Back in 2012 when I first got my doctorate in psychology and put up my shingle as a coach, I knew nothing about coaching or business. I didn’t understand that I needed to focus on one transformation and one ideal client avatar.
So I became a coach. Not even a life coach.
That’s how much I didn’t know.
About a year later, I learned that I needed to pick a niche. I spent a few months getting bogged down in that and finally decided to focus on career coaching. I did that for about a year, but soon learned that I didn’t like helping my clients write cover letters and resumes.
Fortunately, I had two clients at about the same time that wanted to start their own businesses. Since I had been running my own business for a while, I knew some stuff by then and could help them. It was then that I realized how much I loved business coaching.
As a business coach, I still struggled because I didn’t focus on one type of business. My clients included coaches, freelancers, retail businesses, and other service businesses. Each of these businesses has a wide variety of help they need and I felt a bit overwhelmed trying to help them all. So I decided to focus in even further and help coaches.
First, I had had my own coaching business for several years by that point and I had made. ALL. THE. MISTAKES. (and solved them 😉
Second, I had worked on the core leadership team of a multi-million dollar coaching business for four years by that point. I got an insiders view of how to help coaches.
Finally, I had a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. I was prepared to help my clients with all their mindset, beliefs, and identity stuff around coaching. And Counseling Psych is like a sister philosophy to coaching. The two blend beautifully.
But this email isn’t about me. It’s about how to help YOU decide on your own ideal client avatar and niche down your own coaching practice. There are 3 things that can help you do just that.
What groups of people do you belong to and have easy access to?
Are you a member of a group or community of people that you actually like to hang out with?
It can be a hobby group, non-profit, or another organization you're involved with.
For example, when I was working for the coaching company, I had a chance to be a part of a community full of other coaches. Coaches who also wanted to help others and make an impact in a people-focused way.
What I’ve come to call Warm-Hearted Warriors...
Caring people whose purpose in life is to help others lead lives full of joy, meaning, and confidence.
These were people who had similar goals, who I cared about, and who I wanted to see succeed. In a big way. So they could make the impact they wanted to make.
So, bringing this back to you and your goals…
Think about the people you care about the most who want to make the transformation you can help them with. This can give you a good idea of who your ideal client avatar could be.
Often, these people are similar to an earlier version of yourself…
Start with an earlier version of yourself
My ideal client avatar is an ambitious coach who knows with certainty that she can help her people. If only she could figure out how to find them and get them to hire her.
Because I was that coach.
I thought about all the things I wish I would have known back in the beginning of my business building journey. And it felt natural to choose
Are there people now who are dealing with the same problems and challenges that you've solved?
Do you want to help them solve those problems?
If the answer is yes, you're ready for the third tip...
Are these people willing and able to pay you to solve the problem?
It's not enough to choose a group of people that you love. Or to help an earlier version of yourself. You have to make sure that they are willing and able to pay you.
Do they have money for coaching? Coaches are warm-hearted caring people who want to help the people who need them the most.
Yet, many of those people don’t have the money to pay them. You have to consider that coaching is a business. A business is an entity that is created to provide value while bringing in revenue. It’s not a non-profit.
If you truly want to help people that can’t afford your services, you may need to consider other options, such as…
If that’s where your heart is, then don’t be afraid to do that. You can always make coaching your side business and the non-profit your full-time work.
However, if you know that you want coaching to be your main gig, then you also need to consider…
Your avatar's willingness to pay for coaching.
People pay to end pain more than they pay to increase pleasure. And most people will not hire a coach to prevent anything. You’ll need to keep that in mind when you consider your avatar AND your transformation.
Take teens for example. They’re often not the final decision makers when it comes to hiring a coach. Their parents are. So if you’re going to coach teens, you need to consider that both the teen and their parents are your clients.
To sum up, think about these 3 key tips to help you choose your ideal client avatar...
- 1What groups of people do you belong to and have easy access to?
- 2Start with an earlier version of yourself
- 3Are these people willing and able to pay you for the transformation?
And if you'd like my help answering these questions, make sure to learn more about the Coach Action Plan. A one-on-one call with me personally to help you get clear on the most important activities you should be working on in your business. So you can start helping those people you're meant to serve. And, of course, get paid nicely for doing so.
With love & joy,
P.S. Is there someone in your life who could benefit from reading this post? Why not share this with them?