How Do I Find My Ideal Client: 3 Rad Tips
Updated: Jun 2
This has been the hardest part of my business-building journey. Truly. Every single course I’ve bought has told me that I need to have a clear definition of my ideal client. Otherwise, my business is lost. Pointless. An amoeba of uselessness floating protoplasm-first into failure. Great. Got it. So, HOW do I find my ideal client?
All the experts will tell you to get onto Facebook. They'll tell you to ask your market research questions in the groups you're part of, so that you can get a clear idea of people and their pain points, desires, needs, wants, lifestyle choices, fave TV shows, books, hangout spots, the works.
Fab. That's what I did.
Nothing. Nada. Not a sausage.
BECAUSE EVERYONE IS TIRED OF IT.
BECAUSE THERE ARE 18.5K PEOPLE IN THOSE GROUPS ALSO DOING MARKET RESEARCH.
BECAUSE FACEBOOK IS NOISY AF, YO.
Why is it so important?
Okay, let's back up.
Defining your ICA is important. It is.
I used to try and trick myself into thinking it wasn’t actually that important...
That other things were more important...like my website, my logo, my brand colours, my pricing, my authentic brand voice (which is hella important, by the way, this blog even says so)...
And then a voice in my head would scream, "How can you give all those other things your attention, when you don’t know who you’re selling to? GET IT TOGETHER ASHLEIGH WOW."
As difficult as this might be, that person you’re selling to is the core of your business. They’re the sun around which your earth is going to revolve.
They're the chips to your burger.
The gin to your tonic.
The strawberries to your cream.
The aisle seat to that flight you take when you have food poisoning and you spend 5 hours running up and down to the toilet on your way from Johannesburg to New York. (True story)
You gotta know that person! And you gotta know them well.
What they eat.
Where they sleep.
What they're afraid of.
Where they find joy.
What they're reading.
What they do for fun.
But not in a creepy stalker kind of way...
More like in a BFF kind of way...high fiving that ICA through your laptop screen every damn chance you get...
But aside from that:
Every single course you buy will begin with the process of defining your ICA. Every. Single. One.
Every single email you write is being written to your ICA.
Every single offer you create has to speak to your ICA. You have to overcome their objections. You need to know why they need what you have. You gotta KNOW them, lady.
Resist the Urge to Resist
I was resisting this ICA business a LOT. Like...a LOT lot.
Like, you know when you're in a fight with someone and they say something you don't want to hear, so you stick your fingers in your ears and you squeeze your eyes tightly shut, and you start yelling, "llalalallalallala I'm not listening!"
That's what I'd do every time someone mentioned the dreaded term 'Ideal Client Avatar.'
I'd begin to heave.
I'd break out in a rash.
My palms would get sweaty.
And then I thought, if I'm feeling this way, I wonder if anyone else is? So, I went where people always go when they're looking for hard facts and solid data points.
I’m a member of a lot of Facebook groups (too many actually, I have a problem) so I decided to post about it in some of these groups. Here’s what I said:
"Holy HELLBAGS people! Has/did anyone else struggle to create their ICA? It feels like a full-on research project. How do I find my ideal client? It’s really hard to get people to engage, too. Is it just me or is Facebook hella noisy?"
The answer? A resounding YES.
This is what people said:
"Amen! My clients are in the throes of this and struggling to get people to respond."
"My ICA is teachers and they’re all so busy. I’ve reached out to several people and I just get crickets."
"Yes, definitely a challenge!"
"Yes, yes, and yes."
"It’s not just you."
"I am perpetually stuck on pillar one of this course because I have such a hard time with this. I keep trying to avoid it but I know it’s the only way for me to get the kind of growth I want."
"Age and other demographics were easy. The leisure, podcasts, brand, and hashtags were hard. I never imagined that I’d be doing market research but here we are."
"Yup, exactly my story. Sooooo frustrating."
"Facebook is so NOISY."
Right. Good. It wasn’t just me.
But then there were also nuggets of wisdom and gold from other women who had been through this journey and who wanted to share what they’d learned.
And now, I will share it with you. Because if you’re anything like me, spending one more minute researching your ICA might be the cat puke moment of your business (you'll love it forever, but you also know it holds all the power and you are but a mere mortal being controlled by its every whim).
ADVICE FROM STELLAR CHICKS
"It is a research project. Spend significant time in FB groups, listening to what’s going on.
Go to the webinars of your competitors. Look at what comes up in chats."
"Create a questionnaire."
"In the end, I just listened. I started by listing all the people I hated working with and why, and decided that my ICA had none of those qualities. A helpful place to start. Not to take it personally but to notice that we’re on different wavelengths, had different expectations or ideas about bizz. Decide who you don’t want to work with, then flip it. Makes it possible to dare to dream."
"You can use YOU as your ICA. What are you trying to create for yourself and what would you like to see in it? Then literally target you."
"I’m convinced I half-used myself when I developed my ICA."
"It is noisy right now. Call people and talk to them. It gets you into a better headspace too."
Pretty damn rad, right?
So, let's make this easy. Here three rad tips distilled from all the advice and feedback I got.
Don't ask any more questions. Just listen. Observe. Take a look at what people are saying. Take screenshots and keep a record of what's coming up. You'll find that similar themes are being explored and certain types of people are asking the same kinds of questions over and over again. This is valuable information.
Lady, it is HELLA possible that you are your ICA. Think about your own struggles. Your own fears. Your own obstacles. If your ICA is in your age range and has other similarities to you, it's highly possible that you're speaking to a Kween just like yourself.
#3. Know who your ICA is not
It's so important that you're clear about who you do NOT want to work with. It's possible that you started your own business because there are certain types of people you never EVER want to work with again. Power to you, lady.
Make a list of all those traits; of all the personalities you don't want in your life - and create your ICA from there.
So now what?
Take this info and run with it! Do one thing. And then the next thing. Don’t try and do them all at the same time because your brain will leak out of your eyeballs and your laptop will shut down from all the open tabs.
Also, take a look at this. While you're defining your ideal client, start working on your brand voice. The two go hand-in-hand. Need help with that? I gotcha.