The ideal client avatar exercise was originally developed for companies selling products or services. As an individual selling themselves, it can serve as a starting place to encourage thinking … but it breaks down quickly. Most people don’t like to see pictures of themselves or hear themselves because they don’t actually like themselves let alone love themselves.
I’m not a coach. Coaches try and bring out the best in you. I think it’s already there. I’m an artist, I see the beauty in you and help you display it to the people who will appreciate it.
I recently attended a meet up with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to craft a culture within their companies. A recurring topic came up as people discussed the CEO’s role as a champion for setting the companies culture. Entrepreneurs are constantly in a state of self-doubt and often times depression. Between the struggles of wearing too many hats and the challenge of stretching themselves to be successful at activities they don’t enjoy, the passion of purpose gets lost. Stack on top of it the reminders by business coaches and consultants to remember WIIFM (What’s in it for me), and there’s no wonder people are getting lost and forgetting who they are or how to market their business.
A rather valid point was made during the presentation that companies are selling the story of the founder and a connection to a greater purpose well past the 250m mark in yearly gross sales. In the midst of all the banter and self-doubt, I suggested that this was perhaps a good indication why entrepreneurs need marketers. Marketers retain the best version of the companies founders, the ideals of the companies founding, and its purpose in serving its customer base. They facilitate clear communication of those messages appropriate to the audience and channel.
Upon uttering these words, disdainful heads whipped around and I heard, “Marketers are rarely like that”. I was silent and a little stunned. Later I thought, “Maybe that’s why I’ve had the same customers for over 20 years”.
- Your job is to convey emotion during a presentation. Don’t read slides.
- Slides that people read have five times better retention than slides read to them.
- Create two decks/presentations.
- One deck has plenty of text and is the one you send out after the presentation is over.
- The live presentation has limited text and minimal points per slide.
More reading on the topic: Seth’s Blog: Really Bad Powerpoint
What’s the minimum you can deliver cleanly, transparently, and with integrity? How much do you need to charge to produce a profit and deliver real value? This is your Minimum Viable Product. Once you have it, ship it! You can build on this, package this, integrate this is into a broader strategy … later. Don’t keep yourself from building a customer base. Your customer base will tell you what they really want!