I have two businesses and two client journey maps for those businesses. I have an agency side that serves my clients who want their content and marketing off their plates and done for them. And I also have my education side where I have the privilege of getting to teach entrepreneurs to do what I do for themselves by basically becoming their own content strategists for their businesses.
And for at least a third of 2017, I fought this – hard.
I scoffed at the idea of running two businesses – my focus would be too splintered and all over the place. Even though it turned out that this was exactly the type of situation I was putting myself in by fighting so hard to keep them separate.
Not to mention my biggest mistake: I was painting both clients with the same brush and thinking of them as the same person.
Sounds obvious now, right?
The entrepreneur who’s ready to bring on a Chief Marketing Officer to run their marketing or create their sales funnel from start to finish is likely in a much different place than the entrepreneur who just wants a planner to organize their content strategy.
She has different concerns, different worries, different goals. What she’s looking for is completely different too. So marketing to them the same way for the sake of saving an hour or two? Big mistake.
It was after I took the time to not only do TWO thorough dream client avatar exercises, but to also take it one step further by mapping out the journey that these clients will likely take through their entrepreneurial journey and how that’s mirrored in my content – that things become hit-me-in-my-face clear.
This was also when the service side of my business sky-rocketed. All from this deepening understand of who my ideal client was.
Now – I promise I’m not about make you do a lame ICA (ideal client avatar) exercise – I think we’ve all had enough of these pushed on us through courses. But what I am going to recommend is that you create a client journey map. In fact, I’m going to give you a template and instructions on how to do just that.
Why is the client journey map more effective than typical ideal client avatar exercises
Traditional ideal client avatar exercises (you know the ones) have their place, but to me, generalizing that my dream clients enjoy eating chocolate for dinner or drive a red car is overkill and a bit of a waste of time.
I think there are more efficient and effective things to include in their profiles so these can be a tool that actually helps you create content for these dream clients (actually, “how to use chocolate to motivate you to write your next post” sounds like a great idea!)
This is what I love about the Reader Journey Map:
- Tracks the typical client journey with you from the time they first start working with you (or following you) to when they’re ready for the next thing (helping you know what that “next thing” even is)
- Pairs your content and offers to their struggles at any particular time so that you can identify any gaps in your offer suite or marketing
- Helps you use their lingo to describe their problems, desires and knowledge of your industry in a way that’s broken down so you can use it
How to Create Your Client Journey Map
1.Download the Client Journey Map template
2. Brainstorm the typical milestones that your reader might have in her journey with you and with your area of expertise. Here's a sample from my ideal student profile. Each point on this timeline is a stage of her evolution and now I can create content the corresponds to each of these stages.
- What is her thought process during each one of these?
- Can you line these up into a journey?
- What is she interested in at this stage of her journey?
- What’s concerning her at this stage of her journey?
- What content do you already have that responds to some of the questions she’s having at this stage? What ideas for content do you have?
- What offers do you already have that responds to some of the questions she’s having at this stage? What ideas for offers do you have?
How to Use Your Client Journey Map
I use my map anytime I’m brainstorming new content topics, writing posts, creating sales copy and coming up with new offers (or upgrading existing ones).
I also make sure to update it every year. People change. Industries change. My understanding of both of those deepens.
Another thing I like to do is create a “pretty” version of it that I keep on a bulletin board right beside my desk. That way I’m keeping both of my clients front and centre when I’m working – after all, they’re the reason I do anything in my business in the first place. I add this my offer docket.
Download the Reader Journey Map Template
Start creating your own journey map with my brainstorming sheet. Click here or on the image below!