9. Avatar Creation, Range of Motion Fitness Business Series
The external marketing process for your business should begin at the end. With the client.
All too often, the marketing message of a business is ‘action-focussed’ – it tells people what you do. Instead, it should focus on the problems you solve.
The first step in creating a marketing plan for your business is to identify the type of person you’re trying to help. Not only is this vital in establishing the problems you’ll be solving, but it’s also needed to ensure you’re getting the right message in front of the right person in the right way.
Your potential client is an ‘avatar’ – a detailed and intimate description of your ideal client. The sort of person you’re trying to attract more of in your business. The sort of person you want to work with.
Chances are, you’ll have multiple avatars (different types of people you help). But don’t create too many. Two to four is a great place to start. If you make the mistake of going too general and claiming to ‘help everyone’, you’ll actually end up with less clients. People are looking for a service that solves their unique problem. Go too general, and you won’t be able to highlight the narrow band of problems that you’re uniquely qualified and experienced to solve. Sure, the net you’re casting won’t be as wide, but the quality of the catch will be higher, and you’ll have far greater long term retention.
A great place to start when deciding on your avatars, is to look at the people who are already clients of your business. Who are your favourite people to work with? Which people can the greatest contribution to the success of your business (as measured through their contributions to culture, finances, happiness, or any other metric). Think of that person you’d love to have ten more of. That’s your avatar. And again, you can have two to four of these.
So let’s begin the process of defining your avatars.
You can use the following headings to begin to define your avatar. For each heading, we’ll give an example to help you get your head around what we’re looking to define.
AVATAR NAME: Give your imaginary avatar a name (to make them seem more real).
E.g. Mary Peters
AVATAR PICTURE: Here, find a stock photo (a headshot) of someone who looks like how you picture Mary. This is a great way to give a face to the avatar.
E.g. Generation X
E.g. Affluent suburbs, Perth suburbs of Claremont, Nedlands, Peppermint Grove, Mosman Park.
E.g. House, Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, large backyard.
E.g. Stay at home mum, small amount of volunteer work.
E.g. $0, but household income (husband works full time) of $150k+
Level of Education:
E.g. Family, loyalty, inclusivity, friends, quality goods and services.
E.g. Caring, generous, mothering, anxious, uncomfortable with change.
Hobbies and Interests:
E.g. Volunteer work, yoga, walking the dog, her childrens’ school and sports.
E.g. Socialising with friends.
E.g. Would rather spend more money on quality products and services. Spends a lot on her kids and her own health and social life.
Sources of content consumption / information (eg: books, magazines, blogs, websites, podcasts, events, gurus etc).
- Magazines related to health and wellness.
- Watches documentaries (Netflix) on social causes and health.
- Self help and personal development books – prefers audio books to written.
- Has been dabbling in health podcasts, but hasn’t formed a habit here yet.
- Reads a lot of articles and opinion pieces on social media, particularly Facebook.
- Uses YouTube as a search engine to solve day to day household problems.
Social media usage patterns:
E.g. Very active on Facebook and Instagram (but not Instagram stories). Has an account with some other social networks but isn’t an active user.
Level of knowledge of your product/service. Unaware they have a problem, aware of the problem but not the solution, aware of the solution but not aware of you, aware that you provide the solution, or, most aware (a fan of your product/service).
E.g. Would be interested in going back to part time work when the kids are a bit older.
E.g. Coming up on 20th wedding anniversary with her husband. Would like to continue to support him and their kids.
E.g. Has a family history of both heart disease and Alzheimer’s which affects her parents. Wants to make sure she’s doing everything she can to avoid chronic disease. Needs to lose a bit of weight and build better and more sustainable exercise and nutrition habits.
E.g. Wants to find a new circle of friends in a supportive environment. Would like to get more involved with the school to help support her children. Realises she needs something for herself, instead of just living to support her family, and she hopes a new exercise regime can be this thing.
Challenges and pain points (problems that need solving):
E.g. Needs to learn how to build healthy habits, needs to lose some weight, needs someone to help cut through the mass of misinformation on health, needs to prevent chronic disease.
What would happen if these pain points weren’t overcome?
E.g. Inconsistent and ineffective habits leading to a gradual but persistent spiralling of her health, meaning she can’t support her family and be around to see her future grandkids.
What would happen if these pain points were overcome?
E.g. Long term health and happiness.
What is the perfect solution to their problems?
E.g. She needs someone who can take her under their wing and teach her what exercise she should be doing and how to eat better. She needs help initially staying accountable, but in the longer term, needs guidance in how to build healthy lifelong habits.
Objections to purchasing your product/service:
E.g. Has tried lots of different gyms before and nothing has ‘felt right’. Needs to be convinced that what you offer is a different approach and will be sustainable. Once got injured at the gym so needs to know you have a high level of technical expertise. Although money is not a major issue, she’s sometimes hesitant to spend money on herself instead of her kids.
Role in the purchasing process:
E.g. 50/50 decision with husband. He’s supportive of her need to make some changes, but he’s also wary of the price and questions why she can’t just go for a run every morning like he does.
So now we’ve defined the avatars for your business.
For Range of Motion Business Mentoring clients, this becomes the basis of all their marketing. Stick up the photos of your avatars in your office or wherever you work. When you’re creating content or working on your business, these photos should be in your eye-line as a reminder to constantly deliver the correct message to the correct people. Re-read these avatars often.
With the avatars established, we can now ensure that our marketing is targeted to solve the unique problems of the people we’re best positioned to help.
Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.