Episode 292

Why You Should Have a Client Avatar with Mark Fisher

In this episode, Mark Fisher joins me to talk about why you should have a client avatar.

[00:00:00] Hello, my friends on today’s episode, I am speaking with Mr. Fisher and we are talking about a topic that I love, and it’s really a back to the basics topic, which is about the importance of having a client avatar for your gym. We talk about why to have a client, a client avatar, and we go through our three step.

Proven playbook for creating a client avatar profile. So if you want to get more clear on about who your ideal client is, and you want to use that information to do more effective sales and marketing, there’s a great episode for you. So keep on listening.

Welcome to the Business for Unicorns podcast, where we help gym owners unleash the full potential of their business. I’m your host, Michael Keeler. Join me each week for actionable advice, expert insights, and the inside scoop on what it really takes to level up your gym. Get ready to unlock your potential and become a [00:01:00] real unicorn in the fitness industry.

Let’s begin.

Hello, fitness, business nerds. What’s up. Welcome to another episode of the business unicorns podcast. I’m back again with Mr. Fisher. How are you, sir? I’m doing well. Yeah, I’m so excited about today’s conversation because we’re doing a little bit of back to the basics about having an avatar for your business.

But before we dive into that, I want to do a quick little shout out to a webinar you have coming up. We’re calling it the how to win big in 2024 webinar, and it’s your exact plan for growing your gym big at the start of the new year. Do you want to tell little people what you plan to cover in this workshop?

Yeah, basically, I would like to help you understand what are the. Main ways that you can continue to generate fresh ease, fresh leads. I want to help you understand two assets that are my go to when we start working with someone that usually can unlock some revenue already hitting in the business. And then importantly, I want to show you how to do it while working less in the business.

I think a lot of gym owners spend too much time in the [00:02:00] business, and you could both be more efficient and more effective. So you can expect if you come to this, I’m going to give you basically your Q1 marketing calendar. So if you’re somebody that knows you need a new marketing calendar, you need new planning, I’m going to be pretty prescriptive, but I’m also going to allow some guardrails for those of you that want to play with what the exact offer is, when the exact dates are.

But by the end of it, you should have a very specific plan to grow your revenue by as much as 5k, 10k or more monthly recurring revenue by April 1st. So big claims, but. I’m going to do it, but it’s happening. It’s not that hard actually. Yeah, it was happening to friends and this is free. Yeah. So go click the link in the bio register, register for this webinar.

We’re offering it twice. It’s Saturday, December, Saturday, December 16th and Monday, December 18th, both at 12 noon Eastern time. So click the link in the bio, sign up and go kick some ass in Q1 with Mr. Fisher. All right, let’s dive in. So I mentioned today’s topic is going to be about. Avatar. This is a little bit of a back to the basics conversation, [00:03:00] which I’m really stoked about, because sometimes we get carried away with topics that are maybe not as foundational, and this is a very foundational topic.

And the idea here, and we have a playbook for this for Unicorn Society members, is that you need to get really clear on who you’re serving, and often that’s called an avatar. It’s an archetype of who your ideal client is. So before we dive into, like, how you figure out who your avatar is, can you just say a little fissure about, like, why does this even fucking matter?

Yeah, because all of your marketing is ideally entering the conversation that is already going on in your prospect’s head with the words that they use to talk about both their wants, their frustrations, their long term fears, their long term dreams, and Unless you know that information, you can’t do a good job of speaking to them, of making them feel like you understand them, you understand their problems.

You can’t put together the types of offers, the types of calls to action that can invite this person to actually take action. You don’t know what pictures to put on the website. You might make [00:04:00] poor choices of everything from design to even where the location of your business is, where you’re marketing.

So the stakes are really huge. And this is a thing that we see often go sadly, very awry, uh, with a lot of gym owners. I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit about what we see and why that is, but if you get this wrong, it’s going to be way harder to get any traction with growing your gym. Yeah, 100%. And let’s just be explicit that on the flip side of getting this right, Is the opposite of all that the flip side of getting this right is actually clear, more effective marketing, better able to serve as your clients and get them the results they want to get them staying longer and paying more and referring more people.

So there’s a lot of promise in this kind of linchstone. Piece of information. And so let’s just say this, that the first step of our playbook is gathering all the details you can find about who your ideal client is and the playbook. We recommend that people really think both about demographic and [00:05:00] psychographic information.

So can you break this down? What does an avatar profile look like? Yeah, an avatar profile is. So essentially your vision of a dream client, and I think there’s a number of different ways you can put this together. I think certainly we don’t have time to go to all the details here, but there’s some specific exercises you can run, such as considering who your current favorite clients are that pay a lot of money and working with you.

You could think about the clients that bring you the most energy, the most love working with. I do think you’d have to make some considerations for who actually is in. Your market, right? If you are a general population gym, you really want to train aspiring NFL players, but you’re on a rural market where.

None of those people are there, that’s a consideration. But the two pieces of this, when we’re thinking about who the avatar is, are the demographic pieces and the psychographic pieces. The demographic pieces are biography. These are things like age, income, what they do professionally, what [00:06:00] websites they frequent, what periodicals they read, what are their professional affiliations, do they have kids.

And all of the demographic stuff I think is very important to understand where your marketing needs to be because it will help you understand how to fish where the fish are swimming, right? You want to go to where your dream clients are hanging out. And the psychographic information has to do a little bit more what I was talking about earlier, which is what are their wants?

What are their frustrations? What are the long term fears they have if they don’t achieve their health and fitness goals? What are the long term dreams they have about how it might impact their life if they do achieve their fitness goals? And That information is going to help you understand the words that you use, the offers that you make, the copy that you write in your email marketing on your website homepage.

If you have a low bear offer landing page, Facebook ads. So the first piece is about where the marketing is. The second piece is [00:07:00] about what’s going on with the emotional. Uh, state of that person so you can really speak to what it is they care about in the words that they’re using in their head when they’re thinking about this issue.

Yeah. And I think this is an area where I, I think that a lot of folks get it wrong where they only focus on the first part. They only focus on how much money do they make? Are they married? Are they not? Do they have kids or not? And those things are useful to you Like you said to figuring out like how you get in front of them to figure out where their eyeballs are But then to really make them feel something and pull them into action Then you have to get that second piece, right?

You had to know what they want what their dreams are their fears are their preferences Why they failed in the past like you need to get into all of that And as Fisher said, we don’t have time to dive into all the strategies for how you collect this information, but you shared one already, which is you want to just get to know your favorite client.

Yeah. One way to figure out who your avatar is, is a picture like who is the client who is just the most loyal, who stayed the longest, maybe paid the [00:08:00] most, really benefits the most from the exact kind of services you offer and profile that person. Profile that person. Yeah. Any other mistakes people making at this point, Fisher?

Yeah, I’m not sure. I think that is the core one. I think I’ll tell you this. The specific mistake I see actually is marketing to yourself, right? Because you are not most situations, your clients. So the most common mistake we see, it’s very cliche. You don’t see this that often anymore, at least not the circles we move in, but we’re probably self selected for slightly more sophisticated audiences.

So for instance, if you are. Just, you love powerlifting so much, and you love death metal so much, and you open up GEM, hoping to find all the other death metal loving powerlifters where you are. That’s not necessarily wrong if this is a passion project, but unless you’re in a market where there are a lot of those people, it’s going to be hard for you to Have that business.

And believe me, I’m the last person to say, don’t go after your dreams. Be reasonable. No, do [00:09:00] whatever you want to do. You’re into that. That’s fantastic. But you have to understand the geographic constraints of a brick and mortar gym. It’s a thing. And I think part of what can make this even more confusing is if you study marketing broadly, particularly online marketing, which doesn’t have that constraint, which in fact requires you to niche down in breathtakingly specific ways that won’t work as well for most of you in most markets.

So to be clear, you do need to have a specific avatar you’re going after. And if you are in a market where you’re working with the general population, you need to be thinking about what your clients like and what your clients want and what words your clients say and not make it about the things that you’re interested in and you’re passionate about.

Again, those are great things. I think that can be part of what you create. Certainly it can be even part of your brand, but understand. In a perfect world, you are offering these things that you are passionate about [00:10:00] intentionally in the service of a specific community, a specific type of person that you are passionate about serving, who frankly has the ability to drive enough revenue that you can run a business that works for you and your family.

And that makes perfect sense why someone would start marketing to themselves, because often gyms are created by people who are passionate about training. Often, most gym owners that I’ve ever met started a gym, including Mark Fisher, because you yourself had a transformative experience with learning how to work out and take care of yourself and train.

And so it makes sense that kind of perspective persists through, through running a gym. So, I think it’s a common and understandable pitfall. So just circling back. So we are covering basically step one of our playbook, which is go gather information about who you think your avatar is. Step two in our playbook is actually create that profile.

The number one question we get here, when we talk about actually writing down and creating a profile for who this avatar is, how many avatars should I have? Should I have a male one, a [00:11:00] female one? Should I have a kid one? Should I have a parent one? Should I have a, how many? archetypes, how many avatars can I market to?

How do you answer that question? My personal sense is I like to have one personally and my argument for it is I like to have a specific bullseye knowing that people around the periphery of the bullseye are often going to Still be enrolled in the specific conversation. I think for most of gyms of our size, it just gets too complicated to have multiple avatars, even though in practice you’re likely serving, and you might be having a number of different archetypes that you see on the regular.

I think to make things simple, just pick one and go all in. And remember, again, we’re, I hope I’m not sounding like I’m talking both sides of my mouth. On the one hand, you do want to niche down, but as a brick and mortar training gym, you’re only going to niche down so far. So it’s not going to be. in most situations, you’re not going to niche down so far that you’re really alienating.

Like most of the people I think [00:12:00] there’s somebody said for being willing to maybe alienate some of the people and if you’re in a market like New York City, obviously, we’ve done that to great effect. But I think perhaps the one possible exception is there are a number of fitness brands have certainly had a lot of success by explicitly being for women and intentionally saying we’re not going to train them.

men. And I think that could be an interesting way to go. That Mary may not make sense for you and your model. We have some members that do that pretty well. And I think that’s a great example of niching in a way that gets very specific, but in practice it’s all while, although in your head, I think it’s important to have this hyper specific person.

In most situations, you’re not in your sales company to be talking so specifically about. I guess maybe you would be weird to be like you have three kids and you get up in the morning before you go to whatever your gun club or whatever as you do or your guns and books club you’ve drawn you in I love those clubs yeah because here’s the other thing too is the reality is [00:13:00] It’s a little right brainy, right?

It’s a little, it’s not always now. Cause it’s not always now. Go ahead. Yeah. I always say that like the purpose of an avatar profile by having one is to capture the kind of essence of the kind of person you want to attract in your business. It’s not to say this is the only person we will ever serve. And this avatar means we’re closing the door to anyone else.

It doesn’t fit this exact description, but the thing that really matters here is that. As small businesses, we have unlimited marketing resources and capacity. We can’t spend a ton of time and energy marketing to many avatars because we don’t have much time and money, right? We’re not the giant companies of the world who probably do have multiple avatars and they spend specific money on specific campaigns for those people.

We get to pick one. We get to pick one that’s at the center of the bullseye. As Mark said, we also might’ve say the bullseye is maybe also like a Venn diagram, right? Or it’s when I think about maybe your top five clients and your profiles, what’s all five of them have in common. So we’re looking for like the center of the [00:14:00] Venn diagram.

And again, it’s not this creating this profile doesn’t mean. You have to shun anyone who doesn’t match it. It just means that’s the center of your target for marketing and sales purposes. And other people, as Fisher said, that are on the periphery of that target will also filter in that’s okay. But people who are nowhere near it, you might be turning off and that’s also okay.

That’s also okay. Okay, so we got step one, which is gather information about who you think your avatar is. Step two is actually create the actual profile by writing it down and picking who is your one, maybe two avatars specifically. And then the third step is really the translation step, is taking that information about your avatar and kind of translating it to marketing.

And again, we don’t have all the time in the world to go through all the ways we recommend doing this, but can you say a little, Fisher, about how do you take this profile. It’s maybe a page or two or three about your avatar and how do you use it effectively in marketing? Yeah, I think the first way you operationalize this is understand and [00:15:00] perhaps one example would be developing relationships with businesses that also serve this avatar, whether those business partners.

The service is similar demographic or in some cases, maybe they don’t, but they’re in a similar geography for you, which again, that’s a part of how we decide who can work with us. They have to be physically close enough. I think as far as understanding wants and frustrations that allows you to create craft email landing page copy to allows you to speak to what it is specifically this person wants.

And both, this is an interesting conversation to in marketing. I’m not a fan of massive hammering of the pain points. I don’t want to bring in people that are like, Super freaked out. Super unhappy. Listen, I want to help them if they come in. And there is something to be said for being willing to speak to what’s not working.

I think there’s ways you can do that and be ethical. And I think an important piece is we’re also looking to paint a future of what their life can be like once they have fitness. So I think that’s the other piece of this is translating. [00:16:00] What you consider to be the avatar’s most important frustrations and wants and make sure you’re specifically referencing that in those words, often in a bullet point, often starting with what they don’t want and then transition to what they do want when you’re writing any sort of bit of.

Marketing copy. I’ll give you one other very quick pro tip here as we maybe start to bring this to a close that I’ll credit my friend Billy Paulson for is another real good way to learn difficult things. I know killer you do this with members of the Unicorn Society sometimes is have somebody that doesn’t know your business and it’s probably even better if it’s not a gym friend.

Like literally somebody could be a stranger in a coffee shop Tell them you’ll buy them a coffee if they look both at your website and at your core Instagram, your core social media platform, which for many it’s going to be Instagram and have them look at a glance and tell you briefly who it is that you help, how you help them and what they should be doing next.

And just have them at a glance just by flipping through your Instagram profile. And this should be like fast, right? If you confuse you lose, it [00:17:00] should be immediately obvious because your website, your branding, everything about it is so clear. That it becomes immediately obvious. And by the way, if you want to make it real clear, you can go with something like we help X type of person achieve X results, do this thing next, right?

Like you’re, you’re never gonna get in trouble with marketing being too clear. That’s not really going to be a thing. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. I think that’s a really great. Tip two is just go find some people who are not you who don’t even work at your gym or maybe not clients and see what their reaction is.

See if in, in a few seconds they can understand who you serve, how you serve them and if it’s your website, how to get started. I’ll share kind of two quick things. One is. That a book that we like for this topic is Storybrand. Storybrand I think does a good job of helping you think through the lens of your avatar.

The CliffsNotes version is, Storybrand is all about how do you tell the story of your business with your kind of client avatar being at the center. Like being the main character of the story. I think there’s some great stuff in there [00:18:00] that help people with this translation. The other kind of quick tip I’ll add on this is like a yes.

And everything you just said is sometimes in your gym, you as the owner of the person listening, you’re not the one that creates all the content. You’re not the one maybe writing the emails. You’re not the one making all the social media content. So my quick tip is go make sure whoever is contributing to the content knows who your client avatar is.

For example, I know a lot of unicorns numbers. They have all their trainers are responsible for creating like a piece of content a week or a piece of content per month. And so it’s important that they know as they’re making this content, this is who you’re talking to. This is who’s on the other end of that camera is this is the avatar.

So let’s make sure we’re speaking to them directly. So it might be that. Part of applying this is making sure your whole team knows who your avatar is. Yeah, let’s wrap up. I feel like we, we covered the three big steps. There’s obviously a lot more to say here, but hopefully dear listeners, you got enough to move the ball forward.

I’ll just do a quick reminder that Fisher’s webinar is coming up y’all. So click the link in the bio [00:19:00] join again. It’s December 16th and December 18th, 12 noon Eastern. It’s free. It’s free and he’s gonna give you really specific playbook for how to crush sales with less time in 2024. I’m just saying, I’m also giving away as usual free things to live.

Attendees only come there, be with me. Yeah, I’ll give you free things. Yeah. So register and actually show up ’cause you’ll get more free. Cool shit . It’s really gonna be awesome. Awesome. I’m excited. Yeah. Awesome. Thanks for a great conversation Fisher, as always. And see you all on the next one. Have a kickass day.