According to the ETR survey results, one of the biggest struggles among readers is identifying the right audience for their business. Today, I want to share with you a simple little exercise that will give you clarity and insight about the number one person in your business – your best client.

By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to provide the right solutions and sales messages to your clients, no matter if you sell in an offline or online business. Please don’t think this is useful only to those who have an internet business. It’s just as important if you are a real-estate agent, salesperson, lawyer, doctor, or personal trainer.

The exercise involves creating what is called a, “customer avatar”. When I started my online fitness business, this is one of things I did right without even knowing it. At the time, most of my lead generation was through the writing I did for Men’s Health magazine in addition to the questions I answered on their website forum.

As a result, I began receiving almost the same questions on a daily basis from readers who were similar in many ways. These readers tended to be late 30’s, married with kids, busy at work, but also increasingly sedentary as family and work demanded more and more of their time – compared to their carefree early 20’s when they were able to hit the gym, play hoops with their friends, and still find time to take their future wife out for dinner and a movie. Those were the days, weren’t they?

Based on these daily interactions, I began to create a profile of the typical Men’s Health reader who would be interested in my fitness programs. Within a few months, I had written out an avatar so detailed I felt I could drive into any town in America and pick out the house where my client lived. Here it is:

My best client is named Mike”. He’s 36 years old and lives in eastern Pennsylvania, less than three hours from New York City. Mike was active in college, playing sports almost everyday and still had time to lift weights two or three times per week. When he graduated, Mike started a sedentary desk job, and now works 9 or 10 hours per day, and spends at least an hour each day commuting by car.

Soon after starting his career, Mike settled down with his college sweetheart and got married, had two kids, and now drives a minivan. He has a nice home in the suburbs with toys all over the lawn (unless the in-laws are visiting, then he packs all the toys and crams them into the garage).

Mike likes to relax each night with a cookout and a beer on the back deck, and he tries to play softball with the guys once per week in the summer. However, family means everything to Mike, and he often has to cancel because he’s coaching Little League or taking his kids to a friend’s birthday party.

Mike is the kind of guy who still follows his college football team, watches his favourite NFL team every Sunday, enters March Madness brackets at the office, plays golf two or three times per year, and travels a little for work.

Because of his new life, Mike has gone a few years without a regular exercise program. But some event – perhaps a high school reunion, birthday, or simply the fact that he doesn’t have the energy to keep up with his kids anymore – has motivated him to start looking online for a workout program. The trouble is Mike can only exercise at 5am or 9pm when the kids are in bed, and he has to workout at home in a cramped little 30 square foot area either in the basement or in a spare room.

As a result of his circumstances, Mike is frustrated and doesn’t think he can get results. He spends fifteen minutes each night on the computer searching for fitness programs, or perhaps he picked up a copy of Men’s Health while on a business trip, and one way or another he stumbles across one of my articles, forum posts, Youtube videos, or free programs I’ve given away on the internet. And that’s when he says, “This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for.”

Every sales message, product, and lead generation offer I created back then was made exactly for Mike. I didn’t hype-up the message to try and attract young 20-something Vinny’s who wanted to gain muscle when hitting the Jersey Shore, nor did I soften the masculine tone of the message to attract 30-something Jennifer’s, the busy moms looking for a 10-minute workout they could do while their newborn had a nap.

By creating your best client avatar, you’ll attract the best prospects into your businesa. And yes, you’ll even get some people from outside of your focus who still want to do business with you. But for maximum connection with your client, creating an avatar and communicating with this ideal version of your client is preferred.

All you need to do is take fifteen to thirty minutes and write down everything you know about your best prospect. Give them a name, age, income, family life, work history, hobbies, appearance, and values.

But most importantly, identify their biggest fears and frustrations that only your product or business can solve. This will allow you to go into every sales message or meeting with the confidence that your message is perfectly suited for the right prospect.

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com