Define Your Ideal Client

Shirt Too BigIs your marketing message too big?

One of my “big rocks” when working with clients is helping them define their target market.  It is essential to identify what types of clients we want to work with so we can fish where the fish are.  Many of my clients are reluctant to narrow ther market because they feel they can work with practically everyone, and they don’t want to lose potential clients.

While it’s true that many health practitioners can work with anyone, everyone needs to eat a healthier diet, exercise and manage their stress levels, right?  Defining a target market doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to turn anyone away or that prospective clients will be lost.  In actuality, we will attract even more clients by being clear on a target market.

Consider for a moment how doctors work, and how patients feel about working with doctors.  We see general practitioners for basic check ups, colds, or conditions that may occur.  GP’s have clearly defined target markets, do they not?  If something more serious needs medical attention, doctors always refer to specialists.  If you had a heart condition, would you want your internist to treat you, or would you rather see a specialist who has a lot of experience with your particular condition?   I’ll take the specialist’s number please!

The same thing happens when nutritionists and fitness coaches have clear parameters of who they work with.  When a client is diagnosed with diabetes, and they see that you have information on diabetes and that you specialize in diabetic clients, they will be much more likely to call you than your competitor who feels they are one size fits all.  The same is true with target markets that don’t have anything to do with conditions.

If you specialize in working with single women, that group will want to work with you because you understand their issues.  If you’re a mom with children, you will appeal to a client with picky eaters compared to your competition that may not have children or may have never worked with children.

Also, when our website has resources, blog posts, and content that relates to our target market, the keywords contained in these materials makes it more likely that our ideal clients will find us more easily in the search engines.  I had a session this week with someone who felt that their target market was “busy professionals”.  I asked him how many hits his Google Analytic report showed his website received through that keyword phrase.

How many people do you think are searching for a health coach who works with busy professionals?  Obviously, the answer was none.  We then spent time crafting his ideal client and strategized how to best convey that information in his marketing.

Having a clearly defined target market makes it easier for clients to find us, and makes them more comfortable, and more likely, to contact us for a consultation.  Trying to be one size fits all actually dilutes the marketing message.  Once the ideal target market is crafted, marketing actually becomes much easier and dramatically more efficient.

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