In my courses, I cover modules on knowing your avatar. No, I don’t mean blue creatures from the movie of the same name!
In marketing, your avatar is a profile of your ideal client – the kind of people you want to work with, have the same shared values with, who appreciate what you do and see the value it delivers for them.
For me, my ideal avatar has to be clients who have high standards in the work they want to put out and who see themselves as a partner in the process. For them, I am not a slave to deliver per their demands because they are “paying me”.
My ideal avatar is someone who acknowledges the work done and expresses gratitude for the effort. They are excellent communicators of what they need to see. If they fail to communicate their expectation accurately or it gets “lost in translation”, they find good things to comment on first and then raise the aspects that need improvement in a positive manner. When I have a clear explanation of what they needed it to be like, I can quickly rectify and deliver to expectations.
My ideal avatar is not someone focused on only giving feedback to find fault and does so in a condescending manner.
My ideal avatar is not the client that agrees to a monthly retainer then can’t get their accounting department in order to make the monthly payments on a regular basis to see me retained – not because they have cashflow issues (they don’t) but because they simply don’t value their vendors enough.
My avatar is not someone who thinks I owe them something because they hired me as if they are doing me a favour then tries to weazle out those extra little services for free.
These kinds of clients may have various sources to go to for the same service, so my services are not indispensable.
But neither, for me, is their business. And it shouldn’t be for you either.
For me, respect comes first. The money issues will then always be “workoutable”.
So know your avatar, not only in terms of their age, lifestyle, financial clout and where they hang out. Decide too how your avatar will treat their vendors.
Decide how you want to be treated and what kind of behaviour you won’t tolerate from anyone, no matter what they are willing to pay you (eventually).
Ask yourself if working with a particular client makes you feel good or bad. If it’s the latter, move on.
It’s OK to fire a client!
There are always more clients out there willing to treat you right.