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Most ideal client avatars are based on an imaginary person. We’re not doing that.

Why would we base our business on an imaginary person with imaginary problems? That’s just silly.

Yet, that’s exactly what most ideal client avatar exercises have you do. And that’s exactly why most ideal client avatars don’t work very well.

So today we’re creating our client avatars based on real people with real problems. I’ll walk you through it all step by step, and I’m even sharing my free worksheet to help you answer the questions that really need to be answered to create an effective ideal client avatar.

Let’s dive in!

Psst! If you haven’t already, be sure to go back and figure out your niche before diving into client avatars.

Ideal client avatars

We’ve established a niche and a problem to solve, but within our niche, we still want to narrow things down more. We want to really get inside the head of our ideal client so that when we craft our marketing messages and packages, we can speak directly to them.

The goal is that when we promote ourselves or our service, our ideal client will say, “Oh, that’s for me!”

Figuring out WHO you want to work with will help you tailor your messaging, offer the right services, and get more clients who you actually enjoy working with.

When you work with the right clients, you enjoy your work more, you do better work, and you’re less likely to get burned out. You can also charge more because you understand your clients’ struggles and can offer clear solutions to their problems.

It seems absurdly simple, but many web designers do not define their niche or ideal client and end up working on boring projects with people they don’t connect with well.

It’s vital that you take the time to create an ideal client avatar so that you can work with clients you like, attract more clients, and make more money.

Clients who can afford you

You want to target clients who can afford you! So today, you’ll construct an ideal client avatar that is wealthy enough to pay what you need to charge.

We don’t want to target people who can’t pay us.

If you can show the ROI, it’s reasonable to assume a small business will spend up to 5-10% of its revenue on a project. Of course, there are exceptions, but I’ve found this number to be roughly true.

That means if you’re considering charging $5,000 for your websites you’ll need to target clients who make at least $50,000/year.

Targeting an ideal client isn’t making enough to reasonably afford your services will make selling very hard.

Asking someone to spend 25%, or 50% or even more of what they are making just isn’t realistic. If the money’s not there, you have to be an EXPERT salesperson, and let’s be real, it’s awfully shady to ask that kind of investment of someone.

Make the sale easier by targeting an ideal client that can afford your prices.

Your service is an investment in your clients’ business, but it shouldn’t bankrupt them, and it should be within their reach.

Create your ideal client avatars

This blog series is designed for web designers who have been in business for a while, so theoretically, you should have worked with several clients by now, and you’ll be basing your avatar on them, not on some imaginary person.

It may seem silly, but we’re going to go in-depth into your ideal client’s brain. Some things may not seem relevant but can be used in your social media or marketing messages to help you better connect with your clients, so don’t skip any questions!

You’re going to do this exercise twice.

You’re going to start with creating your Nightmare Client Avatar (NICA)

Fill out the worksheet with a profile of someone you absolutely do NOT want to work with.

This will help you spot clients who are a bad fit from a mile away.

Don’t focus so much on the individual, but on what makes a client a bad fit for your services (e.g., they can’t afford you, their communication styles were too different).

NEXT: Create your Ideal Client Avatar (ICA)

Fill out the worksheet with a profile of someone you would love to work with.

Use a real past client if possible, because any time you can use a real person you’ll have better information than if you just invent someone.

Focus on what makes the client a GREAT fit for you and what their problems are so that when you create your signature service, it becomes the solution they’ve been looking for.

Creating your avatars will help you hone in on your marketing, create clear messaging, and connect with your clients–while also helping you screen out potential clients who are a bad fit!

Nightmare and Ideal Client Avatar Sections

These are the sections you need to include when creating your client avatars. Make this WAY easier by signing up for the free guide and getting the fillable worksheet with in-depth questions for each section!


This kind of information is important because it helps your avatar feel like a real person. If you’d like, you can give your avatar a face by finding a photo of what you picture your avatar to look like.

Personality + Values

Something a lot of ideal client avatar exercises leaves off is personality. This is a problem because someone can look great on paper, but if their personality clashes with yours, you’ll run into problems. Likewise, knowing what a person values can help you serve them better.


Communication is a vital part of any project, and if you’re not able to communicate with someone well, no matter how great of a person they might be otherwise, you’re going to have problems.


Where does your ideal client go to learn? Who do they look up to and whose opinions do they value? Knowing where your client goes for help can help you model your own resources to fit your clients’ needs.


Knowing your ideal clients’ interests can help you connect with them on a more personal level. It might seem silly, but a simple thing like knowing your clients love to have a glass of wine in the evening or admire Beyonce can help you create content that speaks to them.

Problems & Struggles

What is your ideal client struggling with? Knowing your clients’ problems will help you craft service offerings and messaging that will help your clients, and entice them to buy.

Desires & Transformation

What does your ideal client WANT? Knowing what they want will help you craft your marketing and offerings to deliver them the transformation they are willing to pay for.

Where are they?

Where are your ideal clients? You need to know where your ideal clients are–online and offline–so that you can get in front of them.


Most ideal client avatars are based on imaginary people with imaginary problems. This is fine when you’re starting out, but doesn’t work long-term.

Create both a nightmare client avatar and ideal client avatar based on REAL people you’ve worked with.

Your client avatars will help you hone in on your messaging and marketing. This will attract the RIGHT clients to your business while weeding out ones you don’t want to work with.

Keep reading…

Dive Deeper