Episode 6: Marketing – Avatar – Who Are You Targeting?, with Colin Sprake


Welcome everybody. This is Colin Sprake again, and welcome to MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth with me, Colin Sprake, as we get you rocking and rolling in your business. Today, I am going to be walking you through something which is one of my favorite, favorite topics in the world, and that is marketing. I want you to get this and really understand this.  This is essential to everyone whether you are just starting or even if you’re trying to figure out how to how to make a million dollar business.

Branding comes before marketing. I want you to really get ready for this today. Get your pen and paper ready. Remember, what you implement from this is really vital. It’s not just what you learn but what you implement that makes all the difference. Today, I’m going to give you keys for business success using small business marketing like you’ve never ever dreamt of because these are keys for business success that I wish I’d had marketing-wise years and years ago that would have taken my marketing to the next level, and I want to walk you through some really cool points.

Very simply, branding is what differentiates you, what makes you different in your market space, what makes you stand out, and marketing is communicating those differences. So if you don’t know what makes you stand out, you really need to get clear on what makes you stand out. Now, let’s get into understanding, really, what I’m going to be talking about today, and that’s getting you to understand who is your audience.

Now start to write this down. This fascinates me. How many people don’t know who their audience is? They want to go ahead and have amazing results in their business in every way and form, but you’re really not understanding who your audience is. Who are you speaking to? And when you speak to them, can you segment your audiences into different audiences?

So I am going to give you an avatar today. I’d like you to write this down, and if you’re in your car or busy running or you can’t write it down for another reason, re-listen to this episode because it will get you thinking and get your marketing absolutely on fire and give you the brutal truth of how to do effective marketing for small businesses, SMEs, what have you. This is an essential step when trying to determine how to build a multimillion dollar business.

So I want you to write this down. First, let me make the statement before you write anything down. Do you have a client that buys from you frequently, that you make a ton of profit on, that you love to deal with, never complains about price and appreciates value? I’ll say it again: do you have a client that buys from you frequently, that you make a ton of profit on, that you love to deal with, never complains about price and appreciates value? In fact, they don’t even shop somewhere else.

If you have a client right now, it could be a business or could be a client, I want you to write down the name of the business or the name of the client right now. That’s your avatar client. Imagine if your database was filled with avatar clients all the time, buying from you and never complaining about price, appreciating your value, you love to deal with them, they love to deal with you. Because remember, we can do B2C, which is business to consumer, or B2B, which is business to business. It doesn’t matter which one. Write down a name of a client or company that you love to deal with that fits that description.

how to make a million dollar businessSource: Pexels

A client you make a lot of money off of that you love working with is your avatar client. Click To Tweet

When you do that, the number one thing is I want you to profile that person or that company. When you profile the person or the company, figure out the number one thing is where they hang out. So many people are busy. You might be busy dealing with a client. How much do you know about your client? Where does your client hang out? Where do they go on vacation? What organizations do they belong to? What conferences do they attend? What groups are they a part of? What charity work do they do? Because guess what, birds of a feather flock together. You want to find wherever your avatar client hangs out, the one you make tons of profit on. Wherever they hang out, that’s where you want to hang out.

I’ll give you an example of this. So I go to Mexico maybe once every couple of years, and I never pay for my vacation. Let me tell you why. I go to four and a half to five star resorts. That’s where our elite amazing customers of Make Your Mark hang out, these amazing entrepreneurs. They go down to Mexico. Mexico is full of Americans and Canadians; there are lots of Canadians down there. So I go to four and a half and five star resorts. While I’m there hanging out at the pool, we get chatting, of course. I can never stop talking about what I do. I love what I do. I’m not there verbally puking on them. Just people ask me, “So what do you do?” All entrepreneurs often hang out at the pool, hanging out at the bar, having cocktails together. The key thing is when I tell them what I do, guess what happens? They get super interested. I invite them out to one of our two-hour events or our big three day event in whatever city back in Canada, and they end up becoming customers

So I go, and I spend maybe $10,000 or $15,000 or even $20,000, going to a four and a half or five star resort in Mexico. Why? Because my ideal clients hang out there. They are trying to gain insight into how to build a multimillion dollar business. My avatar clients hang out there. And guess who I get to meet? More of those people. Now how did I find that out? I spoke to my real top clients, who lots of them have now become really great friends, and I asked them where do they hang out. They said, “Colin, this is where we go on vacation.” In fact, they started to invite me on their vacations, so now I go with them. It’s even more powerful.

Now I am sitting at the pool, on the deck, or in a restaurant. I’m there with my buddy, who’s a client, who’s been super successful with our program. And guess what? Other people ask me what we do, we get socializing, we have a bunch of fun. And those people, I don’t have to do anything because I got a client with me who is talking about my product or service to another client. I can tell you one thing. It might cost me between 10 and $20,000 to go to Mexico. But when I come back … Because my avatar is hanging out in Mexico at four and a half and five star resorts figuring out how to make a million dollar business, I come back, over time, maybe three to six months afterwards, majority of them become clients that I met down there, and we do like $100,000, so nearly a 10:1 ratio of people becoming clients.

So I want you to ask yourself this: where do your clients hang out? Now, if you don’t have avatars. You’re like, “Oh, Colin, I don’t have avatars. I don’t have that client that buys from me frequently that I make a ton of profit on, that I love to deal with, never complains about price and appreciates value. I don’t have one of those.” Then you need to write down, and especially for your brand new business, what does your ideal customer look like? What would you like them to be in order to fit that avatar description so that you can put it out intentionally?

how to build a multimillion dollar businessSource: RKTKN on Unsplash

Where do your clients hang out? That’s where you will find more clients like them. Click To Tweet

Because, remember, I’m all about mindset in business. Do you want to learn how to make a million dollar business? What you put out there is what you get back. If you look for poor-paying clients, clients that are challenging, clients that don’t appreciate value, clients that want discounts, clients wanting stuff for free, you’ll always attract that to you. You’ll never learn how to build a multimillion dollar business that way. You want to attract high-paying clients that love to deal with you, that you make a ton of profit, that appreciate value, and that will buy from you frequently. Now, when you get this right, I can tell you, your business will really, really change. So you just need to determine who you’re looking for.

Now, here’s the caveat to all this discussion today, is what you need to look for. This is where the challenge is. You might have different products and services, and there are different combinations of them. You need to look at your avatar for each one of the products and services that you have, and you need to define who your avatar is for each one. Now, here’s the challenge. If you have, let’s say, five different products and services and each one of them requires you to hang out in completely different areas, then all of a sudden, it becomes challenging for you because you have to hang out in all these different areas to get these different customers.

I’m a big fan of really getting rich in your niche, and that’s the way the Americans say it, is get rich in your niche, and that, for me, is really important. You need to figure out where do you make most of your money, number one, and number two, what are your avatars for each one of those categories? If there’s not a ton of overlap and you have to keep on hanging out at different networking groups and different places for each product and service, that becomes extremely tedious and a ton of work. So I want you to think about who is your market and where are they hanging out so you can go hang out where they hang out. There’s nothing better than this.

And, of course, once you know what your avatar is, then you look at all your marketing campaigns. If I know my avatar is start-up business owners to a million dollars in revenue, it doesn’t matter what industry, what product, what service, that’s where I hang out. I look for different groups, organizations, charities, what have you, where those kind of people hang out. Now, the challenging part, what I see with so many people is you start hanging out at places where you’ll never find your customer. That’s crazy. Why do you want to hang out in places where your customers will never be?

I joke about this because I’m a Catholic guy married to a Jewish lady by a Presbyterian minister, and I’ll say, “If you’re looking for Jewish people, you would never hang out at Catholic cathedrals.” And you might say, “Well, yes, Colin, but I can convert them.” That’s a ton of work, I can tell you, over the top a ton of work. You want to be hanging out where your customers hang out. You’re looking for Jewish, you want to hang out at synagogues. You’re looking for Catholic people, you want to hang out at cathedrals or Catholic churches, whatever it might be. But if you hang out in the wrong places, you’ll never get the results you’re looking for.

So once you know what your avatar is, your ideal client description, then you look at all the places you’re hanging out. There’s trade shows that you are going to, the networking meetings that you are going to, the organizations, charity functions. Write down the description on one side, write down the description or the demographics of where you are hanging out, and if they don’t match, you don’t go. Don’t think about this.

Think about this. People say, “I’m going to go networking. I’m looking for high net worth individuals.” Let’s say people who know how to build a multimillion dollar business. And you go to groups where people hang out that are all small business owners that are way less than a million dollar businesses, and then you say, “But those people will refer me to other people that are million dollar business owners.” Not in all cases, but pretty much across the board, when you hang out in the wrong places, guess what happens? Those people, birds of a feather flock together. If they’re all $50,000, $100,000 business owners, that’s probably who they’re hanging out with. So you think they’re going to refer you to business owners who know how to make a million dollar business. No. Rather, go to places where people who already know how to make a million dollar business hang out. In all your networking, whether you network at courses or workshops or groups, official networking groups, organizations, charity balls, whatever it might be, hang out where your potential customer will be hanging out.

And, of course, if you have your own clients that you have avatars that are awesome, hang out where they hang out. Go to their charity functions. Go to their organizations. Go to the trade shows where they hang out. Because guess what? You’ll find way more clients, get way more satisfaction, grow your business way quicker when you know what you’re looking for. I hope that makes sense for everyone as you listen to this today and as you get going because the avatars are absolutely important, your avatars and your ideal customers.

The more you define, the more you can find. Let me say it again: the more you define who you are looking for, the quicker you will find who you are looking for. If you say, “I am just looking for people,” but yet you really want to find Jewish people or Catholic people, when you define exactly, “I’m looking for Jewish people of a certain kind of group and a certain kind of place,” then you know which synagogues to go hang out at. I’m not being facetious about this. This is the challenging thing for most people. Many people are selling walkers to the football team. No one on the football team needs your walkers. So what I want you to think about is where are you hanging out because once you define who you’re looking for, then you go and find them.

People say to me, “Colin, shouldn’t I just go networking?” Yes, but network where your potential clients hang out because if you hang out in places where there are none of your potential clients, then you tell me, “Colin, the networking doesn’t work.” Here’s my caveat to that: networking does work. You just don’t know how to work networking because you’re hanging out at the wrong place, expecting to find clients there that you will never find. It’s like hanging out in your backyard and thinking you’re going to find a lion or a giraffe or a zebra or what have you. You need to go hang out in safari parks to find those animals. Hanging out in your backyard, you’re not going to find them, but that’s most people who can’t figure out how to make a million dollar business. They don’t know who they’re looking for, and then they don’t know how to find them.

So your number one thing today is to look at every product and service that you have, define who is your ideal client or your avatar client for that product or service, then figure out where they hang out and go and find them. If that makes sense to you, please, just make sure that you get this really clear in your mind. This is not a question of if this makes sense to you. Once it makes sense to you, you will get this clear and you will not hang out in any other places.

Even when you do advertising, you will ask a person that says to you, “Here’s our trade show,” or “Here’s our magazine,” or “Here’s our newspaper,” or “Here’s our website,” or whatever it is, first thing you ask them: What are the demographics of the readership, viewership, or listenership? Even for radio stations and TV, once they give you that, look at them. When they give you the details of who their listenership, viewership, or readership is, then you take what your definition of your avatar or ideal client is and you put them next to each other. If they don’t match, don’t do that advertising. I don’t care how cheap it is.

I get phone calls in my office. “Colin, I’ve got a really good deal to advertise in a newspaper. It’s super cheap. It’s normally 1500 bucks. Today, they’re doing it for 200 bucks.” I don’t care if it’s 200 bucks, free, or whatever. If it’s not matched to your avatar or your ideal client, do not do it. It’s just a waste of your money. I don’t care. Even if it’s for free, it’s still wasting money. Why? Because you have to put time and energy and effort together to put the ad together to go into that newspaper or magazine or what have you, and the people reading it aren’t your ideal client or your avatar client. So please, with your avatars, you have to define what you’re looking for then figure out where to find them, and then any marketing you do needs to correspond to that. Now I want you to really think about that. All needs to correspond. So when you go out, make sure you’re hanging out in the right places.

I’m going to get onto another topic for today, so, please, as we go through today, really, really get clear on this. I cannot stress enough how important it is to hang out in the right places and, most importantly, hang out where your existing clients hang out or your avatars hang out that love who you are. Why? Because when you go there and they see you there, they will just talk about you, and all of a sudden, you’ll get a ton of results happening for you. That’s how you do effective networking because you’re hanging out where your customers hang out that are absolutely avatar clients of yours that you make a ton of profit on. Now, I wish you amazing and profit and success in that. Be very careful. Be very, very clear. The more effort you put into defining, the more you’ll be able to find, and then once you’ve put your definition together, then, every sixth month, you must refine who you are looking for.

I’ll give you an example of this. So Universal Studios, a few years back, was doing around two billion dollars a year, so they already knew how to build a multimillion dollar business. They work on refining who they’re looking for all the time, continue to refine, continue to refine. A few years back, when they were doing two billion dollars, they said, “Let’s refine who we’re looking for.” Now you see most of their advertising and their advertising campaigns, whether it be TV, brochures, whatever, radio … When you see an advertisement, majority of their ads are a female with two children aged 13 to 17, one boy, one girl, that’s it. There’s no men in the picture or what have you. It’s just two kids, 13 to 17, one female mom, that’s it. Why? Because that’s the market they know that they’ve refined and refined, so that’s who they’re looking for. They’re hanging out in places, and their marketing speaks to single moms, not necessarily single moms, but moms with two children. They don’t want three children. They don’t want one child. That’s what they’ve figured out really works for them, and that’s the people that spend the most money with them at Universal Studios. They did this a couple of years back. It doubled their revenues. They went from a two billion dollar company to over four billion dollars just by refining who they are looking for.  That’s how to build a multimillion dollar business.

So I want you to think about this for yourself. Who are you truly looking for? Define, refine, define, refine, and go and find, and always be refining. I find this so amazing about small business owners. You define who you’re looking for, and then you go out and find them, and then you never, ever go back and redefine who you are looking for. The more you define it, the more you refine it, the more accurate it gets and, eventually, you are shooting fish in a barrel.

Most business owners have this little hook on a rod, and they’re throwing it out into the Atlantic Ocean hoping to catch a fish that’s in the Pacific Ocean. It’s an absolutely useless waste of time, and you wonder why most small business owners go broke. This is the key reason. They don’t know who they’re looking for, and they don’t know where to find them. You cannot go hang out in networking groups if you don’t know who’s hanging out in the networking group or what you need from that networking group. I trust you to really get this today. It’s a super passionate topic of mine because I watch people hang out in places where they’ll never, ever get results.

This next thing I want to talk about today, in terms of marketing, there are two key topics. One is your avatar, your ideal client, and how to define them and then go find them and then define and then redefine and also go find again. I want to talk about headlines.

So many people have brochures, like you have a brochure in your company and that brochure is so detailed and what have you. I ask this at all my events, “How many of you love to read very detailed brochures?” Percentage-wise, about 1% of the hands go up of people that want to read brochures from beginning to end. So then I ask them, “How many of you just read the basics of a brochure?” Majority of the hands go up. Brochures, websites, what have you, do not need to sell. They need to influence the person, but it doesn’t need to be so much information because there’s different types of personalities out there, which I will talk about on later shows. But the key thing is there’s different personalities out there. Majority of people do not have time to read everything. Some people make such detailed websites. People don’t read the websites.

What you need to think about is what are your headlines. Write these down, because they’re really important. Headlines, number one, must be attention-grabbing. They must grab the pain of the reader, the viewer, or the listener because you can use headlines in video, audio, and in print. When they read that headline or they hear that headline, it must scream, “This is for me.” Imagine you sitting in front of your computer and you’ve got lower back pain and you’re really uncomfortable and you’re busy maybe doing some searching on Facebook … or not searching, but you’re scrolling through Facebook. And then, suddenly, there’s an ad in Facebook that says, “Eliminate lower back pain, guaranteed.” You pretty much scroll across that, click on it automatically. Why? Because you have that pain.

Now, in your marketing, headlines become extremely important. So many people have logos everywhere. Remember one thing: no one loves your logo as much as you do. Most people, they say to you, “Oh, I love your logo. It’s really nice.” There are some people that might say that to you, but majority of them aren’t even your buying customers in the first place. Remember, in marketing, you only listen to people that are your potential customers or existing customers. To take marketing, give it to your spouse or to a friend or to somebody else, and then they’d say, “Wow, I don’t like that,” or “I don’t like the way it’s done,” or “That’s awesome,” or what have you. If they are not your buying customers, do not listen to them, really one of the most important things about marketing.

million dollar business secretsSource rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Only listen to people that are your potential customers or existing customers. Click To Tweet

I was sitting in a meeting just this last week, and one of the guys said, “You know what, guys? I want to bring you back some video segments of his video training that he’s doing for kids ages nine to 14. So I’m going to do some video training for them.” I said, “Why are you going to bring them back to us? We can tell you how good it is, how great it is, maybe how this, or whatever. We are not your market. You need to put focus groups together, which they do in the advertising industry, for kids nine to 14. Bring them in and let them tell you if it’s good or bad because they’re the ones who are going to be using it that you need to interact with.” He said, “Colin, thank you for that.” I said, “Absolutely.”

So headlines are super important. In fact, in my training, I say, yes, your logo is important, but your logo is only part of your brand image. So many people, on the back of their business cards, giant fat logos. On the front of their brochures, giant fat logos. On their websites, giant fat logos. Your logo is part of your brand image. In a small business, you haven’t got the money to brand a logo. Branding logos takes a ton of money. McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Gillette, all those companies have billions of dollars to brand a logo onto the brain of the people they’re marketing to.

The majority of you listening to this show do not have that branding budget, so the key thing for us, in terms of branding a logo … What we need to do is brand you through headlines, which says what differentiates you. In other words, that’s a real, true brand. What differentiates you? On the front of your brochures, really good headlines that scream to that person, “This is for me.” On your website, on your homepage, instead of the word “Welcome” at the top of your homepage, put a powerful headline. Now if you want to see what we do, go to MYMsuccess.com, and you’ll see right on the top of the homepage is a headline, attracting and grabbing people, then, to read the rest of the page. I cannot stress this enough. I watch people do such sad marketing. Headlines need to be really attention-grabbing. They must scream, “This is for me.” And, of course, my favorite thing: don’t make your logo your amigo. People get so stuck on their logos and doing the things that really don’t get them ahead.

Let’s say I come and see you at your office or your facility or your home, whatever it might be, or I’ll meet you in a coffee shop. I want to give you my brochure. It lands on the table. I’ll go through it with you. Then, when I leave, that brochure sits face-up on the table, and guess what? Somebody else comes in and meets with you. They read the headline, and that headline talks to them. That’s what I want you to understand. What headlines are you using in your business? They must be attention-grabbing, must target the pain of the reader, viewer, or listener, so when they see that, it grabs them and brings them in.

how to make a million dollar businessSource: Pexels

What headlines are you using in your business? They must be attention-grabbing. Click To Tweet

So headlines need to be used, tops of brochures. You open you the brochure, top in the center of a brochure, like a tri-fold brochure, on the front of a tri-fold brochure, headline. Yes, you can put your logo, maybe down the bottom as a footer, but definitely not front and center of a tri-fold brochure. Then, as you open up the brochure, where you see across the inside, there should be another killer headline.

I did this for a company that does roll screens, roll shutters, a company called Mr. Cover All here in Canada, and guess what? We took their business from $188,000 a year — and they had been that on average for the last three years — and we took them to $733,000 in 12 months by changing their brochure, going to different trade shows, going to trade shows where their ideal clients hang out, where their avatar clients hang out, and that’s where we converted their entire business. A few years later, we took them to 1.4 million. That company continues to grow, and here’s the reason why: because they use great marketing, which means using headlines to draw people in.  We helped them determine how to make a million dollar business.

The key thing about headlines: when you read a newspaper, the thing in the newspaper that draws you into read the article in the newspaper, the amazing headline. The same thing for you when you do brochures, when you do your websites, when you have any advertisements that you put together, you need to speak directly to their pain. Even in your emails you send out, you want to send out a good email, the subject line needs to target the pain of the reader reading that email. When you have a really good headline on your brochure or website, email, what have you, when you have a good headline, it draws them in to read the rest of the content. If the headline sucks, you will not get them. You want to grab them, bring them in to read. If they’re watching a video, grab them in the video and bring them into reading or to listening to the rest of the video.

I cannot stress this enough of how many people put together really poor marketing because they use logos everywhere. Do not make your logo your amigo. Really good powerful headlines speaking to the pain of the viewer or reader or listener, and then once you get that working for you and you start to target those headlines.

Please, after today, you want to get people to open your emails? Put good headlines in the subject line. You want people to even return your voicemails? When you leave a voicemail, leave an intriguing voicemail. I’m going to talk a lot about that as we go through these shows. Why? Because so many people don’t get people to return their phone calls. Why? Because they phone and leave such detailed messages that the person who picks up the message makes a decision to either phone you back or not because they have all the information. You want them to phone you back by simply saying things like, “Hey, it’s Colin Sprake here. I got your email. There’s something that I need to really talk to you about. Please call me back as soon as you can.” That person is intrigued to call you back. If you leave all the information of all the details of all your products and services or all that kind of stuff that people do in the long, crazy, long voicemails, people don’t phone you back because they make a determination of whether to phone you back because you’ve left enough content for them to make a decision.

Remember: they buy you, they don’t buy your products and services. And I want you to write that down. People buy you, they don’t buy your products and services. It’s really important to create great relationships with people, and the way you attract them in, in all your marketing, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, your brochures, your websites, any kind of other advertising, doorknob ads, whatever it is, the headline attracts people, brings them in to read the rest of the content.

how to build a multimillion dollar businessSource: Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

People buy you, they don't buy your products and services. Click To Tweet

I want to dig deeper into this over the next few months, but I want you to really get this. The deeper we go into this, I’m going to show you how to do advertising, how to really create great ads, and really get your business to the next level. I trust you’ve found this super informative. Make sure you use headlines. Make sure you hang out in the right places. Make sure you define who you’re looking for to go and find them, and become very, very clear in all your marketing campaigns. I wish you an amazing, amazing week or month ahead. Be brilliant, be awesome, and I’ll talk to you very, very soon on the next show. Thank you so much, and have a great, great day.



  •  – Episode 40: Inch by Inch Is a Cinch, with Colin Sprake

  •  – Episode 7: Mentorship is Critical in Your Business, with Stephen Woessner

  • – Episode 8: G-> D and 3S’s, with Colin Sprake