How to Find Your Ideal ClientsFeb 21, 2022
There are three steps to getting coaching clients:
- Finding your ideal clients
- Getting in front of them
- Connecting with them
- Determining if you can be of service to them
In this episode, I talk about how to find your ideal clients...because if you can't find them, you can't serve them. I spill the tea on the biggest myth out there when it comes to getting coaching clients, and how to actually get seen by your ideal clients. Then, I give you a specific framework for finding exactly where your ideal clients are hanging out online.
Today's episode is all about how to find your ideal clients, because if you've been listening to this show for any amount of time, you know that the main steps to attracting the perfect clients are finding your ideal clients, getting in front of them, connecting with them, and then determining if you can be of service to them. Today, I want to dive really deeply into this first step, which is finding your ideal clients, and I want to start by giving a little background into my own story and kind of debunking several myths that come up a lot when we talk about finding our ideal clients.
I've always been a really big content powerhouse, meaning that I can write and produce content all day long. I can write really well, I can appear somewhat charming on camera, and I can deliver an excellent podcast interview, all without really breaking a sweat. In the past year alone, I have been interviewed on about 15 different podcasts, produced over 35 hours of video content, and written over 200,000 words of content. In other words, if content is king, then I'm kind of the queen of it.
So when I started doing this whole marketing thing years ago, you can imagine that I felt pretty confident when I heard every marketing guru out there saying that if you put quality content out there, your ideal client will come to you. And honestly, after considering that piece of convenient advice to be my primary client attraction tool for a couple years, I've come to the conclusion that that is just not true. Sure, there's some amount of truth to it, but when it comes to attracting coaching clients, it's mostly false. This approach of “Okay, I'll just put content out there, and clients will come,” well, that assumes that your ideal clients are looking for you in the first place.
And specifically with coaching, most people who fit your ideal client profile aren't necessarily out there actively looking for a coach. In fact, they might not have even considered a coach as a solution to their problem, and they're instead stuck reading various self help books, trying to do it alone, and just not getting a whole lot of success. Even if your ideal client is out there looking for coaching, chances are slim that they're going to find you if they don't already know who you are. If they do a Google search for anything related to coaching, they're going to get bombarded with search results that include the big coaching names, companies that train coaches, and marketers who are trying to market to coaches. Sure, you could spend years massaging your search engine optimization and working your way up the rankings, but most of the time, it'll feel like you're fighting a losing battle.
This myth of “If you build it, then they will come,” well, that perpetuates another myth, and that's the myth that consistently posting quality content means that your ideal clients will see that content in the first place. Whether you're talking about a blog, or a podcast, social posts, or any other form of content, creating content is a fundamentally different task than making sure your content gets in front of your ideal clients. Yes, it is important to create content, but if it's not being seen in the first place, then it's ultimately not doing a lot for you, and this is where finding your ideal clients becomes important. That's the ability to locate exactly where your ideal clients are hanging out online, so you can then move to the second step of the client attraction process, which is getting in front of them.
Your ideal clients are hanging out online, even if you think they aren't tech savvy enough to be on social media. For example, with 3 billion active Facebook users, it's inevitable that some version of your ideal client is there. Whether your ideal client is a busy executive, a stay-at-home parent, or retired grandmother, the internet—specifically social media—is the best place to find and connect with them, but your first job is to find them. Much like the process of identifying your ideal client in the first place, the process of finding them depends heavily on your ability to drill down and be as specific as possible.
The best way to think of finding your ideal clients, not just online, but anywhere for that matter, is as concentric circles. The innermost circle represents your ideal client comfortably situated within two larger concentric circles. This is where they live online. It could be their Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram profile, or any other very specific location where a single ideal client is and can be reached.
Fortunately, one of the things we know about humans is that we're very community-centered beings, and we gravitate towards people who are similar to us, people who share similar values, beliefs, interests, and problems. You can leverage this aspect of human behavior in your client attraction process, because your goal, after all, isn't just to get in front of a single ideal client, it's to get in front of many ideal clients.
This takes us to the middle circle, that second layer out, which are the communities that your ideal clients are in. These communities can take many forms, but these are groups of people that come together around a shared interest or identity. Anything from a knitting circle to an LGBT group, these are groups that are centered around a commonality shared by its members, and they can be informal or formal, all the way from a casual book club to a formal business networking event.
If the inner two layers are your ideal client and the communities that they're a part of, then that outermost layer is the containers that hold those communities. This could be a specific social media platform like Facebook, or LinkedIn, or even the yarn store that hosts that knitting circle. It's important to pay attention to this outermost layer, because, say, if you find a Facebook group, it's a community. Well, if that outermost layer is Facebook, then chances are that there are other groups on that platform on Facebook that are going to be just as valuable, and if a yarn store hosts a knitting circle, that is that community that you want to get involved with? Well, that yarn store probably has other events and groups as well, aside from that one specific knitting circle.
If your primary goal at this point is to find your ideal clients, then these are the three pieces that you're going to want to really be paying attention to. You're going to be paying attention to where your ideal clients are, the communities they're in, and the larger containers that house those communities. Oce you've done that, once you have successfully identified your ideal clients, well, that's the point at which you can proceed to the next steps, which are to get in front of them and start connecting with them, but you can't do that until you've found them in the first place.
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