I believe that any entrepreneur will always greatly benefit from revisiting, refining, and updating their understanding and definition of their ICA.
Most people think that they’ve nailed this, but in reality, their understanding is extremely surface level. If your “definition” only includes basic demographic information like their age, location, gender, relationship status, if they’re a parent, etc., I hate to break it to you, but you have NOT gone deep enough.
When you don’t have a deep, personal, and emotional understanding of your ideal customer’s hopes, dreams, fears, pain points, objections, etc., it will be extremely difficult for you to create messaging that will attract and convert them.
So grab a pen and paper, pop in your headphones, and get ready to take notes because in today’s episode, I’m going to share with you what actions you can take today to go several layers deeper than you’ve ever gone before to find more clarity on your ICA!
Feeling a little called out by this episode? Tell me how it helped you realize you need to go deeper in understanding and defining your ICA over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello and welcome to the podcast. I hope you guys are doing amazing. I just went for a walk. The snow is melting in Austin, so we probably have about a half a day left of the snow and so it was like, perfect. The roads have been so icy through this ice storm, then snowstorm that we got that I haven’t been able to go for my walks, and I missed it so much. It’s now 55 degrees outside, the snow is melting, but it’s still on the grass. It is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. And I went for my walk and had to kind of brainstorm. I’m doing batch recording of the podcast, so what exactly I wanted to do this podcast on and kind of map those out before. That’s sometimes how I plan my content. If I’m feeling like it’s being forced, if you sit down and you’re like, okay, I gotta think of some podcast episodes to record. I don’t like doing that. So if I get to that place, I know, okay, go out for a walk, step away from the computer, and get creative. So that’s what I did.
And today’s podcast, I’m going to talk about understanding and defining your ideal customer. This is something that I think sometimes times, you entrepreneurs will hear this and think, oh, well that’s too beginner for me. I already have that down. But I can tell you that 90% of the time, this will benefit any business owner at any level to revisit this. I talk a lot about on the podcast how important messaging is, and argue often that it’s one of the most important, if not the most important, component to your marketing and if you don’t have your messaging dialed in, then it doesn’t matter about anything else. It doesn’t matter about your strategy, it doesn’t matter about your offer. If you can’t connect and communicate to your ideal customer, if you’re not clear on who that person is, like crystal clear on who they are, and able to speak to them and connect to them, ideally better than any other company in your industry, it will make everything else harder.
So if you can get this down and nail this, everything else becomes easier. And that’s why I harp on this so much, because so many times do I see strategies or funnels, and this could be our students or our clients coming into work with us, where the one thing we’re consistently asking them to improve, or change, or update is their messaging. Which your messaging stems from your understanding and connection to your ideal customer. I think a lot of people don’t take enough time to number one, define this in the beginning, but also come back and constantly revisit it and really listen to your audience, listen to that ideal customer. So I want to touch on it because I actually was creating some trainings for our Ignite program, and so I put together a training and it made me think how I should bring it to the podcast and bring some of the components of that training that I brought to the students because it’s so critical. Cool. So let’s talk about it.
So first of all, if you’re an established business owner, you probably do know who your ideal customer is, but if you’ve never actually created an ideal customer avatar document. So if you’re a beginner, or you’ve been in business for a while but you don’t have this, I recommend that you create it and you actually go through the process of writing it down in defining your ideal customer. Because I find that a lot of times, we think in our head we’re very clear on who that ideal customer is, but then we go to define it and there’s a lot of room for us to get more clear. And so actually putting it into a document and fleshing it out will allow you to see where you’re not clear and where you aren’t clear inside of that document. You will not only fill out the demographic basic information about your ideal customer, which is a lot of times where people stop. They’ll fill out age, and gender, and relationship status, where they live, if they have kids, all those types of things, and then that’s kind of it, that’s where they stop. And this is where, that’s to me like the very basics. Yeah, that’ll help you with your targeting and it’ll help you get clear on who you’re trying to attract in your messaging, but we need to massively take it to the next level for our marketing to really connect to our audience. And that’s where it gets good.
So then you start defining your ideal customer’s frustrations in their own words. All of this has to be literally in their own words, something that they would say themselves if they’re talking to their friend. So their frustrations, their dreams, what obstacles they’re facing right now, their fears, any deep emotional component. And obviously, this is connected to what you sell. So you wouldn’t want to necessarily say someone’s fears about parenting if you are a business coach. So making these things relevant to the problems they’re facing, that you solve that problem. In my ideal customer avatar documents, it’s all around marketing. It’s all around our student. We have one for our students. We have one for our clients. It’s all around their marketing and growing their business, their fears around that, their dreams around that, their frustrations, the obstacles they’re facing. And we have that. It’s a multiple, multiple page document fleshed out on that and I reference it all the time. So you want to start with having this document.
Now, some common things that will come up when I tell people to go create this document is one, a lot of people try to argue having multiple ideal customers. And so when you’re writing this document, when you’re creating this document, it is one person that you’re describing. That doesn’t mean you won’t attract other people, or be able to broaden your marketing. But if you’re trying to accommodate defining your ideal customer as multiple people at all different levels, or not even levels, but just who want different things, and have different frustrations, and different fears, it will be impossible for your marketing to stand out. It will be too broad, too surface level.
You need to define one person. Give them a name, if that helps, and like truly envision them in your mind. It could be somebody you know or don’t know. Like really go there, even if it sounds silly, and define this one person, because then anytime you write, copy, you write an opt-in page, you write a sales page, you write emails, you write ads, whatever it is, you could actually come back, and I’ve done this many times. I did this a lot when I was writing my book, but I would go back and I read through those things. I’d read through their frustrations. I’d really connect to it, and then that would help me with how I talk to them. I do it frequently. When I create a webinar a lot of times I’ll go reference that document if I’m updating slides, or if I’m creating a new presentation, just to make sure I’m in alignment with speaking to that person. So it needs to be one person.
Now that doesn’t mean that that person can’t be at different phases of their life, or phases of their business. They can be at different levels, but they still need to be one person with the same problem. So here’s an example, our ideal customer coming into my program or coming into our agency. They, some people have never run ads, and some people have run ads and not seen success. Some people have run ads and they’re ready to scale. All of those are my ideal customer, but the one person I’m talking to is somebody who doesn’t have their marketing dialed in 100%, is frustrated, is confused, is overwhelmed with their Facebook ads. So that’s true, no matter what level they’re at. And so don’t feel like you have to necessarily have everybody. You’re creating your ideal customer for one, one ideal customer, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be at different levels. Your customers, they have to, though, have the same problem. So those core components, the frustrations, the dreams, the, um, obstacles, all of those things is one person’s, and if you can’t get that narrowed down, you need to narrow down your ideal customer because you have to get so specific on that. So that impacts everything else that you create. Okay?
So my recommendation is that you make sure you have this ideal customer avatar document and that you create it in a way that you can use language that your ideal customer is actually saying. If you don’t have that, if you don’t know that language, I recommend actually talking to your ideal customer. So whether it’s your actual customers who have paid you, have bought something from you, a product or service, or potential customers, as long as they are your ideal customer, they are somebody who would potentially buy your product or service. And this is true for services, digital products, physical products, all of them. If you sell a physical product do not think you don’t need to have an ideal customer because you’re selling a physical product. You still need to tap into people’s emotions. Emotions is what makes people buy. So even if you sell the most boring physical product out there, you still need to know that ideal customer. You still need to tap into those emotions.
So if you don’t know what to fill out in this document, I recommend actually getting on the call for 20 or 30 minutes with at least 10 different people and asking them these questions. What’s your biggest fear? With fill in the blank of your main problem you solve. What is your biggest dreams with this? If I could wave a magic wand, what could I do to improve, fill in the problem you solve. So for me, all of those things would be marketing. What’s your biggest fear with marketing? What’s your dream come true with marketing? And I would just have a conversation, pull out as much as I can from them and document that. Then I’ll take that to create my document. In my Ignite program, I walked through this process in a lot more depth and give you guys questions and how you can do the interview. I’m not going to do that on this podcast episode, but in general, I want you to understand that process of if you don’t know how to create a really fleshed out, in depth, ideal customer avatar document, I recommend you actually interview them.
And I have to give Alex Charfen, my good friend, credit for this because he introduced me to this first. And when he told me, I think I did a podcast on this, like maybe six months ago when he was like, you should go interview your ideal customer avatar and talk to them. I was like, are you kidding? Like, I am finally off calls with clients over the last year and a half. You know, that took forever. I don’t talk to anybody else, but my team. Why would I want to get on calls with customers? Like that sounds awful as an introvert, and I did it and it was super powerful. So I did about 20 interviews. We have, I did it for our Ignite ideal avatar, and we have a document that I, I’m not even exaggerating, I reference every time I go to create something new for them, a webinar opt-in page, when we update our sales page, all of those things, because it is so valuable and I could have never created that just on my own. Having their input allowed it to be so much more in depth.
So the summary of this understanding and defining your ideal customer is if you don’t currently have one, create an ideal customer avatar document where you define one person, but you go the next level of not just defining the basic demographic information and description of them, but the emotional component to them. That emotional component will impact your content, and all of your marketing, and allow you to have that connection to your audience. Ideally, you understand your ideal customer better than they know themselves. I feel like I oftentimes understand my ideal customer better than they understand themselves around marketing and around what they’re experiencing. And when I am able to say things where they’re like, oh my gosh, are you in my head? How did you know that? When I’m able to do that, and connect to that, and that way it’s extremely powerful in building the trust with my ideal customer, which ultimately results in a better connection, people who trust me more and then become customers. If you’re able to do that, it will create so much more powerful results, and easy results. Selling becomes easy when you can connect with your ideal customer in that way and they trust you, they’ll buy from you. If you can create that trust, you’re set.
So create that ideal customer avatar document in their words. That’s really important too, in their words. You might think you’re doing it, but I see this all the time so I’m going to give an example. I just looked at an Ignite student’s landing page, and they wrote on the landing page, they had a webinar title, and then a subtitle of their webinar, and it was something like, I can’t remember the exact words, but something about calming their mind when facing challenges. I think that’s what it was. And they were asking for feedback, this is a great student and he implements everything we say and really utilizes our live support, but they wanted feedback on their landing page. One of the first things that came to me was I don’t think that your ideal customer is scrolling Facebook and saying, I really need to learn how to calm my mind and challenging situations. Like they’re not saying that, right? They’re saying I need to calm down because I just blew up on my spouse, or I just lost my patience with my kids, or I just completely exploded at work, whatever it is, right? Those are the things that are emotional that people are saying.
So if you read your copy, or you read what you write in this avatar document and you’re like, my ideal customer would not say that, if you are starting to use more technical terms and surface level terms, just ask yourself, would my ideal customer actually say that? Would that come out of their mouth? So I could say, oh, my ideal customer’s biggest frustration is they’re not able to complete a sales funnel. They’re not saying that. My ideal customer is saying I’m not able to scale, they’re saying I’m not able to grow my business using Facebook ads, I’m not able to make enough money, I’m not making money with my Facebook ads, my Facebook ads are not profitable, I’m overwhelmed with my marketing strategy. Those are all the things my ideal customer is saying. They’re not saying I need to build a sales funnel, or I need to figure out how to place a pixel, or I need to get a converting ad. They’re not talking like that.
So you need to have it in the voice of your ideal customer, and if you haven’t gotten to that deep enough level, one thing I tell my students to do is just keep asking yourself why. So if you say their dream is XYZ, ask yourself why again.Why do they want that? Why, why do they want that? And then keep doing that until you get to the most simple description. Simple is not bad, simple as good. If you can be simple and clear and to the point and have that emotional connection when you define this ideal customer will make everything in your marketing easier. It’ll make everything clear and more effective.
This is the one thing that you could do right now and it would impact and improve almost everything in your marketing. Your ads, your content, the webinars you create, the sales pages you write, your website, all of it is impacted by understanding and defining your ideal customer. So if you do this, I know that it will improve all of those things just by spending a couple hours, if that, on getting clear on your ideal customer and that emotional connection you’re trying to build with them.