If you want to succeed you must know who your ideal coaching client is.
Ideal clients spend more, upgrade to your premium offerings, and will be repeat customers.
They give great feedback, refer their friends, and give amazing testimonials.
They are loyal, raving fans that are a joy to work with.
Now do you see why you need to figure this out?
Why Haven’t You Identified Your Ideal Client Yet?
Maybe you’ve said this:
I love people; I want to help everyone.
I don’t want to miss out on good clients by being too narrowly focused.
Or even this:
What I offer can benefit many different people, why should I limit myself?
These are some common statements that you may find yourself saying when you’re faced with identifying that one, perfect client.
If you are feeling any hesitation around this I want you to take a minute and check out the video below, I explain why I know for sure this won't limit you:
Just imagine this:
What will it look like and feel like to have a full schedule of clients that you absolutely love to work with? Imagine how you will feel when you are attracting clients easily because they connect with everything you say and do.
It will also help you to be a better businessperson. You’ll have a clearly defined direction for everything you create. No more trying to decide what will be most widely accepted.
On the contrary, your job just got a lot easier. Everything you create from here on out is specifically designed to draw in this one person.
But I Don’t Want to Be Limited to That One Person
Now keep in mind, just because you’re creating everything for this one specific person doesn’t mean others won’t find you as well. They will.
Here is an example.
A popular podcast I listen to has an avatar that’s a man in his late twenties who commutes to a job he hates and only has a few minutes to spend with his wife and young kids each night.
Um, I’m a forty-something, divorced female with no children, who works from home doing something I love. I’m the complete opposite of his avatar. However, I enjoy his podcast. I regularly read his blog. I’m on his mailing list. I’ve consumed his free products. And I’ve been a paying customer.
Do I resonate with everything he creates? No! Some of his stuff bugs me, it doesn’t land at all. But that’s ok. I’m sure it works perfectly for his avatar.
Just because you define your ideal client doesn’t mean you’re limiting yourself.
What Does Your Perfect Client Look Like?
She finds the best solution to her problem in your products and services.
She sees herself in every communication she receives from you whether that’s a course, coaching package, blog post, or your social media content.
Somehow you just “get” her.
She’s able to connect the dots that lead from her goals, dreams, values, challenges and concerns right to what you’re offering.
She sounds great, right?
On the other hand:
If you keep trying to be all things to all people that perfect client may not connect with you at all.
You may think you’re doing a greater service by having a broad message that will appeal to the masses.
But here’s the problem with that line of thinking:
She might be confused about whether you really can help her. She may not know who you are, what you stand for, what makes you a great fit for her, and whether you’re worth pulling the credit card out for.
Confusion kills the sale every time.
Or what about this, the clients you are attracting aren’t a good fit for you:
Maybe they pay late, if at all. They always have an excuse to change or cancel the appointment. They want to achieve greatness but somehow they just aren’t motivated to “do the work”. They complain about everything you ask them to do.
This is the type of client that can drive you back to the 9 to 5.
The bottom line is:
When your ideal client consumes your content you want her to think, “she knows me so well it’s like she’s inside my head.” That’s your ideal client. That’s who you want to work with.
How to Easily Identify Your Ideal Coaching Client
So now that you understand why it’s important to identify this person, how do you actually do it?
You probably already know who your target market is. This is the main group of people you will be marketing your products and services to.
This could be: entrepreneurs that need help with social media, people that want to lose weight, people that want to become paid speakers, stay-at-home moms that want to start a business, etc.
Next we want to go even deeper. We want to narrow the list even further.
Step One- Start with Yourself
Start by asking yourself a few clarifying questions.
- Who would I love to work with?
- What type of person do I feel most connected to?
- Who really needs to hear what I have to say?
- Who would benefit the most from working with me?
You can also go the opposite way.
- What type of person would I not enjoy working with?
- Who would I say “no” to even if I needed the money?
- What type of person wouldn’t get what I’m doing?
As you begin to excavate the perfect client, you may notice they are a lot like you. Either the person you are now or the person you were a few years ago.
The point here is to begin to understand who you want to work with every day.
Let’s say the basics for you are:
You want to work with women who are unconventional and creative. Women that are willing to work after the kids go to sleep, before work in the mornings and on the weekends to make their dreams happen. These women have money to invest in their growth. They value their time and other people’s as well. They want to take their current knowledge and experience and turn it into a business they can run from home.
You landed on these qualities because that was you 6 years ago and still is except now you have a school-aged child. You know how to lead women like this through those first rough years because you did it. And best of all, you have some amazing tips and tricks that will shave months if not years off of their struggle.
Step 2- Dig Deeper into the Type of Person You Want to Attract
You may have a good start in this already. By determining what you would love in a client you may have already figured out what it is they want out of life.
First, figure out their “why”.
Why do they want this dream of theirs to come true? Using the final target market example above (stay-at-home moms that want to start a business) we can guess that our ideal client’s “why” is most likely to provide a great life for her children and partner. As a mom her why probably includes wanting to spend time with her kids rather than at a 9-5 job. Maybe it’s having the time and money freedom to vacation more.
Then you need to figure out where they are on this journey.
Are you interested in working with people who have business experience or do you like the idea of a complete beginner? Do you want to be with them on the entire journey or only for a specific part?
Next, you need to know where they hang out.
Check out some Facebook groups. Find some moms that fit the bill then do a little digging. Check out their profile, see what other groups they belong to, what pages they like, what other social media they hang out on, who they follow.
If you start to see some similarities in the gurus they follow you will have some great insight into your potential clients and what already resonates with them.
Finally, let them tell you exactly what they want.
That’s right, keep stalking them to get even more info. See what they post in groups and on their social media accounts. See if they leave comments on blogs or drop questions in forums. The questions they ask and the content they share will tell you exactly what they want.
Let’s go back to our example. What if you start digging and find a new mom that posts regularly in a couple of different Facebook groups. She seems like a person you would be drawn to so you start researching her.
You search for her posts in groups and find that many of her questions revolve around not wanting to put her baby in daycare and wishing she could work from home. So now you know that is a huge pain point for her.
Maybe she actually posted “I feel like I’ll be a failure as a mom if I put my baby in daycare". Now you have the language you can use on your website or in ads that you know will resonate with your ideal client.
Spend some time learning all you can about real people that could actually be your clients.
After you pull everything together you can create your avatar.
What the Heck is an Avatar?
An avatar is a fictitious character that represents that one perfect person you would love to coach. When you pull all of the ideal client characteristics together she will be the composite that emerges.
You will want to create a story for her, the more details the better.
When you read the details of her story you should feel that this is the perfect person for you to work with.
This part may seem a little awkward but the idea is to be able to refer back to this person whenever you are creating content. Literally ask yourself, “Would Joann like this”?
Ridiculous? Maybe a little. But it forces you to keep in mind that you are doing all this for a particular type of person.
Just like when you buy someone a gift you keep that person in mind when you are doing the shopping. You keep them in mind when you buy the card. You keep them in mind when you choose the wrapping paper and bow. You do this because when you deliver that gift you want it to be appreciated, enjoyed, and found to be useful.
This is exactly what you want when you deliver your gift to the world, and to your ideal client.
Now You’re a Mind Reader
Well, not exactly, but close! Once you’ve developed your avatar you can create your content specifically for her, content that will make her think you’re reading her mind.
Make sure your website copy and images resonate with her. Is your opt-in offer something she would love?
Focus on what she would want to read when you write a blog post. Answer her questions.
Think about what she would connect with when you post to Facebook or Instagram.
If your ideal client is unconventional and edgy show her that you are as well. Don’t be afraid to express yourself in your photos and copy. If you swear like a sailor should probably drop some f-bombs in your copy so you actually attract clients that don’t get bent out of shape by this.
If you are a stickler for not cancelling appointments, make sure that’s mentioned on your website.
If you expect people to make time sacrifices for their dreams you should say that in your blog posts and social media updates.
If you’re woo-woo spiritual and you want to work with people who get that don’t be afraid to mention the Law of Attraction or a great Wayne Dyer quote.
Your content tells a story, make sure it’s a story your ideal client wants to read.
Can I Have More than One Ideal Client?
You’ll probably have only one ideal client since this person embodies the qualities you are seeking in a perfect client.
But maybe you have different products or services and you’ve created each for very specific people. In this case, you may have more than one target market.
Marie is a health and fitness coach who has been in business for a few years. As she has gained experience and expertise she's developed three different coaching packages:
- Weight Training for CrossFit Dominance
- Healthy Pregnancy to Healthy Toddler: A 3 Year Strategy
- Transition to Vegan for Runners
While there may be some overlap, each of these packages target a very specific interest (CrossFit, mothers, runners) and it’s logical for Marie to have a different avatar for each one.
But each avatar will still have the same core qualities Marie is seeking as her ideal client. Let’s say these qualities are: female, under age 40, health obsessed, type-A personalities, and super self-motivated.
Refining Your Ideal Customer Profile
Once you have your avatar you will need to stay open to refining.
No matter how much research you’ve done up front once you begin to take on coaching clients or doing discovery calls with potential clients you may find it necessary to refine and clarify your ideal coaching client.
There’s nothing like actually working one-on-one with people to determine what's energizing or draining to you as a coach.
Wrapping it All Up
Now that you know the benefits of identifying your ideal client it’s up to you to take action.
And I want to help.
I've put together a bonus to get you started. Simply click the button below and enter your email. I’ll deliver the bonus right to your inbox. It has worksheets, questionnaires, and a PDF of the article.