It doesn’t have be complicated, you know…

Today, I wanted to clear something up. 

Blue rope tied in a complicated knot on a pier

Don’t over-complicate things. Find out what works by doing, then repeat what works.

This running and marketing a business lark doesn’t have to be complicated. It really doesn’t. I think there are a lot of “gurus” and coaches out there who overcomplicate things – either deliberately, because if you confuse people you can sell them a solution, or just because they don’t really understand and they don’t know any better.

Take your avatar. It should be one of the first things you do, because all your marketing will stem from it. But it doesn’t need to be complex.

One of my newest Inner Circle Members posted a very good question up in the discussion group:

“Also any advice on how much detail should be in the avatar. I spoke to a business coach recently who said it should be 4 pages long.”

See, that really grates my carrot. Four pages? Why four pages? Why not six? Or eight? Or two?

It’s an utterly arbitrary number that I’ll bet my butt came from something the coach had heard elsewhere and simply passed on without delving into why. But more than that, it confuses people. When I first started my business and was learning all about copywriting and marketing, I used to listen to stuff like that, then fret about it. I’d be hung up on why that specific number of pages, because to be that specific, it must be important.

I’d be thinking, “But my avatar is only two pages long. I’ve done it wrong!” Then that would be my focus. Not on learning more about my market or actually getting stuff out there; sweating the details. And irrelevant details, at that.

I’m glad my Superhero posted that question up, because it gives me and the rest of my Members a chance to show that things can be simple.

In the case of the avatar… it’s just a description of the type of person you’d like to buy your product. All the usual demographic stuff, for sure; but also their values and worldview. And, most importantly of all, what their biggest problem is and the pain it causes them – because once you know that, you can poke it at it and offer your balm*.

Keep things simple, always. And don’t listen to anyone who says it needs to be complicated. It doesn’t. Running a successful business is just trying stuff out, finding what works, then doing those simple things over and over again.

Anyway: you don’t know what you don’t know, so ask. Too many people are afraid to ask questions – I’ve written a book chock full of helpful advice, you should start your business journey there.

If that sounds like something you’d find helpful, buy yourself a copy here.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS *Writing “balm” cracked me up. If you’ve ever seen The Life of Brian, you’ll know why…

Mandy (Brian’s mum): What is myrrh, anyway?

Wise Man:   It is a valuable balm.

Mandy: A balm, what are you giving him a balm for?  It might bite him.

Wise Man:   What?

Mandy: It’s a dangerous animal.  Quick, throw it in the trough.

Wise Man:   No it isn’t.

Mandy: Yes it is.

Wise Man:   No, no, it is an ointment.

Mandy: An ointment?

Wise Man:   Look.

Mandy: Oh. There is an animal called a balm or did I dream it?

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