I often hear from spa owners and estheticians, “I don’t know where to find new clients,” or “I don’t know what to say in my marketing materials,” or “what should I blog about,” or “should I focus on Facebook ads or post on Instagram?”
These seemingly very different questions can actually be addressed if you take a moment, go back to the basics, take the 40,000’ view of your business, and build your solid foundation.
I’m talking about getting clear on who your ideal client is and creating an avatar to guide your marketing efforts. It’s an essential step in turning prospects into clients.
You’ve probably heard that if you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one. Yet, to my surprise, I recently learned that only 1% of entrepreneurs know who their ideal client is!
That could easily be one of the biggest downfalls for many solopreneurs because they have no basis to decide which products and services to create and how to position their businesses in the marketplace so they can stand out and attract the right clientele.
Many of them would try many things, plagued by the bright shiny object syndrome and keep throwing spaghetti on the wall.
An ideal client avatar can help you get specific in your marketing communication and promotion strategies so you can focus your time and resources on putting your message in front of the right audience, in the right place and at the right time.
I learned this the hard way…
When I first launched this coaching business and the Esthetician Business Academy. I just wanted to help every single esthetician out there.
Every breathing esthetician was my client… and it didn’t work out so well.
My marketing materials were all over the place. I got wore out because I was trying to be everywhere and appeal to everyone.
Even though I was getting some clients, I was dismayed when I looked at my return on investment (i.e., the time and effort I spent vs. the revenue I brought in.)
Then, I realized I truly enjoyed working with estheticians and spa owners who are solopreneurs.
Because I was once a solopreneur esthetician… I wish when I was starting out and on my own, there was someone who could show me the ropes so I wasn’t trying to take every single training out there, parse through all the tactics not specific to my industry, got distracted by bright shiny objects, and when something didn’t work, I’d just throw the baby out with the bathwater because I didn’t know how to analyze my results to figure out what worked.
I wasn’t alone. I’ve seen and heard this too often, “Oh my god, that wasn’t the magic bullet and now I’m $30,000 in debt and I’m still pissed and unhappy because I don’t have clients coming in the door!”
Once I determined who my ideal client was and created an avatar to guide my marketing effort, everything changed.
Not only was I not chasing my tail but I also became more focused – working less and bringing in more clients and revenue.Creating a client avatar is not about narrowing down your options or constraining your growth. Click To Tweet
Take Apple for example: they target a very specific persona. Yet they aren’t leaving anybody out because they’re representing an aspirational lifestyle. If grandma wants to look hip and be part of that culture, she’d go get an iPhone.
Now that you understand why you need to create your client avatar, let’s get to work:
- Give your avatar a name – this can help make this person real and specific
- Identify her age – you’re not leaving anybody out by being specific. Your ideal client being 42 doesn’t mean you’re going to turn away people who are 40!
- Fill in some personal details – e.g. where does she live, what does she do for a living, what’s her income level, what does she do in her free time, what kind of car does she drive?
- What problems does she need to solve and how do your products and services help her solve that problem?
Some of these details might seem unrelated to your business. However, they help you get specific about your potential client and give you the clues as to where to find them, what their value system is, how to relate to them and build rapport.
The purpose of this avatar is to help you wrap a narrative around your marketing communication so your audience will feel like you’re speaking to them as an individual.
After you’ve established the basics, then you want to dig deeper into the psychology of your ideal clients. Selecting an esthetician is very personal and trust plays a very important role in the decision-making process.
People buy with emotions so you need to get in touch with what makes them tick. Here are some questions to consider:
- What do your ideal clients want more than anything else in the world? (Dig deeper and ask “so what?” E.g. they want great skin… so what? So she can feel beautiful… so what? So she can be more confident… so what? So she can finally feel comfortable socially.)
- How does achieving that make her think, feel, and act?
- What would she be willing to pay to have that?
- And how can your specific products and services match up to what she needs, wants, and desires?
(I want to emphasize “specific” here – your individual product or modality might not differ much from the next esthetician, but think about how you combine them, your unique technique, or your ability to “nail” the problem and devise a solution in 5 minutes flat… how does your superpower set you apart?)
When you’ve identified that sweet spot, you can communicate why your products and services are unique and relevant to your ideal clients. When you can articulate how you can help solve their problem, your clients will be very happy to pay a premium for your services.
Moreover, when you know what your market really wants, you have a very specific filter to help you select the products or modalities to add to your business without looking like a Jane-of-all-trades.
Your ideal client avatar can evolve over time as you work with more clients and get more clarity. Revisit this exercise periodically to make sure you’re on track and fine-tune your marketing message as necessary.
Enjoy this article? Learn more about our business and marketing membership program designed exclusively for estheticians here.