- Defining and narrowing in on your ideal customer is an incredibly important process and will help you earn more and be more fulfilled in your job as a coach.
- Get hyper specific on who your ideal customer is and market exclusively and consistently to them
- Embrace your niche –setting a clear line will ensure you attract the athletes that’ll benefit most from your coaching and prevent you from burning out.
Coaches often come to me for advice about finding their ideal clients by narrowing in on their niche.
Because let’s be honest: your work as a coach is so much more fulfilling when your athletes improve and flourish. And, to ensure the best outcomes, you should only work with athletes who aspire to develop the skills that fall within your expertise.
I’ve written several posts on the topic, including “Sell Your Expertise, Not Your Time” and “Know Who You Serve (And Who You Don’t)”. Today, I wanna dive deeper into this topic and give you my top 3 pieces of advice for attracting your ideal customer.
No need to dwell on exposition: let’s get to it!
1. Get HYPER SPECIFIC On WHO Your Ideal Customer Is
You know what they say: “riches are in the niches”.
I’ve found that, far too often, coaches define themselves by the sport they coach, rather than by who they serve and what specific outcomes they are experts at producing.
Time and time again, I’ve seen the former set of coaches fail and the latter excel.
And, of course, the first step in this process is to narrow in on exactly WHO you want to be coaching.
I can’t help you with that. Only you can know the answer.
But really getting clear on this will put you at a significant advantage and make you a happier coach. And honestly, you’d be surprised by how few coaches even stop and ask themselves this question to begin with.
The result? They don’t know what they are looking for, their goals aren’t crystal clear, and they are more likely to fall into a “scarcity mindset”, chasing clients who don’t align with their values.
If you ask me, that sounds like a one-way ticket to burning out.
Before you think about building any offer for a particular niche, I encourage you to really ponder the following questions (taken from a blog we posted last year). Don’t just answer them and move on.. Really THINK about the answers and ponder what YOU want.
Revisit these questions at LEAST once a year, but preferably once a quarter:
- What EXACTLY is my niche?
- What are the common personas in my niche (e.g. age, gender, income, skill level, etc.)?
- What value/results/outcome do I provide for my niche? How do I stand out?
- How can I increase the specificity of my offer to attract the right clients for my niche?
- DoI have any current clients with goals outside of this niche?
- Where is one place in my business I could increase the specificity of my expertise and/or offer?
2. Make it Very CLEAR and PUBLIC Who You Serve (and Who You Don’t)
Kudos! You took the advice in section 1 and now are more clear than ever on what your niche looks like and who you want to attract.
So what’s next? Tailoring EVERY STEP of your messaging towards that niche and ONLY that niche.
Get hyper specific on who you serve and use outcome-oriented language to attract your ideal audience.
Because let’s be real: there are literally thousands of coaches out there that probably offer the same thing you do. Niching yourself down in your marketing will only increase the “stickiness” of your offer.
In fact, being polarizing can actually HELP catch people’s attention and expand your reach.
Think about it in terms of sales psychology: you’re much more likely to remember an advertisement for a product that solves a specific problem than you are for one that promises something vague or merely lists features/ ingredients.
Yes, such marketing is especially effective for people who feel a personal connection to the problem being addressed. But, believe it or not, it also stands out more readily to those who can’t relate to the problem at all.
People are surprised when they are told “this isn’t for you” in a marketing campaign – it puts the onus on them to prove to YOU why you should consider taking them on as a client. Such strategies can grab attention and help you stand out from the crowd.
And, again, specificity. Is. Key. In fact, you should seek to repel people who you DON’T want, while simultaneously attracting people you DO want.
To drive this all home, let’s imagine a high school baseball player with aspirations of being recruited to their dream school.
Which of these two messages do you think will stand out to them more?:
“I’m a high school baseball coach of 10 years.”
“I'm a seasoned hitting specialist that helps aspiring college players increase their exit velocity, increasing their odds of getting recruited to a D1 school.”
Now, do you think that (2) REPELLED any potential clients? Probably… If they aren’t a hitter or don’t care about getting recruited to a D1 school, they might see your services as not relevant for them.
BUT odds are that (2) also helps you STAND OUT MORE to those players who ARE a hitter and DO care about getting recruited to a D1 school.
Conversely, if a prospective client saw (1) on your sales page, they would have no way of knowing how you differ from the hundreds of other coaching sales pages that promise general results.
In short, the customers you impress with (2) far outweigh the customers you might lose had you been more
Furthermore, it’s crucial that you ENFORCE your niche with each new client you acquire.
It’s perfectly ok to say “hey, I’m not the right coach for you if you are X,Y, Z type of athlete” or “I only work with athletes who do/want X,Y, Z things”.
In summary, the best coaches not only know their value within their niche, but also communicate it precisely. If you do the same, I promise your business and all of its messaging/marketing will begin to fall into place.
3. Be CONSISTENT in your Messaging
In the ConnectedCoach Blueprint, I conduct audits on member websites to help them hone in on their messaging.
I’ve done this exercise a LOT and have seen a ton of variety in websites across various sports, industries, and philosophies.
The SINGLE most common mistake I see from coaches is inconsistency in messaging.
I’ve seen people speaking to completely different audiences on different platforms. The copy and offers would be inconsistent between their landing pages, email campaigns, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok.
Sometimes this is a result of one being outdated and leading to dead links, other times I hear them explain that they “use different platforms for different reasons”.
My advice? Scrap any preconceived notion you have about the “uses” of these platforms and keep your messaging completely consistent across everything you do. It will make your life easier, I promise. AND, regardless of where you’re engaging prospective clients, they will know exactly why they should work with you (or not!).
The potential of confusing a potential client far outweighs any benefits. In my view, keeping everything consistent achieves 2 things:
- Reinforces Brand Identity. The last thing you want is for a client to be unsure of whether an instagram belongs to your company or just has the same name. Keeping copy and messaging consistent between platforms ensures they know that they are in the right place for your content.
- Minimizes Confusion. If you are highlighting one offer on Instagram, another on your website, and yet another on a marketplace like Skillest, you run the risk of confusing the client. I speak often about the importance of having one, clear CTA across all channels. Doing so will always funnel your marketing into the same place, where you can really dial in your messaging and optimize your results.
If you currently have multiple CTAs across multiple channels, try changing it to ONE clear and consistent message. It’s an easy change to make and I’d be curious to hear how it goes!
I hope you found this helpful!
We will be making additional posts in the coming weeks about HOW to dial in on your messaging and create a compelling offer, but for now I think these 3 points should get you off to a good start.
To reiterate yet again: Don’t be afraid of niching yourself. I have literally never seen someone be too specific in their marketing.
And remember, if you make the change and it doesn’t pan out, you can always revert back to your old ways (though I highly doubt that will be the case).
Getting clear on your niche, marketing your niche clearly, and being consistent across all channels will help you attract and maintain the customers that will fulfill you as a coach, help you produce amazing results, and keep your business moving forward.
Here’s to attracting only the best for you!
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