Defining your ‘ideal’ client enables you to find your ‘niche’. Without a niche, you’re trying to engage with people who might have no interest in what you do or the outcomes, insights, or feelings you can guide them to. You’re essentially just shouting at traffic.
Once you can narrow down who you can serve more effectively, it means you have to do a lot less shouting and can start having some meaningful conversations. The more you can narrow down the definition of your ideal client, the fewer conversations you have with people who are the wrong fit. That’s going to save you a lot of time, energy and money.
Having an ideal client means you can articulate the who, what and why of your coaching business. Most coaches can talk at great length about what they do. I bet if you wanted to, you could write thousands of words, pages and pages about what it is you do in your coaching practice.
I also imagine that you could tell me why you do what you do, and in the next chapter (Story) we’re going to look deeper into just this. Most coaches, however, struggle with the who part – the part that, in many ways matters the most. When you have clarity, it signposts to your ideal client that they’re in the right place, and it signals early on to those who are not the right fit for your services that they’re not in the right place.
Knowing your ideal client allows people who don’t yet know you to take that first step with confidence; they want to get to know you. Without it, there is confusion and it leaves people asking…
- Can this coach help me?
- Do they know how to help?
- Will they understand me or am I going to have to do a lot of explaining?
- Will this just be generic?
- And if so, can I just do it myself?
It also helps people refer you to others and share the what and why with people they believe are a match for your who.
The mindset we need to embrace here is: “I am not for everyone and that’s ok”. It allows you to focus your energy on thor who see the value you deliver and want to work with you.
In the Coach’s Marketing Journey course, we have lessons that show you how to understand buying behaviour, imagine and define your ideal client, and find your niche. We also do some deeper work on whether you should niche your coaching style or audience, and how your niche can preserve your energy and sustainability.