Today's cohost is Paul Sokol. Paul is a self-proclaimed mad scientist. He's worked on humanized automation within Infusionsoft, and is also the co-founder of Be Pro, which markets in-person events for businesses, venues, or entertainers.
Paul has spent a lot of time thinking about ideal clients and how to find them with a quick and replicable process. He truly believes that all sales conversations go through the same phases, regardless of what your selling. So if you can identify your audience, you can sell anything, regardless of product or service. And he applies these concepts to events, which is where a lot of his focus is now.
In this episode, we dive into how to capitalize on an opportunity where most think there isn't one. We chat about the four parts of identifying your ideal client, and we talk about Paul's exact recipe for validating the avatar.
[Tweet "'There are all sorts of ponds out there and you have to know what fish you're going for so you can use the right bait and the right lures.' @voyicks"]
In this episode Paul talked about:
- Who his ideal client is and how he got into that segment of the market.
- Why many events out there make no money and what they are doing wrong.
- The four parts of identifying your ideal client.
- Events should be treated like any other product or service. You should intentionally design the customer experience, the fulfillment, and how the sales experience is going to work.
- In figuring out your ideal client, focus on the demographics of your client, figuring out who they are, figuring out their behaviors, and positioning your message to convey what their life could be like.
- If you've come up with an avatar, you need to go the extra mile and research (or digitally stalk) these people. Once you've done that, it's critical to put your money where your mouth is and test the advertising to make sure that you are getting the results that you believe should come from your ideal personas.
Important Mentions in this Episode
Paul Sokol 0:00
This is also we’re going to look at what are their information sources. You got to understand where their information is coming from and who influences them. Because that’s the whole point of knowing your customer avatar, what your target is, is being able to go where there’s a high likelihood that your people are there.
Jason Resnick 0:27
Hey Feaster is welcome to Episode Seven of season seven of live in the feast. I’m Jason aka Rezzz helping you grow your business by having a conversation with someone who’s been there had success and built a business designed around the life that they want to live. That’s live in the feast. If this is your first time listening, hit that subscribe button so that you get notified every time a new episode drops. Live in the feast is in your podcast app of choice and if it’s not Not? Well, I’ll go talk to the founder of that app and get it there. If you’ve heard the show before, why not leave us a rating and review in iTunes? Or go ahead and drop us a comment in breaker a cast box. Today’s co host is Paul Sokol. Paul is a thought leader and self proclaimed mad scientist. He’s been achieving meaningful outcomes for businesses with humanized automation within Infusionsoft. He’s also the co founder of be pro who markets in person events for businesses, venues, or entertainers who are serving 1000 fans at that event. In this episode, we dive into how to capitalize on an opportunity where most think that there isn’t one. We talked about the four parts of identifying your ideal client, and this comes from an FBI profiler. And finally, we talked about Paul’s exactly recipe for validating the avatar. This is a super actionable one. So here’s Paul and myself.
Hey, welcome to another episode of live in the feast. I am super excited to have Paul here. Welcome, Paul.
Paul Sokol 2:25
Hello. Hello. I’m excited to be here. I know that recently you got a little bug or something and so we this actually reschedule. I’m excited. We could do it so quick.
Jason Resnick 2:35
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, our house was under siege, if you will.
Unknown Speaker 2:39
Jason Resnick 2:41
three out of the four cat inhabitants of the house was sick. So I do appreciate your time and flexibility in that. But yeah, I’m excited about this because your history and what you do and who you serve and all that stuff in the infusion, soft side of things. You know, that’s what I do for ConvertKit and drip as well. So you know, the Is the likeness there. And so, you know, I’ve seen you around on social and things like that and cross paths in that way. But it’s always great to see you face to face. And then a little bit more. So I’m, I’m excited to dive in here because today’s topic obviously is the ideal client. And now you’ve built your business on a very specific type of client and things. And so we were just talking back and forth. And you shared a little bit about essentially what your ideal client is for be Pro, which we’ll dive into that a little bit more, but I thought it was fascinating. I thought there was some things in there that I really would love to ask you about. We’ll dive into that. But before we do, can you describe who your ideal client is? So
Paul Sokol 3:45
my ideal client would be actually we’ve got this in our in our positioning doc it’s elegantly where that’s what I wanted to say. So pretty much our target would be a venue promoter entertainer or speaker that’s serving 1000 fans or more through Live in person events each month. So if it’s like one massive event cool if you’re like a venue and you’re doing, you know, a couple shows, you know, each week cool, that’s, that’s kind of the general people that we’re kind of looking for, at least for the be for the pro side of things. that’s who we’re focusing on. Because as you know, when you know, a piece of technology like you know, dripper convert, you can be a generalist, you can you can help anybody with the business because they, you know, the tenants are the same. The empirical parts of it are, there’s nothing different, you know, nobody must have a nihilistic approach to business and like you know, your businesses and specially offers not specially your customers are special like that, because if you think they are then you’re going to fall into all sorts of fallacies and the ego and know my customers are different or whatnot or another. They’re humans are brain and psychology has been the same for like 2 million years. All sales conversations go through the same phases, regardless of your selling Girl Scout cookies, or it’s a multimillion dollar merger deal. It’s all the same But for be Pro, that’s who specifically we’re targeting of these people that are serving, you know, at least 1000 fans or more with live in person events, because it’s because we’ve got plenty of experience with that. And we figured there’s riches and niches right. So now we can be specialists and instead of just generalists, even though we were just like, generally special, you know, like, we specialize in Infusionsoft. But for anybody or for at this point, really any kind of automation of Have you ever played around with with any other tools like, like Active Campaign or like HubSpot, or any of those things? They’re, they’re all kind of the same, right? Yeah. It’s like driving a big rig. If you can drive one big rig, you can drive all of them. So automation is kind of the same.
Jason Resnick 5:43
Yeah, I mean, I grew up if you will, as a developer, and I was always like, Hey, I did Ruby on Rails at the Java, PHP. It’s like syntax is the difference. Everything else? Pretty much the same. You just kind of have to figure out the nuances and yeah, It’s all the same, like I said,
Paul Sokol 6:01
Yeah, it’s all the same. There’s variables, there’s functions, you can have classes of data. It’s, it’s awesome. It’s really fun.
Jason Resnick 6:08
So I’m curious about why the thousand number, what makes that significant in your ideal client there.
Paul Sokol 6:16
So that is a qualifying thing, because these are professional services here. So if spending 100 bucks to promote a show is too rich for your blood, like, we’re certainly not, you know, the service, our services would be good for you and the video guides and stuff more do it yourself. So we figured that if you’re serving 1000 or more fans each month with in person events together, it’s one or a bunch of them. You’re a little more of an established business, you’ve got something legitimate that people want, and the mode of in person events. It’s a unique kind of offer that in real life fulfillment of whatever somebody’s buying the fulfillment is in real life. So there’s there’s a lot of different ways to promote it. bells and whistles. So mainly is just qualifying people that aren’t going to waste or not necessarily waste our time, but rather that it just wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be a good use of the time. If I can say, guys, now here’s $100 video guy, this is going to teach you everything that we’ve done for you in the first place. Great. Because I mean, our services are their professional services we’ve got, you know, there’s a venue that almost every single day I’m scheduling posts to countdown for the show, you know, whatever shows going on here. So that’s really the main reason is just qualifying, making sure that we’re talking to the right people.
Jason Resnick 7:34
Right, right. Yeah, I think and I think that that’s what a lot of people sometimes start getting hung up on when they start looking into this, like, you know, hey, I’m a generalist, and I’m trying to specialize, when they start to think about like these qualifiers or disqualifiers. I usually like to think of the masses that and that could be the pessimistic side of me if I to look kind of as disqualifiers but people get hung up on it. They’re like, Oh, You know, if somebody has like, you know, and they could be wishy washy, it could be like all 500 but they have the budget could be still a good fit and all that, but throwing it out there and saying like, 1000 you know, it’s telling them that okay, this is what I need, so that then I can have a productive conversation, at least with these people.
Paul Sokol 8:23
Yeah, that’s a good point, too. If it’s like one little show at a at a dive bar, like your stuff is still going to work but it would just be like, if it did just wouldn’t be good. Use your your budget your time. You know, why would you pay that some bucks a month, they have me scheduled five hosts for one show. Right? Hey, guys, so you know, I’d much rather just teach you how to do it. And then you can do it yourself. And then when you’re once you’ve grown and developed to the point where you are doing more events and you need that help. My hope is that, that we’re positioned to be the solution for that.
Jason Resnick 8:56
Right. So what may do Mmm, this is Just a little going a little bit off topic, but I mean, you know, you t shirt, and I’m a metal head myself. Yeah, like what what made you go into the events space, right? Because like I always hear all these things like event organizers and I talked to them and they’re like, yeah, events are just kind of like if your breakeven, then it’s good, like I always hear like, there’s not as much money in it as you would think, really. So I’m curious of why that area, why that space?
Paul Sokol 9:29
That’s probably part of it, because there’s that big opportunity. You know, when you hear these giant business conferences, they’re barely breaking even in my head. I’m like, why would you do that in the first place for you getting the grocery store margins on this year having people pay $2,000 to attend this conference, hell and then the place is filled how to help me not make any money off of this. So that comes down to the offer itself. And I believe that any event should be treated just like any other product or service where you intentionally designed The customer experience of the fulfillment. And then you knowing that you intentionally designed how the sales experience is going to work. And then knowing that you intentionally designed the marketing to get people aware and into that sales conversation. Or I feel a lot of people run into problems because they feel like they can just throw money at an event, and it’ll be successful. And that’s just simply not the case. In fact, how here in Phoenix area we see a lot of clubs that will come up and go down real quick. Like there’s a there’s a place out in Scottsdale called Livewire, you know, decent club, great sound equipment, location was trashed, there’s no parking. I mean, drinks are always going to be overpriced at a bar. But just like it was one of those things where you could tell they had a lot of funding, and they just thought that that would be enough. And that’s not the case. You really have to take responsibility for the event and know are you doing it in the first place while you’re hosting it. Because when you’re an event, you’re actually in most cases, you’re actually a platform offer. I define or to me a platform is a distinct kind of offer where you’re solving two different sets of problems for two different audiences with the same offer. So Uber is a platform. The problem is drivers. And the problem is on your right somewhere. A venue is a platform as a band, my problem is I need a place to form and as a fan, I need someplace to be entertained. Facebook has a platform as a consumer, I need to whatever, and has an advertiser. As an advertiser, I need a place to run ads. So I think a lot of people struggle with events because they they really don’t get that in most cases. It is a platform, even these big conferences. Yeah, you’ve got all these attendees. They’re paying, but what about the speakers, the people that you’re bringing in, what about the workshops that you’re doing? That’s another thing too. I see a lot of people they’ll do like, you know, workshop events, and it’s just like a poorly organized sales pitch. I’m like, Guys What is the promise? What are you going to do to step people through getting that results? How do you, you know, guarantee but how are you assuring that people are going to come out of it with what you actually intentionally wanted to happen. So that’s usually why events or money pits and businesses will just treat them like a big lead gen op and then hope to make money on the back end and that’s dumb. That’s a waste of event and relationships to and resources and just everything so. So that’s a really nice I haven’t even answered your question How did I even get to get to it? So that’s part of it. That’s part of it is like I’m just sick of seeing like, just people getting taken through the wringer because like a bad event for an entity not even just an entertainment based event functional events to you see, like nonprofits with these charity events, and they’re just like, and they’re just train wrecks with dumpster fires on the back of them like like Christ, what your nonprofit so the second reason is I’m actually really passionate about music and music education because back in, it was late 2014, I realized there’s a really big problem in the world that school budgets are being slashed. And it forces administrators to make tough choices. And usually first thing to go is music because equipment is expensive. So the problem with that, though, is if nobody does anything about it in a couple of generations, there’s not going to be at least in America, there’s not gonna be any original music. And we’re going to lose that creative part of our society. And it’s just all me talk radio and engineer top 40 pablum. So that’s why I founded keep children rockin and we provide music equipment donations and repairs to local schools. And since starting in since since we started with our first event in 2015, we’ve successfully donated over 80 $500 worth of repairs and donations to 15 different schools throughout Arizona. And to fund this we do an annual heavy metal festival called the dead of winter fest and That’s really where I started cutting my teeth hard on that. So we did the dead of winter fest. And then the other festival partner, Paul Benson, he actually owns club red out out here in Phoenix Mesa. And we started getting together and just doing shows together. And that’s where I further cut my teeth on promotion. And now I’m just much deeper into the belly of the beast. And since then, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on Facebook ads, my own money, clients money in not just pushing events, specifically just ads in general, so honing those chops. And then of course, there’s a lot of specific bells and whistles for events and stuff. So that’s kind of where, how I kind of fell into this. It’s something I’m passionate about, and I’m good at it and I can get paid for it and the world needs it. Yeah, it’s actually the aiki are you familiar with the icky guy concept? Ik IGA I
Jason Resnick 14:50
actually read that book on a flight from San Diego to New York.
Paul Sokol 14:54
Oh, cool. So there you go. I’m, I’ve kind of fallen into it because it is kind of an icky. I think for me I get stoked to ask fans if they want to play and to reach out to venues and see if they have openings. It’s exciting to have conversations with sponsors and whatnot, and just see how that all works. Because Yeah, I just love I just love doing that. And if I can get paid to do it, and help the scene, great because as you know, a lot of the talent and and not just entertainment based a lot of functional events, you don’t know what you don’t know, if your nonprofit, you’re really going to be a nonprofit, but you know, marketer, right? If you’re a band, you’re really good at smashing those drums and making riffs. But you know, the first thing about get yourself out there, you know, so that’s kind of the main reason why we shifted to be Pro is because we believe that in person events really are that essence of human connection. And that’s what successful events do. And so we’re committed to to educating and developing and training event organizers to be the best that they can, regardless of whatever their kind of event is.
Jason Resnick 16:06
You can hear it in Paul’s voice here where his passion is shining through, right? This season, we’ve talked a lot about the evolution of an ideal client within any business. And Paul is no different here. He’s found a sweet spot in filling a gap to help those he truly in his heart want to impact didn’t start out that way. But that’s where he is right now. If you want something to stand the test of time, and get you really amped up to do some amazing work, follow a passion that you have. But as Paul points out, be sure that it’s profitable in the end too. If you want worksheets, exercises and the ability to create that ideal client and precise solution to offer that client and become that go to resource build a sustainable business, head over to feast academy.com. Today, as a member, you’ll get the processes and templates to not only figure out who your ideal client and the services that you can provide for them. But you’ll also learn how to figure out the price to put on those services that makes it a complete no brainer. That’s why I want to invite you to check out feast feast is everything that I’ve done in my career to build this business. By using the code validating at checkout, you get your first month for only $20 everything that I’ve used to build my business, well, go ahead. There it is for you. Book feast is different than everything else out there. It is essential for me to meet you where you are, and make sure that you are getting the exact tools so that you You don’t get lost in the shuffle. The moment you sign up, we’re going to have a chat so that I can create a custom syllabus of detailed resources within feast to meet you where you are. feast is the community and resource hub for developers and designers ready to get off that project searching hamster wheel. If you want to stop chasing down that next project all the time, so that you could start living your life, head over to feast academy.com today and use the code validating at checkout and your first month is only $20.
I love that you actually create an organ organization to give back to the schools because I hear that a lot of times here in New York is that like budget cuts, that means no band, no spoilers Like everything that kids need as outlets creative outlets is like the most to go and I’m like that’s the wrong way to look at these things and like hundred percent I commend you in that for sure. Thank you. What’s the the organization again? What’s the name again?
Paul Sokol 19:13
So it’s it’s keep children rockin and energy news go to keep children rackin.org that it was our first website. So be be delicate. I know that we have web designers and whatnot so you’re probably going to look at it and go this is awful. And yes, I agree it’s awful. We need to redo it. But that’s five year old site or something that I put up once and haven’t really touched. So but yes, we’re if we’re legitimate 501 C, you can look us up on GuideStar and all of that jazz. And yeah, and so we’re actually in full blown data winter mode right now actually, just before this, I was messaging messaging x and following up and seeing who’s down and who’s not
Jason Resnick 19:52
nice. Cool. So before we dive in a little further and it start to unpack maybe some of your thoughts and your experiences. On on the ideal client, I always like to ask everyone that comes on to the show what your defining moment in life so far has been. I
Paul Sokol 20:08
mean, there’s there’s been a handful of one I’d say that probably one of the most defining ones was about a year and a half ago I had a complete now kill break and was suicidal and ended up getting taken away for a day. And I’m getting a psych ward, you know, fun little 23 hour vacation to cool down. And at that point is when my girlfriend really was a stand for me and was like you need to like you need to just get evaluated, like there’s something going on because I’ve always had a challenges with emotional reactions and things like that. And yeah, turns out I actually have borderline personality disorder, which explains a lot of things and fills in a lot of gaps from the past. So at that point, it was a defining moment for my life because I actually had an answer as to what the fuck is wrong with me? Because really like I didn’t feel like a normal kind of dude and like not understanding things. Listen, now I actually have tools for regulating my emotions and distress tolerance and being mindful. And taking responsibility for my emotional state. I’ve seen, especially like in events, there’s so many people that run a business based off of emotional responses and you can’t, like you can’t do that and sustain, it’s just not going to work. So that was a defining moment for me. And it took a lot of courage. It actually took that mental break for me to finally acknowledge there’s something going on dude beyond just, you know, regular going to therapy and talking to somebody. So, if anybody’s listening and you’re kind of in a similar spot or whatnot, Be courageous, go get evaluated, if you feel like there’s even a possibility, you know, worst case scenario, nothing and that’s one less thing you can rule out. Best case scenario. Turns out there is something that you’ve been dealing with that you didn’t even know about, and now they actually have tools and help to do something about it. So probably now what you’re expecting and that is Definitely a defining moment in my life for sure.
Jason Resnick 22:02
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we’ve had several people on the show talk about really mental health is what it comes down to, as part of their defining moments. And for me, too, I battled depression to the point of not suicide, but basically detrimental things. And, you know, I’m an advocate of at least sharing the story only because if I’m in no position to tell anybody what to do, but if my story helps anybody that you could be listening and saying, hey, sounds like I’m going through something similar and at least gives them that opportunity to know that they’re not by themselves, right. Yes. That’s really what it comes down to. And so I really appreciate you sharing that, that that’s, thank you. Thank you very much.
Paul Sokol 22:48
Yeah. And you’re you’re welcome. It really does take courage to just be like, hey, there’s something beyond what I beyond what one human can handle. So I’m going to go look for some professionals. Yep.
Jason Resnick 22:59
So Back to be pro and ideal client and all of these sort of qualifiers, if you will, how did you come up with them? I mean, we hear a lot of times about these customer avatar exercises that kind of, you know, in a way could be helpful, but like, you know, knowing that your ideal client, especially in the services world, or b2b space, sometimes the demographic thing doesn’t matter as much knowing that the person’s 35 to 45 driving Mercedes likes, you know, to travel to the Caribbean doesn’t really matter much highlight. I know in my my business, it doesn’t matter much. And so that’s why I’ve brought this conversation to the podcast is because a lot of people get stuck on that they’re like, how do I find this ideal client when all I’m shoved in is figuring out what the demographics are and that’s not helpful. So, was there any specific exercises or faults or even just scratchpad things that you went through?
Paul Sokol 24:03
Well, yeah, absolutely. We actually have the whole customer avatar sheet that my girlfriend brina developed. And she she’s actually probably more qualified to talk about the target the target customer than I am. She actually wanted to be an FBI profiler. And she says, I know right, so she’s really good at reading people. It’s fantastic. And so those skills are just so helpful when it comes to marketing. So she’s she’s actually worked out and developed a customer avatar sheet that actually, it gets way beyond that surface stuff because you’re right. A lot of people think avatars I go demographics. Yeah, they’re male 35 to 60. You know, and they work in this industry. It’s like, great political stance, because that’s all part of it. So like, when you’re doing your customer avatar, really, there’s a certain point where it blends into the positioning of what you offer, and that’s truly where it’s valuable to understand what your avatar is. If I ever had a headache show your customer avatar sheet, are you looking at it Okay, cool. So you’re looking at cool. You are the anonymous Ifrit. Google, I don’t know if it is. So there’s basically in our opinion, four parts to a real world actual good customer avatar. So the first thing, of course, is those demographics. It’s just Who are they? What can you observe about male kids make this much as occupation. But again, that’s only surface level. So once you’ve demographically know who they are, the second thing you need to get into is what you can’t see get into their head. How are they? Because you can have two guys sitting there is 35 year old father in this industry making X amount, but one dude is like some hardcore liberal the other dudes like hardcore conservative, very, very different messaging that they need. Yeah. So that’s why you really need to get into once you understand the demographics, you start thinking about the psychographics of how they are so what, what groups and affiliations? Are there any spiritual, political biases, what are their values? This is also where you’re going to look at what are their information, so Since where do they hang out is this the dude that’s reading washington post every day is this is this is person that just goes on BuzzFeed all the time for jokes is the person that they they literally just rely on what’s what’s on their Facebook wall for news and they don’t pay attention to it or, you know, they just watching CNN constantly like, you got to understand where their information is coming from and who influences them. Because that’s where you’re going to find your target audience because that’s the whole point of, you know, knowing your customer avatar, what your target is, is being able to go where there’s a high likelihood that your people are there, I really like to use the fishing analogy that there’s all sorts of ponds out there, and you got to know what fish you’re going for. So you can use the right bait so you can use the right lures. So again, if I know that my people are particularly really liberal, I might swear my ad a little bit or be a little more Cavalier with things but as someone super conservative, really good grammar, nothing incendiary Very just like I don’t know what that
Unknown Speaker 27:02
was just very, you know, right to the point like, yeah,
Paul Sokol 27:05
to the point and you know, dot your I’s cross your T’s kind of thing. And a lot of people are happy with that as far as customer avatar, it’s amazing. But that still doesn’t address what their life is like. So we can demographically, see who they are, we can get into their head and understand how they are. That’s still not enough, though, you have to actually get a sense of what their life is like. And these are what we call the behavior risks of it. And this is where we start to blend who this person is, with your offer. So this is where you start looking at things like okay, what are some of their general goals and challenges in there? What are some of their pain points and triggering events? With respect to what you can help out? Know what is their role in the purchase process? What are what’s resistance that they might have? And so this is again, all the behavioristic looking at me over guys start shopping for baby carriage. Why? Because his wife’s pregnant. That’s what happened. That was the triggering of it. And so you have to know that if you know if your baby stroller company and you’re targeting male avatars for some reason, you kind of going to need to know that because guys are most guys aren’t just going to go out and go baby stroller shopping. There’s a reason for it. Right? So that’s getting really important about what life is like now. And that’s the third part. So you got a demographics, their psychographics, the behavior is sticks. And now, the last part, which will show up just as a completely separate exercise in marketing, sometimes it’s the positioning, which is talking about what could life be like? So behavioristic says, What is life like now? And then positioning is what could it be like? And obviously through the lens in the context of what you’re offering, so for example, a statement of value be pro trans in person, event organizers and modern promotional strategies to sell more tickets. That’s a statement about you know, what do we help you achieve, what do you help you avoid? What are some objections. And now competitors, there’s a really popular tool that digital marketer kind of got out on the wireless there before and after grid. And this is looking at what is life like before across a couple of different dimensions and what is life like after the thing. So what do they have before? What do they have after? What is their belief around the problem before? What is their belief around it after it does their status change? Because if, when it comes to selling and positioning and whatnot, if you can help transform somebody’s status, that’s a huge emotional leverage, you can pull. So if you’re going from average Joe Schmo event promoter, bro, to the leading event organizer in your city, that’s a big before and after. Right. So that’s to me, what it means to actually have a customer avatar is that you’re not just looking at the surface stuff, you’re not even looking at the under the surface of what’s in their head. You’ve actually considered What is their life? Like? What are they actually dealing with out there? And then how did you talk to them based on
Jason Resnick 30:07
their love when you shared it with me the two components of that specifically what, what is life like? And what could life be like? Those two things really spoke to me just one of which it’s from my services side of things. I’m always telling my clients like, hey, look, we need to understand exactly where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow and understand what it’s going to take for them to actually get to tomorrow, right? with what we have. And so that, for me was a nice thing, but translating that into, you know, for this conversation, the ideal client, those sort of things. You don’t hear too many people. I’ve heard some exercises in regards to help at solving a pain point, right like and I just that sort of relates here, but what You talk about it has a lot more depth to it than just saying, Okay, well, you know, I’m a developer, and now they have a slow website, they want a fast website, I can do that. So I’m just solving that pain point. But you dive deeper into talking a lot more about, like, really what’s their transformation? What is it before? What is it after and and sort of these metrics and things? How do you discover or how do you pull out these you know, these nuance characteristics from your customers?
Paul Sokol 31:30
So that’s definitely a little bit of art and science. So what we do is again, using using the fishing analogy, the first thing that we do is we look for the ponds where we know our fish are hanging out. So for example, we know that the people are going after they’re going to hang out, you know, on the event, bright page ticket, Master ticket, leap, StubHub, Live Nation, because these are all people, then you know that if you are doing in person events, you’re probably going to Hanging around there somewhere. And so what you do from there is, once you found a couple of prawns, you then go looking for your ideal client, there’s a couple of ways to do this. It’s a lot of just looking through profiles, looking for patterns, and there’s a couple of things that you can do. A really good source of finding potential profiles is looking at the reviews. And there’s either two ways you can do it, you can either look at the raving fans, if it’s something similar, and you want to be similar to that, or if you actually are not wanting to be like that. So like, let’s say, like, I’m not interested in being like, right, I would actually look at the detractors or the one star rating people, what are they about? What are they saying what are their pain problems, and I would compile a list of profiles, you know, anywhere from 15 to 20. And then once you’ve got that list, then you start looking at the demographics and psychographics. So you just start looking for commonalities, like I was working with one of my friends from high school she has, she does blacklight art painting. So it’s a painting, but then under black light, there’s, you know, hidden there, there’s more to it, right? So we looked for other pages and artists that were doing that. And we found people, hey, you know, I bought this art. It’s super cool. And so we’re looking at their profiles, and we noticed a couple of commonalities, we noticed that it was a female, which a lot of them were their middle aged mothers. There were no single women. And we also noticed that they had a nerdy streak to them, so they either they were a Star Wars fan, Marvel Comics universe, or Star Trek, or gamer like a gamer and into comics, right? Right. So that’s how we can start pulling these demos. So you can say okay, generally these are female. Generally, they’ve got like one to two children, and the ages of these children are younger, you know, zero to 10 kind of thing. And then you start to Further, okay, well, what are their occupation was what general industries? Are you seeing them in? And some of this is guessing? Hundred percent. Right. So that comes to the next part, which I think would be really badass name for a metal band called validating the avatar. Right, very cool. So I want to make a marketing metal validating the avatar, which is exactly what you do. So this is where your advertising and your testing and ads come into play. So you believe that you are going after these, these single or married male promoters, age 30 and 60. Great run your ads, does the data say that? Because you’re always going to be validating the avatar, maybe we’re assuming that maybe we’re assuming something. So looking like in the demographics, maybe there’s a particular musician or like let’s say like XM Radio Sirius radio, let’s say we saw that as an information source. But when we run ads to people who like XM Radio Sirius, the results aren’t there. Okay, let’s adjust the avatar a little bit. So there’s something about radio, but it’s not the fact that they like series. So maybe it is certain personalities on that, or maybe it’s certain channels on Sirius and so you’ll continue to go and validate the avatar. And that would be the next step because you’re right, a lot of this is kind of guessing, especially when it gets down to like the behavioristic there’s a lot of inferences here. So they get taking a stab at their goals that their pain points sometimes you really do have to get into bed with them and almost stop people and on their profiles and see what are they actually feeling right and not just and like really like for real like stop people not like like not actually stopping, but I mean, if you find it on Facebook, are they on LinkedIn to do they have a website? Is there like a Tumblr blog that they write for? Like, who are they hanging out with like, you really got to get to know who they are and Then, once you have, again, those behavioristic, there’s things that you can test. So if we believe that there’s a pain point for feeling confident about the advertising spend, we can maybe talk to that in our ads and see, does that resonate with people?
Jason Resnick 36:15
So I definitely see like a rinse and repeat thing here is that you come up with this theory or a perception, if you will. And then you go ahead, and you actually put that theory to the test by putting in front of those people through ads. And that’s, that, to me, that’s a whole as a data geek myself, like just, I want to know, I don’t want to like infer, right? So for me that’s like that immediate, like, Okay, how do we test what we know about our customers? Well, let’s talk to them. Like really talk to them and not just our customers, but who we think could be customers. And so the power of these ad platforms now as ridiculous with the especially the hook, you’re ready set at the top like Facebook People go to Facebook for
Unknown Speaker 37:01
what everything and
Jason Resnick 37:02
I read everything, right? Like they put everything out there for that, what they like, what they listen to who they don’t like, and like all of these things. And then Facebook’s just like, All right, I’ll take all of that information and be able to resell it back to businesses that then use that data to target. So I think it’s super smart that I love that whole idea of validating the Avatar and it’s the thing is, it’s like, you can actually pivot real quickly by doing that, like you can you can come up with this perception and then immediately just say, Okay, well, let’s come up with a piece of creative put that in front puts that some money behind it so that we can actually see if it actually is valid, without having to say, Okay, let’s wait for the next hundred potential customers to come through and they see who matches in right like and I think this is definitely something that I’m going to put into practice now because I’ve never run and this is just who I am. My service based business side of things, coaching has been different. It’s new to me, right? I start as only just started coaching people in the past two years, and developers and things like that. But the services side of thing, I never spent one ad dollar. It’s always been my organic foundation that I’ve built, basically, through automation, through a spark, word of mouth to do all these other things and pull levers and things of that nature to attract my ideal clients to me, which takes time.
Unknown Speaker 38:30
It does, it’s predictable. It does.
Jason Resnick 38:32
But it takes time to be able to flip this script and say, Okay, well, you know, I think I think this is the characteristics of people like you saying Sirius XM, Sirius XM out there. Well, maybe they don’t listen to that. Maybe they listen to Pandora, or Spotify, or whatever. Right? And so, I think that that’s super, I love that super smart. And
Paul Sokol 38:53
then the positioning is to do the positioning, right. You’re making assumptions about your product as well. So you have to be really clear about what are you offering in the first place? And how can that help these people so like if guys looking for baby strollers, you probably aren’t going to be selling them like a bachelor party, you know, Razor in Vegas, so it’s not gonna work that you position it all you want, probably not going to go for it. So that’s why we believe that positioning is the last part of an ideal customer and the research and you’re totally right, this thing does not happen overnight, even over a day. Like really this. This usually takes us a couple of sessions to actually here’s usually happens usually, what we’ll spend a session just finding the pawns finding profiles that we believe work and filling in whatever little bit of pieces of demographics we can find, then we’ll actually have an intentional session of really digging into the profiles and pulling out those demographics and psychographics. And then they’ll be another session to figure out the last two parts which is the behavior risks and then The positioning of it because once you’ve done that demographic and psychographic research, you will have a really good sense of kind of who they are and what they’re dealing with, with respect to how you can help them. So it does take time. And I wouldn’t say do not rush it. Because it’s definitely This is one of these things. It’s like putting together your company’s mission statement and core values. Don’t rush. If you have the luxury of time, use it. Absolutely.
Jason Resnick 40:28
Yeah, I mean, I’m a big fan of especially these sort of things to let them sit, let your brain do its own thing too. Because when you do that deep work, your brain is working overtime. It’s like smoking, right? And then when she’s like, let it sit, you’re in the shower. That’s why like people say, Oh, I came up with this idea in the shower, because you’re not even thinking about that. But your brain still doing those backwards cycles and they’ll start a process and things and all of those other things that you’re you’re allowing time and allowing your brain to simmer on Often, at least in my case, in my experience, those things are the valuable bits, those nuggets that are actually like, Hey, I didn’t think about that, like, that was good. I like that. And so if you rush these sort of things, I’m with you on that if you rush these things, if you go through those customer avatars and you’re like, Okay, I got my avatar boom, let me go out there and done. Like, I’ve evolved my customer, my ideal customer for my services side of the business for the past decade, like I had, like, I’m still evolves from time to time and gets refined and all that but like, the never ending cycle.
Paul Sokol 41:35
It’s you’re, you’re kind of always validating your your avatar. And this is also a really valuable asset to communicate between team members to communicate to an agency. And so who’s your target customers? Here it is, this is exactly what we’re going for. Do your thing. Because a lot of people don’t have this and even like enterprise level organizations won’t have this kind of resolution. Even then they’ll they’ll get stuff Unlike the the demos and psychos and like, maybe a little bit of your sticks, but like that’s it. And then that’s always like some massive, expensive, crazy survey controls like now, if you are in tune with your target customer, and you know what they’re about what they’re suffering through, you should be able to infer with reasonable accuracy what you got going on. Yeah, absolutely. And then talk about it. Because the positioning that’s really all that matters. The whole point of know your customer avatar is just so you can know how to talk to them. So it’s not positioning is not this separate and distinct thing from the target avatar, that positioning is a function of knowing who your avatar is.
Jason Resnick 42:37
Yeah, at fault that this too is like you come up with your position. And then you try to shoehorn blame to that. And then that doesn’t work as well. Right?
Paul Sokol 42:46
So no, no, that’s, that’s the wrong way to do it. And that’s, that’s running uphill, pushing it older. There’s a lot of stuff working against you that whereas if you know that, again, fishing, the love that analogy, if you’re trying to catch a certain type of fish And you’re trying to go for bass and you’re out in like the open ocean. There’s no way that’s don’t hang out in the ocean, buddy. It’s like I see a lot of people out there that they’re trying to sell hamburgers to be in. Not literally, but in their marketing, that’s what they’re doing. They’re targeting is just like way off and doesn’t matter if you have the best hamburger in the world doesn’t matter if it is the best world class service. You’re vegetarian, you’re not interested in the first place at all. It’s not even a consideration. And he’s wasted all that ad money trying to sell hamburgers, he can. Awesome. This is outstanding. I mean,
Jason Resnick 43:34
glad this is recorded, because I’m going to be listening back on this and doing some things out and low that validating the avatar, if anybody, right the value of admission to this podcast. But anybody listening to that, if there’s one takeaway that I see in this whole exercise, first of all, awesome, all of it, do all of it, let it simmer take the time but the validation part of it that’s such a few We really want to know and hone in on who your ideal client is you got to validate them. And there’s nothing like actually validating it by giving it to them. giving it to who you think it is,
Paul Sokol 44:11
you’re totally right. And you really have to be mature enough to listen to the data. If you would put money that this is your target, and then you run ads, and they completely shut the bed. Okay, that’s what happened, you learned a lot. Don’t try and justify the data or whatever, look at it objectively for what it is, hey, you thought it was this? What actually happened was this. So what are you gonna do next as I can inform you moving forward. And that really is a hard pill to swallow. And actually, one, one really important lesson here. And I can’t believe I haven’t said this the entire time we’re talking about target customers is you are not your target customer. You are not. So just because you like something does not mean that it’s going to be relevant, much less resonate with your targets. So I ran this challenge with class lock delight. Go ahead. I don’t like the way this ads were to. And often that’s the highest performing ad. So then it’s the question, okay? Do you want to take your best performing salesperson off the floor? Because you don’t like it? Are you okay with your results? And even then sometimes the client will know what, okay, it’s not my business I recommended, you know, as your doctor, I recommended that you stop eating fast food every day and smoking and drinking all the time and get to the gym. And I can’t control if you’re actually gonna do that or not. So I’ll still be there to support you when you’re still fatter and healthy and less healthy in six months. Right? So you are not your target avatar. And that’s a really, really hard thing for people to be with sometimes because like they really like the sales letter. I really love how this graphic looks. Yeah, that’s a huge thing. So don’t fall for that against the logical it’s a fallacy. So when you are validating that avatar, trust the data, trust your tests. And be with what you learn. You might be surprised. Some of the best performing ads are usually garbage quality photos. And do you know why that is? Because they don’t look like an ad. And so it passes under people’s radars. People are really hip to these fancy, highly produce good quality photos. So that’s why you see a lot of this. A lot of really good performing content is like a cell phone picture. It’s this grainy and blurry, because it doesn’t look like an ad.
Jason Resnick 46:30
That’s 100%. I’m with you on that. Like, I tell us the clients all the time, don’t fall in love with that post. Don’t fall in love with that piece of content. Don’t fall in love with this email sequence. Don’t fall in love with it. I get that you put time and effort into this things and that’s part of it, right? Like it’s going to take work to do but just because you like it doesn’t mean that your customers or potential customers are going to like it. And so thank you for sharing that. I do want to be mindful of your time. I know we’re creeping up on the on the hour here. So before I let you go, what’s up next for the next 612 months.
Paul Sokol 47:07
So be Pro is the process of releasing and receiving it. The show the tentative title is, is social advertising for in person events, Facebook edition. So we’re producing a video guide, that pretty much goes through everything you’d want to know about Facebook advertising from the context of an in person event, because there’s like something at this point, like 15 different kinds of ads that you can run, and not even half of them are necessarily relevant to an in person event. So that’s what we want to do. Because there is a lot of information out there, the platform is insanely robust. So where do you start? So we kind of want to show this is what we’ve done and what we know works and only telling you what you need to know. And if you’re interested in learning more about the other stuff, I’m sure you will figure it out on your own. So that’s coming down the pipe and that will also include A community component to that as well. Because while the video guides great, people are always going to have questions are always going to want to run ideas by people. And so when we understand that and realize that that’s going to need to be part of it, too. And so yeah, that’s that’s really kind of where all the all the firepower is focused for the next year is this video guide and community. And then in the meantime, just kind of consulting to keep the lights on until that part of the business gets ramped up. Right now it’s mostly service based. We want the revenue to be mostly product and membership based. So that’s what’s coming up. And right now we are in waiting list mode. So if you’re interested in any of this, and we do have a free video guide coming out, called the social post Triple Play, where we’re teaching you how to schedule posts, target your newsfeed, target the post on your newsfeed and then also have it expire so that way it’s always relevant to your audience and that’ll that’ll be a free video guide. So yeah, if you’re interested in that, you can just go to be pro dot events and be EPR dot events. And depending on when this gets published, either will still be in waiting list mode, or you’ll actually just be able to get the social pros triple play. And you can also always follow us on Facebook as well. facebook.com slash be pro now. So be PR o and o w. And we will be posting a blog posts there, we often do what are called dog walk talks. So we’ll usually walk the dog and have some interesting marketing conversation and upload it. And yeah, that’s kind of what’s coming down the pipe. So super exciting, and super blessed. And very grateful. Thank you for this opportunity to share. And we’re very excited to see how people react to this and what they get out of it.
Jason Resnick 49:41
Absolutely. Will will link all of those up in the show notes, of course. And thank you for sharing some time and sharing your wisdom here, Paul, I appreciate that. And I know the audience is going to get a ton of value out of it. Where can folks I mean, aside from the be pro site and things like that. Where can folks reach out Just say, hey, thanks. Thanks for this.
Paul Sokol 50:02
So I do have a public figure page on Facebook. So you can go to facebook. com slash under the hair. And that’s my Plus Local page. And then Paul sokol.me is basically a placeholder site if you want to join my newsletter list. And that also is a very old school design, which is actually by design intentionally. Good marketing should intentionally attract and at the same time repel who is not your target. And so it’s an old school looking landing page for that exact reason that the people that are there and know what they want, they’re going to go for it. People that just kind of stumble it and sign up under it, they’re going to write it off, which is what I want. I don’t want people that. Yeah, I don’t want people like that. Because when I send an email, it’s maybe once every month or so, and I really make sure that it is juicy, and that I haven’t really shared it anywhere else. So yeah, I’d much rather have a much smaller list that’s hyper responsive than a list of a million people that could not really give a shit.
Jason Resnick 50:58
Absolutely love And I’m on that list. And it’s for one. If this resonated with you, if this was juicy enough, in Paul’s words, definitely go check it out, go get on his newsletter, you’re not going to miss out. You’re not going to regret it for sure. You don’t want to miss out on a lot of that information there. Paul, this has been super awesome. Thank you very much for sharing some time and wisdom with us today. I really do appreciate it. I know the listeners do as well.
Paul Sokol 51:27
You’re very welcome. Jason, thank you so much for having me. And thank you for listening. And if you have any questions or comments or want to throw some digital tomatoes, I’m sure there’s plenty of places to do that.
Jason Resnick 51:37
For those listening I love that and for you listening. Until next time, it’s your time to live in the feast.
If you enjoyed today’s episode, I can speak for both Paul and myself by saying that we’d love to hear the one takeaway that you got from this episode. And let’s face it, there was a lot of takeaways in this episode. So I want to hear the most important one that you got. It’s super simple. Go ahead in this podcast app, go ahead and drop a comment or review, or head over to Twitter and tweet me at rezzz. That’s with three Z’s, your takeaway. Don’t forget to also hit that subscribe button so that you’ll be the first to listen in next week, when we’ll be back with Kate Gilbert. Kate is a WordPress expert and online marketing coach and has spent the past decade building and supporting custom built WordPress websites and has launched over 100 websites within that time. we dive into Kate story and how her ideal client has evolved and how she’s handled that with existing clients. Over the past decade, till then it’s your time to live in the face.
Season 7: Ideal Client
More episodes in this season:
S07 E01 - How Empathy Maps Can Help You Identify and Understand Your Ideal Clients with Jurgen Strauss
S07 E02 - Creating Flywheels, Asking the Right Questions, and Reverse-Engineering Your Ideal Clients with Nathan Barry
S07 E03 - Positioning Yourself For Your Ideal Client, and Nailing Your Messaging with Krista Rae Miller
S07 E04 – What To Look For In A Changing Market, and The Difference Between a Niche and an Ideal Client with Jessica Mehring
S07 E05 - Exit Interviews, Saying No, and Letting Your Interests Drive Your Business with Kaleigh Moore
S07 E06 - Founder Market Fit, Starting With the Negative, and Figuring Out What You Really Want with Adam Clark
S07 E07 - Meaningful Automation, Event Marketing, and Validating the Avatar with Paul Sokol
S07 E08 - Empathy, Client Education, and How To Shift Your Ideal Client As You Grow with Kate Gilbert
S07 E09 - Podcasting, Networking, and Relationship Building with Jason Resnick
S07 E10 - Improving User Research and Asking the Right Question with Michele Ronsen