Mapping Out Your Ideal Client from Head to Toe

By now, many of us have been exposed to the Ideal Client Avatar (ICA) model. Quite a few of us have also invested the time and brain power to complete an ICA worksheet. It may have felt exciting to get that level of clarity. Then, you realize you have no idea how to use your new ICA effectively to supercharge your marketing and grow your business.

You know that your ideal client can help with marketing, but no one ever told you how to use it. The solution is to understand how to use details from your ideal client avatar.

There are four parts to an ideal client avatar: demographics, psychographics, empathy mapping, and buyer’s journey. Let’s take a look.

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Demographics: the body of your ICA

Demographics are the block and tackle details of your ideal client avatar. These include your client's age, household income, gender, where they live, their relationship status, and any major birthdays or anniversaries.

How to use demographics: Demographics are a key starting point for any ad campaign. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, allow you to access robust targeting options, including location, age groups, gender, and relationship status. You can also target around birthdays and anniversaries.

For example, if you know your ideal client avatar is 38 and living in your city and they have a birthday celebration coming up in the next 60 days, you can target that particular audience segment with birthday ads and lead them back to your website, where you can start re-targeting them based on their behavior on your website.

Psychographics: the limbs of your ICA

The second part of the ideal client avatar is the psychographics. Psychographic details represent how your ideal clients behave in the world. Essentially, these is the routine actions they take in their everyday lives, much like our arms and legs take the action that propels us forward in the world each day.
The information that goes into psychographics are their interests and lifestyle preferences and include things like magazines, hobbies, and lifestyle choices, such as how they dress or decorate their homes.

How to use psychographics: Psychographics can also be used in online ad targeting. Again, Facebook and Instagram allow you to target interests, so you can run your ads to audiences who love the same magazine or music your ICA does. Similarly, if you know their personal style, you can target against the brands they like the most.

If you know that your ICA’s guilty pleasure is travel, you can start creating travel-inspired menus. This way, you are diving deeper into your ICA’s preferences while remaining relevant to your business. As you continue to treat your ICA as a whole person rather than just a walking wallet, you will begin to build trust and goodwill that paves the way to a sale.

Empathy mapping: the heart of your ICA

The next part of creating an exceptionally useful ICA is empathizing with her or his situation. This is akin to understanding the deepest desires of your ICA’s heart.

Take some time to understand their biggest hopes, dreams, challenges, and fears for their event. This is not what you think they should be, but what your ICA really feels about the event.

If their priorities are not food but guest experience and getting everyone on the dance floor, you can hook into those desires by offering ideas for signature shots and one-bite snacks that “will keep everyone on the dance floor.”

How to use empathy mapping: Empathy mapping is particularly useful for storytelling on your website and blog. Use empathy mapping on your website to send a message that you understand your ICA and can help them with the event of their dreams. Doing so well will naturally lead to the next section, the head, which is the actual vendor selection.
For example, if you know that they want to create an exceptional guest experience around a travel theme or an adventure theme, you can start blogging about those categories and themes. You can also reflect their biggest hopes and dreams on your homepage.

The head: your ICAs buyer’s journey

When people hire a vendor, they must believe that vendor can deliver on their hopes and solve any challenges. To manage your message around these points, go through the empathy mapping exercise again, but this time, focus on what your ICA is thinking when they are considering hiring a vendor in your industry.

• What are they looking for in the perfect vendor?

• What are some deal breakers when it comes to working with vendors?

• What is a dream solution to their challenges? What does a perfect day look and feel like for them?

How to use the buyer’s journey: Create website content that describes the dreams you make happen, the challenges you solve regularly, and what it's like to work with you. Detail your process and use language that describes your client experience.
You can also use this information in email marketing or consulting calls. Layer it on top of the emotional mapping, so you’re showing your clients that you understand. You can also use the head, the vendor selection, for some behind-the-scenes and social media fodder, showing what it's like to work with you, again focusing on how you make your clients feel.

If you take the time to map out your ideal client from head to toe and understand what it's like to be in their shoes, you’ll have content for everything from social media advertising and website content to other marketing campaigns like email marketing and even consulting and sales calls.

Christie Osborne will be speaking at Catersource 2019. Click here to view the education schedule.

Christie Osborne

Owner | Mountainside Media

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.