Running your own business comes with the stark reality that there will be ebbs and flows along the journey. After a period of feeling despondent and struggling to find any drive to move Apartment Number 4 forward, motivation is firmly back and I wanted to share today exactly why that is – in the hope that it helps other business owners and bloggers out there that might be wrestling with the same feelings.
It’s simple. I designed my ‘ideal reader’.
It was such a small, and seemingly obvious now, change to make but this my mindset switched completely – and after asking on Twitter if you’d like me to write about this process, it seems many of you were interested in exactly how I did it and why it helped.
What is an ICA (Ideal Client Avatar)?
If we’re going to speak in marketing terms, what I’m talking about here is an ICA – designing your ideal client avatar. But you don’t have to be selling products or services to benefit from designing your dream client. If you’re writing a blog, your reader is your client. You’re creating content for someone to be inspired, educated, or informed by. An ICA, therefore, is a character you build and refer back to when you’re brain storming content ideas or making a decision in your business.
How can this help your business?
But how can this help your blog you might ask? By describing your ideal reader, it gives you an incredible amount of clarity when deciding what your next move is. You can really focus your actions and prioritise content ideas to suit your avatar.
Sometimes as creators, we can float along with no real direction, and it can be hard to think of ideas that one, haven’t been covered before, and two, have our own distinct flavour. By designing your ideal reader to refer back to, it becomes much easier to think of content ideas as you’re only thinking about one segment of your audience.
By having one focus, instead of worrying about a mass audience, it also becomes easier to hone your style of writing – refer back to your avatar each time you write, and you’ll be able to put words on paper much quicker than before.
So how do you start designing your ideal client avatar?
First of all, you don’t need to head out and do a shed load of market research. Your ideal reader is closer to home than you think – he or she probably has some many of your own characteristics. When we blog, we’ll often think about what we’d like to read, or topics we’d have found helpful at some point along the way. I like to think of my ICA as the woman I’m growing to be. She’s a complete babe if I’m honest.
Now we get to the fun bit; designing your dream reader. Not only did I answer the following questions below and print them out for my office wall, but I also went one step further and created a Pinterest board full of images of Kate – my ideal blog reader.
I pinned images with everything from the clothes she wears, to how she styles her house, the nail colour she loves, to the places she’d travel to on holiday. It’s probably one of the best ways I’ve spent a Sunday afternoon.
I’m talking more about Kate below, but first, here are some questions that will get you started designing your avatar.
- What is her or his name?
- What do they do for a job? Are they a student? Do they run their own business?
- What are their hobbies?
- What do they struggle with in life?
- Describe their personal style – how do they dress?
- Where do they shop?
- Do they rent or own? Do they live alone or with someone else?
- Favourite place to dine out?
- Night-in or night-out kinda person?
- Are they religious or spiritual in some way?
- Describe their personality and get to know them properly
Who is the Apartment Number 4 reader?
Let me introduce you Kate.
She’s 32, currently rents but is saving to buy. She’s got a wicked sense of humour and she loves manifestation and discovering more about her spiritual side.
She owns her own business and is still in the throws of learning. She loves self-development and is continually educating herself. Her inbox is full of half-finished e-courses.
She has a tight knit group of friends, most of whom she’s known for years. She shops at Anthropologie, &Other Stories, Free People – she’s never out of a dress and leather jacket. She’d describe her style as luxe-hippy. As she’s gotten a little older, she invests more in niche fashion labels, delicate jewellery and independent homeware brands.
Travel wise, California has her heart. When she exercises, she does it for her brain rather than her body, which is why you’ll often find her at yoga. She understands about the importance of sustainability and is trying to make small changes every day in a bid to help. She much prefers a night in than a night out and is a completely foodie. Pass the pizza.
Knowing all this information, I’ve been able to jot down 50+ blog post ideas this last week alone. And they keep coming! Every time I write a piece of content, I ask myself “would Kate like to read this?” and it’s been like a magic pill for motivation.
Is designing your ideal client avatar something you’d consider doing for your blog? I’d absolutely love to know if you take the time to do this and tell me all about her/him in the comments below.