TOC #28: Do I Really Need an ICA?
(July 20, 2021) Yes, you really do need to develop your ideal client avatar.
I'm making some changes around here, friend! You'll see some stylistic changes happening to the TOC in the coming months, but the change I'm referring to today is theme.
If you know me or my brand at all, you know that I love a concept moment. I'm a sucker for a theme.
Take Between The Lines, for example. Everything that could possible be a reference to my concept brand's theme (books, duh) is… even the name of this newsletter.
That being said, I don't know how it took me 28 (!!!) Tuesday Table of Contents emails to figure out that—duh—I should give each week's newsletter a THEME!
I've really been out here willy-nilly-ing this newsletter, throwing in whatever blog posts and tips and fave saves I feel like, with no method to the madness.
And today, when I felt motivated to write the digital marketing tip of the week about finding your ideal client, I randomly had the thought “why don't I make all my fave saves about ideal clients?” and then I thought… Wait. Why the F am I not giving these emails a freaking theme?!
Sooo here we are: turning a new page (see what I did there?) and from this day forward, every TOC will have a theme that all elements of the newsletter will be centered around.
& because I'm a very go-big-or-go-home kinda gal, the rest of my content will follow that theme, too. It's like I'm developing a content strategy or something… *wink*
How fun! Let's start with creating your Ideal Client Avatar, shall we?
The Truth About Whether Developing An ICA Matters
I'm willing to bet you've heard about the concept of creating an “ICA” before—but juuust in case you need a little review… your ICA is your Ideal Client Avatar: the fictional persona you create to represent the type of customer or client you'd most like to work with.
In the beginning of my freelance journey, I was definitely not #TeamICA. In fact, I straight up repelled it. I was put off by the fact that everyone seemed to be talking about them, and from what I'd seen online, it seemed like those people only cared about creating the ICA, not marketing to them.
And if I'm being honest, simply developing an ICA isn't enough. I don't recommend spending hours and hours agonizing over the nitty gritty details of what your ICA eats for breakfast and wears to the gym, because those minute details aren't going to matter for your marketing purposes (unless, of course, you own a breakfast shop or an athleisure line.)
So, is spending the time to develop your ICA worth it? I mean, do you really even need one?
Yes, but… only if you're being intentional about that development.
My #1 copywriting tip is to speak directly to one person (it makes for the most connection-worthy, conversion-increasing copy), and you can't do that if you don't know who that ‘one person’ is, what they want, or why they need the solution your business provides.
So, yeah, you need one, but maybe you don't need a whole ass character map.
Here's what to consider when creating your ICA:
Where are they in life right now?
What do they struggle with the most?
How can you help them solve those issues?
What type of media do they prefer to consume?
How do they like to learn?
Where are they in their buyer journey?
What do they care about?
What type of language resonates with them?
Are they patient?
Do they make calculated decisions, or spontaneous ones?
While it can be fun to design an entire life for this fictional character, spending the time thinking about how they're going to interact with your brand is significantly more beneficial.
(And side note, because, well, I had to—if you need assistance developing your ICA and crafting your brand's messaging to best market to them, hit “reply” to this email to inquire about how I can help you!)
Hi, I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. Thanks for reading this edition of the Tuesday Table of Contents! If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
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