Researching Your Ideal Customer: Part 01 of the Copywriting Series

I bet, at one point in your life, you stared at a blank Word Doc, watching that cursor blink while you struggled to find the words that embody your business.

And this reality is so common amongst female entrepreneurs. Because our businesses are so much more than the products of services we offer. They’re the heart and soul of who we are as business owners.

And, I mean, how in the world do you find the words to encapsulate your oh-so-personal biz?

It’s easier than you think. But it all starts with one key element.

Knowing who exactly your business serves.

In Part 01 of my brand new copywriting series, we’re exploring the very foundation of high-converting copy: identifying your ideal client/customer avatar (ICA).

After reading this post, you’ll learn my exact process for researching your ideal customer. And, from there, you’ll (finally!) feel confident connecting with your target audience. 

Also, it’s important to remember: when your ideal client connects with your messaging and has that “she gets me” moment, your conversions will increase.

So if you’re ready to create a bulletproof research process for discovering the commonalities of your ideal client and if you’re ready to start skyrocketing your conversions, grab your favorite notebook and dive into part one of my copywriting series.

Part 01: Researching Your Ideal Customer

Do you remember those surveys you filled out as a kid that would tell you which careers you’d likely enjoy? Every time I filled out one of those surveys, I received one or more of the following: writer, journalist, historian.

And, truthfully, those little personality tests weren’t wrong. Because I love writing (as I’m sure you’ve guessed), but I also love research. I love putting the pieces together and writing from a place of certainty, rather than staring at that good ol’ cursor, waiting for words to magically come to me.

And with copywriting, research is a MUST. It stands at the very foundation of any strong marketing message or brand voice.

Because if you don’t know who you truly serve, how can you possibly speak to them in a way that promotes action?

In the next few points, I’ll walk you through how I use a combination of Instagram, Pinterest, online reviews (thank-you Amazon!), surveys, and analytics to dissect important and highly valuable information about my — or my client’s — ideal customer.

01: Instagram

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably heard me mention Instagram as one of my all-time favorite tools for discovering the interests, struggles, and tone of my ideal client.

But why is it such a powerful tool?

Instagram is a mixture of highly visual elements and concise copy. And it’s also a place of extremely niched content. So with one hashtag search, you can find thousands of accounts that are related to that phrase or word.

For example, my ideal client is female entrepreneurs that understand the power of a strong website and messaging. However, they don’t have the time and skills to create designs or copy that get them results. So, they hire me to work my magic.

When researching on Instagram, I’ll search hashtags related to female entrepreneurs, like #businessbabe, #bossladies, #sheconquers, etc. And, in these hashtags, I’ll find accounts of female bosses. From there, I can read through their captions, check out their bios, and even watch their stories. And throughout this research, I’m jotting down key elements.

Perhaps there’s a certain slang or phrase they use. Perhaps there’s a certain shared interest. And, most importantly, perhaps there’s a common struggle they’re facing.

So, to tap into the power of Instagram as a copy research tool, I have a practice for you:

  1. Find 10+ hashtags that your ideal customer is using

  2. Search those hashtags and find about 20-30 accounts that possess commonalities

  3. Go through their imagery, captions, and stories, and jot down their shared interests, tone, and struggles

  4. If you can’t find any commonalities, keep researching until you find those golden points of intersection

I know what you’re probably thinking: I run a business, have a family, and have a million other responsibilities. I don’t have time to run down the rabbit hole of Instagram. And that’s completely fair.

But it’s a vital step in building your copy. So, if you don’t have time for creating the foundation, why not outsource?

I create custom ICA (ideal customer avatar) profiles for female entrepreneurs, so they can harness the power of research while crafting their own copy. If you want to learn more, head over to our contact page and fill out the quick form. From there, we can book a discovery call and chat more about this service.

02: Pinterest

Pinterest is more than a platform to find pretty images and build dream-worthy boards for your next DIY project. It’s a place where you can learn a TON about your ideal client. From where they want to vacation, to what they love eating, to what inspires them, it’s alllll there.

Let’s paint a quick picture: say you’re an interior designer that specializes in scandanvian designs. And say you’re scrolling through Pinterest, looking for some inspiration. Then, you come across some accounts of women filling up their Home Inspo boards with pretty designs that you can create.

Now, instead of scrolling past these accounts, I want you to click over to their bios. Browse through their boards and see what else interests them. And see what else they might be struggling with.

From there, jot down any commonalities you find (much like the Instagram practice). The more you can learn about your ideal client, the more value you bring them. And we all know what happens when your audience finds value in your content and offers: they follow, they trust, and they buy.

03: Reviews

Wanna know my third secret weapon to crafting high-converting copy?

Amazon or competitor reviews. Or, even better, reviews from your offer, product, or service.

Consumers loooove to share their thoughts on products they purchase. They love to make nasty reviews when products don’t meet their expectations. And they love to make gushy comments when products exceed their expectations.

Reviews are a great place to discover what your ideal customer loved and hated about products in your industry. And it’s also a great way to find out what they were originally struggling with and how a product solved their problem (hello, pain point and solution!)

Even if it isn’t your product, research similar offers in your industry. If you don’t sell a product, research similar service-based businesses. From there, read through any reviews or testimonials. And jot down these three pillars:

  • Positives
  • Negatives
  • Struggles

You’ll start to notice a trend. Perhaps multiple customers didn’t like one of the features on a product. Or perhaps several customers had a problem with X and the product helped them solve Y.

These points of commonality are the golden nuggets for your copy.

04: Surveys

I want you to think about that last time you went shopping or opened your inbox and saw some type of survey. Now, I want you to think about how often that survey is accompanied by some type of monetary incentive. You know what I’m talking about—those “take this survey and get entered into a draw to win a $500 shopping spree.”

There’s a reason why the big guys spend thousands and thousands of dollars on surveys.

Because they work. They offer market insights from their most valuable audience: their current and past consumers.

If you can manage to gain insights directly from your past customers or clients, you can receive answers straight from the source.

Focus on asking them some of the obvious questions, such as: 

  • what did they like most about the product/service?
  • what didn’t they like?
  • how did it help them solve their problem?
  • is there any data or results that they can share?

But you can even dig a little deeper and ask them some not-so-obvious questions, like:

  • what part of my brand/messaging did you connect with the most?
  • what part of my brand/messaging did you connect with the least?
  • how likely are you to recommend my product/service?

The more questions you can ask to shape your copy and your messaging, the better results you’ll have. But it’s also important to note that this data can take a little while to accumulate. So if you don’t have it from the start, that doesn’t mean you can’t begin your research and start crafting copy that will connect with your audience.

05: Analytics

Your own website and social media data can offer you incredible insights into the interests, demographics, and other numerical points of data on your ideal customer.

And it doesn’t take much work, since there’s technology out there that’ll track it all for you.

If you run a website, blog, online shop, etc, I HIGHLY recommend that you integrate Google Analytics (seriously, do it).

Why? Because Google Analytics offers a full spectrum of data on your audience. And from it, you can piece together key elements of your ideal customer.

If you need assistance integrating Google Analytics into your website, head over to our contact page and send us a quick note. We can help you seamlessly integrate analytics software. Do not let fear of technology stop you from harnessing the power of your own business data.

Also, you can take advantage of Instagram story polls and questions to receive direct data from your audience. It’s fast; it’s simple; and the results are accumulated within a matter of hours.

Simple things like asking your audience if they remembered to meditate today, or what their favorite food is, or if they’re struggling with anything particular in your industry can help you identify some commonalities of your ideal customer. Then, when it comes to crafting your copy, you have an on-going list of key elements to highlight, integrate, or include.

Final Thoughts

You know when you land on a site and instantly feel connected to the brand? That doesn’t happen by accident. The team or solopreneur behind that website, blog, post, was very intentional about how they crafted their copy and their messaging.

And guess what?

It didn’t happen overnight. It took research. And It took trial and error. And it took clear intention and direction.

Researching your ideal customer can seem a bit overwhelming. But you can break down the parts into bite size chunks. Perhaps you give yourself half an hour each day for copy research. And, by the end of the week, you’ll have a decent-sized list to work with.

So start with the first step. Then keep building on your research until you have a working understanding of who your ideal customer is and how you can help them.

If you’d like to learn more about finding your ideal client, read this past post. Also, you can learn my 10 steps to writing killer copy in this article

Oh, and don’t leave a comment below on your biggest takeaway from this post! 

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