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If you’ve ever gotten advice on running a business, the odds are very good that you’ve been told you need to identify your “ideal client,” and that this is done by creating an ideal client avatar.

This is a “sample customer,” a collection of facts and figures that make up the kind of person you should be marketing to. Sometimes these avatars even have names. They almost always come with a laundry list of statistics, where they live, how many kids (if any), what they like to read/watch, etc. Avatars are a staple of entrepreneurial advice.

They’re also one of the worst tools you can use in your business.

Most of the time, ideal client avatars will leave you feeling stuck. Let me give you an example.

Recently, three people in my Client and Cash Elite program told me they were struggling with their ideal client avatars. They did all the research, got all the information, even gave theirs avatar names. However, they were still struggling.

When I asked them how they felt about their avatar, the responses I got included:

“Totally confused.”

“Overwhelmed.”

“I don’t know if I got it right.”

They weren’t sure who their ideal client was, didn’t feel confident that they could reach out to them even if they did, and more to the point, they weren’t making sales.

I’m going to share with you three tips for simplifying the “ideal client” process. It’s by no means comprehensive, but it will at least get you out of the avatar rut.

1. Your ideal client can likely be found… in the mirror.

Most of the time, your ideal client – the person who can benefit most from what you offer, and the kind of person you want to work with – is an earlier version of you. It’s the version of you that existed before you discovered the solution you’re now offering to others.

2. Most of the demographics are useless.

Ad agencies use incredibly detailed demographics about what people read, eat and watch, where they go to school and what brand of toothpaste they prefer. This data is used to create advertising campaigns focused on groups (males aged 18-35 for example). For an entrepreneur running a coaching business, 99% of that information is useless, and results in overwhelm and confusion.

3. Keep it simple and focused.

Focus on the facts about your client that are relevant to your business. If you’re a relationship coach for example, you may want to focus on people who are in relationships (or maybe people who aren’t and are looking for one). What they read and what toothpaste they use really aren’t useful pieces of information, and can be safely ignored.

An ideal client avatar is a perfect example of the dangers of using a one-size-fits-all approach to business tools. Spending the time and effort gathering piles of useless data only adds to your already substantial workload as an entrepreneur, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and confused.

Focus your energies on those people who would benefit most from your offerings, rather than a pile of statistics.

Interested in learning more? Here are 4 different ways I can help:

1. Grab a free copy of my ebook, “Set Your Sales on Fire: Seven Steps to Yes!” Discover the roadmap that’s generated millions in sales over the last seven years, used by both myself and my clients to create powerful, highly converting sales calls!

2. Join the Sales On Fire Community and connect with coaches who are scaling too. Be a part of my Facebook community, where smart coaches learn to attract more clients and increase their impact and profits!

3. Apply for a free 30 minute “Clients and Cash Strategy Session.” Join me as we map out a quick three-step action plan to get your business moving in the right direction. You’ll leave the call with clarity, confidence and the tools you need to take your business to the next level. Reach out to me here marie@marierodgers.com with “Strategy” in the subject line and I’ll send you details.

4. Work with me directly. If you’d like to work with me to help you get from “Where is my next client coming from?” to predictable high paying clients, simply reach out marie@marierodgers.com with “Private” in the subject line. Tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!