How to Define Your Target Audience as a Health Coach
Are you struggling to secure new health coach clients? Or maybe you’re learning how to become a health coach and building a customer base from scratch. Either way, taking a broad approach isn’t the answer. Instead, narrow your focus to a core audience and develop a message that appeals directly to them.
Pinpointing your ideal client is more than just a marketing tactic. It is the foundation of your entire business. Identifying the kind of people who match your coaching technique will bring your clients satisfaction and bring you a greater sense of purpose.
What is a Target Audience?
A target audience is an assortment of consumers categorized by specific demographics and behaviors. A target audience will strongly influence your marketing strategy and determine how you appeal to clients, where to spend your money, and how to structure your services.
Individuality is just as important in business as it is in life, and as in life, you can’t be all things to all people.
The notion of appealing to the masses isn’t a good business strategy when seeking new clientele. You want to fill a need, solve a problem. And while it’s okay to follow certain practices and protocols, finding your niche will make you stand out and allow you to find an audience who connects to your unique style.
“There should be key elements where you are distinct from everyone else,” Auren Hoffman,
SafeGraph CEO said on Quora.
Why defining your target audience is essential
Target audiences determine a business’s consumer characteristics and identify who your ideal client is; this is important for the following reasons:
- Are the core component in developing a master market plan
- Dictate your messaging strategy
- Determine the content you create
- Drive your social media marketing plan
- Will save you money knowing how and where to invest in marketing.
What kind of health coach are you?
According to Research and Markets, health coaching is part of a $6 billion service market, with over 100,000 health coaches and health educators working in the United States. Having a firm understanding of who you are and what sets you apart from the competition is the first step in defining your audience.
Decide what makes you unique, then prepare your elevator pitch. The clearer understanding you have of yourself and your philosophy, the better you can target a specific audience.
Discover your passion
Did you overcome an illness? Did you struggle with obesity or an eating disorder? What brought you to coaching in the wellness field? Whatever brought you here, pay homage to the why. Your story can help motivate others and inspire change.
Targeting your passion equals greater success. A 2017 study by Deloitte found three attributes of worker passion—”the tendency to seek out difficult challenges, the inclination to connect with others to find better solutions, and the desire to make a significant impact.”
Maybe several small interests feed your passion. Following are some ways to implement those interests into your coaching persona:
- Nutrition: Eating healthy is a huge part of living healthy, but how far do you take it? Do you love to cook, plan menus, or share recipes? Take your love of cooking to another level by implementing special services for your client.
- Physical activity: Are you a yoga guru? Perhaps you enjoy aerobics or bodybuilding. Take those hobbies to the next level and use your knowledge to target clients with similar interests.
Choosing a specialty in health coaching
As a health coach, you act a mentor to those looking to make diet and lifestyle changes. Narrowing your audience by choosing a specialty based on your passion and expertise is more effective when helping clients improve their decision making, enhance self-awareness, and improve self-worth and confidence. Following are some options to choose from:
- Weight loss coaches offer clients support and hold them accountable for their weight loss goals.
- Nutrition coaches educate clients about food, helping them to change habits and better control chronic conditions.
- Bodybuilding coaches help customers get in shape for competitions or modeling.
- Cancer coaches help clients face the reality of their cancer diagnosis and make changes towards a healthy life and mindset.
- Menopause coaches help women cope with the physical, mental, and emotional shifts brought on by perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause.
- Sex and intimacy coaches help couples or individuals with sexual, intimacy, and relationship issues.
- Stress management coaches can assist with work-related stress, such as overwhelming responsibilities, long work hours, and economic pressures. And personal stresses resulting from financial challenges, relationships, and health.
Carefully compile your coaching credentials
Health-related degrees and certifications are obvious credentials. However, don’t underestimate any experience you have in an unrelated field. Think about how to use the skills you’ve accumulated throughout your life to build credentials as a health coach. Some examples include:
- Health Coaching Expertise: This will come from having a health-related degree, previous health-related job experience, or personal experience.
- Accounting: Use your spreadsheet skills to help clients set-up ways to track their eating habits, exercise programs, and personal goals.
- Management: Managing clients can be much like managing employees—target clients who require more oversight throughout their program.
- Foodservice industry: Knowledge of food or insight into the way people eat when dining out is a huge benefit when helping people think about their eating habits
- Sales: Use your sales experience and techniques to sell yourself and your services to potential clients.
Utilize the right kind of research
Finding your ideal audience will force you to dive deep inside their mind; get into their head.
- What’s hurting them?
- What are their goals?
- What motivates them?
The ultimate goal is to get to know your target client better than they know themselves. Employing appropriate research techniques can get you there.
What is market segmentation?
Conventional segmentation describes your potential customers by gender, age, income, etc. Stouffer’s might target working, single mothers earning under $40,000 per year when selling frozen dinners, but that information isn’t going to help you sell health coaching services necessarily.
Instead, focus on developing a health-oriented segmentation that describes which category of people your practice best serves. Consider the following segment groups.
- Health anxieties and concerns
- Previous health-related experiences
- Family wellness concerns
- Level of self-efficacy and self-confidence
- Psychological concerns
Create a market research survey
The best way to identify your ideal client is to perform a market research survey. Share your survey via social media if you have an extensive following. If you don’t, companies like SurveyMonkey offer services starting around $120 that find a target population for you based on the demographics you choose.
The questions you ask are as important as the way you ask them. Following are some sample questions to consider when formulating your survey:
- What is your number one health goal?
- What is your biggest wellness concern?
- What is your favorite form of exercise?
Multiple choice examples:
- Which of the following interests you the most (choose one)?
- Cooking classes
- Group coaching classes
- Private health coaching
- Education about nutrition
- How long would your ideal program last?
- 6 weeks
- 12 weeks
- 16 weeks
- 24 weeks
- Which of the following would you like to know more about?
- How to increase energy
- How to lose weight
- How to reduce stress
- Exercise ideas
Embrace your support system
Networking is not just a handy tool for determining your target audience but is a necessary component to building a strong wellness business. Some simple networking ideas include:
- Join health and wellness social media groups.
- Join other social media groups like parenting, advocacy, and self-help/improvement groups.
- Reach out to friends and family.
- Speak to trainers and members of your health club about trends and concerns.
- Hang out at health food and organic food shops and pay attention to what customers ask and what they’re purchasing. Talk to the owners.
- Join professional organizations and reach out to colleagues.
Find health coach clients now
Identifying your ideal client and narrowing your audience will allow you to create an effective marketing strategy and make the most of your talents. From specifying your services and fee structure to determining what kind of content to generate, defining your target audience will put you on the path to success.