Podcast Episode 9: Create an Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA)

Who is your ideal customer? Now that you know a bit more about your audience, it’s time to create an Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA). The ICA is a detailed profile of one representative of your target audience. You’ll use the ICA to guide decisions when it’s time to create your brand and content.


Chrissy (00:08):
Welcome to Website Success. I’m your host, Chrissy Rey, and I have more than 25 years of experience helping my clients make websites that their clients love. Tune in each week as I share tips and tricks that’ll help you make your website the best it can be.

In this episode, we’re gonna go in depth about creating an ideal customer avatar or ICA. First, let’s understand what exactly an ICA is. It’s also known as a buyer persona. So you may have heard that term before, but it’s a detailed profile of your ideal customer. So it’s a really detailed description of the customer that you most want to serve. When you created your target audience, you made it specific. Hopefully, you made it specific, at least you were supposed to. But an ICA is even more specific because it’s about a single person. The ICA is a fictional character that represents your ideal customer that you wanna attract to your website, or really any other marketing materials that you create. An ICA can help you get a clear picture of who your customers are, what they want, what their pain points are, and what they’re looking for, not just in your website, but in all of your other marketing efforts.

You can also get some clarity on what you need in your products and services with your ICA. And this knowledge is going to help you tailor everything about your marketing, your products, your services, everything to meet that ICA’s needs, or if you have more than one ICa, those ICA’s needs. So why is it important to create an ICA when planning your website? I’ve got a few reasons for this. Number one, an ICA can help you to target your marketing efforts. If you know where your ideal customer gets their information, what they like, what they don’t like, what their pain points are and what they need, then you can use the right channels messaging and offers that resonate with them and increase the chances of them becoming your customers. This is important not just for your website, but for your marketing in general.

So, for example, if your ICA uses TikTok and Instagram, it probably won’t make much sense for you to focus your efforts on Twitter or Facebook as for an example that’s a bit more relevant to websites. If your ICA is a 30 year old single mom with limited income and very little extra money to spend, you could focus on low-ticket offers instead of high-ticket offers.

Second, an ICA can help you create relevant and engaging content. Knowing your ICA is going to help you create content that truly resonates with them. You can use their language, address, their pain points, and provide solutions that meet their needs. This is going to help you keep your visitors engaged, and it’s also going to increase the chances of them wanting to work with you. So for example, if your ICA is a 45 year old woman who is trying to conceive a child, you can focus on creating content that will answer her questions about that topic. It wouldn’t really make sense to answer questions about everything else that a 45 year old woman would be interested in if your ideal customer avatar is specifically trying to conceive a child.

The third point is that you can use your ICA to improve your website’s user experience. Understanding your ICA can help you create a website that’s easy for your ideal customers to use. Navigate and find information. For example, if you know your ICA is over 50, you might wanna think about creating larger text on your website to make it easier for them to read. And as someone who is currently pushing 50, I for one, would truly appreciate that because for me, it’s hard to see some websites. So if I’m going to a website and I wanna get the information, I don’t wanna have to zoom in. I don’t wanna have to increase the font size. I wanna just be able to get it and go. So if I happen to be your ICA or someone like me, happens to be your ICA. Something to keep in mind.

Now that you know what an ICA is and why it’s important to have one, let’s talk about how to actually create one. There are four steps for this.

Number one, you’re going to identify your target audience, and hopefully, you’ve already done that, but you need to know who your products or services are for and identify the characteristics of your target audience. So you need to identify that sort of general, but still specific target audience first. So for example women business owners that are making over six figures, if, if that’s your target audience, then that gives you a little bit of information about where to direct the next step, which is going to be to conduct your research.

So ideally this is gonna mean doing things like conducting surveys, doing interviews, creating focus groups to gather information about your target audience. At the very least, you should ask several individuals within your target audience questions that are gonna help you create your ICA. And you can get more information about those questions in just a little bit, but you can go with what you think the answers are gonna be, but you’ll have much better information if you work with the real data from your audience. So you really wanna ask these questions and you can ask these questions if you don’t wanna do it formally. You don’t wanna create a survey. You could go into your social media channels, you can go into Facebook groups, or you can ask on Instagram, and you can get people to respond to your sort of basic questions to help you get the information that you need.

The third thing you wanna do is actually give your avatar a name. And that’s because remember, the ICA is an individual person. So by giving the ICA a name, it’s gonna make it a little easier for you to imagine and understand their needs and their wants.

And fourth, you’re gonna create a detailed description. So you’ll include answers to all of the questions you asked when you did your research. And if you get answers from multiple people, which is ideal, then you’ll need to distill that information you collected into a single representative person. So remember, the ICA is a single person. So if you get lots of different ages, then you might want to sort of average that out or focus on the age group that you think is most important or most ideal for your offer. So back to the questions. What, what exactly do you wanna get from your target audience?

What information do you wanna ask your target audience? So it’s gonna be as much as possible, but at the very least, you should include things like their demographics, their psychographics, their goals, their problems and pain points, any objections that they have, their buying habits, where they get their information, and also any brand affinities. And that’s a lot of information and I just kind of glossed over every little, little bit there. So let’s take a closer look at each of those different types of information that you’ll ask.

So for demographics, do you wanna include things or you wanna ask things like their age, gender, marital status, if they have children or not? What are their ages of their children? Where do they live? What is their occupation, job title? What kind of income do they have? And what kind of education have they had? Have they been to high school? Did they get a college degree? Did they go to graduate school? So all of those are gonna be considered demographic information.

Psychographic information is going to include answers to questions like, what are your personality traits? What are your values? What are your interests? What are your hobbies? What is your lifestyle? And then you can also ask what adjectives would describe them.

Your goals are going to relate to exactly how you can help that target audience. So what are their goals that are related to your offer? What is it that they’re trying to accomplish? What are they trying to do?

You also need to find out what is keeping your target audience from reaching those goals? And those are going to be their problems and pain points. So what problems are they trying to solve? What challenges do they need to overcome when it relates to their goals? And you should also find out what pain points they’re experiencing. So what has been frustrating them is they try to reach those goals.

Another thing to ask about is any objections that your target audience might have about your offer. So you might wanna ask ’em like things like, does it cost too much? Does it require too much of their time? Or just get their answers to that question, why would you not go for the offer? So why wouldn’t you purchase the product or service that you’re offering?

You should also ask about their buying habits. So those are gonna be things like where do they typically make their purchases? What factors influence their purchasing decision? What role do they have in the decision to buy? Do they need to get approval from someone else?

You’ll also want to know where your target audience gets their information. So do they get it by email, phone, text, social media, do they listen to podcasts, watch videos on YouTube or Vimeo or elsewhere? Where do they get that information and where do they spend their time online? Are they looking at specific websites? Are they going to specific social media outlets? Where are they living on the internet? And what websites or apps do they use to do research? Do they use Google? Do they use DuckDuckGo? Do they use Bing? Do they go to Wikipedia? Where are they actually doing their research? Where are they getting the information about the things that they’re trying to decide on? So when they’re making purchasing decisions, where are they doing that research? You should also ask about things like what books, magazines, newspapers, and other printed media they read. And you should try to get information about which thought leaders they listen to. Who do they follow on social media? Who do they watch on tv and who do they watch on the news?

And then finally, you can ask about any brand affinities they have. So what brands do they already have a connection to? And these don’t have to be competitors. They can be other brands that they like, you know, just in general. And then you need to find out what exactly it is they like about those brands. So do they like their colors? Do they like the fonts that they use? Do they love the photos, the icons or the, the way that the brand talks, the the brand’s voice? So you wanna get all of that kind of information about the target audience.

Now, after you conduct all of your research and collect all of your information, you then need to distill it into a detailed description about a single person. So take all that information that you collected, sort of boil it down and make one person out of it. Remember to give that person a name and then document everything that you can about them. The more information that you have about them, the better, the easier it’s going to be to make decisions about your brand, your content, and other aspects of your website.

If you’re using my website planner, you can fill out the forms and that. Otherwise, make sure you write the information down in a Google Doc or a notebook or something like that. And it is okay to have more than one ICA if you do have more than one ica. So if you’ve got a couple of different individuals within your target audience, that would be your ideal customers. Just make sure you document each of them. I do recommend for your first website. So if this is your first website, your first redesign use a max of two icas. Try to keep it kind of simple. If you only wanna use one, that’s totally fine.

I hope you found this useful. Thanks for joining me, and I’ll see you in the next episode.