When you first start your online course business, you bootstrap it, or fly by the seat of your pants. You put together your online course and then launch your course... But it doesn't quite go according to your hopes and dreams. There's something missing - your ideal customer.
Your ideal customer is a representation of all the qualities and characteristics of the customers you love the most in your business. This post will help you understand why you need an ideal customer profile for your online courses, and how to create one. At the bottom of the post we have a bonus gift to help you create your ideal customer profile, so read all the way to the end!
Why Course Creators Need Ideal Customer Profiles
You want your course students to have certain qualities. They may also need certain skills before they take your course. For example, if you were to teach "teaching an online course", then you'd want your students to be interested in delivering online courses. If they were interested in teaching in a classroom, this wouldn't be for them. If a student who wanted to teach via webinars took your course, they might be disappointed. Your course didn't deliver, and they'll probably ask for a refund.
When you create an Ideal Customer Profile you start to build a community of raving fans, you'll sell more courses to the right people, and your students will get amazing results.
Step One - Ideal Customer Profiles - Just The Facts
The framework for your ideal customer profile is the facts. These are things that rarely change, such as:
- Behavioral Characteristics
Those can be fluid depending on a person's circumstances. You can find out more about Psychographics in our brandable (PLR) course here:
How to gather and use psychographic data to get a deeper understanding of your customers, so you can laser-target your marketing and see your business growth take off!
Using the bonus at the end of the page, write down your answers to step one. (You'll just need to put in your details so we can send it to you right away.)
Step Two - Ideal Customer Profiles - Their Pain
When your potential student is experiencing pain, they are more likely to move from the pain into your course. If you understand their pain, their frustration, and what it means to overcome it, then your course is more likely to resonate with them.
Sometimes pains are called struggles or challenges. Whatever your audience calls them, you need to ensure that you know what they're feeling and how your course changes that.
Imagine for a moment you have a teenage daughter and she has a boyfriend with a car. They often go for drives. You worry that something might happen, such as a flat tire, and they'll be stranded somewhere with no phone signal. Your daughter takes daily medication and needs to have that with her, but sometimes she forgets. If she knows how to change a tire, she can help her boyfriend with the car and get home for her medication.
Now, not all pains are that complicated. Sometimes the pain might be that the person is on a budget and car maintenance is an expense they're struggling with. The ability to check and replace their tires could allay their fears and save them money.
Both pain scenarios are valid, but which one applies to your audience?
Think about your ideal customer and their pain, and then complete step two by writing it out on your ICP Snapshot bonus.
Step Three - Ideal Customer Profiles - Their Wants
In the pain scenarios above, the wants of the ideal customers are different. One is a parent who worries for their daughter, while the other is a person looking to save money and stay safe.
When you know what your ideal customer wants, you know how to frame your content so that it resonates with them. More importantly, it shows you understand them, and because of this, your course will work where others didn't.
Need help with understanding your ideal customers' wants and needs? Check out our brandable (PLR) course here:
In Know Your Customer, you'll get everything you need to create a personalized lead magnet, bonus resource, short course, webinar, email series, or paid product on how to use surveys and interviews to get a deep understanding of your customers and their needs.
Step Four - Ideal Customer Profiles - What Matters The Most to Them
What matters the most to your student isn't the skill they're looking to gain. In the examples, what matters to the parent is that their daughter's health isn't compromised when she's out in a vehicle. What truly matters to the person on a budget is they can save for their first home, a better vehicle, or some other life-changing experience.
Don't under-estimate the power of giving someone peace of mind. When you lift a worry from their shoulders, like an expensive medical intervention, it doesn't matter if the daughter never changes a tire. It just matters that she knows how.
Step Five - Ideal Customer Profiles - Objections
Every prospective student has objections. The best way to deal with objections is head on. But you can't deal with them if you don't know what they are.
When you know what your ideal customer's objections are, you can answer them in the form of FAQs on your course sales page, in your videos, or in your emails.
Again, when you know your ideal customers' objections and talk them through, they'll love you that little bit more than all the other course creators out there - because you truly understand them, and it shows.
Need help with objections? Check out this brandable course too:
With How to Overcome Sales Objections, you’ll get everything you need to create your own webinar, workshop, lead magnet, or paid product that helps people master the skills for addressing common objections during the sales process.s
Using Your Ideal Customer Profile
At this point, you've answered each stage along your ICP journey. The next step is to write out your ideal customer profile. You can write it like a story, create a visual representation and tape it to your computer screen, or have it as a series of post-it notes stuck to your office wall. How you use it is down to you, but find a way that ensures you use it all of the time.
Once you have your ideal customer profile written out, you can start to include it in your content.
Begin with your blog content. Can your ideal customer identify herself in the first paragraph? Do you show you understand how she feels about her struggles. Do you lead her to the next natural step? When you know your ideal customer, writing content becomes effortless. You'll never be stuck for ideas again!
Next, look at the emails that promote your course. Is the ideal customer obvious on the opt-in or subscribe page? When you change the wording here, something magical happens... Your subscribers go down, but your conversions grow. Your email list becomes filled with your dream customers.
The emails that you send are important, and they become more relevant when they talk about the struggles that your ideal customer is experiencing. You can show off your expertise here, and it will be appreciated and valued.
Finally, look back over your course sales page and ensure that your page fits your ideal customer profile. Ensure her pains and challenges are presented, along with any sales objections. Sprinkle through the page the demographic and psychographic data. It's as simple as saying "This course on changing tires is perfect for teenage girls with their first vehicle".
The Next Steps
If you want to fully explore one of the most critical aspects of marketing, then download our 5D Snapshot Template below and follow the steps in this article to get your started with creating your ideal customer profile.
Want to learn more and teach others how to ensure their marketing, products, and services are always on target?
Check out our brandable, ready-to-teach course:
Quickly put together your own online course, live workshop, or coaching program on Create Your Ideal Customer Profile, where you'll teach your customers how to create a detailed ideal customer profile that guides all their business decisions.
When you purchase a license to any of our ready-to-go course kits, you get the rights to edit it any way you want (or leave as-is) and add your own name and branding.
Then use your new course to:
- Attract new clients and customers (such as with a free training, webinar, or eCourse)
- Add a new stream of income (such as with a paid course or workshop)
- Keep your current customers successful and coming back for more (such as with bonus webinars, videos, and other learning resources).