#27: Is Your Target Market Narrow Enough?

Are you struggling to define your target market? In this episode Michelle explains:

– How to make your marketing more effective by narrowing down your niche.
– What types of freebies work best to grow your mailing list.
– Why you shouldn’t put the cart before the horse when trying to sell your programs and services.
…and more!

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This episode is sponsored by:
Master Class: Turn Your Health Coaching Business Into a Full Time Salary

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Hello all you health coaches out there. I want to welcome you to the health coach power community q & a. my name is Michelle Pfennighaus house. Now, if I know one thing about health coaches is that many of you are struggling to define your target market. I know those words can just be terrifying and I felt the same way when I started my business and even a few years into my business. Listen, one of the most common challenges that we face is not getting specific enough and in essence, trying to target too many kinds of people at the same time. It’s like, yeah, one dart in your hand and you’re trying to hit three or four or five different dartboards all at the same time. What would happen? You’d probably end up hitting absolutely none of them. The dark probably turn around and hit you in the head.

This is my experience anyway. As an entrepreneur, the target market thing is huge, and today we’re going to be talking about getting specific with your niche so that your marketing efforts or your dark can hit your target. Now, if you’re here with me live and we are streaming over at healthcoachpowercommunity.com, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to go into that comment section and tell me what is your target market. I know you might not have a perfect answer to this and that is totally okay if it’s rough, if it’s just the beginning of an idea. If it’s what you’ve been working with for now, just tell me what do you consider your target market right now? Now some of you may know that I am about to be running a free five day challenge all about defining your perfect profitable target market. So it ties in absolutely beautifully with today’s episode and you can sign up to join us for free at findyourbalancehealth.com/target.

And the challenge is starting on August fifth. So that’s coming up you guys, and even if you’re still listening to this on August sixth or August seventh, you can still join us partway through so you can go to the link which is findyoubalancehealth.com/target and hook yourself up with a complete step by step approach. I’ve gone through this with hundreds of health coaches to nail down your target market once and for all. So let’s go ahead and get into today’s topic, which is just a sliver of what we’re going to be covering in the five day challenge.

This was a question or is more of a comment that came from Leslie inside of our Facebook group and we were talking about target markets and she said, I’ve narrowed mine down significantly, but it still doesn’t feel narrow enough. And so that kind of prompted this question in my mind of, well, what is narrow enough? How do you know when you’ve narrowed down enough, you know, Leslie or anybody else for that matter? How do we know?

So there are three questions that I want you to ask yourself about your target market to kind of see where you’re falling on this. Are you too broad, are too specific, but in the wrong way. And this will help you sort of suss that out. And right now, um, as we’re broadcasting live, I see that Lisa is saying that she is targeting plus sized women over 40 and Carly’s saying she’s targeting busy women in their twenties who live a healthy life but can’t seem to lose the weight they want. I think those are perfect examples of starting places. That’s what most people’s target markets sounds like when I, when I first talked to them. So let’s, let’s go through these three questions and see if we can get Lisa, Carly and everybody else who’s listening to, uh, to narrow down a little bit further and get really clear as to who you’re talking to with your health coaching business.

So the first question, I think it’s the most obvious. So we’re going to start here is have you narrowed down by obvious demographics. So for example, Lisa says that she’s targeting plus size women over 40. So that’s an example of a demographic. Women over 40 and Carla says busy women in their twenties. So she’s looking at women who are 20 to 29 years old. Okay, age. That’s one way to slice the pie. What else? Demographics think I’m obviously male, female, age. Think about socio-economic status. Think about location, right? Where are these people located? If you are working in your local area only. Boom, right there. You’ve narrowed down. I was on the phone today with one of my healthy profit university members and she’s in Maryland and she wants to work locally. She doesn’t want an online business or working remotely with her clients.

She wants to be working with everyone locally. So right then and there we were able to narrow down that she is speaking to women who live in her local, you know, Maryland, maybe the greater dc area. So that is, um, that’s one way to do it. Obvious demographics. Let’s say. I’m like Lisa, that you’re working with women over 40. So that says to me, 40 to 120 years old, that’s a lot of years in there. I’m guessing that you’re probably not working with women who are 40 to 120 years old. You’re probably working with women who are 40 to 50ish. So I’m going to encourage you to call down that age gap. Um, sometimes someone will tell me they’re working with women who are like 25 to 55 and I just have to point out that that spans even even if you say over 40 women who are just going into their child birthing years, are very different from women who are going into menopause in women who are postmenopausal.

So you really want to know which demographic you’re talking to ’em and you could even get into further specifics about demographics. You could be, um, again, what income bracket are we talking about? Where do they live? What part of town do they live in? These things start to get at what kind of person they are. And even things I encourage my students to think about. What brands does your client does your target market by, right? That’s it’s real specific, but if you can think about what brands they buy that often paints a picture of who they are and where they shop. For example, when they’re going to buy shoes, do they pick up a pair of shoes up at target because they’re there anyway, buying toilet paper and that’s all the shoe shopping that they do. Are they ordering online from a specialty retailer or are they going into Nordstrom?

So this will all be information that helps really describe who he or she is and what they’re all about. So I would start there. I think that’s a really. It’s an easier place to begin. A lot of times we know these answers in our head, but we just haven’t verbalized them. Let’s see, we have. Lisa has now called down her target market to plus size women. Forty five to 55. All right, Lisa. Excellent. Now we’re really talking about a perimenopause and women going into many menopause, so I think that’s helpful. Margaret is saying that she’s targeting women sporty to 65 caretakers and in recovery. Okay. So, same thing, Margaret, you might want to narrow down or maybe you already have in your mind, are we talking about women, caretakers, men, caretakers, does it matter? Would you market to them differently? Maybe and 40 to 65 is kind of broad, right?

Someone in there, a woman in her forties could be having her very first baby. It happens, right? And whereas in 65 she’s postmenopausal. Uh, it, it’s kind of, that’s, that’s a cup that’s like spanning generations from 40 to 65. I like to use this example, if you’re talking to your target market, you should be able to reference a song that they all know, something that makes them kind of snap their fingers or nod their head or something. That means something to them. Like if I was going to refer the women that I generally work with are older than I am. So I usually wouldn’t reference a song that I went to high school when it came out, you know, like my favorite song from when I graduated from high school to them. That song doesn’t mean anything. I have to do a little digging and find out what references cultural references would resonate with women who were older than myself.

So it’s important that you do narrow down on the age and if you’re talking to women and men and as many details as you can about this person is okay. So that’s the first question. Are you guys ready for the second question? This is a big one and I don’t expect you to have the answer right now, but I want you to marinate in it and think about this. I’m sure you will be thinking about it tonight when you’re trying to go to bed. Oh, I hope not. I want you all to get a full night’s sleep. So here’s the question. What one big specific problem does your target market need your help to solve? Now, an obvious answer. Let’s go back to Lisa who said she helps plus size women 45 to 55. I’m guessing that the big specific problem that this target market needs help with is to lose weight.

That may not be the case. She may be targeting women who are over 40 and plus sized who also have digestive problems. I don’t know the answer to that list, so you’ll have to tell us, but it’s important that you know what is the big specific problem your target market needs help with. It should be something you can help them with. Of course, today when I was talking to that same coach that I mentioned earlier, the one who’s in Maryland, we were discussing this and her answer to this question was something I hear a lot, right? I helped my clients have more energy, have more confidence in the kitchen. I help them maybe lose a few pounds. I helped them feel more. My more vitality, these types of statements, and don’t get me wrong, all that stuff is good, but they’re too small, right? Energy is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the big thing that keeps people up at night.

It’s not the thing that really, really, really worried about. Usually, unless they have chronic fatigue syndrome, usually energy isn’t like the one big problem in their life that they are going to pay a lot of money to solve, so it really helps. If you can narrow in on the pain point, the biggest pain point, I’m going to encourage you to think beyond the obvious. Think beyond that. I help them teach, learn how to cook or I help them feed their kids healthier meals. It could be that you solve a big health problem and here’s an extreme example. If you were targeting women with cancer, and again, this is an extreme example and that’s something you would ever actually say as a health coach, but maybe a practitioner would say, I help cure cancer. I will help cure your cancer. Boom, that’s huge. That’s a big problem. That’s a big important problem. That’s a huge result that these women desperately want. So again, we don’t need to go quite that dramatic with it, but you want to get to the heart of why these people would be happier if they were healthier. They were eating healthier. If they lost a few pounds, what does it mean for their life? What is the larger, more important, more emotional issue that you can help your target market to solve?

So Lisa saying yes, her big problem, she helps women with his weight loss and that may be true and so at least that I would just ask you, do your plus size 45 year old women, lose substantial amounts of weight if so, great like that may be at for you and sometimes it will be. Sometimes the health coach will say, I help men in their sixties, lower their blood pressure and sure enough that is the end result. The men get off blood pressure medication and boom, they nailed it. So, it could be, it could be as straightforward as solving a health issue. Let’s see.

Molina saying to help to stop emotional eating so that they can lose weight so that it becomes a little more nuance. We stop emotional eating emotional stuff. Well that runs really deep.

What is the biggest result in their life? If somebody stops emotional eating, I don’t know exactly who you’re targeting Malia and so I can’t answer that question. It could be just as simple as weight loss. It could be much more important and deeper than that. So anyway, this is what you want to ruminate on. What is the one big specific problem that my target market needs help to solve? And then finally this question is going to help you decide if you’re on the right track. In other words, if you specified that you work with women who were like a size five shoe, that’s quite specific, right? But it’s kind of a useless detail and here’s how you’ll know if you’re narrowing down in a way that’s useful or useless. Here’s the question. What specific places, either real locations in real life or online locations like the podcast that they listen to or the facebook groups that they hang out and what specific places would your target market hang out in?

So based on what you just told yourself, who is my target market and what big specific problem can I help themself? Where would you find them? This is a really practical question because of course in order to get these people onto your mailing list, you need to find them. So if I said I work with women who wear a size five shoe, that’s so very specific, but I don’t know where I would find them. Nowhere people don’t hang out according to their shoe size. And another practical way of thinking about it is if you were to run a facebook ad, for example, not that you have to, you can’t target people by shoe size, you just can’t. You can target them by all sorts of demographics. You can target them by what brands they like, but you can’t target them by what color hair they have.

Maybe redheads, redheads might have some special facebook groups or facebook pages. So that is, that’s an important question. So like Lisa’s saying, this is the thing I can’t figure out. She’s trying to figure out where a plus size women between 45 and 55 hang out. Well I think you might need to get more specific. So for example, I’m just going to at least, I’m just going to use you as an example. Would you find them at the gym now? One part of you might say no because they’re overweight, they’re not at the gym, they need to be at the gym. Maybe in that case, if you’re looking for plus size women, 45 to 55 who are not at the gym who are at a home, you might be looking at a group of women who are not ready for change. Here me out, it might actually be better and, and I don’t have the final answer here, but I’m just giving you food for thought to target women 45 to 55 who are plus size, who are at the gym because that shows you that they are already spending money, spending their time, spending their resources to solve this problem.

Right? And that means they are much more likely to pay for your services to show up for your sessions, to do the work because they’re in the right mindset. They’re in the mindset of change. Okay? So that’s just one way to show you how narrowing down, based on where you will find this woman can be extremely helpful for knowing who she is and kind of getting in her mind. Does that make sense?

So these are the three questions I’m going to say them again so you can write them down. Have you narrowed down by obvious demographics, age, male, female location, things like that. What one big specific problem does your target market need your help to solve, what keeps them up at night, that kind of big problem. And then finally what specific places real or online would your target market be hanging out? And that is where, like I said, you’re the rubber meets the road on that question because if you can’t answer it then you need to rejigger who you’re targeting so that you know where to find them. Otherwise you just won’t and you’ll have no business. Alright, excellent. So we’re going to move onto the next question that came in over the past week or so. And this one is related. So I thought it was really good to pair it with our main topic of narrowing down a target market, but before we get into that, I just want to remind you all that I am running a five day target market challenge.

I’m going to walk you through the steps to nailing your target market in order so it’s not overwhelming over the course of five days and we’re going to get you there. You can sign up at findyourbalancehealth.com/target.

Okay, so the next question comes from Sophie and Sophie said, I am narrowing down my niche and developing a lead magnet, a lead magnet. By the way, for any of you who don’t know that term is a Freebie. It’s something free on your website. They’re giving away in exchange for email address. Okay? So this is something she’s doing to grow her email. A email list. She says, I secured a done for you five day sugar free challenge lead magnet. So she bought a done for you lead magnet. There are, I’m sure you guys have seen this. There are people out there who are selling done for you content for health coaches.

I’m not going to get into right now… Right now I won’t get into whether I think that’s a good or bad idea, but this is what Sophie has acquired and she says, as I was learning more about effective lead magnets, it occurred to me that perhaps a five day challenge opt in is simply too much for somebody. Yes, it provides great value, but it might not be simple or effective for a complete stranger. Instead, I was thinking of using the five day challenge to create a free facebook group and run it a few times a year. Once my email list grows, creating that know, like, and trust factor for my list in replacement of that lead magnet. I was thinking of doing a short sugar free cookbook, utilizing that clean life for business to make it look beautiful and she’s referring to a software or a tool called that clean life, which helps you easily put together cookbooks and meal plans anyway. So if he wants to know, um, if we have any thoughts about this plan of hers. So I’d love to hear what you guys think. If you’re here with me live, go ahead and tell us in the comments, what should Sophie do? Should she use a five day challenge as her in on her website or should she save that and just offer a cookbook instead?

Here’s what I think. I know you’re all waiting with baited breath for me to give my two cents on this, but just having been in the business for as long as I have, which is 10 years, which is I had a lot less gray hair when I started out. I have found that a download or a challenge or a Webinar, all of these things can be very effective to grow your list. So Sophie, even if you did run this five day sugar free challenge down the line, I imagine that it would be beautiful for growing your list at that point as well. Assuming it was still free, you know. Anyway, I think it would. It would get people engaged who are currently on your list and it would bring in new people to add to your list. So you can absolutely do that, but having a downloadable cookbook or resource of some kind can also be beneficial.

So the format doesn’t matter as much as two things. Can anybody guess what the first thing would be? The first thing that’s the most important. Sophie, I am dying to know who is your target market and if you tell me it’s people who are addicted to sugar, guess what? That’s like every person in the world except for a couple of us and even most health coaches still have a sugar problem. Am I right? So who are we talking to here? That and their big problem is what should drive the topic of either your challenge or your download or your Webinar or anything that you’re going to put out there for free. So that’s what I would go back to is the target market. Carly saying five day challenge on a website I do not think will work. That is something more interactive, interactive to pitch through social media or through facebook lives.

I think a five day challenge on a website could work just fine as long as you’re getting traffic to your website or to wherever your promoting the five day challenge, whether it’s your website or you’re doing a facebook live, you know, however you promote your Freebie will make a big difference into how many people sign up. Right, so that’s a given, but I wanted to point out one more thing that’s really important when deciding on what your one main, most important Freebie is going to be. It’s really helpful to start at least that you have something that is evergreen and what I mean by that is you could run a five day challenge that starts, say September first for five days and then it’s over and then you don’t have a freebie anymore and you have to create something else that stinks. Don’t put yourself in that position.

If I was going to run a five day challenge like this as a lead magnet, I would make it evergreen so somebody signs up. They automatically get a sequence of emails sent to them over the course of the next five days. Maybe there’s a facebook group that anyone who has ever participated would be part of and in that sense, I could promote that five day challenge anytime, anywhere for as long as I want. If I’m a guest on a podcast next month, I can talk about it. If I’m going to be on the news though, you know the month after that, on the morning news, I can talk about my five day challenge. It gives you something to offer no matter where you are, anytime you are trying to attract your target market to your mailing list, so evergreen is really important. Just practically speaking as a business owner and to that end, having some sort of downloadable cookbook or meal plan or checklist or anything is really a really good option because those are evergreen.

They don’t have a start date and an end date. You can offer those ongoing, so that’s the advice that I want to give you, Sophie. First, I don’t want you to just offer a sugar free cookbook. I want you to know exactly who you’re speaking to, why they need to get off sugar, how this is part of their bigger problem in life, and I’m giving you a hard stare about that because that’s the hard part to figure out. That’s the important part to figure out. It’s not just about getting healthy for the sake of being healthy. Are they prediabetic? Are they looking at a major health issues because of their sugar addiction? Are they emotionally eating? Like one of our guests said today, emotionally eating and it’s keeping them from having relationship, uh, in their life that are important and having meaningful contact with other people. And maybe it’s a introverts, maybe your target market are introverts and it’s a challenge or a download related to that. So you really have to dig deeper sophie and then make sure it’s evergreen. Okay, let’s move right along here. People. We only have about six minutes left and I’d love to do at least one or two more questions. If any of you watching have a question that you would like me to answer, go ahead and put that into the comments right now. And I’ll do my very best Lisa saying I have two freebies, a 72 hour sugar free challenge and as simplestart challenge, but I don’t really get much traction.

Same thing, Lisa, I would think about how your challenges, these two challenges that you’re running relate to your target market’s big problem. How it speaks to her specifically. That would be number one. And then number two, you know, it just speaks to her. So specifically that it wouldn’t make sense for me. You know what I mean? Like I could use a sugar free challenge in my own right. I just got off a week of vacation, you know, there was some ice cream going on there so I could use a sugar free challenge. You want to make yours so specific to your target market. But if I looked at it, I would be repelled. I’d be like, oh, that’s not me. First of all, I’m not 45 second ball. I’m not plus sized or however you would phrase that in the Freebie. Um, and the other thing for everybody is that your freebies require your utmost attention in promoting and promoting them. You need to distribute them. If it’s just sitting on your website, if it’s just one facebook post or or one facebook live that you do, it’s not enough. It’s a job to get your freebies out there and, and sometimes that’s oftentimes that’s where we fall down.

Okay. Let’s see. Carlee is asking, do you think you can launch a group program without a Webinar and all of the sales funnels?

Yes. Yes. You can. Carlee and I know because I’ve done it now, will you get as great of a turnout? Will you make as many sales? Probably not actually inside healthy profit university, which I mentioned earlier. Um, which is my online done for you course for health coaches. I, I show my students how to sell through webinars. I also show them how to sell through email so you can do a launch, which is nothing more than a series of emails.

Will it be as effective? Like I said, no. It also kind of depends on what the price point is of what you’re selling. Generally, the higher the price point, the more touch points you need to sell. An email may not be enough. It may need to be an email plus a webinar or email plus facebook lives and a challenge and a Webinar, you know, sometimes launches get really complicated, but if it’s a little bit on the lower scale and yes, you can absolutely sell through a series of emails and even then if it’s a high price program that you’re selling, you would invite people onto a call with you and you would use a call as a sales conversation one on one to sell a higher priced item. So No, you don’t have to run webinars.

Let’s do another question that’s kind of related to that because I think this is a really good one and it kind of speaks to this whole idea of how to sell and target markets and all the rest. And this came from Shannon. Shannon said, I have designed an online 18 day course that teaches people how to start a plant based diet. But now how do I get the word out? Or where do I find people? I’m in a group on facebook about plant based diets where there’s lots of people asking how to get started, but the Admin said I can’t post there.

Yeah, of course. Keep going to other people’s groups and you know, solicit their members. So that’s a given. But I think Shannon and I don’t know all the specifics here, I’m assuming this is a paid program that you have designed and 18 day paid course and I think that maybe the cart came before the horse.

Not your fault. This happens all the time. The process that I teach my students is first we need to define your business model. That’s the target market. So let’s talk about that real quick. Why does somebody want to start a plant based diet? What’s their motivation for that? You could be talking to a teenager who just watched one of the movies, you know, whatever those movies are that show you how terrible the conventional farming industry is and wants to go towards a plant based diet. Like that could be who you’re talking to. For example, it could be a man who just had his third heart attack, right? Really different audiences, you would market your program totally differently to those two groups, but in both cases you’d be teaching them how to start a plant based diet, so you need to know who your target market is.

The next thing they teach is how to grow your mailing list and that’s what we’ve been talking about with the Freebie stuff that we’ve done so far today. So once you figure out who he or she is, how are you going to reach them? What are you going to offer them as their first touch point with you for free so they are on your mailing list and you want your mailing list nice and warmed up and ready for when you have something to sell. So then you could launch maybe through email, maybe through a webinar. You could launch and sell this 18 day course to the people who are on your email list. So when you say, how do I get the word out? Where do I find people? The answer should be your email list and if that’s not there, then you need to back up the car a little bit and then start from the basics and build your business from the ground up instead of starting with the top. I hope that’s helpful, Shannon. I think you’ll get a lot more traction that way. Okay. Let’s see. I got one more minute. I’m going to take one more question.

Susan says, once you have a narrowed target market, if you don’t have a big list, how do you find people? That’s why my target market started big. Yeah, I think that’s. That’s common, right? If you say, I’m going to target women, you could just throw a rock and hit a woman. You know they’re everywhere, so if you say, I’m targeting women who have high blood pressure, a little bit harder to find them, so it’s important to that. That question that I spoke about in the very beginning, remember the three questions to figure out if you were narrow enough, what specific places, real or online would your target market hang out in and you need to define him or her. In a way that you know, boom, I know exactly where she’s hanging out, she’s at work, I’m going to do a corporate workshop, or she’s at the Yoga studio at 10:00 AM after she drops her kids off at daycare because she’s that woman, you know, and then you’ll know where she is and that’s where you would go online or in real life to find her and offer your Freebie, which is designed specifically for her.

Got It. I know, I know. It all works together, which is why it’s one of these pieces is weak. The whole thing kind of falls apart. All right. You’re with me. I love that you guys are here. Thank you so very much for joining me. I had other questions to cover, but I’m sorry we’re out of time. Please make sure to sign up for the target market five day challenge. Starting on August 5th. You can sign up at findyourbalancehealth.com/target. Thanks so much you guys. I’ll see you soon.