#94: How To Use Your Target Market as a Tool

Michelle often talks about choosing a target market and designing a signature program for them. In this episode, she gets really clear about how your target market is a TOOL…and shows you how to put that tool to good use.

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Okay, I think we're broadcasting. Hello and welcome everybody. Hello to my health coaches. Hope you're having a fabulous week. Here we are back for, hey, we haven't actually had a true Q&A session in a while on these Tuesday episodes but in the past couple of weeks we've been talking an awful lot about choosing a target market and designing a signature program for them and they want to be really, really clear. Your target market is a tool and today I'm going to show you how to put that tool to very, very good use. Cause what's the point? Otherwise, why are we talking about it? Why do I harp on it so much? It's not so that you could just write down your perfect avatar on a piece of paper and keep it on your desk. That's not why. It's because there's so many different applications and I want to make sure that you are actually using this tool to its greatest advantage.

Now as I am recording right now, registration is open for my Healthy Profit University's Fast Track Program. We have an amazing big group of really motivated coaches who are enrolled. And I can't wait to get started with all of you guys, but for those of you who maybe missed out on this opportunity because you're watching or listening to this later, or if you just can't join us this time around, you know it would be awesome idea for you. Subscribe, subscribe to these episodes, the Health Coach Power Community podcast and leave a written review on iTunes. Could you do that? Could you do that for me? Because with enough reviews I'm able to continue putting out free content every week in addition to the deep dive that I offer inside my course, Healthy Profit University. So, I super appreciate you guys in advance for all of those written reviews and I want to make sure we have lots of time to get into today's topic.

So let me just set it up over here so I can see all of your comments. If you're here live. Hey, I am here live too. So let's talk. Tell me in the chat what you're thinking and what questions you have as it relates to how to use your target market as a tool. So, I'm going to start with a question from Janice.

Janice posted this into our Facebook group, I believe last week, and this is what she said. Is it safe to say that my niche is narrowed enough or should I still be choosing one of these two? So, this is how she has it laid out so far. You guys, she says, I help the time crunch sports mom stop stressing and worrying about what's for dinner and how what they're currently eating is compromising their health, their family's health and their weight and start strategically organizing themselves in the kitchen to gain better control of their time and their waistline.

I think we could probably streamline that Janice. But I hear what you're saying. So, and she goes on to say in a nutshell, I am using strategic meal planning to help with both weight loss and getting healthy meals on the table. Is this viable or should I be choosing either weight loss or meal planning?

I wanted to start with this just to like again, wrap our heads around this idea of a target market and what it means. It's both who we serve and what big problem we help them solve. So, Janice, this is, this is a subtle difference here, but when you talk about weight loss, that's a problem. When you talk about meal planning, meal planning's not a problem. Meal planning is a way to solve a problem. Like nobody cares about meal planning in and of itself.

They meal plan because they need to save time or they need to save money or they want to eat healthier foods or because now they're gluten free and they have to meal plan around that, right? So they have a problem that they're trying to solve. And the how is the meal planning from what I'm hearing you saying like meal planning is going to be the how, and I'm sure you have lots of other how’s too. You're probably going to teach this woman how to use, I don't know, an instant pot and lots of other how’s you know, kitchen tricks and shopping and, and take out. That's not so bad for her and her family. But in any case, when we talk about our target market, the how is basically irrelevant. And I know that's kind of hard to believe, so I've said this before, but whether you help your clients through meal planning or you help them by actually cooking the food for them or you help them by doing Pilates lessons or you helped them with Reiki.

I don't care. I do care of course, cause I care about all of that. But I don't care when it comes to you stating your target market, all we need here is the who and the what. So you know your who, there's a time crunch sports mom who I'm imagining is like in the minivan dropping the kid off at soccer, dropping the other kid off at baseball, bringing this one to dance class, etc. Traveling for the league sports. Right. And her problem is not meal planning. Her problem that she's trying to solve is something you wrote in here about their family's health and their weight. So I think you need to choose and, and I mean I have a pretty good inkling of which one of these is going to do better for you, but I'll let you decide for yourself. Is she more concerned about the health of her family?

Is that the thing she's most worried about every day when she gets up in the morning and looks at herself in the mirror, she's like, ah, like my kids are not eating enough vegetables. Right? Is that like her biggest deepest problem or is it her, her weight and her own health? Which one is the biggest problem that she wants to solve? Who's most motivated to solve? And that's the what part of your statement here. You know the who and you just have to pick a what and the how of the meal planning. Who cares in a sense. I do care. Once again. I hope that's helpful Janice, and I hope that's helpful for all of you who are trying to figure out your who and what.

Okay. Next question. Now we're going to move into the like application. Let's say that Janice figure that figures this out. She knows who she's serving, she knows what problems she's helping this woman solve. Great. Now how does this apply to the rest of your business? And feel free to hit me with questions about this in the chat as we go along. So, this question came in from, I'm going to say your name is Kaiis and I don't know if I'm pronouncing it correctly, so I apologize if I'm not and you said:

Hello everybody, I'm building my own signature program and I'm wondering if I should share a lot of what I know and make it easy to understand. Sounds, sounds good. From the outset, what kind of educational material handouts and cheat sheets do you use?

Okay, so I'm going to break this down into a couple parts case. First, you're wondering if you should share a lot of what you know and make it easy to understand.

Okay. Yes. Anything that you share, you want to make it easy to understand. I think that goes without saying. Should you share a lot of what you know? I mean of course, right? The answer has to be yes to that. But really if I think about my target market and the women I work with in my health coaching practice, I know an awful lot of stuff that would be super overwhelming to her. I know a lot of stuff that doesn't even necessarily apply to her or help her solve her big problem because I'm really into health and nutrition and fitness and you know, I ferment my own foods and I soak my grains and I do like all kinds of stuff that like she, it really need to be concerned with. It's just fun for me. Right. Cause like I'm an enthusiast and most of us we're enthusiasts, right?

Like we have a lot of hobbies in this arena of health and wellness and nutrition. So should you share a lot of what you know, I'm going to say it depends on who your target market is and what big problem you're helping them solve. So for example, I know all about making homemade sauerkraut. Is that kind of interesting? Yeah. Do people sometimes like to hear about it a little bit. Yeah, but mostly they go, I don't got time for that. I don't like sauerkraut. I'll take a probiotic pill. You know, like that's, that's my target market. That's hers. That's how she would respond to that. So I would not be serving my client well if I dedicated a portion of my signature program to how to ferment your own vegetables, like lacto fermentation, just does not fit in to the scheme of things. When I'm talking about helping my target market solve her big problem.

However, I don't know who your target market is. I don't know what problem you're helping the solve, but that's sort of the filter that you want to run it through. Is it going to help this person achieve their goal? Is it going to help them get there faster or is it going to be a giant distraction and possibly overwhelming them, in which case you would just kind of want to leave that out. Of course if they ask about it, you know, I will always engage in a good nerdy conversation about all things nutrition, but it's not going to be part and parcel to what I deliver inside of a signature program. Does that make sense? Yeah. Okay, good. So the other part of the question here is what kind of educational material handouts and cheat sheets do you use? Again, any sort of logistics about your signature program.

I'm always going to have you go back to how can you best serve your client and their very particular needs. Cause they're a very particular type of person. So I'm going to guess that if I don't know, I'm just going to make this up. Let's say that I'm working with women 60, 65 plus. They're retired. They're moving into that next season of their life. It's very exciting. But you know, they're not like super online people. They're not like totally comfortable on the laptop. They prefer to get something on paper or like a PDF. They're like not so interested in like interactive things online. So if I were to give them materials, I would probably choose a format that is most comfortable for them. That makes sense. And also these are women who might have a little more time on their hands. They're not running around after like three toddlers wiping butts.

So she very well might be interested in sitting there and reading like several pages of information about fill in the blank, whatever the topic is that is relevant to her. Now that would be very different if I were working with like a mom of three toddlers, it was running around and wiping their butts. In that case, does she want materials and handouts and homework and cheat sheets and all sorts of things like no, that woman probably wants none of that. She just wants to sit down for a second. So, so really again goes back to how can you serve your client best. Sometimes you serve your client best with longer sessions. Sometimes you serve them best with shorter sessions, sometimes you serve them by giving them more resources. Sometimes you serve them by giving them fewer resources. So, this is one way that you can take the idea of your target market and use it to be most effective in your health coaching practice.

Just give me like a thumbs up if that makes sense. Cause I feel like some of you may still be confused and I just want to make sure that we're all speaking the same language here.

Okay. Here's a question. Moving on to another way to use your target market as a tool. It's a question from Chloe. Chloe says, should I tailor my website to my target market or should I leave it as a general health coaching site?

Chloe? Yes, of course. Of course. You should tell her your website to your target market. 100%. The only reason I wouldn't do that, yet is if you haven't proven that you are working with a viable target market. So like let's say you choose a target market of like, I don't know I work with clowns in the circus to like have clear skin or something like that. Cause I always have all that makeup on their skin and they get lots of breakouts.

Okay. Let's, let's just, I just came up with that. I'm sure you can't believe I just came up with that off the top of my head, but okay, so like let's, that's pretty specific and you're like, okay, I'm going to go after this target market, but then like let's say six months later you're like, this isn't working out. Like I just don't have access to enough clowns. I don't know where to find them. They're always traveling when whatever the problem is. And so you're like, Oh, I'm not going to invest myself here. I'm, you know, this was a mistake. Now it's really unfortunate if you spend six months waiting to find that out. When I work with health coaches, we try to fail fast. So, if there's an idea, we want to test it, we want to see if it's viable like ASAP and if it's not, you want to fail fast and that waste six months or a year of your life or more.

But in any case, if you had Chloe built your whole website around serving clowns and their skincare needs, you would be pretty upset if you had to change gears. So I would say leave your site alone or do not even build a site, or do you not even worry about it until you have chosen a target market and proven it to be a viable business model. And then at that point, yes, absolutely. You're going to tailor all of your marketing to that group of people, including your website. Okay, good question. Thank you for asking. Let's do another.

So, Renee asks, if you have a private Facebook group for your niche market and your three easy ask to join questions, convey that, but somebody skips and still asks to join, do you still approve them if their profile doesn't fit or do you just ignore them? And is there a way that you can resubmit them to the process and send reminders to answer the questions to be approved?

Okay. So if any of you, whoever ever joined a Facebook group, including the Health Coach Power Community Facebook group, you might remember that when you request to join, you're hit with three questions that you have to answer. And, and that's true for a lot of groups. It's a vetting process. Like I am very, very, very strict about no one entering into this group who are trying to sell their services to health coaches because then it would become a bulletin board and this would not be a valuable place for us all to hang out.

It would be like, you know, a web designer pitching services and this SEO marketing guy pitching their services and then like virtual assistants posting a bunch of junk and it wouldn't be a useful space. So we vet like crazy to make sure that the people coming into the Health Coach Power Community group for example, our actual health coaches who are in school to be certified or all are already certified and they are not marketers. It's not a perfect science. And sometimes people slip through the cracks but then we boot them out as soon as we find out. So, so Renee, I'm asking those three questions is a really great idea cause you do want to make sure that the right people are entering your group. Now if somebody skips the questions and yes, that's something you can do, you can still request to join without answering the questions.

Do we approve them? So, yes and no. If somebody doesn't answer the questions and I ha I or my assistant, whoever is approving people into our group has an extra minute of their life, we'll go to their profile and if the profile speaks obviously that, you know, they are a health coach or they are a graduate from whatever school, we will still approve them into the group as a courtesy. If we're kind of short on time and you know, you kind of get annoyed because these people are not answering the questions. If they can't answer a couple of questions, how likely is it that they're going to be a useful member of your group? So that's the other way of thinking about it. So sometimes we decline or if we go to their profile and there's absolutely no indication that they are health coach at all.

Or if there's any indication that they are something else and they can be detrimental to the group, then we decline them. So you just have to remember that you own your brand and you set the stage for what you want to happen. Right? And so Renee, if you want a certain type of woman in your group and somebody else requests to join, you are under zero obligation to admit that person to your group. Zero. Like they have no God given right to be in your group, right? So you get to decide, you get to curate a Facebook group that again is going to serve your target market. You want it to be a useful, I'm assuming warm, loving, cozy, wonderful space for women who are inside your, the demographic that you're trying to reach. And you don't want to invite outsiders. And so, it's entirely up to you how you want to handle that.

But yeah, we do a little bit of both approving and declining as we see fit on any given day. And your question about is there a way to sort of like remind them to answer the questions? Not to my knowledge. I have certainly seen people get declined and then come back and answer the questions cause they're like, Oh I had to do that. But yes, you can either ignore them or decline them and you know, move on, move along. There are more people that are more important for you to be interacting with.

Alrighty, how else can we be using our target market?, I would love to hear if there's any ways that you are all using your target markets inside your business. Here's a question from Kristen. No, before I read that I definitely need a sip of water. Hang tight.

Okay. Kristen says, I am doing a carnivore diet for 30 days so I can experience what might be a valuable tool in treating autoimmune conditions. My husband is going carnivore as part of his treatment and I want to support him and figure it out. Even though my first reaction to the thought of eating only meat is horror. I am researching and learning a lot and trying to keep an open mind. Question; would it be worth it to document, document my month-long experiment on my blog and social media or would it turn more people away because of how extreme carnivores sounds? I'm not advocating it for everyone, but it may be a plausible tool for some. Would it generate more interest than it would repel or discredit me and she just wants some reactions from other coaches.

So generally I think it's really cool when we can share our experiences. There's some humanity there. Hey, I'm trying something. I don't know the answer. Look what I'm learning. I mean that's just interesting. Now as for this particular diet, like is it going to work in your favor? Like as a, in a business sense it's going to work in your favor, Kristen or is it going to work against you? Let's go back to your target market. So, if your target market are a bunch of yogis and now you are going to tell them about how you are doing a carnivore diet, I think you're going to definitely alienate a lot of those yogis who are all ahimsa and this, that and the other, right? I'm a Yogi. I'm not making fun. And, and that may very well work against your interests, work against your client's interests.

I don't know. But if you are working with a target market who has autoimmune disease and you are saying, Hey, like I am here to help you get rid of these terrible autoimmune symptoms and one way of doing that might be this carnivore diet. So I'm checking it out for you and I'm going to let you know how it goes because I know I'm going to try, you know, we all want to help solve your autoimmune conditions. Then I would say yes, absolutely document this journey because whether they're turned on by the idea of eating meat or turned off by it is kind of irrelevant. It's really just more about like what problem do they want to solve and are you helping them with it? In which case, yes you would be if you are helping them discern if this is something they might want to try with you or on their own or in the future or just do more research into it.

I think it would be fascinating them. So when you are creating content for your blogs, for your podcast, for any of your emails, anything that you're putting out there, you always have to put it in terms of what does my target market need to hear, how can I help them even take one small inch, step closer to their end goal? And then that's the filter that you run it through. Is this an appropriate topic or not? And Kristen, I see that you're here with us and so this is what Kristen's saying. She says she's an, and I already know this about you Kristen, but I'm going to read it out loud for everybody else. She says, I'm working at a grass fed meat farm. So I serve those customers, not vegan. And a large percentage of my clientele are auto-immune on various elimination diets. Right. So it sounds like it could be very appropriate for you. And yes, a large percentage are autoimmune. What are the other percentage? I don't know, but it sounds like you're on the right path with this. So good luck and I'm interested in how it goes for you.

Okay, here is another question. So many good one’s you guys. Here's another question from Rebecca. She says, I am working on a freebie this weekend designed to build my email list. I'm designing a quiz. What's your favorite quiz generator? I want it to automatically tally up their results and send them a PDF of those results. And she wants this tool to be free or as close to free as possible while being easy to set up.

Okay, so let me break that down into a few things. Rebecca says she's working on a freebie this weekend, and for those of you who are like, what the heck does that mean? A freebie means it's something that you're creating for your target market in exchange for an email address to help build your, your list, right. So maybe it's a quiz like Rebecca is talking about, maybe it's some sort of recipe book or meal planning guide or a cheat sheet or a checklist or a resource of some sort.
So she's working on that and she's decided to do a quiz. So I actually have a quiz as my main opt in freebie on my, on my health coaching website. And it's just a PDF. It's just a PDF that you can open up on your screen, you can read it, you can actually, you know, on a piece of paper or take note of like which box, how many boxes you're checking or you could print it out and actually check the boxes. It's kind of old school and I did it that way because I find that these online quiz service things and there are some of them, like they're going to dictate the experience. They're going to dictate the look of your quiz. Like maybe you can insert a picture up here, but that's it. You can't influence the colors or the layout of the page.

If you wanted to put something else on that page, you can't like you're really just limited to their structure and if you want, you know, the way that I like PDFs, freebies, or any freebie to flow is I like there to be an introduction up front about who I am and how I can help you. I'd like that to come first before they actually get into the material because chances are they may only read that first page, so always want the first page to be like the one where I'm connecting with this person who has, Oh my goodness, actually taking the time to open up my freebie. Most people won't even open it up, you know? So you want to hit them up right up front with that. And where are you again, you're using these quiz software things you can't, you can't really dictate what the experience is going to be.

When I work with health coaches, I teach like an exact format for these things. I'm like, what should go on page two, which should go on page three, how you should end the piece and you just, you can't really replicate that when you're using a quiz generator. So that's one reason to not use it. The other is that sometimes these quizzes go on and on and on. You're lucky if somebody opens up your freebie, how many times have you downloaded something and then it sits in your inbox and you never even open it because you're just busy. So if somebody actually opens it, you want them to get like a great impression and get as much from it as they can at a glance and like five seconds. Cause that might be all you get with them. And the quizzes, it's usually like, you know there's a question and you pick your answer and then there's another question and you pick your answer and you have to kind of step by step through the whole quiz and it takes time.

It's actually much faster for somebody to just scan down a PDF, look at all the different things they might be checking off. They don't actually even have to do it. They might, if they liked the look of it, if it's interesting to them, they might then go do it, but they're going to get what they need at a glance. So, I actually prefer a PDF format and I don't know what you ended up going with here Rebecca, but there's no harm in doing something low tech. The other thing I want to say about this, going back to the target market thing, who's your target market? Again, if you're working with like 65 plus, you don't want an online quiz, you probably just don't because it's just, it might just be harder. No offense to anybody who is 65 plus. But I mean I hear it from you guys all the time.

Like if it's just technology is a little bit difficult for you, you have a hard time getting things to work on your iPad or whatever, don't even go there. You want to make it as easy as possible. Whereas of course if you were working with a younger demographic, then you can probably be as fancy as you want. If it made sense with the online stuff. So that's my 2 cents about your freebie, Rebecca. Good luck. Love to see it when it's done and see what you come up with. I do generally like the idea of some sort of like quiz or assessment. Those can work pretty well. Again, depending on the target market and how you frame that around solving their big problem.

So Danielle's saying, Oh my God, this freebie advice is awesome. Stephanie said, love this advice with the PDF. This is so true. Good. Glad this is useful for you guys.

Sometimes we just get stuck in our own bubble of being like the coach and the creator of the content and we forget to put ourselves in their shoes and what the user or potential clients experience is going to be like. And that's what makes for really excellent marketing is when you can do that and you can stand in their shoes.

Okay, I got time for like one more question. Oh and Janice, Janice from earlier we talked about her target market. She said, I keep hearing which one problem you solve before this challenge. I thought I had to narrow down enough and I've been stuck figuring it out for over a year. Oh, Janice, you missed it, honey. I answered your question first thing in this episode, so you'll listen to that and then you'll be very happy.

Okay. Chloe says, how much do you believe that we should be experts in the field of our target market?

Okay, how do I answer that, Chloe? You do not need to be the end all be all expert in the field. You should be an expert in the type of person that you're working with, if not in the field. So let's say you're working with lawyers who have autoimmune disease of some kind. Let's say Hashimoto's. Great. Lawyers with Hashimoto's. Do you have to know everything that there ever is to know about Hashimoto's? You do not. Should you know about being a lawyer? Yes you should. It would be weird if I was like, I help lawyers with Hashimoto's. They'd be like, why? What do you like? What do you know about me? And anything that I tried to put out there, like my content, like we were talking about earlier, like should I share about my carnivore diet or should I share about this other thing?

If I don't really know anything about being a lawyer, it would be hard for me to share relevant content with them and like connect land and build that know like trust factor. So I do think you really need to understand who you're working with and their problem. It is certainly helpful if you're knowledgeable about it and also you do not have to be particularly knowledgeable about it because as we know, I don’t know, you know, we all went to different schools to become health coaches, but I am a firm believer that with a small amount of help, the body can really heal itself by itself. Right? Like if we could just do the basics for somebody, we can get them eating less processed food, we can get them drinking water instead of soda. I mean just like basic stuff goes a very, very long way.

I was shocked at results that my clients were getting when I had just started my business and I really didn't know very much at all. And they're like, Oh I got off my blood pressure medication, and I'm like, really? Oh no. Awesome, great. That was totally what I thought was going to happen. But great things do happen when we just help people with the basics. So, don't beat yourself up too much about that.

Danielle says my target is women 40 plus with Hashimoto's. The things they want and see are weight loss, elimination of bloating, end of the aches and pains and increased energy. How do I pick a number one result?

So you could focus on one of those if it felt like it was really, really like her biggest problem, a standout problem beyond all the others, you could also bucket them into like calling them like symptoms of Hashimoto's. Right? So, I help relieve or reverse or reduce one of those are words, the symptoms of Hashimoto's, that would still count as one specific result.

Okay. You guys, we are out of time for today. I just want to let you know that next week we're going to be broadcasting an episode about whether or not you should run an online program, and that one is actually pre-recorded because I'm going to be on a plane taking my kids to Disney world. Don't tell them it's a surprise, but I'm going to be back live the following week answering your question. So just keep asking all those, all those good, juicy questions and I will be here answering them then. Thank you so much for joining me today. I'll see you later.

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