Your Ideal Client Isn’t Everyone

I get it. Health and wellness professionals want to help everyone. You see anyone with a pulse as someone who might benefit from working with you. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy better health? But don’t make the mistake of thinking that everyone is your ideal client and consequently fail to develop a clear vision of your unique ideal client.

While it might be true that everyone could use your help, it’s simply not possible for you and your brand to appeal to everyone. Your prices might not be in line with what some can afford. Your branding might not resonate with others. Your story may not touch everyone with the same sense of urgency.

And when you try to reach everyone, rather than narrowing your focus to speak to your unique ideal client, you’re diluting your message. And that makes it even less likely that those perfect customers who are searching for you will find you.

But if you’re just starting out as a health coach, it can seem an impossible task to know exactly who your ideal client is. Consider first these three characteristics.

  1. Gender. Is your audience male or female? And if you don’t actually yet have an audience, which gender would you prefer to work with? While men and women might both read and enjoy your content—and even buy your services—you will most likely find that your market is skewed heavily one way or the other. Men and women are different, and they are affected by stories and branding in very different ways, so what appeals to a man will not always appeal to a woman and vice versa.  Look around at some of the brands you buy, and you’ll quickly see how they form their messages to appeal to one or the other, but very rarely both sexes.
  2. Goals. What does your client hope to achieve, and how do your products and services help to realize those goals? Whether she’s trying to improve nutrition and exercise habits to reverse a muffin top and fit into clothes better, or he wants to avoid diabetes since his father just lost his vision from the disease, if you don’t know where they’re going, you can’t help them get there.
  3. His or her place in their journey. Is she a beginner or well along on the path? How you speak, how you write, what  methods you use to market, and even what prices you charge will all be determined by your ideal client’s level of sophistication. Whether you’re teaching a beginner the difference between a carbohydrate and a protein food, or helping couch potatoes train for their first 5k, their level of commitment (and willingness to spend) is far different from a skilled cook who is learning to modify her favorite recipes to a vegan diet, or a runner working up to a triathlon. And you will not reach your market effectively if you don’t know exactly where they are and what they need at this point.

Of course, if you’re just starting out, you might not yet know who your ideal client is. That’s okay, too. In the beginning, you can decide to lean in one direction or another towards groups of clients. But pay attention, because these groups will tell you plenty. They’ll tell you through the products and services they buy. They’ll tell you by following you (or not) on social media. They’ll tell you by commenting on your blog and asking questions that are relevant to them.

I’ve heard it said that your niche (who you help and what solution you provide for them) ‘finds you’. Watch your interactions with people, know what you’re passionate about, study those who contact you for help, and take a look at what your competition is doing, and soon enough you’ll have a clear understanding of your ideal client’s unique identity.