by Bonnie Jo Davis
There are so many decisions to make when you operate your own business. With some research, it is fairly easy to decide on your business structure, the type of services you want to offer or how many clients you want to work with. A much more difficult decision is who to define as your ideal client.
It is fairly common for a coach to open their practice to anyone and everyone, but most will discover that the wider your target market, the smaller your practice. Since it is impossible to serve everyone, you will actually be more successful by narrowing your niche. You’ll make more money and reduce your stress when you only work with—and market to—your ideal client.
Your target audience for your marketing message will be the ideal clients who are most likely to need and want what you have to sell. These ideal clients will happily pay your fees, show up on time for appointments, follow through on your advice and refer other clients to you.
In order to define your ideal client, fill in as many of these details as you can:
- Marital status
- Educational level
- Organized sports?
- Employed, self-employed or business owner?
- Location of office or business
- Size of business
- Annual revenue
- Years in business
- Issues and problems
- Your solutions to these issues and problems
- Can and will this person pay for your service?
- Does this person have a history of paying for services like yours?
- Where can you find him or her?
You can also define your ideal client by looking at your past and present clients. Which of these clients did you enjoy working with the most? Review those client files and list their characteristics based on the criteria above.
Once you have collected this data create an ideal client avatar. This avatar is the personification of your ideal client that you will use when you are creating your marketing materials and planning your advertising campaigns.
An example of an avatar for a coaching business is: A 40-year old female entrepreneur who has been in business for several years but is unable to break through to the next level of success. She is married, with three lovely children and a very active home life. This woman has a high stress level and has problems balancing her home and work life. She needs someone to help organize her life and help her make good decisions. She can afford a coach but hasn’t yet decided who to work with.
Once you have defined your ideal client and your target audience for your coaching practice then you will be empowered to fire the clients who do not make you happy, and stop wasting time chasing down potential clients that will not be a good fit.
Your clients need you, and you deserve to work with people who bring out the best in you. Find your ideal client and target audience and you'll be on the road to a full and productive practice.
Bonnie Jo Davis works with female entrepreneurs who are happy to outsource their marketing tasks to her. She is a published author and article marketing expert, and feels comfortable working in a virtual environment. For more information on how she might help you, please visit http://www.your-marketing-assistant.com.