I’m currently taking Sara Campbell’s Branding Bootcamp™ course in order to get some more clarity on what I have to offer students – identify just what my message is and how my message can come across most efficiently to my ideal clients.
The first thing we did in Class #1 is identify an avatar for our ideal clients. If you are working with younger students, you identify not only your ideal client/student, but also the ideal client/parent (since they’re paying the bills). We also identified any other types of ideal clients we had – in my case, the adult avocational student – as well as the ideal online client. Our instruction was to use real people with whom we work/have worked as our avatars.
That was easy for me. But one of my classmates was having some trouble with that, so he decided to work from the point of view of the ideal client being his younger self. Who was he? What did he want? What did he need? Where were his challenges? Sara decided that this was a great idea, and now we all had homework. (Thanks, dude.)
So this is my homework.
This is young Chrissie, with dreams of singing on stage. I think I’m 4 here. The ugly sofa is my stage, my mom’s slip (which I still own) is my concert gown, the ill-positioned upside Romper Room horse is my microphone, there are “pearls,” and I’m wearing Mickey Mouse ears, to boot.
(Already knew my good side)
I did not take voice lessons until I was 18 years old, in college. In the working class Milwaukee neighborhood in which I grew up, voice lessons were not a thing. I wanted to sing so much (I don’t want to say “so badly,” because I once said to someone, “oh, X is still working on a lot of things, but she wants to sing so badly,” and the person responded with, “and so she does”) but I had no idea what vocal technique was. I was good enough to get into the top choirs and premium ensembles (swing choir, girls quartet) in high school and to be cast in plays, but I really had no idea what to do to get better. I had no support from my parents in my ambitions. Ever. Not even after I became a performer and a teacher.
[Clearly, my parents do not fall into my ideal client/parent avatar]
I wanted people to take me and my goals as an artist seriously. I wanted to be a performer and a voice teacher, even though I had never taken lessons before.
I needed guidance and I needed someone to help me clarify those goals for myself because I had no idea exactly what they were and how to get there.
My challenges were:
- my financial limitations – my parents would not pay for my education in a field of which they did not approve, which meant I had to work a lot in order to afford college and lessons at all (and doing any summer programs was out of the question – not that I knew anything about them – because that’s when I really had to work multiple jobs in order to afford the following year)
- time – see “working multiple jobs”
- lack of emotional support – financial support was not the only missing element as far as my vocal studies were concerned; my parents and the neighborhood in which I grew up all thought this was a ridiculous goal for a person of my background and that I should do something “normal”
- self-esteem – see all of the above
When I look at my young self as an ideal client, in many ways, I fall far short from what I want in a student. I want a student who knows what they want, who has the financial and emotional support of their family, and who has the self-esteem to accept that they actually might be good.
But when I look at what that girl accomplished despite the odds being against her?
Hell, yeah, she’s my ideal client.
If you have challenges that you think you can overcome with the support of a voice studio that values community and curiosity over elitism (and honestly, I think those values are pretty elite in the best possible way), maybe Mezzoid Voice Studio is the place for you. Find out how to work with me.