But now let’s say that you’ve put in some time: you’ve done the work; you’ve had some success; you’ve built your business; you’ve served your customers well.
I think, at this point, most businesses run on autopilot. They have a “set it and forget it” approach to their avatar, and they run with that one single avatar for… years. (After all, it served them well, so why change what ain’t broke, right?)
Problem is, it is broken, most people just don’t realize it.
Things change. A lot of things change!
Kodak had an avatar. They didn’t recognize that it was changing.
Blockbuster had an avatar. They didn’t recognize that it was changing.
Blackberry had an avatar. They didn’t recognize that it was changing.
Yes, it was industry and marketplace shifts that contributed but their perfect client didn’t stick with them out of loyalty! Their avatar shifted right along with the market.
Heck, put aside the market and economic shifts for a second and consider your business itself: YOU and YOUR BUSINESS have probably gotten better! You likely became more valuable, more efficient, more sophisticated, and are worth much more now than ever before. You deserve to get paid more because you bring a higher level of value than you once did.
So, it’s time to revisit your avatar. If you’ve never done this exercise for years, you may have to do a big update. Otherwise, I recommend updating your avatar at least once a year. (And, the more of those factors that shift—such as industry, technology, competitors, and economy—the more often you should be revisiting your avatar.
Consider how demographic and psychographic trends have shifted in the past year (or quarter) that might adjust your avatar.
In my own real estate investing copywriting business for example, I’m aware that my avatar has shifted in a few ways—partly because of who is still in the industry now (compared to when I started, which was closer to the 2008 recession and the trickle-down influences from that economic event) and partly because of who I prefer to work with.
Here are a few specifics to explain what I mean: My avatar is skewing slightly younger than before, way more technologically savvy than just a few years ago, considerably more ethnically diverse, and far more mission-focused than ever (i.e. more interested in building a long-term legacy than making a quick buck)… just to name a few components.
Some of that is from general trends; some of that is my own preference and who I’ve realized that I prefer to work with.
Want a simple action step? Dust off the avatar write-up that you have taped to the wall above your desk (you DO have one there, right?!?) and update your avatar it based on real data from your current list of best customers. Then a second action step: schedule time annually to update your avatar to better reflect your perfect client at the moment.
Want to read more? Check out a couple of my more popular posts. These are questions you can use to understand and improve how you serve your avatar: 55 Questions To Answer When Defining Your Sales Funnel’s Target Market, and, 61 Questions To Strengthen Your Client Relationships And Build Loyalty.