Do You Even Know Who You’re Talking To?

Do You Even Know Who You Are Talking To?

Aha! Of course, that’s it. It’s so obvious.” I murmured to myself letting out an exasperated sigh.

The simple yet powerful revelation hit me like a right hook from Anthony Joshua and left me reeling.

‘You are not your avatar!’

Leading marketing guru Jeff Walker repeated this proclamation from the stage to emphasise its importance for every business owner. You could hear the groans and murmurs from the 1,000 business owners jammed into the ballroom of a downtown Phoenix hotel clearly thinking the same thing as me, that is ‘of course. How could we forget this vital point?’

Now, you may think there is nothing new or ground breaking about those five words (you are not your avatar) and really, there isn’t. I mean it’s quite obvious and apparent when you think about it. But, read it again and apply it to your marketing. Is your avatar at the forefront of all your marketing and communication messages you put out into the world?

You see, if you’re struggling to get more clients, or I should say more of the right kind of clients for your business through your door it may just be that you need to revisit your avatar and think deeply into the features and characteristics of your perfect customer and client.

There is nothing fancy about this point and Jeff Walker didn’t even attempt to dress it up any other way. Sometimes the real important, money making matters don’t need any niceties. But, if time is spent on identifying who your service or product is designed for it will be the most valuable use of your time and remove many headaches and frustrations you have with your business moving forwards.

You can work on your ad copy and work on trying to create the best online marketing campaign going, but if you are aiming it at the wrong market it simply won’t work.

As the old saying goes, ‘the best marketing in the world placed in front of the wrong audience won’t work, but an average marketing piece targeted at the right audience will’.

So, who is your perfect avatar? :

Recently I had the privilege of sitting down and interviewing one of the world’s leading marketers. A man who was described by David Ogilvy as, ‘knowing more about direct marketing than anyone else in the world’ and whom the Chartered Institute of Marketing named as ‘one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing’, none other than Mr Drayton Bird.  

So, no pressure at all then.

To say I was a little nervous beforehand would be a massive understatement. However, to have the opportunity to delve into Drayton’s wealth of knowledge and over 60 years’ worth of experience was truly ‘mind-blowing’ and all very exciting for a marketing nerd like myself. It was an opportunity not to be missed. And, as the great John Maxwell says, ‘if you’re the smartest person in the room. You’re in the wrong room.’  Well I was most definitely in the right room and I’ll be sharing some of Drayton’s wisdom with you in an upcoming blog.

One of the very first things he said to me was, “knowing your avatar is one of the very first things any business owner should do. Sometimes the obvious is so obvious you can’t see it.”

Yet, unfortunately, most business owners don’t really know who they are talking to. They simply cast their net out far and wide in a one size fits all blanket approach to advertising with the hopes of catching the attention of as many potential customers and clients as possible. They then sit back and wait for the footfall to come through the door. However, the wait is a long and frustrating one.


Unfortunately, successful marketing doesn’t work like this and very rarely if ever does this approach pay dividends. If it does, it leads to one-time, low end clients who are more hassle than their potential cash influx is worth to your business and your stress levels. In fact, it could even end up costing you money (but that’s another topic for another time).

So how can this time and energy zapping experience be avoided?

Know who you are talking to!

Without this little gem how can you expect to align your services and offerings with the wants, needs and expectations of your market?

So, below is a list of the key questions you should be considering when thinking about who your perfect avatar is – something Drayton Bird believes is one of the very first things any business owner should do.

Seven Questions to Finding Your Perfect Avatar. These are the small hinges that swing big doors:

  1. What’s your avatar’s biggest frustrations and headaches?
  2. What are they afraid of?
  3. What makes them angry?
  4. In what ways does your avatar feel disrespected and by who? How does this make them feel?
  5. What are their hopes, dreams and aspirations?
  6. What are your avatar’s greatest opportunities? These may be opportunities they aren’t even aware of
  7. What are your avatar’s biggest strengths? These may also be strengths they are not aware of.

Remember, your avatar is the representative of your ideal customer and client. It doesn’t necessarily just have to be one, you may have several different avatars for different products, services and offerings. So, as you work through these questions don’t feel restricted. Just remember to never forget which one you are talking to when creating your offerings.

If you don’t keep your avatar at the forefront of your marketing, you will end up trying to speak and cater to everything and everyone and ultimately end up speaking to nobody – something I will cover in another email.

As the old saying goes, the aim is to talk to somebody not just anybody.

Who is your somebody?

By Ashley Burgess-Payne