Shawna explains what an I.C.A. is and how it applies to website design.
What is an I.C.A.?
- What is their background?
- Income level?
- Education level?
- Are they a parent or a grandparent?
- Are they adopted?
- Are they a minority?
- Do they prefer handmade rustic gifts or minimalistic luxury?
- Country girl or city boy?
How your I.C.A. relates to website design.
So now that you know WHAT an ideal client avatar is, let’s look a little deeper into how it helps us create a website that actually works for you.
Knowing who your target market is (another, more broad way of saying I.C.A.), helps us determine the best long tail keywords to use for your SEO. Remember that all of our builds have basic SEO principles in our design process. Whether you pay for additional content to help boost that search engine optimization or not. We’re going to look at Dodson Designs again for this example. One of the niche markets he markets to is the steampunk community. Knowing this, when we are adding the file information like the keywords and other meta data to the image file, we will use terms like “custom steampunk leather bag” as a keyword or phrase. We may also use words like “apocalyptic”, “bespoke”, “hand-crafted”, “artisanal”, etc. Diane’s audience on the other hand would likely search for words like “hand-made / handmade”, “gift for house warming”, “rustic gift”, etc.
They both sell hand made products but need to market to two completely different audiences. Knowing who your audience is helps us do this kind of behind the scenes work so we can live up to our promise of designing an accessible website that works for you.
An example of an I.C.A.
So what would an I.C.A. look like? You can write it out in story format or you can use quick bullets to get the basics down. Shawna just tends to highlight the important things, so here’s our bullet list of what OUR ideal client might look like:
- Small to medium sized business with less than 50 employees.
- The business is financially secure and looking to improve their profit by utilizing a website to collect email addresses and/or promote their products and services.
- Has advanced education (not necessarily degree, but continued personal development and sees the benefit of continued growth).
- Has a growth mindset.
- Understands the importance of hiring out tasks that they are not proficient in so they can focus on I.P.A.’s (income producing activities).
- Understands the importance of maintaining an online presence with a secure and up to date website.
- Appreciates that digital accessibility is our standard.
- Is between the ages of 30 and 60.
- Is somewhat tech savvy and knows how to use programs like Google Drive, email, and can navigate the internet.
Now, are ALL of our clients our I.C.A.? NOPE! But that’s why this is called an “ideal client avatar”; it is the type of customer we dream of because it makes the process of designing a site easier. We have clients who are not techy savvy but are amazing to work with because of their personality. We have clients who are older than 60 but are techy savvy. We have craftsmen bringing awareness to their trade, tradesmen bringing awareness to their craft, bookkeepers, information technology service providers, and a few ecommerce stores thrown in for good measure.
Knowing who you DON’T want to work with is just as important.
On the flip side of knowing who your I.C.A. is, by doing this little exercise you also find out who it is NOT. And that’s equally as important. Diane’s ideal customer, for example, is NOT someone looking for black and white plastic products with clean minimalistic lines. Don’s ideal customer is NOT someone who wants cheap faux leather seat cushions that the customer’s cat is going to scratch all to hell. And our ideal customer is not someone who needs a massive e-commerce store that is hundreds or thousands of products deep. Knowing who your customer is, and is not, will not only help US with creating your site but it will help you as you focus on growing your business.
Also – it’s important to mention that it’s okay to say no and to refer people to someone else who is a better fit for what the customer/client wants and needs.
I hope you found this helpful! Let us know who your I.C.A. is in the comments below.