How often do you hear someone talk about…
…having a Niche.
…choosing a Target Market.
…knowing your Ideal Client.
But usually they talk about them like they’re all the same thing.
Well, they’re not.
It’s no wonder so many fitness entrepreneurs are confused about how you attract their Perfect Prospects…they never really specifically identify the prospect, what they’re looking for…and the fitness pro doesn’t really get clear about how they’re going to uniquely be the best solution for that person when they do find them.
So I’m going to help you better understand the differences between a Niche, a Target Market and an Ideal Client so you can start attracting the prospects that you do want to work with.
Let’s start with…
Your Ideal Client.
When you think about who your Ideal Client is, think about the qualities that they should posses.
The obvious one: a strong desire to get the benefit that you provide.
Seems simple, but most fitness pros overlook it.
They’ll tell you ‘I work with busy moms’ as if all busy moms are their ideal clients.
So your Ideal Client first needs to want the big benefit or couple of big benefits that you provide.
Well my guess is that your Ideal Clients have certain qualities that make them fun to work with for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- They’re goal oriented.
- They are smart.
- They’re positive or optimistic.
- They’re supportive of other clients. Team players.
- They are interested in more than just sweating. They like knowing why you do things.
- They’re resilient…they stick around even when they’re out of their comfort zone.
I’m sure you’ve got your own set of qualities in clients that you enjoy and connect with. Identify them.
But before we move on to Target Market, let me give you a word of caution. I see so many fitness professionals complain about their clients not caring deeply about ‘the process.’
I think that’s a mistake.
Most customers or clients in a business that truly are fans of that business eventually gain some interest in the process, but step out of your business owner role for a minute and think about your favorite restaurant.
Do you know where all of the food is sourced?
Do you know how it’s all prepped?
Do you know what temperature everything is cooked at?
Do you know what culinary school the chef attended? (But we expect people to care about our certifications…sigh.)
Odds are you don’t know much of that…maybe a little. Maybe you like that they source their foods locally and that is part of the appeal to you. But you’re probably not deeply invested in the technical aspects of their process.
But you like the result. You like the meal. You enjoy the service and the atmosphere.
So you can still be their Ideal Customer without knowing the recipe for every dish. Make sense?
Just be sure to consider that when you’re identifying the qualities you’re looking for in the clients you want to work with.
Now on to…
Your Target Market.
The easiest way to think of the Target Market is that it’s the pool of people where you’ll find your Ideal Clients.
So maybe your Target Market is Baby Boomers in the eastern part of Louisville.
Perhaps it’s women ages 30-45 who live within 4 miles of your facility.
This part of the equation is the demographic information that you might think about…
There’s more, but you get the picture.
So the people who are most likely your Perfect Prospects are the ones who are members of this Target Market and who exhibit the qualities we listed in the Ideal Client section.
Is this starting to make sense?
So why is identifying a Target Market important? Here are a couple of reasons…
- It will make marketing much easier. Let’s say that your Target Market is Baby Boomers in the eastern part of Louisville. You could immediately start focusing on where to find them.
Where do they live?
What groups do they belong to?
What do the read, watch or show interest in?
If there are 100,000 people in that part of Louisville, you’ve probably narrowed the pool down to 20% of that…and if you factor in Income, you’ve narrowed it even more. So no more chasing everyone. You’ll know who you’re looking for and where to find them.
- You’ll be able to position yourself as their specialist. Not only will you know where you can find your Perfect Prospects, but you’ll also be able to focus your message specifically to them. The problems they want to solve. They goals they want to achieve.
No more ‘one-size-fits-all-marketing.’
And once you do this, they’ll know that our business and what you offer are specifically for them. You’ll stand out from the crowd, be more appealing and, if you choose, you’ll likely be able to set a fee structure that is higher than average because specialists are perceived as more valuable that generalists as a rule.
Now it’s certainly possible that a few businesses will choose to serve the same target market…and that’s perfectly fine. That’s why your Niche is so important.
Your niche is the service you provide to your Clients.
So think of it as a combination of the big benefits that you’ll provide and the process you’ll use to provide those benefits.
So maybe you want to help those Baby Boomers in the eastern part of Louisville turn back the clock and look, move and feel better than they have in years. And you do that in a semi-private training format.
That’s different than someone who wants to do things in a group or bootcamp format…and it’s different than someone who wants to deliver their services in a one-on-one format.
Any while you may want to help those clients look, feel and move better than they have in years, someone else may simply focus on weight loss.
This part of the equation is one that you likely ‘get’ but the real question is ‘do your Perfect Prospects get it?’
Do they know what the big benefits they’ll get from working with you are…or do you focus on just talking about the process?
So said a different way – when someone inquires about your services, do you talk mostly about ‘training in a semi-private setting 2 or three times per week’ and share the times and prices…or do you talk to people about their goals, focus on the big benefits and then say…’and this is how we’ll do it’ before you get in to the technical details?
Putting The Three Pieces Together.
Hopefully, by now you’re seeing why your Ideal Client, your Target Market and your Niche are 3 different but interconnected pieces that, when dialed in, will allow you to start attracting the Perfect Prospects to your business more quickly and easily than you have in the past.
So take some time and think about the qualities that your favorite clients posses.
Try to identify the Target Market that most of them fall into.
Then get clear about what your Niche is when it comes to what you help them achieve and how you do it.
This is your formula for finding and connecting with the Prospects you want to serve most.