Still searching for more clients?
Well, the most common question asked by the 1000’s of Coaches in the I Love Coaching Magazine community is without a doubt…
“How do I attract more clients?”
Surprisingly though, it’s a question most of these Coaches already know the answer to.
They’ve been told by their certification schools…
They’ve been told by the myriad of experts they follow…
And they’ve been told in the countless books and online articles they’ve read.
You, no doubt, have heard this before too:
The way to find and attract clients is by first choosing a niche.
The theory goes that, when you define a specific niche and cut off everyone else, it will make it easier for you to sign clients.
When we first hear this it seems to defy logic.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to try and attract as many types of people as possible?
After all, more overall prospects means more potential clients and surely that would make it easier to sign clients?
You’ve also probably heard it doesn’t.
However, let’s quickly examine why this is the case before we move on…
The first reason it’s important to define a niche, for example “businesswomen over 40 in the Social Entrepreneurship industry,” is because when you do you’ll know exactly where to go to get your clients.
You’ll know the exact seminars they attend, the networking or LinkedIn groups they’re in, the type of business leaders and email lists they follow etc.
You’ll also know what other businesses you could reach out to for co-promotional or joint venture partnerships.
Because you’ll know their INTERESTS.
The magazines they read, the websites they frequent, the people in their network etc.
Without your niche defined though, you’re stuck, paralyzed, and not knowing which direction to go to find your client.
When you define your niche you will understand the unique problems specific to that niche
This will help you tailor your services to that niche so you’re able to serve your clients much more effectively.
For example, let’s pretend you’re a Fitness Coach and you’re trying to decide between serving CEO’s or stay at home mums.
Each of these two potential clients is vastly different, as are the problems and challenges they face every day. Therefore, the way you deliver your coaching service is going to be vastly different for each too.
For the CEO’s you might create a program that trains them in high-intensity brief short spurts at their office in between meetings because of their busy schedule.
Or maybe if you decide to go with the mums you might design a group fitness program that brings other stay at home mums together to exercise and socialize because they don’t get out of the house much.
If however, you don’t decide to serve a specific type of client, the programs you create will look ‘cookie cutter’ or generic which will make them less appealing.
When you define your niche and are able to understand their unique problems, you’ll also have a very good idea of the exact results and benefits they’re after
When you’re able to speak more specifically to these in your marketing material, attracting clients becomes easier, more efficient, and cheaper too.
Take the example above…
If you define your ideal client as a CEO you’re going to understand a lot of things about them…
You’re going to understand their number 1 objective is probably to make the company grow, that they want to bring the best talent to help achieve this growth, that they’re probably under a lot of stress and want to reduce it etc.
And with the stay at home mum you’re going to understand her number 1 priority is to take care of her family, and you know she too is probably under a lot of stress, has a lack of sleep, and maybe wants to lose her baby belly.
All of this information is very very valuable when trying to attract your client.
And the reason why it’s so valuable is because now you know the results both of these prospects want (and don’t want) and the benefits each are they’re looking for. Or what that means is, now you know what DRIVES these prospects.
And when you know what drives them you’re also going to know what will drive them to want to hire you!
It’s just like Frank Bettger said in his classic book How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling…
“The most important secret of salesmanship is to find out what the other fellow wants, then help him find the best way to get it.”
And the easiest way to find out what the other “fellow” (your prospect) wants, is by narrowing down to a very specific group whom all have similar problems and want similar things.
For example, if you can show the CEO they can grow their company (benefit), hire top talent(benefit), and reduce stress(benefit) by hiring you as their Fitness Coach they WILL hire you.
How would you do that?
Well, I’m sure you could easily show them how exercise can make them a more efficient(benefit), effective decision maker(benefit).
I’m sure you could also show that by exercising they could reduce stress(benefit), increase productivity(benefit), and manage staff better (benefit).
Would this not help with their number 1 objective result of company growth?
Of course it would.
And what about the mums?
I’m sure you could show them that through exercise they would get better sleep(benefit), reduce their stress (benefit), lose the baby belly (benefit), and by looking after their own wellbeing they in turn, could look after their families wellbeing more effectively too(benefit).
So when you narrow down your niche and focus on just 1 group your marketing material, your blogs, your newsletters, your workshops etc. become much more effective at attracting clients and converting clients because now you’re speaking to specific people with specific problems
Kind of like how I’m speaking specifically to yours right now 😉
However, if you’re trying to attract multiple niches or types of clients you can see how this would be problematic.
Using the example above again with only two niches, how would you go about attracting both a CEO and stay at home mum for your Health & Fitness Coaching business?
You wouldn’t be able to talk about either of their specific problems at all in your marketing material for fear of alienating one group. You wouldn’t be able to mention anything about “stress at the office”, or “productivity”, or “babies”, or “losing the baby belly.”
Could you imagine a CEO reading your blog and one minute you’re talking about “stress in the office” and the next you’re talking about losing the “baby belly!”
So what would happen is you would have to talk about the benefits of exercise that apply to both groups.
Your marketing material would be so generic it wouldn’t speak to either the CEO or the mum. Therefore, it would make it much more difficult to attract either as client.
The final reason why you want to narrow your coaching services down to just one niche, is because…
When you can speak so specifically to your target market’s problems, needs, and most wanted results, you’re demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge of their particular area, and in their eyes this makes you an expert
When you’re an expert you can charge more for your coaching.
When you’re an expert you again stand out from all the other Coaches out there not specializing or niching.
When you’re an expert you have less competition.
And when you’re an expert, it makes your prospects feel like you “get” them.
This builds tremendous Know, Like and Trust imperative to making a high-ticket service sale such as coaching.
Remember, like you, your clients and prospects want someone that speaks to them, that understands them, their challenges, frustrations, needs and desires
Isn’t that why you’re reading this very article?
It’s written specifically for you a Coach.
It’s written for your unique challenges and your unique wants of attracting clients, coaching people, and changing lives through coaching.
The only way this article is able to address your unique challenges is because we defined our niche.
If we tried to help all businesses and called this blog “how to grow a business” you probably wouldn’t have given it a second look!
So when you’re an expert it gives your prospects more certainty that you can solve their specific problems because you’re speaking so specifically to those problems.
And if they’re more certain you can help solve their problems, they’ve got more trust in you and therefore, they’re much more likely to hire you over the next Coach saying they help ‘everyone,’ and trying to speak to everyone’s problems.
So as you can see, by defining and going after just one niche there are many benefits…
You’re able quickly discern where to go to get your clients.
You’re able to serve these clients more effectively with customized coaching programs.
Your marketing material becomes much more effective.
You stand out.
You’re seen as an expert.
You’ve got less competition.
You’re able to charge more.
And all of this leads to you being able to attract clients more easily too.
So if Coaches know these benefits intellectually, why are they still not narrowing down their focus and choosing just 1 niche?
To uncover where the root of the problem lies, and why so many Coaches are getting stuck, let’s ask another question (in true Coach fashion) to the one that was posed in the beginning.
After the Coach approaches us and says, “How do I attract clients,” our usual reply is, “well, whom do you serve?”
Because again, if we knew whom they served we’d be able to tell them exactly where to go and what to say to attract their clients.
And the response we receive over 80% of the time goes something like this… “Well, I help women…” or “I help men…” or “I help anyone…”
Now this usually leaves us a little perplexed because if they help “women” or “men” or “anyone” finding and attrcting clients should be pretty easy for them.
They could literally walk down the street right now and find “women” or “men.” And even better if they’ve decided to help “anyone” because these Coaches prospects are literally EVERYWHERE!
Of course, the reason we know they can’t find or attract clients is because these 3 groups of “women,” “men,” and “people,” is just too broad.
As discussed above – if we try to speak or attract ‘everyone’ we end up speaking to and attracting no one, and we won’t know where to go to get our clients either.
So our next question is to dig a little deeper to find out why the Coach hasn’t decided on just 1 niche.
From here we get 3 typical responses which boil down to…
They don’t know how to choose a niche that’s right for them.
They’ve got a lot of niches they’re interested in and aren’t sure which to go with.
They want to target more than one niche.
For Coaches that fall into either group we always recommended they first go through our Dream Client Profile Template that teaches you how to choose a niche that resonates with you and your coaching business>>>
This will also help you get inside the head of your perfect client so you know how to speak to them more effectively in your marketing material.
Whether that be in the free reports you give away, to the coaching offers you create, or even the headlines you write.
The #1 most important piece to your marketing will ALWAYS be your message
It’s what attracts your dream client through every stage of your funnel.
But to discover the message that’s going to attract your dream client, you must first understand your dream client.
This is the reason for the template, and it’s the very first exercise we take ALL of our clients through.
It should be noted that, even though this training will help you choose a niche that’s right for you, some Coaches with a ‘perfectionist mindset’ (and there are a lot of them out there) will get stuck trying to decide on the absolute ‘perfect’ niche.
This leaves them stuck and paralyzed just like they were when they had no niche!
Please know there is no such thing as a ‘perfect niche’.
You can always pick one and if it doesn’t work out, you can go with a different one at a later date. You’re NOT locked in forever.
And further, you’re not always going to be serving just that one type of client.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about choosing a niche
What will happen when you begin attracting and working with that 1 niche or ideal client, you’ll get known for getting results with that type of client.
People will start talking about these results and you’ll naturally start to attract other people from ALL walks of life.
Now does this mean you have to turn them away because you target 1 niche?
The point is, you choose just 1 niche in the beginning to give you and your company direction so you know A) where to go to get clients and B) how to attract them to work with you.
So don’t let trying to find the ‘perfect’ niche hold you back from taking action because it is through action that we either get results or in the trenches learning.
And it is this type of learning that is more valuable than any book or expert could give you.