Why Creating a “Client Avatar” Doesn’t Work (and what to do instead)

Hi! If we’ve not met before, my name is Rachel. I’m a wedding photographer and business coach on a mission to help wedding professionals elevate the quality of clients you attract, craft a luxury client experience by focusing on what matters and profitably automating everything else.

I see a lot of posts in popular photography groups from people who are really frustrated—they’ve been told they HAVE to do this in order for their marketing to work, so they tried to create their “Ideal Client” Avatar, gave them a name, tried to imagine what they look like, where they shop, what they wear, what kind of coffee they like, etc., etc….

Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing this, and sometimes it can be helpful, but most of the time, I’d venture a guess that it feels kinda silly, even stupid at best, and confusing and frustrating at worst. 

That’s why, today we are talking about why creating a “Client Avatar” doesn’t work, and what to do instead that actually DOES transform your marketing so that your business becomes an ideal client attraction machine.

Here are three reasons why creating a client avatar might not be working for you:

Reason #1: Not enough research

So an avatar is when you take a body of research that you have done, and you create an imaginary person from that so you can more easily imagine and almost interact with them in your head when you are creating your marketing.

The problem here is that this imaginary person is the culmination of RESEARCH, and most photographers have not done that research. So when you go to create an avatar without the research backing it up, you’re basically just pulling completely from your imagination—you’re guessing and just kind of stabbing around in the dark. 

This is why it probably feels a little silly and frustrating—because it is. The consequence of this playing out in your marketing is that you don’t really know specifically what sets you apart and…confusing mixed messaging around your brand does not attract your specific ideal client. A common symptom here is getting a lot of budget inquiries and you end up attracting people who aren’t really a great fit for you or who turn out to be semi-to-full blown nightmare clients.

This is why it’s so important to really examine the message that we are putting out there with our words and images and to really know who we are trying to attract—and not just guess and imagine. This is also why I offer 15 minute audits, because sometimes you need an outside perspective on what your message is actually saying.

Reason #2: You are not your ideal client

When you go to basically create an imaginary person that you’re going to be marketing to without backing it with actual research that you’ve been doing, what you’ll find is a lot of yourself in the avatar you’ve created. 

Now, there’s nothing really wrong with that either, except for when you wouldn’t want to work with yourself. I know that’s true for me—there’s things that I want my ideal client to value, like investing in beautiful florals and hiring a wedding designer/planner, that I didn’t do for myself at my own wedding. 

I tend to be very frugal and keep my circle of close knit friends and family very small and close, but neither of those are true for my ideal client. At the same time, I really value punctuality and a deep level of organization—I joke around with my husband that I feel like spontaneity is just planning faster…and I share that trait with my ideal clients. So you can see how my soul felt needs and values are a little different than my client’s, but some of them overlap. So it’s really important that you KNOW what you do and do NOT have in common, which again, this comes down to having done the research. Not guessing, or imagining.

And again, the consequence of this is attracting people who are just like you—which might not be a good thing. 

Reason #3: It’s too superficial

When a lot of photographers are creating their avatar, they aren’t going deep enough. What they’ve imagined is not specific to what their ideal clients believe, what they desire, and what they aspire to—the life patterns and actions they take(like where they shop, what coffee they drink, etc,) are an off-shoot of those deeper questions.

It’s in those deeper questions about your ideal client’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and aspirations that you find the things that you can really connect with your clients about. It’s in those things that you know what things are going to make your clients say yes to you…or completely turn them off.

For instance, a lot of my clients, I know that their love language is quality time and acts of service (because I’ve done the research), and I know that they love it when we take the time to have calls with them to really walk through the details of the day prior to their event because it makes them feel that, A) I spent quality time with them, and B) that I’m organized and prepared and helping them get organized and prepared. This makes them feel very secure and safe with me from the very beginning, because I know exactly where and how to connect with them.

Notice that none of that was about the surface level things. It’s about what makes them feel safe, secure, cared for, loved, and supported. Those are SOULFELT NEEDS, and so they are much much stronger. When you can connect with your ideal client’s soulfelt needs, you connect with their heart, and when you connect with the heart, everything gets way easier—the sale, the budget, the add ons, the client experience, your own peace of mind, KNOWING that your clients LOVE what you’re providing for them and believe it’s worth every penny.

The students in my Empowered Weddings Masterclass are getting really practical help with all of this as we are going deep into actually understanding and implementing all of this for them. We are really diving into doing the research and working together to craft their marketing, messaging, and client experience into an irresistible offer for their unique soulmate clients.

If you want some personalized help with understanding more about what might be keeping you from attracting your soulmate clients, I offer free 15 minute business audits. These audits are not sales calls, they are literally there to get you clarity and help you find the missing piece. Here’s the link to schedule yours today: https://racheljordaneducation.com/audit/


Rachel Jordan


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Not yet another marketing strategy

Not spending more time on Instagram

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But instead making targeted changes to your website that magnetically attracts your soulmate clients and brings in high quality bookings. 

This is EXACTLY what happens when you up-level your messaging and how you communicate with your audience.

I do these really POWERFUL business audits where I go in-depth with you for 15 minutes and give you actionable, personalized strategies for your unique business. 

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