If you haven’t figured out your target market yet, you are not alone. This can take some time, and it can also be quite confusing.
Perhaps you have given some thought to who your ideal client is, but you haven’t yet come to a conclusion on what they look like or what you want your focus to be.
If this is something you can relate to, this post is for you.
PLUS, I have a free fill-in-the-blank worksheet for you to make this even easier, so be sure to grab it >> HERE << or scroll down to then end of this post.
Figuring out your target market is a process, and it’s likely to change over time, so don’t be hard on yourself if this is something you are having a hard time with right now. You can still launch your health coaching practice without having a specific target market, but you will have a much easier time attracting clients when you know exactly who you want to help.
Today, we’ll nail down a few strategies for identifying your target market so you can begin to refine your marketing message, and attract more dream clients.
Just keep in mind, if you don’t know what you want, it’s going to be difficult to find. Narrowing down your target market can mean the difference between spinning your wheels and wandering around aimlessly to making a beeline for your desired destination.
Why You Need a Target Market
There’s a saying in the marketing industry: “If you are marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no one.”
By targeting too many people, you are missing out on targeting your ideal clients. Marketing and advertising efforts that are too vague or lack a specific focus will not resonate deeply with anyone.
By identifying your target market, you will be able to market directly to the individuals who are looking for your services. Yes! There are people out there who are looking specifically for you and what you have to offer. The best way to reach them is to tailor your advertising efforts to those individuals.
Here is one example: If you were someone that was recently diagnosed with Diabetes, and you knew you needed to make lifestyle changes asap, would you look for a health coach that focuses on just weight loss, or would you be drawn to someone that specializes in helping clients reverse and/or manage their Diabetes?
If you just discovered that you were gluten intolerant, would you be drawn to someone that can help you with meal plans or would you want someone that can help you transition to a gluten-free diet without feeling confused and overwhelmed?
People are looking for solutions to their problems, so when your solution is laser-focued, you will have a much easier time drawing those people to you when you craft your message the right way.
Targeting within Your Market
In order to identify your target market, you will need to achieve clarity with regards to the problem your service solves. For example, if you are specifically a weight-loss coach, how will you tailor your message to your target market? Who are you trying to reach?
You might identify your target market as working women between the ages of 30-45, within your geographic location, with an annual household income of $85,000 or more, who are married and have children.
That’s a great start to identifying your target market. But let’s get even more specific. Let’s go beyond your target market’s demographics to understand what your audience might actually want.
Narrowing down market segments into specific niches will help you to further identify your ideal customer. By strategically segmenting your target markets into niches and ideal customers, you will be able to reach a greater number of ideal clients.
To demonstrate this, let’s go back to your original target market of women between the ages of 30-45, with an annual household income of $85,000 or more, who are married and have children, and who are within your geographical area. You decide to create an advertisement to reach these women.
Your advertisement does “okay,” and you are quickly reminded of the phrase at the outset of this post: If you’re advertising to everyone, you’re advertising to no one.
But you advertised within your target market, right? So why didn’t you achieve a greater result?
Because it wasn’t marketed to an ideal client. By making the assumption that all women between the ages of 30-45 with a certain income range who are married and have children all want to lose weight the same way. One of the biggest reasons Facebook ads fall flat is due to the audience targeting being too general.
At this point, we need to throw assumptions out of the window and dive into the deep end of strategic marketing. You’ll need to create an ideal client avatar. By creating an ideal client avatar, you can segment your target market’s niches into the exact client you are looking for.
How to Create a Client Avatar
An ideal client avatar is a made up of an individual that checks every box on your dream client sheet. If you had to pick anyone to provide your services to, it would be her.
Creating an ideal client avatar is actually quite a fun little exercise. Start by giving him or her a name. If your ideal client avatar has a name, they become real; real to you and your business. Everything that you do from here on out will be to serve her needs as your ideal client.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s call your ideal client avatar Ava Johnson. From this point out, we are going to create Ava’s personality, develop her values, where she lives, whether or not she is married or single, has kids or pets, or both, her education, her job, her income, her demographics, etc. Be sure to list everything that you would need to know about Ava to help her achieve her goals.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet to get you started:
- Education level
- Relationship Status
- Children? Y/N: If yes, how many.
- What she values most: money, family, relationships, career, health, etc.
- Why she values the above options
- Her biggest struggles right now with her health
- The problem you will help her solve, and how you will help her solve it
The last two points are possibly the most important aspects of the entire Ideal Client Avatar exercise: her pain point and how you will help her solve it. These two characteristics are the main reasons why your clients will want to work with you: because they have a problem, and you are going to work with them to solve it.
For example, let’s say that Ava’s pain point or problem is that she is exhausted at every second of her day. Coupled with fatigue, Ava isn’t sleeping well at night. She’s realized that it is probably due to her less than active lifestyle and dependence on processed meals. She works as a nurse at the hospital, and then she goes home to care for her husband and two children. She doesn’t have time to cook meals, so she spends a lot of money on take-out food which she knows isn’t good to do. She needs help finding a solution to her pain point, and that’s where you come in.
At this point, you may be wondering why you need to take so much time to create an imaginary person to market to when you can go out and market to the masses. It’s because specificity makes all the difference in the world. When you aren’t specific about your marketing efforts, you will not reach ideal clients, meaning you will not reach the people who are looking for you.
When your message transforms from something along the lines of “I help women lose weight” to “I help busy working moms who are juggling the demands of a hectic schedule, live healthier lives so they can lose weight easily, have more energy, and feed their families quick and delicious, healthy meals” people know your exact area of expertise.
In this instance, you touched on a few key points. Ava is a working mom who is tired, wants to lose weight, and feed her family home-cooked meals instead of eating out so often. She struggles to find balance with her busy life. Your solution is more specific and likely to catch Ava’s attention.
Do you see the difference your messaging can make in attracting the right clients? When your words resonate with people, you will be the one they want to have as their coach because they feel that you ‘get’ them. You will be able to craft more compelling, laser-focused sales copy, marketing messages, and advertisements that draw your ideal clients to you.
Knowing exactly who you want to help makes it so much easier for you to know where to find them. If you want to help stay-at-home moms of young children, where do they hang out (online and in-person)? Do they belong to Stroller Strides, MOPS, or other mom’s groups? Whatever your target market is, make a list of their interests and activities, and figure out a way to get in front of them (offer a free workshop that leads into one of your paid programs).
You may even decide to specialize in helping people in a particular line of work. I know coaches that focus on industry-specific niches such as: healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, and executives.
Remember that people are, in fact, looking for you! They just don’t know you are available yet. When you specify exactly who you are looking to work with, you will be amazed at how many potential clients will respond to your marketing efforts. They will want to work with you because they already feel that you understand them. It’s also easier to have people refer other clients to you when they know what your ‘specialty’ is.
Trust me, by taking a few minutes to create Ava or Sally or Brad or whoever you are planning to market to, you’ll save months of wasted vague and ambiguous marketing efforts.
To get started on your ideal client avatar, be sure to print this Client Avatar worksheet. It’ll get you started on creating the client of your dreams.
Once you’ve completed the worksheet, be sure to stop by and tell me a bit about your ideal client! I’d love to hear what you have named them.
Let me know in the comments below, or head over to Facebook to leave a comment there.
P.S. If you need ideas for a consistent marketing plan, check out this post “4 Simple Strategies for a “No-Brainer” Marketing Plan That Gets Results” HERE