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I was recently called “sexist” for speaking to my ICA (ideal client avatar, sometimes referred to as client/buyer persona).

Let me explain …

As many of you might know, my business started out focused strictly on marketing and marketing implementation for businesses in the home and design industry. I cast a fairly wide net for that business trying to capture any client in the industry.

About a year ago, I made a shift away from providing marketing services. Today, I provide coaching on all aspects of the business side of running an interior design business. I focused my audience even further and developed this business mission: I help creative women get real about running their interior design businesses so they can thrive financially and love their work!

Now, as you can imagine, just because I made a choice to focus my messaging toward my ideal client — who, by the way, has a much more detailed description than just woman and interior designer — doesn’t mean I don’t work with men. It doesn’t mean I don’t work with architects. It doesn’t mean I don’t work with stagers. It just means, for the sake of having clear and targeted marketing, my messaging is focused on Paige (this is the name I gave my ICA). It also doesn’t mean that I went through my email list and removed anyone who doesn’t fit the Paige ICA (I actually have a couple of other ICAs as well).

OK, so on to being called sexist …

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A man who had been on my email list for years now suddenly decided to respond to a recent email (with a header that states my mission as I mentioned above) telling me this: I am not a woman and would never take the advice of someone so un-savvy as to send out a blatantly sexist email. (OK, so he didn’t technically call me sexist, he called my email sexist.)

Now, why he chose to respond to this particular email after receiving emails from me with that same header for a year now, I’m not sure. I’m going to just guess he’s not very busy and has nothing better to do. What I did is focus my business and marketing on the person I know how to help in the best way possible. And I won’t apologize for it.

What I’m also NOT going to do is change my message or my ICA … not one bit. What’s important to me is that I am speaking directly to Paige and helping her with exactly what she needs. I love it when others in our industry find my content and services helpful! And if some people are offended by it, they are not my Paige. And I’m happy to have them unsubscribe and move on. And I wish them the best. And I will continue to serve Paige with all my heart.

Who is your ICA — your Paige? If you try to be everything to everyone in your business and your marketing, you’ll end up serving no one. Here’s some information on how you can develop your own ICA (or even a few like I have). Pick your Paige, and serve her (or him!) to the very best of your ability!