Ah, your ideal client. She’s so popular, isn’t she? I mean, we talk about her all the time, your ideal client.
I think we should give her a name. She deserves one at this point. She’s practically famous—she’s present on every digital marketer’s blog, and people are always talking about how much she matters.
Your ideal client’s name needs to be something worthy of all this fuss, for sure. Let’s call her Elizabeth. You know, like the true queen she is.
You see, Elizabeth is Very Important.
(Yes, those capital letters were purposeful—that’s how vital she is to your business.)
Elizabeth is the only girl you have eyes for, she’s the only one in the room, she’s the only one that makes your heart sing. She’s your the rock in your roll, she’s good for your soul, it’s true… okay, maybe that last part is just lyrics from Jon Pardi’s Head Over Boots, but you get where I’m going with this:
When you create content online, all you should be thinking about is your lovely Elizabeth.
I’m sure that any other copywriter would agree with me when I say that *the* most crucial tip for success that I can give you is this: when you’re writing anything that is meant for your ideal client, write ONLY to them.
One singular person: her.
Make her feel like you two are alone on the dance floor.
The easiest way to do that? Think about all of the traits that make up your perfect customer or client, conjure up their appearance in your brain, picture them, and then picture yourself in their shoes.
Here, I’ll make it even easier for you. Let’s do it together.
Grab a pen and paper, because you’re gonna want to take notes.
Before we begin: yes, I do believe these tiny little exercises are necessary. I’m not yet sold on the big long Ideal Client Developing practices that some digital marketers suggest, but you definitely have (at the very least) a deep understanding who you’re speaking to, or your content won’t be as effective.
If you’ve already defined your ICA, though, you’re excused—skip to the bottom of this post for 7 tips for creating content with Elizabeth (or whoever your ICA is) in mind.
We’ve already done some of the hard work in defining your ideal client, because we’ve created part of her persona already. We know her name is Elizabeth, and we know that she’s extremely close to your heart. And by heart, I mean submission form.
Although we’re romanticizing Miss Elizabeth right now, it feels important to note that we’re trying to convince her to hire you, not to date you. Think more Trusty Expert and less Tinder Match.
(We’re a couple paragraphs into this blog post now and I’m pretty certain that you’re painfully aware of how much Elizabeth matters. But just in case, one more caveman-style reminder; DO NOT CREATE CONTENT WITHOUT YOUR IDEAL CLIENT IN MIND.
Okay, now I’m convinced that you’ve heard me. I’ll get on with my how-to now.)
In creating your *Ideal Client Avatar* (like all the fancy marketers tell you to do), there are 3 things you need to consider: their current life situation, their interests, and your place in their world. Here are a few questions to help you guide your ICA brainstorm:
Once you’ve answered all of these questions, you’ll have a solid handle on what makes Elizabeth who she is. It may look like a lot of work when you see 16 questions lined up like a quiz, but I promise that it’ll actually be quite easy for you once you get going.
Whatever you do, though—don’t skip the last one.
Considering your place in Elizabeth’s world is the most essential parts of this exercise, because at the end of the day, that’s how you’re going to get her to warm up to you, trust you, read your content, and eventually book your services or purchase your product.
Now that we’ve covered all we need to know about Elizabeth on the surface, it’s time to take this content creation biz one step further. As one of my favorite writers, Ann Handley, says in her book Everybody Writes, “every bit of content you create should be to please the customer or the prospect.”
And speaking of Bestie Ann, she’s conveniently outlined a list of questions that every creator must keep in mind when producing content. Before you read the list, though—remember your dear Elizabeth, and think back to that list of characteristics and interests we created a minute ago.
Why does it matter to her?
What’s in it for her?
Why should she care?
What’s the clear lesson or message you want her to take away?
What value do you offer her?
What questions might she have?
What advice or help can you provide her?
If your content doesn’t answer all of the above questions, then you need to click “save to drafts” and do better for Miss Elizabeth.
As Bestie Ann says, you need to develop pathological empathy for your reader. Your content should never create a guessing game—making your reader work for something is basically the equivalent to posting a big fat EXIT sign.
Understanding you and your content should be easy for Elizabeth. After all, you’re writing with her in mind, aren’t you?
I’ve given you a lot of questions to ask yourself and answer, but I’m feeling like this blog post is a little skimpy on the tips. Don’t worry—I’m gonna fix that right now. Here are a few of my best tips for creating content that performs well with your ideal client:
Check out your social media Insights and blog analytics. Which post got the most saves? The Elizabeths of your world want more of that. See how you can continue to create similar posts to keep her happy. (Example: if I post about SEO and it gets 200 saves, chances are my Elizabeths want to learn more about SEO. If I post about how to change a tire and it gets 3 saves, I should probably stick to marketing-related content.)
Take it one step further and ask your audience. Once you’ve checked your analytics, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what they like, but data doesn’t provide context. And in order to understand and be empathetic to your audience, you need context. Plus, people love being involved in making decisions! And creators often forget most the obvious way to create content that will best suit their Elizabeths: ASK THEM! Have them comment their thoughts under your post, or post a poll on your Instagram story (side note: this boosts engagement), or send a quick survey to your email list.
Help your reader recognize and relate. This is another tip from Bestie Ann—she’s too good! Connecting to your reader is the whole freaking point. And how do you connect with someone? By replaying a scenario or telling a story. Elizabeth should be able to picture herself in the sitch you’re painting.
Write directly to her. I mentioned this one already, but it’s necessary to reiterate. Remember: you two are the only ones in the room.
Use YOU language. No people. No they. You’re speaking directly to one person, remember? Address her directly as “you.” (Example: “ …created specially for you.” or “Your voice deserves to be heard.”) A customer-centric point of view always performs better than a company-centric point of view.
Stalk your followers. In this least creepy way possible. Think about the people who engage with your content a lot. Who always comments on your posts? Who replies to your Instagram stories every time? Visit their profiles, and do a little digging. See if you can learn more about their interests, and think about how you can tie that back into your content plan.
Don’t leave her hangin’. I feel strongly about this one. You should never leave your readers wondering what to do next: not on your website, not in a blog post, not in an Instagram caption… nope. Always end with a call-to-action; a next step. Whether they take this next step or not is their prerogative, but at least you know that you’ve done everything in your power to push them toward it.
There. That should do it. If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this self-proclaimed juicy, info-rich post, YAY! You’re about to create the BEST content for Elizabeth and I am so proud of you. If you still need a little bit of clarity, or you want some help thinking about how best to address your Elizabeths, book a strategy call with me & we can chat about it!
(Or if all of this feels way too exhausting and you wish someone else could speak to Elizabeth for you, look no further—I’ll happily help you with that, too. Click here to learn more about my copywriting services!)
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
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