Your Ideal Client Cloner–3-Step Formula

Do you have that one client you just love seeing on your schedule?

Do you wish that you could clone that client and fill your practice with him or her?

In my last post about the importance of identifying the target market and niche that’s the right fit for you, I shared what Dr. Martin La-Buda told me about his goal to attract more ideal patients so he can feel like he’s seeing his best friends at his clinic. And, something we all need to do, whether you’re a health & wellness provider, financial planner or advisor, or other solo practitioner or small business owner, is fill our schedules with more ideal clients so we can:

  • Have clients who do marketing for us by making ideal referrals.
  • Get bigger, better results from our marketing time & dollars, and…
  • Get to do more of the work we love most.

One of my first ideal clients was Eric, a young Millennial client referred to me for ADHD coaching. At the time, Eric needed to make a critical decision about his career path and wanted to get out of his own way (build focus and accountability habits and get more done faster) so he could have more options. He came to appointments with questions and goals and was an engaged partner in goal-setting. Eric happened to a visual thinker, so we mapped out the potential roadmaps to get him where he wanted to go. Rising about the surface clutter, he saw the way, and got there quickly.

Eric expressed amazing insights. Here’s one that I share often, and that applies beautifully to choosing your target market and niche—“I need to make the best decision, and then make it the right decision!”

What Makes Your Ideal Client, Target Market, and Niche Hard to Define?

When I struggled with these in my own practice, it was because I got stuck on the idea that niche (often used interchangeably or combined with target market) is a single massive exclusionary decision. And, I felt pressured to make it the right decision for now and always. 

I wonder if you worry about this too? …With so much at stake—money and time spent on branding, messaging, marketing, and the like—I feared choosing a too narrow niche, or just making the wrong decision.

So, in this post, I want to share the shift of thinking that helped me—and now helps my clients—make choosing their ideal client/niche/target market a lot easier and more flexible and adaptable over time.

Here is My Simple 3-Step Formula to Identify the Right Ideal Client, Niche, or Target Market at Any Stage of Your Business:

Step 1—Identify Your “Big-T” Target Market (TM)

This is the type of person you love working with most and so do your best work with. The kind of person that embodies your Big-T TM might be someone who is a lot like you, or someone quite different for whom you have deep compassion, respect, and caring.

It is critical that you be honest about who you love working with and who…well…not so much.

This is a personal preference and can be an emotional decision. And, that’s why it’s essential that this be your first step. Omitting this step in favor of pure practicality will make marketing much harder and unnatural-feeling, and will make your days less fun, more rote, and a lot less profitable.

I help my clients do this by taking a systematic look at characteristics of current and past ideal clients. Here are two sets of questions that may help you in identifying your Big T target market:

  1. Who do I love working with (or who have I loved working with in the past):
    • Look forward to seeing on my schedule?
    • I sometimes can’t believe I get to actually get paid to work with them?
    • When I work with them it doesn’t feel like work?
    •  Love interacting with?
  2. For each of the above, ask yourself:
    • Why do I love working with them?
    • Why did they first come to me? What was their initial problem or goal?
    • What key progress did I help them make?
    • Would I like to have more clients like them now?

Step 1 is critically important and amazingly fun and fast, and yields tremendous long-term value and ROI. Steps 2 and 3, below, are more tactical in nature.

*I have found that separating out the one emotional and two tactical steps makes the whole process easier…and results in a better, truer choice that will serve you well, as it has for my clients and me!

Step 2—Identify Your “little-t” TM

This is where your Big-T TM can be found in groups, and is a purely practical marketing tactic that enables you to do “one-to-many” marketing. When you know where to fine your Big-T people—where they live, buy, play, pray, exercise, look for information, etc.—you can invest in reaching them there. And, best of all, when you build a following within a group, you will get more referrals.

Here’s another question set that you may find helpful in identifying your little t TM:

  1. Look across your findings from your Big T exploration: What patterns do you see?
    • Demographics?
    • Psychographics?
    • Life transition points?

As you build a following in one group, you can grow by reaching out to similar groups, or by narrowing your niche and zeroing in on a unique niche within your original niche.

Again, this is easy to do using your findings from Step 1 as a guide. Changing and adjusting your little-t TM is easy as long as your core message speaks to your Big-T person. That’s because members of your Big-T TM can be found anywhere, but you must be speaking to them directly so they know you are there for them.

For example, if your Big-T TM is people who love to be physically active, have a strong work ethic, and want to increase their longevity, you might choose competitive runners or bikers as your little-t TM.If you later decide that you would like to work with female CEOs, either instead or to expand your practice, you can just change a few group-specific words in your marketing and practice. The really important parts of your message will be based in shared values, which will still apply to your Big-T TM, no matter where they are or what stage of life they are in.

Step 3—Identify Your “little-n” Niche

This is what you do that you want to be known as the #1 go-to by your Big-T and little-t TM’s. Your little-n niche is your results delivery mode—RDM. It may be a unique approach, pricing model, or type of offer you are known for.

Here is a simple process to help you identify your little-n niche:

First, answer these two questions:

  1. What do you love doing that you most want to be known for?
  2. Do you want to be known for a particular set of services or a unique approach?

Then, for each of the above two questions, separately or together, vet the relevance of your little-n niche to your Big-T and little-t TM’s by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Why?
  2. What are the potential benefits to my Big-T and little-t? How will their lives be improved in ways that matter to them?
  3. If I can help them achieve those benefits, what will members of my Big-T and little-t TM be able to get and do…in their lives now and long-term?

This simple 3-Step Nail Your Niche Formula allows my clients to:

  • Speak to their ideal clients consistently, no matter where they are.
  • Communicate their value with confidence and authenticity.
  • Tailor their message to whatever specific group they are communicating with.

Nailing your ideal niche doesn’t have to be difficult; however, I know it can be confusing.

So, I’m offering a limited number of Profit-Ability Accelerator Calls.

Together, we’ll get clear on your niche so you can do more of your best work and make this your best year ever.

Click HERE to Schedule.

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