Launching an online business from home has never been easier. We’ve all acclimated to working from home this year and technology has never made it easier. But that isn’t an excuse to jump in without a strong foundation. Something I see often with online service-based entrepreneurs is that they have a brilliant idea, they’ve found the proven method (tested on themselves) and they’re ready and excited to start helping people who are in the exact position they once were in.
Having insight based on your own experiences is so valuable, but there is so much more that goes into building a successful business. You need to know how to call in the right people and have clear, strong messaging that sparks the need to learn more about you and your service.
But how do you do that?
There are three very important elements that can define your success or reveal vulnerabilities within your business — you need to identify your ideal client avatar (ICA), define your unique expertise (UVP), and develop your signature methodology. Unfortunately, I often see this process performed at surface level, or not completed at all! But in order to have a successful and scalable business, it’s important to build your infrastructure based upon these three elements.
Identify Your Ideal Client Avatar (ICA)
Your Ideal Client Avatar, or ICA, is a detailed profile that defines the most perfect client for your business and services. This profile allows you to get hyper-focused on one individual so you can speak to them, their needs, and a potential solution (your service/product). It may seem counter intuitive, but when you speak to one person, you can actually better call in the masses since each individual person in that larger group feels like you’re speaking directly to them.
You might be thinking, “Won’t I turn off all the other people or potential customers who don’t fit that exact profile?” The short answer is no. You’ll still create awareness around your product, and you’ll actually gain more trust by proving how well you solve a specific set of problems. And by being really good at one thing, you can evolve your problem/solution method over time in order to fill the need presented by your ICA.
Why defining your ICA is important for your business
You’ll effortlessly attract the people you can best serve and easefully convert them into clients because you know how to market and message your service.
Creating content and executing campaigns will be easier because you know the problem your ideal client is trying to solve and how you can help them. You can be both efficient and effective in your marketing efforts.
You’ll be able to generate strong social proof and testimonials because you’re facilitating a specific outcome, result, or goal.
By showing the strong social proof that you’ve collected, you’ll very quickly become known as the authority in your space.
You’ll be able to get valuable feedback by listening to your ICA. When something isn’t working in your business and it’s time to pivot, you’ll know exactly where to turn when it’s time to listen to your community.
For our steps on how to define your ICA, check out our blog post: Why You Need to Know Your Ideal Client.
Define Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Your UVP is your unique value proposition, also known as your unique expertise. It’s what makes you and your offer different from everyone else. Your UVP can come from your innate strengths and personality, experiences you’ve had, skills you’ve honed over time, your commitments, values, and perspective you hold.
Knowing these things allows you to leverage them for someone else’s benefit — and serve your ICA in a way no one else can. Your UVP is what sets you apart from all the other offers that may be similar to yours.
With your UVP in the framework of your business, you’ll be able to reach out to your ICA with purpose, knowing you can support them in a way no one else can.
For example, I work with entrepreneurs who want to start and/or scale service-based businesses (this is a small fraction of my ICA profile). One of my UVPs is that I combine purpose and process — something that’s lacking in my industry. Many people are strong at creating systems and processes, but struggle to balance that with a strong sense of purpose, intention, and values. On the flip side, others are strong in supporting people with vision, mindset, and big picture ideation. My UVP is that I’ve had a specific set of experiences that make me excellent at pulling from both of these perspectives, to create a really savvy, streamlined structure inside a business. I’m incredibly organized and I’m a strong problem solver — I’m uniquely qualified in this way to support small businesses with implementation.
Here are a few examples of how to spot UVPs in the wild:
Project Management to Scale: The system I use to generate +$100k cash/quarter — without live launching.
The UVP here is “without live launching”, which is a common strategy in the coaching space and often intimidates new entrepreneurs. This is showing them they can have the good without the bad!
How to grow your side hustle to generate more revenue than your day job while still working full-time.
The UVP here is “while still working a full-time”, because you’re showing how you can help facilitate a certain result, while disadvantaged or with some other limiting factor that not everyone in the same space is dealing with.
Early Entrepreneur: How to land your first 3 clients with this one activity you’re probably already doing.
The UVPs here are “early entrepreneur” and “one activity you’re probably already doing” because the offer is for a very specific person and teaching them an easy change.
Your UVP, while incredibly valuable, can be difficult to define at first. It’s so innate to us — or comes so naturally — that we don’t realize it’s special, or something not everyone knows. If you’re having difficulty finding your unique expertise as a friend.
What do you most appreciate about me?
How do I support you unlike anyone else in your life?
What am I excellent at?
What do you count on me for?
When am I most inspired?
When you know how you are uniquely qualified to help someone, you can call these things out in your messaging, so future clients know what to expect from you and what their experience might be like when they work with you. Your UVP is the condition you put on your offer that makes it unlike any other offer. You’ve achieved your goals by doing XYZ and you can help your clients with their goals too.
Your UVP can be:
The spin you put on something that already exists to make it better.
A refined skill set you use to create something new.
A perspective or experience you offer that changes the game.
Develop Your Signature Methodology
Your signature methodology is how you combine your ICA profile and your UVP to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience. By considering your ICA’s goals and challenges, and how you can uniquely help them, you can create an irreplicable experience — your signature methodology. Your signature methodology might be:
A curriculum: a map of the knowledge/content you share with someone to facilitate their transformation
A system: a series of steps or strategies you guide someone through that produces an unusual result for them they couldn’t have otherwise gotten to
You may even support your signature methodology with specific tools or resources of your own creation!
If you’re ready to start your business and easily find leads that convert to paying clients, it’s time to define your ICA, your UVP, and develop your signature methodology. By laying a strong foundation, you’ll be able to run a successful, scalable business that will have leads seeking you out for your unique expertise.