"Your customer doesn't care how much you know until they know how much you care." - Damon Richards
Back in my acting days, I had this awesome acting coach who always kept it real and cut the fluff.
Whenever we were working on a new script and character, he would remind us, “I don't care what your character had for breakfast and neither do they.” ‘They’ referred to the casting directors who would hire us (or not) and our audience.
‘They’ cared that we understood the character and the scene and brought it to life. That’s what ‘they’ wanted. Nothing more. Nothing less.
It’s an acting strategy to dive deep into your character and flesh out their personality down to things like what they eat. It’s fun and it feels so good. You build an entire world for this person and live in it.
Sometimes, though, all this character work can result in some really weird and misaligned choices. Suddenly a simple scene in an office between co-workers is filled with the dramatic flair of an accent, the not-so-subtle hint of anger, or a strange behavioral tick.
All the back-story work can make actors lose the point. They’ll have the childhood traumas and their character's favorite hobbies down but miss what’s going on in the scene - what the character needs and wants right then and there.
I gotta say, that’s what a lot of us do in our businesses when it comes to identifying our ideal clients and audience. We concoct elaborate details but miss the essentials. We focus on stats and demographics instead of psychographics.
We fill out worksheets. And cheat sheets.
We give our avatar a name but forget to make it human.
We get intimate with the little details in our avatar’s life. They love blue, hate pink, love coffee, don't eat gluten, have a dog, and hike on the weekend. It reads like a movie-version, online-dating profile.
We treat our ideal client avatar just like an acting part, and instead of getting clear on what’s going on in the scene, what's going on with our ideal client, we get creative and make up an entire world.
While we’re getting tripped up in the details, we miss the bigger picture - WHO it is we’re serving.
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I’m going to channel my old acting coach and say, “No one cares what your ideal client had for breakfast.”
Unless you’re a nutritional coach or helping them lose weight, these are the details that can cause us to miss the whole point and create a dramatic scene.
Sure, if it helps you flesh out who you're talking to, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with any of this. The problem is, many of us get wrapped up in the surface details and never dig any deeper. We stop short of getting to know who our clients really are.
And, I promise you, they care a whole lot more that you understand their struggles than they care about your psychic ability to know their favorite post-workout snack or after-work tv show.
Our clients want to know we get them and can help them. They want their problems solved and their desires met.
Getting clear on our ideal client is about getting to know who they are as a person. It’s about building a relationship and intimately understanding them.
Let’s stop the “overacting” and "performing" and instead, really get to know our ideal clients and pay attention to what it is they want and need.
Let’s drill into the specifics of what matters: knowing what makes them tick and what ticks them off. Knowing what they’re craving and what they wish they could get rid of. Knowing where they feel stuck and what they wish they could change.
When we get to know our ideal clients on a deep level it changes everything, and they won’t care if you know what they had for breakfast.
Wishing you your version of success,
P.P.S. Are you going to be in NYC Feb. 13? If so, I'd love to have you join me and some amazing women for a Nasty Galentine's Celebration! I'm honored to be one of the speakers and all proceeds will support the nonprofit She's The First. Click here for details + tickets!