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Mastering Target Market Strategy: How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Hello my entrepreneur friends!


I'll tell you, one of the most frequently missed opportunities that I see when I meet with my clients is their planning. Now I understand, I did the same thing when I started this very business. I learned everything I could about marketing and I got so excited to start. Here's the thing though, just starting is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. It's just not going to end well.


So, let's all take a step back from writing any more content either on your own website our on social media and let's create an Ideal Customer Profile (s) together.


What is an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

An ICP is a detailed and fictional representation of a company's perfect customer. This profile is not a real individual but a composite of characteristics, behaviors, and attributes that make up the ideal customer for a specific business.


Like most plans, you can always adapt them as you evolve your business and know your customers better.


The ICP helps businesses understand and visualize their target market more effectively, guiding marketing strategies, product development, sales approaches and customer service.


Let's start with the basics

First thing we are going to do is thinking about our customer. Why do they need your services or products? Where are their heads at when they are trying to go on Google or on social media to find your business? Or what are they doing on social media where you grab their attention by displaying something that has been an issue?


Pain Points:

  • What challenges or problems does the customer face in their personal or professional life?

  • What frustrations do they encounter with current products/services in the market?

  • Are there any gaps in the market that are not being addressed?


Now what makes them happy? What are their goals in life where your service or products is going to act like a means to that goal?


Aspirations and Goals:

  • What are their short-term and long-term goals?

  • What aspirations do they have for their personal or professional life?

  • How do they define success?


Now let's dive a little deeper into beliefs and core values. What is going to shake your client up? What is going to motivate them using their ethos??


Beliefs and Motivations:

  • What are their core beliefs that influence their buying decisions?

  • What motivates them to choose one product or service over another?

  • What factors are non-negotiable or deal-breakers in their decision-making process?


Example of an ICP picture of Barbara the Therapist
Barbara the Therapist

Now, let's create a face and a name for this person. Can you see this person in your head? Great. I like to use ChatGPT to create my ICP pictures. For example, this is my therapist client ICP picture.


CHATGPT prompt to create an ICP profile:

I want dalle to create a full body graphic of a realistic human woman who is in her mid 30s, she is a therapist so glasses are fine, she is probably not a button up professional type of girl, maybe she's pretty fashionable and is wearing a silk white button up top and her hair is curly and it's up being held by a pen like a chop stick. She is wearing a maxi leather skirt with red bottomed heels. She is sitting in a chair in her office, with a notepad in her lap and her legs are crossed. She is sitting up looking forward, listening.


Now that you have the basics created. You can now proceed forward with the rest of the profile. I would suggest saving the profile on a word document and have it on your screen while you are writing your content or send it to your copywriter so they can talk to them.


Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Template

  1. Basic Demographics:

  • Age Range:

  • Gender:

  • Location (Urban/Suburban/Rural):

  • Education Level:

  • Occupation/Industry:

  1. Psychographics:

  • Personality Traits:

  • Lifestyle (Hobbies, Interests):

  • Values and Beliefs:

  • Cultural or Social Influences:

  1. Pain Points:

  • What challenges or problems does the customer face in their personal or professional life?

  • What frustrations do they encounter with current products/services in the market?

  • Are there any gaps in the market that are not being addressed?

  1. Aspirations and Goals:

  • What are their short-term and long-term goals?

  • What aspirations do they have for their personal or professional life?

  • How do they define success?

  1. Beliefs and Motivations:

  • What are their core beliefs that influence their buying decisions?

  • What motivates them to choose one product or service over another?

  • What factors are non-negotiable or deal-breakers in their decision-making process?

  1. Behavioral Patterns:

  • Preferred Channels for Shopping and Information (e.g., online, in-store, social media):

  • Typical Buying Behavior (e.g., impulse buyer, research-intensive, brand loyal):

  • Response to Marketing (e.g., receptive to online ads, influenced by social proof):

  1. Financial Situation:

  • Average Income Level:

  • Spending Habits and Priorities:

  • Price Sensitivity:

  1. Media Consumption:

  • Preferred Social Media Platforms:

  • Favorite Websites or Blogs:

  • Preferred News Sources:

  • Influencers or Public Figures They Follow:

  1. Customer Journey Insights:

  • How do they typically discover new products or services?

  • What stages do they go through before making a purchase decision?

  • What are the key touchpoints that influence their buying decision?

  1. Feedback and Preferences:

  • Preferred Communication Channels (e.g., email, text, phone call):

  • Feedback on past purchases or services (likes and dislikes):

  • Specific preferences in product features, customer service, etc.


Remember, you want to make a few of these but I would limit at 4. You want to be able to create content directly for each profile and that gets really hard if you make a bunch of profiles.


Authenticity is extremely undervalued

When you are writing your content, I want you to make sure you are constantly making sure that you are being you. One of the biggest selling points for most people is you. They need to trust you and the only way you are going to earn their trust is if you are reliable and you are true to yourself.


Now get out there and kick 2024's butt!

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