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Your Avatar is Failing You and Your Business

Do you know your demographic of who buys the stuff you’re selling? Are they woman in certain age range with 2 kids and a dog? Or maybe you have created your ideal customer Avatar – you’ve named her Sarah and she is exactly the type of person who you want to work with, your ideal client.

And after knowing exactly who SHE is, why isn’t SHE coming to buy your product, service, coaching, etc.?

Maybe you’re having a hard time finding more than one Sarah in the world, or you’ve realized that your demographic description feels either too vague or too niched. Either way, your sales aren’t what you want them to be. Heck, what they should be for as much time, energy and effort you’re putting into your business.

But why? You’ve done the work, you’ve listened to experts and you’ve probably worked with several awful clients to reach who you know are your people. Now you just have to find them… right?

Wrong. Well, sort of. You have to find your people, but your Avatar or demographic description is NOT going to get you more clients. It may help you write blog posts or know who to validate new products with, but it’s not going to make you money. In fact, it’s holding you back from what will bring you sales.

And that’s the urgent need.

We all know that people are ready to buy when they have an issue that is urgently and loudly making its needs known. They have a problem that needs solving now, and that’s when they buy. Think about your own buying habits – when you get a sunburn, you run to the nearest Walgreen’s to buy aloe. When you realize the in-laws are staying for a week at your house, you drive to the liquor store to stock up. When your boss sits you down to have “the performance talk,” you go home and sign yourself up for the first resume writing class/webinar/book/etc. that you can find.

But when it comes to your business, you’re sitting back and waiting for Sarah to come find you. Or you’re going after your demographic with your messaging because they will be perfect!

And it’s not clear in any of those defined roles, your Avatar or demographic or heck, even your “niche”, why that person will NEED you. The urgent need you are going to solve for them – bringing them over the hump to buy.

What Is Your Urgent Need?

The phrase urgent need is scary. Because when you’re selling coaching programs or products on how to get more followers on Snapchat, there isn’t usually an implied urgent need as we typically define it. But there IS an urgent need that you, uniquely solve.

It just may not be as readily available in your mind as the examples I’ve provided above. So let’s walk through a few examples together.

Marriage/Relationship Coach: This is an example I’ve seen shared several times because it’s easy to relate to the pain. If you’re a marriage or relationship coach who provides solutions to de-escalate arguments in 3 steps or less, for the couple who is constantly fighting, this is an urgent need.

Career Coach: If you’re a career coach who provides mock interviews with only 2 hours’ notice, for someone who has an interview tomorrow and feels nervous or rusty, this is an urgent need.

Food Blogger: If you’re a food blogger and provides quick recipes for large families, for a working parent with four kids and who is constantly trying to figure out what’s for dinner tonight, this is an urgent need.

You’ll see in the three examples above, the urgent need is in the form of the solution – but it also dictates their actual buyers. Not a demographic of people.

The marriage/relationship coach isn’t aiming for heterosexual couples aged 30 – 40 with two kids, instead, the marriage coach is hoping to help married couples (of any pairing type) or long-term relationship couples (of any pairing type), who are in the middle of an escalation, have been fighting about the same things over a long period of time, are wanting to work things out, and interested in growing together.

The career coach isn’t aiming at Sarah or male aged 34 – 45 with no kids, instead, the career coach is trying to reach active job seekers. Added to that, they are nervous about interviewing, feel rusty or unsure of how to approach it; they need reassurance and no-nonsense help last minute. They are the people who want a solution that the career coach can provide them.

And finally, the food blogger isn’t trying to reach Sarah with pretty pictures on Instagram, but instead, she’s trying to reach busy parents who probably work outside of the home, have a lot of responsibilities, do not have a lot of time to plan or shop, don’t like to eat out for every dinner (or can’t afford to), and want to feed their family a good meal. For that working parent, this is an urgent need they feel every single day.

Your Action Step

Let’s strip back your demographic or Avatar (I’d like to tell you to throw it out, but I’m afraid you’ll have an uprising) and start with the pain point or urgent need instead. If you’re struggling to find that for your business, consider starting with a product or service you provide and work backwards from there. If the urgent need still isn’t apparent, you have two options:

  1. Look at your product and see how you can tweak something to make it applicable to someone’s urgent pain. In the career example above, simply providing mock interviews is a very different need and audience than someone providing them with only two hours’ notice.
  2. Send me a note and I’ll help you determine your urgent need with a few questions.