Not Interested in Weight Loss Clients?

A couple of weeks ago I had a strategy call with one of our website clients. I’ll call her Erica. I’m working closely with her on her website and the focus of this call was to get clear about her niche and what her messaging should be, so she can attract the right clients.

Prior to our call, I gave Erica some homework. I asked her to conduct some preliminary research into what her ideal clients are struggling with and what they want support with.

Erica has been coaching part-time for several years, so she has a breadth of client experience to draw from. She’s clear that she wants to work with women in business, so she spoke with a handful of women in this target market.

When we got on our call, Erica and I could clearly see that the theme among the women she spoke with (and her past and current clients) is that they all want support with weight loss.

It seemed as if Erica had found her answer to the niche question. She should be serving women in business to help them lose weight. There’s a clear need for this and it’s something Erica’s good at. (She shared with me that all of her clients naturally lose weight while working with her.)

While Erica is truly passionate about helping women in business have more energy and mental focus so they can feel better and perform better at their jobs, she saw weight loss support as a way to get these women in the door. She knows from past experience that once they start working with her, they’ll experience (and be interested in) more than just weight loss.

It seemed like a solid plan that she would lead with weight loss, and we proceeded to figure out a concept for her free opt-in gift, which was (appropriately) focused on weight loss.

Later that day, I was thinking about Erica, and I remembered that towards the beginning of our call, she shared that she’s not comfortable putting herself out there as a weight loss coach. She explained that she doesn’t mind helping her clients with weight loss, but she doesn’t want it to be the main focus. (Does this feel familiar?)

Despite Erica sharing this, at some point in the call, she and I were convinced that she should focus on weight loss – even though it’s not what she’s passionate about – whatever that may be.

Once I realized this, I immediately shot Erica an email explaining that we might want to rethink her niche. She was in total agreement and emailed me back saying “I totally appreciate this. And, to be honest, it even feels like a relief!”

Do you feel like Erica? Do you feel stuck working with clients and health concerns that you don’t feel passionate about?

It’s easy for this to happen when we let our clients choose our niche, rather than choosing it for ourselves.

I believe it’s vital to your business success that you’re truly passionate about what you do. If you’re “faking it” and working with the wrong clients because they’re the ones showing up on your doorstep, your clients will feel it and you’ll end up getting burnt out. Not to mention that you’ll have a difficult time effectively marketing yourself, because you can’t fully “get behind” your message.

Important side note:
There is nothing wrong with focusing on weight loss (or using weight loss as the starting point of what draws them in to work with you) if this is something you enjoy. It’s a huge need out there, and it’s important that there are coaches out there, like you, who can help people lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner. The point of this post is not to bash weight loss as a niche. I’m simply wanting to encourage you to focus on an area you feel passionate about – whatever that may be.

 

Should you ignore what clients want and just go with your passion?

The answer is yes and no :). Yes, you should go with your passion. But, no, you shouldn’t ignore what clients want. If you focus on a niche that you’re excited about, but one that no one wants to spend money on, you’ll always struggle to get clients.

The good news is that I believe you can have BOTH. It just takes a little digging to find where the two areas (what clients want + what you’re passionate about) overlap.

I’ll share the same advice I gave Erica.

Go out and speak to at least five people who fit your ideal client profile. Interview them and ask them what their biggest health concern is, how much that health concern is affecting their life, and how it’s holding them back. Also ask if this is this something they’ve spent money on in the past. This process of gathering information about your ideal clients is something I learned from one of my mentors, Derek Halperin.

When you speak to your five people, notice themes that come up. You’re looking for something that comes up repeatedly. Make sure you’re zeroing in on a major pain point, not just a minor inconvenience. It should be something that they’re thinking about on a daily basis, and ideally it should be something they’ve spent money on in the past- or at least are interested in spending money on.

It’s vital you speak with the RIGHT people…

If you don’t want to focus on weight loss, be sure that you speak with at least 5 people who don’t have weight loss as their main pain point. If you speak with people for whom weight loss is their big pain point, don’t count their responses. If you speak with people who just say things like “I want to be healthier” or “I want it to be easier to get dinner on the table,” these are not big enough pain points and they’re likely not ideal clients and therefore you won’t want to include their responses. All of this too say that you may end up needing to speak with more than five people in order to get responses from five ideal clients.

Putting it all together.

Once you’ve spoken with five people who truly are ideal clients, it should be easy to zero in on your niche and your messaging. Identify the main pain points that came up in at least four of the five conversations you had. Find where there’s overlap between what they want and what you’re passionate about helping people with.

Choosing a niche will actually allow you to make MORE money, not less.

When you determine your niche and get very clear on who your audience is and what they desperately want help with, you will become a client magnet.

When you know who you are serving, you’ll start to speak and write in a way that makes your ideal clients feel that you’re speaking directly to them. They’ll feel that you know them, understand them, and have the expertise to help them.

 
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What types of clients have you been attracting? Is this who you want to work with? If not, share the areas you feel passionate about.

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