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You and Your ICA – The Dream Team

So, you are an eager business owner who’s ready to revamp your marketing. It’s time to tell the world about your fantastic product and service and, wow, look at all the platforms you can use to reach potential clients. What an opportunity to reach the masses

EEERRRRPP! Record scratch! Forget the masses, where’s your ICA?

By now, you’ve probably heard of creating an Ideal Client Avatar to help supercharge your marketing. Maybe you’ve done the worksheets and research and have an ICA in mind, yet all that work sits ignored in some file while you plan to take the world by storm on the Internet.

Here’s the problem with that situation: you don’t actually want to reach the whole world – most of them aren’t your ideal clients. You want to reach the clients who love you and your work and will pay you what you’re worth. To do that, grab that ICA work you lovingly crafted all that time ago and get ready to market like a pro.

Here’s a pro secret: your ICA should, ideally, be a lot like you – not a mirror image, but someone you’d want to meet and interact with, and someone who appreciates you and what you are offering. You share an aesthetic, goals, likes and dislikes. If you met at a party, you’d trade contact info or follow each other online to keep in touch.

When you dig really deep to answer all those obscure ICA questions, like how they dress, what kind of music they like, and where they hang out, you become confident that they have great taste because it’s your taste, too. This person appreciates you and what you have to offer, and you will appreciate them. This little trick will give you endless things to talk about online.

Here’s how to take a step back and focus on the core elements that will help you reevaluate.

Demographics

Get a deep understanding of your ideal client’s age, household income, gender, location, relationship status, birthdays or anniversaries. Knowing that your ICA is 28, lives locally and reads Vogue Magazine might seem very specific, but it means you can target engaged fans of Vogue Magazine at that age with social ads and lead them back to your website. The beauty of this is that, while everyone is targeting against Style Me Pretty, you are one of the only ones in this space targeting fashion magazines, so there may be a lot more ad inventory available. You also don’t want to waste time on ads that will be seen primarily by retirees or teens.

Psychographics 

This looks at how your ideal clients behave in the world, their interests and their lifestyle preferences. This includes guilty pleasures and the values and anti-values that dictate how a person behaves toward other people. It gives you a sense of their relationships.

Importantly, values and anti-values are where you and your ICA are most likely to align. You want to work with people you can relate to and actually like. It’s that authentic connection that helps you draw the right prospects.

You love to travel and you believe in animal welfare; so does your ICA! You’ll speak the same language without straining to make it natural. Having that authentic voice helps you stand out from your competitors. No one else sounds just like you and your ICA.

Empathy Mapping 

Your ICA becomes exceptionally useful when you can empathize with her or his situation. This is literally akin to understanding the deepest desires of your ICA’s heart.

Take some time to really understand their biggest hopes, dreams, challenges, and fears for their wedding.

How can you know all that? Look inside your own heart and imagine how you’d feel in his or her shoes. Your ICA should share a lot of your own hopes, dreams, and fears. It shouldn’t be a huge stretch to relate to your potential customers.

For example, if your ICA wants to create an exceptional guest experience around a travel theme, you can start blogging about travel-inspired locations that are exciting to you and know that your perfect clients will be intrigued.

You can also put some of your ICA’s biggest hopes and dreams on your homepage. They want their event transformed in a certain way, so your big above-the-fold image and tagline should confidently say what you would do to make that a reality.

In short, you only have so much time and money to market. While it’s oh-so-tempting to assume that spraying social media and other venues with your images and copy will earn purchases and bookings, that scatter-shot approach wastes valuable time and money. Fortunately, you already have the key to original, personal, relatable marketing already: your Ideal Client Avatar. Your ICA is more than just an imaginary client — it’s who you want on your side while you grow your business and fulfill your and your customers’ dreams.

 

Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that brings in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator with recent speaking engagements at NACE Experience, WIPA and the ABC Conference.

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Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that bring in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator who recently presented at NACE Experience in both 2017 and 2018.

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