Ok so you’ve probably heard me talk a lot about what an ICA is.
ICA stands for Ideal Client Avatar.
Or Ideal CUSTOMER Avatar. Whatever terminology you prefer to use.
What this really means is developing a profile of the perfect person you want to work with in your biz.
Down to her name, age, where she lives, where she hangs out and shops… and what drives her.
BTW, if you want a deeper dive on this, go ahead and check out my podcast episode from February 9th of this year.
There are a couple exercises I gave you in there to help you create your own ICA in that episode.
AND now, I’ve got a great guide to help ya too.
Or by commenting the word BIZ – B-I-Z on any of my social posts.
When I see you jump in there and comment, I’ll shoot you the link.
The BYOB guide – the Build Your Own Biz guide LOL – includes tools and techniques to help you develop the basics of your biz.
First off, WHY you want a biz… what your INTENTIONS for it – and for your life – are.
You gotta know WHY you want to put in the effort of creating your own biz… and what your vision for it is.
Knowing your intention (not only for your biz, but for everything) is absolutely critical – because it drives every single decision, action, and step along the way.
So I put an exercise in there for you… to help you create that profile of your ideal customer or client.
This is where you get to visualize who you want to help… who you want to serve… in your biz.
And you get to go deeper than “I want to help busy moms take care of themselves.”
Staying at that surface level isn’t gonna get you very far… which is what we’re gonna talk about today.
So with this guide AND this episode, you’ll be able to create BOTH your intention AND the exact profile of your dream client… AND you’ll be armed with knowing WHY this is important in your biz.
So let’s dive in.
The first reason you need an ICA in your biz is… you increase your odds of success.
There’s a saying that goes, when you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.
No one sees themselves as an everyone.
You’re way more likely to be successful when you niche down and solve the problems of a specific group of people.
We’re all looking for something.
Maybe it’s to solve a problem. Maybe it’s a desire we have. Or maybe there’s an unmet need we don’t even realize.
For example, I got into network marketing because of an unmet need.
I had left my high-paying role as a corporate attorney and was teaching Pilates and yoga.
And for a time, I really enjoyed it.
I liked being in the fitness industry, getting paid to live a healthy lifestyle, wear leggings all day, and help others do the same… but the downgrade in my lifestyle was definitely noticed.
One day, a complete stranger on FB introduced me to essential oils.
Yeah, that’s usually how it happens… LOL.
And I said, “why not try them?”
Well, long story short, they not only helped me feel better in my body, mind, and emotions… but the company and opportunity literally opened up an entirely new business model I had no idea existed.
The unmet need I had was to unlock my earning potential… to get back to—OR SURPASS—the income I had been making as an attorney… WHILE continuing my calling in the health and wellness space.
And seeing the opportunity to marry my passion for wellness with my desire to get back the financial freedom and lifestyle I had was a total no-brainer for me.
Now I’m not saying that on Day 1 of me enrolling I was back to the lifestyle I wanted… it definitely took work and grit and putting in the effort – even when it was hard… and YES, it sure HAD been hard every now and more often than not… LOL.
But over time, I CREATED success. Before I had intention… Because I had passion… and I WANTED it.
Now let’s say this same stranger who introduced me to essential oils was in a completely different business.
One that didn’t resonate with me at all.
Let’s say she sold… I dunno, keto diet plans. LOL
And if she came up to me and said, hey Hayley, if you sell these keto plans with me, you’ll be able to triple your income, be home with your daughter, and be able to travel while still bringing in money…
I’d be a hard pass.
And she’d have failed connecting or collabing with me.
Because she didn’t bother to do the work of who the ideal person to sell her keto diet plans would be.
She knows she has a great opportunity – and in her eyes a great product – why wouldn’t EVERYBODY want to get in on this?
It’s because we don’t see ourselves as everyone.
And if you approach your biz from that “I’m for everyone” mindset, you’re not going to be able to do it.
And in the meantime, you’re gonna waste a lot of time and energy… probably money too – going after people who aren’t meant for you and your biz.
So when you have your ICA in mind, things get simple.
You can still totally grow and scale your biz – you can totally achieve your goals and hit the financial prosperity you desire…
Because you’ll be able to appeal to enough of YOUR peeps that they want to be in relationship with you.
So along those same lines…
The next reason you need a super clear ICA is… you need to know who you’re talking to.
So you can craft messaging, content, and products that have her saying “Take all my money!” LOL
Have you ever tried to have a deep conversation with someone you don’t really know – like right off the bat?
It’s hard AF.
It’s what I imagine speed dating is like.
“Hi, hello, what’s your name, what do you do?” BING – time’s up, on to the next.
Hard to build an authentic, heart-based relationship that way, right?
When you don’t have an ICA – and you're taking that “I’m for everybody” approach, that’s what happens in your biz.
You aren’t able to connect authentically – because you don’t know HOW.
So you’re forced to stay at the surface.
I mean, you don’t know anything about your person so it’s pretty damn hard to go deep.
And deep is where connection and relationship lie.
And as you know… relationship is the key to a thriving biz.
I’d say that the opposite of speed dating would be like… hiring a matchmaker.
I actually have a friend who is a matchmaker and what she’s told me is that the first thing she does with any client is to understand what he’s looking for.
And WHY. What his end goal is.
BTW I’m saying “he” and “his” because most of the time, her clients are men seeking women.
Ok so anyway… she finds out exactly who her client sees himself with.
- His ideal match’s personality type.
- Where she lives.
- Her lifestyle and interests.
- Whether she wants or has a family.
- Her passions… values, belief systems.
- What matters to her in life and drives her decisions.
- Whether she has to have a chocolate lab – J/K (although that fact is super important to me, obv).
All this info is gathered so she can go out and find matches for him.
This is essentially what you’re doing when you create an ICA in your biz.
Just like generally you don’t wanna just date or have a relationship with ANY old someone…
You shouldn’t want to build your business to suit everyone either.
Now imagine the opposite.
You have a picture in your mind of who you wanna work with.
Maybe she’s someone you’ve worked with in the past and LOVED.
Because you vibed. Got along. You knew how to connect with her at a heart level. You FELT good when you worked together.
AND you both got something you loved and wanted out of the relationship.
So when you think of her and how much you loved it, you’d probably think – OMG if I could find 20 more of her, I’d be in heaven!
That’s what you get to do when you develop your ICA.
You create this picture of that person in your mind… and you use this profile to craft your messaging.
AKA: your content.
BTW, if you get a reaction to the word “content” all it really means is how you talk with someone.
You speak, right? LOL
Don’t let the fancy buzzword fool ya.
It’s just talking – and developing your ICA lets you talk with one specific person super well.
So they find you… tell their friends who are the same caliber about you… and you build your biz.
Like attracts like, my friends.
So don’t aim for the middle. Don’t aim for vanilla.
Be crystal clear on who you wanna work with, spend your time with, and use this info to tailor your words to connect with her.
In other words, put your matchmaker hat on.
Now related to this is knowing who your ICA is so you know WHERE to reach her.
I’m talking about IRL and online.
Is your dream customer or client someone who you’d find shopping inside Gucci or Walmart? Or some boutique downtown?
Is she still on Facebook or has she abandoned ship for Instagram or TikTok?
Knowing this information helps you know where to focus your efforts to get in front of her.
Remember how I said that developing and understanding your ICA makes your life simpler?
If you are still trying to appeal to everyone, well then it makes sense that you’d tell yourself that you need to be on ALLLL the platforms.
Do alllll the things.
And how much time and effort would THAT take?
Is that really gonna work for you in the long run?
Is that really how you wanna spend your time?
When you develop your own ICA, you get to become laser focused on the few areas where she DOES hang out.
So you can consistently get in front of her. Connect with her. Build a relationship with her.
She sees that where she hangs out, you hang out.
Again, likes attracts like.
So when you do this – instead of spreading yourself way too thin trying to be everywhere…
She sees you where SHE is – and in the back of her mind, she’s like “YES, this is my person. I like her. I trust her. I wanna do more with her.”
And on your side, you get to double down on those key areas where she – and other people like her – hang out.
And ONLY those places.
Because the truth is – you don’t have to be everywhere.
Now the final reason you should develop your ICA is to know the method of how to connect with her.
I’m not talking about what words to use this time… I’m talking about actual mechanics. Technology. Methodologies.
Here’s an example.
I actually know a very successful woman who has built her business without much social media.
She primarily has a personal account and will use it to post things about her biz now and then.
But pretty much all of her business is through word of mouth and referrals.
She’s a mindset coach in Santa Barbara, who used to do only 1:1 coaching but has decided to open it up to group coaching due to how many clients she was being referred on the regular.
But she’s not really into social media – and she’s discovered her community isn’t on Facebook either.
So spending her time building her Facebook presence isn’t really the most strategic move for her.
What she did was create a private Whatsapp group -*- and she’s using it as a replacement for a Facebook group.
Which yes, I know is owned by Meta which owns Facebook, but for her community, they prefer the focus and intimacy of the Whatsapp platform.
Can’t say Zuck doesn’t know what he’s doing over there, LOL.
Point is… she has tailored her METHODOLOGY to suit her community.
And it’s doing super well for her.
Yet if she were just trying to appeal to everyone, if she didn’t bother to get to know and understand the kind of people she wanted to work with…
Well then Facebook would probably be her primary starting point.
And she would literally be spinning her wheels… wasting time on a platform she didn’t enjoy. And her clients aren’t on anyway.
Now I wanna say this before we wrap up for today.
Developing your ICA is both an art and a science.
It’s not like there’s an ICA encyclopedia where you look up exactly who yours is and where she hangs out and how to connect with her.
You get to determine this. Create it for yourself and your own biz.
And then test your theories.
Put on your super adorbs scientist hat and see if your theories prove out.
And if they don’t – or you aren’t seeing the results you desire – you get to try something new.
Business is all an experiment, my friends.
So approach it with a learner’s mindset.
I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered a new methodology that’s working for someone else…
Tried it out in my biz… and it tanks.
Yennow what? That’s ok.
Not everyone has the same exact business.
Not every method is going to work for you.
And while there ARE some tried-and-true principles that consistently work… like:
- Building relationships.
- Creating value.
- Consistency, grit, and determination…
It’s so incredibly important that you design your own plan.
Get clear on who YOU are in your biz… WHY you want to have a business… what your INTENTION is…
AND who you want to work with.
The guide I’m offering you FREE today helps you do that.
Again, it’s called the Build Your Own Biz Online guide…BYOB guide
Or by dropping a comment on any of my social platforms with the word BIZ.
Quick reminder of what’s in the guide…
I designed it to start you off with coming up with your own intention.
What does your dream biz look like?
Why do you want it?
How will your life change when you have it?
You’ll create your vision and then a strong intention for your biz.
So you can check every move you make against this. Going “Will this decision take me toward my vision? Or is it a distraction?”
You’ll also outline your own beliefs and values.
Which you may not even really be familiar with. Or how this is going to play into your biz.
But I promise it will.
Like the example I gave you about my made-up scenario about if I had been offered to sell keto diet plans – even if it was going to make all my dreams come true.
It goes against my personal preferences and beliefs around food. So it’s a hard pass.
If you don’t know these things about yourself – or what your business is going to stand for – you’re way more likely to be led astray.
Or worse, not do anything at all because you get frozen with every opportunity and decision in front of you.
And best of all, you’re going to be given an exercise to create your own ICA – now that you understand WHY you need one.
It’s super fun actually – daydreaming about who you want to work with. Creating a story about her.
Once you have this, you’ll be able to complete the rest of the guide super easily. Walking away with a literal blueprint for your biz.
From how to get in front of her… to what kind of product, service, or offer you’re going to put in front of her…
It’s basically like a Business Dream Journal.
One you get to take and put into action.
No more stress about what you’re gonna do.
No more anxiety over what to say.
You’ll have all that in front of you.
And remember… you’ll also be able to check to see if what you’ve dreamed up in your guide is actually translating to real world results.
If it’s not, make tweaks.
It’s perfectly ok and you should EXPECT this to happen.
I don’t even want to tell you how many times I’ve adapted my ICA as my business has evolved over the last 10 years.
And to be real with you, I often feel like I waited too long to do it.
Like, I see the signs and go, “Wait, this isn’t working anymore… what’s shifted?”
So I put on my scientist hat, pay attention, and then make the call.
Because I’m such a Type A person, I’ll often be like “Ugh, I should have done this sooner!”
But that doesn’t serve me.
I’m telling you this because it’s the truth – and I want you to know it’s normal. Happens to all of us.
Side note takeaway – what worked for you yesterday may not work tomorrow. Get used to it. That’s life as an entrepreneur so get used to it. LOL.
The only thing you can do is move forward from here. Take imperfect action. But TAKE that action.
And let that first action be to download the Build Your Own Biz Online guide – which is free to you for a limited time.
Or comment BIZ on my socials.
I’d really love to hear who your ICA is too, so be sure to leave me a comment and share!
Until then… I’ll see ya online, my friends.