Does marketing your offer sometimes seem like you’re shouting into a dark, empty void?
Do you feel like you’re constantly creating new offers hoping something (anything) sticks?
Are you burning the midnight oil, exhausting yourself as you try to show up on every social platform known to man instead of doing the creative work you set out to do in the first place?
If any or all of these ring a bell, then you’re sitting on a TON of untapped potential in your creative business.
The key to unlocking this pent-up potential?
It’s NOT about doing more, being in more places, or creating more offers.
In fact, it’s about simplifying rather than overcomplicating.
You need to get clear on your ICA.
Now, if you’re scratching your head wondering, “IC…what?!”
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
In this blog, you’ll learn what an ICA is and why you need to get clear on who they are so you can improve your offers, enhance your messaging, streamline your marketing strategy, and finally increase your revenue!
ICA stands for Ideal Client Avatar. It is an exercise that allows you to get inside the head of the “perfect” person for your offers (a.k.a. the services or products your creative business creates).
In this exercise, you’ll build a profile (or “avatar”) of your ideal client to help you better understand them and their motivations. You’ll explore things like their likes, dislikes, and other key info to help you better find, connect, and serve them with the offers you develop.
Of course, every client you serve may not fit this ideal client avatar to a T.
That’s okay (and to be expected)!
The purpose of your ICA is essentially to be a guiding compass that helps you keep your offers, messaging, branding, and even pricing cohesive and intentional!
Getting clear on your ideal client avatar can positively impact your creative business and your bottom line in several ways.
It can help you decide which offers you want to promote so that you can share your products and services with confidence.
Defining your ICA can also influence how you will speak about these offers to your audience, and where you’ll connect with them. This ensures every service or product you put out into the world lands in front of the people who need what you have to offer!
Ultimately, a clear, defined ICA has the potential to consistently increase your sales and your revenue.
Let’s explore each benefit in more detail.
No matter what you offer in your creative business, the purpose of your services, products, courses, or workshops is ultimately to solve a problem or fill a specific need in the lives of your clients.
But all too often I see creative entrepreneurs pushing services or products that they want to sell, rather than taking the time to determine if it’s something people are actually looking for in the first place!
If you’re out of touch with your ideal audience and creating your offers in a vacuum, you may be setting yourself up for failure (no matter how brilliant your ideas are)!
You may not realize it, but not taking the time upfront to define your ICA and how your offer serves them could be the cause of so many challenges in your business.
…getting enough audience engagement on social media
…sure how to price your offers
…able to sell your offer consistently
Understanding your ideal client avatar can make all the difference because you’ll clearly understand:
Knowing this information inside out and upside down allows you to build offers that serve them well, meet them where they are, and skillfully address their problems and pain points.
It will ALSO help you anticipate their future needs so you can continue to cater to their experience and tend to their full customer journey.
Not only will your offers feel aligned with their goals, but when you’re in tune with your ICA you can ensure you’re delivering your offer in a way that will easily fit into their lifestyle, business, and the way they like to work, learn, engage, or purchase.
It’s all about making your offers a no-brainer “HELL YES!” for both you AND your clients…which makes selling a whole lot easier and more fun!
When you know exactly who you serve, it’s easier to address your client’s challenges and come up with creative solutions for their problems so you can connect with them on an authentic level.
After all, when your offers come from a place of true service, they are often the most appealing, effective, and profitable!
Taking the time to define who this ideal person would be, can also help you avoid being too general with your messaging. It brings to mind a phrase you may be familiar with…
“When you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.”
You could have the most perfect offer EVER…
If you don’t know how to talk about it or promote it in a way that will resonate with your ICA, your message will most likely fall flat.
For example, the way you would sell a car to a teenager is going to be messaged WAYYYY differently than if you were trying to sell a car to a new mom.
As you define your brand and offer messaging, consider questions like:
Getting your offer and brand messaging right may take some trial and error, but be persistent! The upfront effort is worth the sustainable, long-term results!
When you know HOW to message to your ICA (and therefore your ideal audience) effectively…you’ll gain so much more traction with every marketing email, nurture post on IG, and landing page you put out and into the world!
Defining your ICA has the potential to help you beyond your offer messaging. It can also influence WHERE you choose to share your offer, which platforms you commit to regularly, and how you approach your overall marketing strategy.
If you struggle with content marketing or feel overwhelmed by the pressure to show up everywhere online, you’re gonna want to listen up!
Once you know who your ICA is, you can zoom in and find out where they spend the most time online. Maybe your ICA prefers to consume content on platforms like TikTok or Instagram, while another business owner’s ICA prefers more professional platforms like LinkedIn or creative spaces like Pinterest.
In contrast, you may even discover that online ISN’T the best place to reach your ICA! Maybe instead you need to focus on more in-person or traditional marketing opportunities. Some audiences are definitely easier to reach at in-person events than through social media, print ads, or radio!
Once you know the demographics of your ICA, go directly to the source and ask them where they prefer to spend time. You can do this through polls, surveys, or even schedule time for a quick Zoom call!
This research will help you conserve and channel your energy so that you can show up consistently in the places that will make the biggest impact, rather than inconsistently throwing content everywhere and wondering why you’re not achieving the results you’re hoping for.
Getting your messaging right and creating irresistible offers ONLY works if you get them both IN FRONT of your ideal clients.
You need to know where they spend their time, how they consume content, and where they are receptive to messages like yours. That way you can stop wasting time spinning your wheels on irrelevant platforms and start building momentum!
Last but not least, ALL of the above benefits of getting clear on your ICA will have an evident impact on SALES, revenue, and hopefully profit (if you’ve priced right!) in your business!
This is, after all, the goal of defining your ICA:
Creating relevant offers, clarifying your messaging, and strategically marketing to your audience.
While you want to help and inspire people through your creative work, at the end of the day you need to be profitable to truly HAVE a creative business. Otherwise, it’s just a glorified (and pricey) hobby!
Understanding the value of your ICA is the first step to unlocking the potential of your creative business. Without truly appreciating its importance, defining your ICA can feel like yet another empty “going through the motions” activity that you do but then ditch.
I’m NOT about wasting time or completing tasks that will just end up collecting figurative dust, so this process needs to be approachable, relevant, and useful if it’s going to be impactful for your creative business!
The next blog in this series will help you actually map out a plan to capture the information you need to define your ICA. We’ll dive into client interviews, market research and more to support you as you hone your offers, clarify your messaging, and connect with your most perfect audience!
In the meantime… be sure to explore this related article, “Meet Your Audience & Clients Where They Are” to start learning how to tailor your entire business process to your ideal client and where they are in their customer journey. This will help you as you work to improve your services and your clients’ results.