What to do when the wrong people find your business

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I had a sudden itch to write this post after I saw someone in a facebook group talking about how she was noticing people interacting with her social media that weren’t on brand, wondering if she should block them or not.


Having a full cup of coffee, I decided to go from observer to commentator (which is rare for me in these kinda groups, especially if I’m not an admin) and say that I didn’t think it was a good idea to block them, as there may be another reason they’re coming to her…like they’re planning to go into her niche later, or they have a friend that might like her info, etc. Basically, we don’t know the full story, so blocking these people would send a bad impression.


She then replied that these people were…I guess dark and overdramatic? I wasn’t entirely sure what the meaning was, but in any case it sounded like they were causing some havoc.


To which I thought…well then that’s a failure of her marketing. How are they finding her, and why are they sticking around? My theory is that there’s something in her message/marketing/imagery that is attracting these people.


But look, I’m totally guilty of this, too. You want to be everyone’s BFF, so you try to reach as many people as you can. But when that happens…you reach as many people as you can, and many of them aren’t going to be what you wanted.


I think it’s a struggle that many of us face. It feels counterintuitive to niche down and push people out, because we’re all in this to pay our bills, right? And if she wants to give me money, and he wants to give me money, and this other person wants to give me money, then what’s the problem?


Well, she was really into your product.
But he wasn’t, but he kept his mouth shut and moved on.
And that other person REALLY wasn’t, and is now blasting you on social media.


But you only MADE it for her, because she is your people. She is the personification of the group of customers you’ve been hoping to reach, he and other person were not. And now you’ve got their money, but you’ve made a hater in both of them, because it wasn’t for them. You get what I’m saying?


So now you’ve made the decision to be proactive in looking for your people, as well as pushing out the people that you don’t want to attract…but how do you do that?


You create an avatar.

An avatar is just jargon for your image of the perfect person for you. Much like Mr./Mrs. Right, the avatar for your business is the embodiment of everything you hope to have in a customer.

The best part about the avatar, though, is that creating it helps you directly target your marketing, which can save you SO much time and money (like…if they don’t have kids and don’t plan on it, you’d know not to advertise on Mommy blogs).


This is not an optional exercise in business. It will feel absolutely cheesy and maybe a little voyeuristic(?)  to fully flesh out a customer like this, but not doing it will be a really poor choice (believe me, I know. I went years without!).


You can make this profile as detailed as you like, but here are some things to help you get started:

  1. Give them a name (yup, seriously. Create this person by giving them a name)
  2. Age
  3. Location (doesn’t have to be “NYC” or “West Mifflin, PA” but more like: are they in a city? Suburb? Rural area? Targeting someone that lives in a city is much different than someone that lives in the country)
  4. Likes
  5. Dislikes
  6. Goals and ambitions
  7. Fears and Pain points (what keeps them up at night?)
  8. What do they look like?
  9. What’s their family situation/marital status?

If you want a little more help, you can download my “How to Create a Kickass Brand (Without Driving Yourself Crazy)” workbook that dives a little deeper into creating a brand AND an avatar that will position your business for success, but even if you get started with just these 9 steps, you’ll have a better understanding of who your ideal client is, where they hang out, how to target them, AND how to avoid making the mistake of targeting the wrong people (which is just as important).

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