you have. You might be a lucky person and have a client who is your total ICA. But, you might now. And that’s ok. We’re going to dive into what you need to know about your ICA and how to talk to them in this blog.
- Think about why you got into teaching in the first place. Was it to solve a problem you had? Was it because of how Pilates made you feel? Many times our ICA (or one of them) is us before we discovered Pilates.
- What do you like learning more about? I see a lot of teachers take workshops on anything. But, those who dive into something more specific will find a path that leads to working with more people that light their fire and allow them to flex their muscles a bit more. Look back at some workshops at see which ones lit you up so much you wished you could take hours more on that topic? Who does that information help?
- What are some non-negotiables in your business? Do you prefer to teach privates or groups? Do you want to teach more people or fewer people? Are there days and times that you will teach or won’t teach?
There are a ton more questions to answer about your ICA. But before we can get to them I want you to answer the above. Because these answers will really define a lot about your ICA’s. If you don’t want to teach mornings we need to own that and keep that in mind as we define your ICA. And its easy to get in the scarcity mindset as we dive even deeper into who your ICA is and start to bend your own rules.
Now that we know what information lights your fire, why you got into what you do and what you non-negotiables are we can start to dive even deeper into your ICA. And remember, the reason we need to be specific is so that when we market who we are and what we do we are speaking directly to our clients (future and current) so they feel SEEN! Everyone needs to feel seen.
Let’s get specific:
- where do they live
- when do they workout
- where do they work/do they work
- where do they workout
- how much money do they make
- what do they do for a living
- what do they do in their free time
- where do they get their information
- what social media (if any) do they enjoy
- what books do they read
- what magazines/blogs do they read
- what groups are they part of
- what do they like to eat/drink
- what does a normal day in their life look like
Now, let’s talk about why they need you:
- what are their pain points
- what keeps them up at night
- what would they do anything to have a solution to their problem
- what do they wish they had more of
How do you help them (hint don’t just write “with my Pilates sessions.”):
- what about what you do specifically helps them
- what are your ideal client’s program/how often do they need to see you
- what do past and current clients say you do
- what protocol do you want your ideal client doing with you
What are their objections:
- what will keep them from saying yes to you
- who will stop them from saying yes to you
- why might they not say yes to you
Ok, you ready to take all this information and put it together to talk to your ideal client and make them feel seen?
If you know how your future client wants to feel every day and you know what their objections will be then you can literally say: “Hey ___, I know you’re tired of feeling tired and you can’t fathom taking time out of your day for your self-care. But, I also know that back pain isn’t going to go away on its own. You know that too. And, I know that if I was able to work with you each week not only would your pain lessen but you would have more energy. Plus, one day a week we can do it while you’re at your office so you don’t lose time coming to see me in the studio.”
The woman I was picturing was someone who works 12 hour days, is working hard to “get ahead” and so she is sacrificing herself. But, she wants more. She wants to feel good and have more energy. So I know I can get her to come in person once a week but that won’t help her so I am going to also see her the second time online because then she can see that I believe in what I do so much that I will meet her where she is.
Notice how I didn’t write: “hey ___, you’re tired, you’re busy, you may have back pain or neck pain, or postnatal problems. And yeah, I can do posture and pt too!! I like to see my clients 3x a week but we can do once or twice or whatever you want. What do you think?”
Does the person above have pain or posture problems? I don’t know. And does this teacher sound confident in how they do what they do? Nope, they are willing to see their client whenever the client wants…
Going back to the first question: Can you have more than one avatar? Yes, as I mentioned you can. But, you have to go through all the prompts above for each avatar. And, every post or piece of marketing you do you need to make sure you know which avatar you are talking to. On OPC we have three avatars. But, lately, I have only been talking to two of them. And, I only talk to one at a time.
And, if you do this really well do you know what happens. The person you are speaking to so well, the one that feels so seen comes to you, takes from you, and tells their friends. And, there’s a high chance that some of their friends are not just like them. So, by talking super specific you still end up attracting other clients. Your business grows and its because you’re mostly teaching the clients that light your fire!
I’d love to hear who your ideal client is. You can share it with me in the comments below. And, for more support defining your ideal client and how to market to them check out my avatar course here, becoming known, and the client journey. These courses will help you go from an idea to an in-person/online client!