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How To Define Your Small Business’s Ideal Customer Avatar (And Why It’s The Most Important Part of Your Marketing Plan)

When developing any product, service, or simply any piece of content for your small business, you need to keep your ideal customer avatar in mind. Have you taken the time to define your small business’s ideal customer? 

When you’re trying to define your ideal customer avatar (ICA), you’re essentially trying to define the one person you would love to serve with your small business.

If you could help one specific type of person over and over again, who would it be?  Who would you always guarantee results to? 

The First Step To Determine Your Ideal Customer Avatar

When first strategizing who your ICA should be, I recommend trying to base it off of someone you’ve worked with in the past who experienced amazing results from your time together. 

Think of that one client who puts you on a pedestal and praises the work you produced together.  From here,  try to figure out what it was about that specific person that helped them to achieve the best results possible.  Was it their learning style? Was it the way that you connected? 

By understanding what worked with this client relationship, you can then mimic your ideal customer avatar off of that person.

Another way to go about defining your ideal customer is to base it off of a past version of yourself. (This is actually what I did in my first business!)

If you were in a place of need a few years or even a few months ago and you learned a skill to assist that need, basically filling the gap to become the solution to the problem, you are able to now teach other people how you achieved this. 

If the person you’re trying to target with your business is a past version of yourself, you can use this as your starting point.

The Details To Consider When Defining Your Ideal Customer Avatar

Both of the aforementioned scenarios are great places to start, but this idea of your ideal customer shouldn’t just be a thought in your head. You don’t want to stop here. We have to dive a lot deeper into defining your customer avatar to make sure the content we’re producing is truly going to help the specific person you’re trying to reach.

A few basic elements to consider are their name, age, geographic location, marital status, current employment, annual income, family situation, etc.

Those basic elements are necessary to define, but their intrinsic values are what will really bring your ICA to life. 

Think about their goals. What do they value? How do they take in and digest information? Are they a visual learner? Are they a reader? Are they a video watcher? Are they a podcast listener? 

What are their challenges? What is the main challenge or pain point that your product or service is helping them solve? What do they want most of all in their life, that you can help them achieve? 

What are the possible objections they could have that would prevent them from investing in your products or services? Is it a mindset objection? A financial objection? Or something else entirely? 

People will always have objections, whether it’s a mental block or it’s the hard facts of life.  That being said, it’s always a good idea to look into the future and guestimate what their objections might be.

3 Steps To Define Your Ideal Customer Avatar

The Clarity Moment Questions That Help Define Your Ideal Customer Avatar

Once you’ve covered the basic elements and their intrinsic values, you’re going to dive into what I consider the clarity moment questions. 

With many years in the marketing world under my belt, I  have been through countless ICA exercises. It always seemed like some fluffy nonsensical idea until I was presented with the following questions. That’s when it all clicked for me. 

These are the questions that made me go, “Huh, I get it now. It’s not just a stick figure that I’m drawing up, it’s an actual person.” 

The Clarity Moment Questions:

  • Who are they following on Instagram?
  • What types of books do they read? 
  • What magazines do they always pick up?
  • What was their last Youtube search?
  • What do they search for on Pinterest?
  • What bookmarks do they have saved on their web browser?

When we look at questions like these, we are able to better understand the content they devour which helps us gain a better sense of their driving factors. 

For example, if we see that someone is frequently visiting Pinterest and Instagram verus platforms like Twitter and Reddit.  You’re able to come to the conclusion that this person is much more of a visual learner or enjoys consuming visuals over text-based content. 

Why Your Small Business Needs To Define Its Ideal Customer Avatar

If you’re wondering why any of this matters, it’s because now we have a bigger picture of who our ideal customer avatar is, what they want, and what they need.  

The more specific you get when defining your ideal customer, the easier it will be to make your content seem truly authentic. The end goal is to make your ICA feel like you can read their mind and that the content you created was made specifically for them. 

When you write a post, you want someone to be like, “Oh my goodness, how did you know that was exactly what I was feeling?” That mind-reading effect will land you more sales and inquiries on how to work together.

Validating Your Small Business’s Ideal Customer Avatar

The final step of the process is to validate our research. 

We can think and brainstorm about our ICA all day and night, but this information is just a fun storyline until it’s validated. 

Find your ideal customer avatar in the wild. AKA go on social media and confirm that what you think this person wants is truly what they want. 

You can start by finding people on Instagram and popping into their DMs to ask them questions. Interact with their posts, start conversations in Facebook groups, or even offer free consult calls or schedule virtual coffee dates. 

Once you dedicate 15 to 30 minutes with five or six people, you’ll have a solid understanding of whether or not your research was accurate or if you need to go back to the drawing board. 

A few questions to ask your potential ideal customers are:

  1. If you could wave a magic wand and get the result you’re searching for, what would happen? 
  2. What has been standing in your way from achieving ______?
  3. Where do you typically spend your time online?
  4. What’s your go-to source for information and answers when you have questions?

Creating Content For Your Small Business’s Ideal Customer

Once your research is complete and validated, you’ll be able to continuously create scroll-stopping content that your audience won’t be able to get enough of.  

Not too sure where to start when it comes to creating content? I’ve got you covered in this free content creation planning kit.  When you download this free kit, you’ll receive:

  • Step-By-Step Instructions To Create High-Quality Content Ideas
  • A Roadmap for Planning Out Your Content Calendar
  • Information on How To Best Use Your Time Management Skills
  • Directions on How To Transform One Piece of Content Into Over 20 New Posts
  • Information on How To Amplify Your Content’s Exposure Using Pinterest

Download the free content creation kit and start creating kickass content for your small business.

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