Ideal Client Profile – Researching your ideal client

For Coaches


So, you can’t seem to find your ideal client. Watch this video so I can help you identify who they are, drill down at least two levels deeper into your niche, and figure out exactly what your ideal clients want.


Who Is Your Ideal Client

One of the biggest problems of new coaches is not being able to commit to a very specific niche. Maybe you know what I’m talking about, you might be a health coach and you might feel like you can help so many different people in so many different ways and that is amazing, but it does not serve you from a business perspective. You might be thinking, “Well, what am I really the expert in? Who can I really help? Who wants to work with me?” Or you might even feel like an imposter because you’re a new coach. That’s all normal, and we all feel like this at some point. What’s really important to understand at the beginning of your business journey is going really broad and vague creates a lackluster sort of marketing message. It creates a bland marketing message where you can’t really focus in on the very specific pain points of your target market because you’re trying to be everything to everybody. Makes sense right?

Instead of being very vague and broad, I want you to become very niche, very narrow and very specific. In order for you to do that with confidence, you need to conduct market research and profile your ideal clients so you know exactly who they are. This is going to give you the confidence to finally commit to your niche and go out there with your big message. So let me show you how to conduct market research for your business that you can implement without even spending a lot of money. You can implement this research with a small budget, or even without spending anything, even if you’re new and get the information you need to go out there with your big message.

Doing Your Market Research

Let’s dive in and let me show you exactly how you can set up an incredibly effective market research campaign including qualitative and quantitative research that will help you make the decisions you need to make right now for your niche. Let’s talk about your qualitative research first. Qualitative research is spent with the person either on the phone, on a Zoom call, or in person. What you want to do is set up a 30 to 60-minute interview with them where you have a very intimate and deep conversation to find out their biggest pains, their biggest obstacles, their biggest struggles, but also their biggest goals and where they want to go, and what their needs are right now. What you want to do is really drill down to the very specifics of their situation.

During this conversation, this prospect is going to give you the languaging, the words, the thoughts and the ideas that are key to them and that you can use in your marketing, in your program development, in your branding and in your messaging, to make you extremely attractive to your target market. In addition to having effective messaging, it will also help you feel extremely confident and clear about who your ideal client really is. There’s nothing like talking to them and really understanding how they’re feeling, how they’re thinking and the words they’re using to express their ideas and their feelings and their thoughts.

I know doing qualitative research is a very time-consuming endeavor, but it’s the most effective way for you to really get to know your ideal client and it will serve you time and time again as you go forth and grow and scale your coaching business.

Figure Out Exactly What Your Ideal Client Wants

Some key questions to ask during your qualitative interview are all around your prospect’s biggest pains, biggest challenges, as well as their goals and why this is urgent for them right now. So why is getting help and support from a coach really urgent for them right now? You also want to take down notes in relation to their gender, so are they male or female? What’s their age? Talk about their income level, their relationship status, their job title or career. Ask them to describe their values and what’s really important to them in their life. Talk to them about the things that are going well but also ask them about the things that are not going so well.

Ask them about their biggest challenges in relation to their relationship, their health, their body, their children, their pets, whatever it is that you focus on in your coaching business. Then, ask what’s holding them back right now. Ask them, “What’s holding you back from having these things? From taking these steps? From moving yourself forward?” These are just a couple of examples of questions you may want to ask during your ideal client research interview.

How to Conduct Quantitative Research

Let’s talk about your quantitative research. Again, qualitative means ad hoc data, lots of color, lots of deep conversation. Quantitative research is something that happens through a survey, where you send a very specific set of questions to your prospect and you let them answer the survey anonymously. Now, I recommend a tool called Wufoo, or SurveyMonkey for your research. I also recommend you keep your questionnaire to 10 to 15 questions max so that you get a majority of your prospects actually filling out your survey and it does not become overwhelming for them.

A bonus tip I have for you is to make the name and email of your survey participant optional and then say, “If you qualify, would you be open to a one to one follow up conversation to talk about your answers?” This gives you permission to reach out to them and actually have a follow-up conversation with them where you’re able to drill even deeper in some very specific areas where you may want to know more. In return for doing the one to one session with you, you may be able to give them a gift card or some flowers, or maybe a discount on your program, and make it really enticing for your participant.

When you design your market research questionnaire for your quantitative research, make sure that you have a lot of questions that are open-ended. Rating scales are great, but they don’t provide a lot of color and detail and when you have a rating scale, you may end up with a lot of questions and uncertainty about specific things you really want to know more about. I recommend to have a good balance between rating scales, multiple-choice questions as well as open-ended question boxes where your participants can fill in their idea, so they can dump in their responses one at a time.

My recommendation is to collect at least 30 responses ideally. Now if 30 doesn’t make it statistically valid, if you’re a statistician, you will not like this answer, but I feel that 30 is a good number of people to dig through, to make some decisions, to potentially see some trends one way or another and that will help you, again, gain that confidence you need to go towards a certain niche and really specialize in that area.

7 Areas to Find Your Ideal Candidate to Do Your Research

Now you might be wondering, “Carolin, this is amazing information, but where do I find my ideal client to answer my surveys and do my research?” Let me give you seven different areas where you can go to find your ideal client, distribute your surveys and invite prospects to do market research interviews with you.

  1. Email them, Message them, Send a link to Wufoo or Booking Calendar for 1:1
  2. FB Group – search by keywords. Join the group and start a discussion to get people to comment. Then privately invite them.
  3. Linkedin Groups and private outreach
  4. Make a list of at least 100 people you know you can contact for help
  5. Meet-ups
  6. Non Profit Events
  7. Professional Organizations
  8. Schools

Bonus Tip

I have another bonus tip for you and this is something that has helped me tremendously in all of my early marketing activities and even to this day, we use this strategy a lot in my coaching business and that is an ideal client language library. 

What is a language library? Well, it’s literally a long list of words and phrases your ideal client uses to describe what’s happening to them, what their needs are, what their struggles are and where they want to go. So this could be a document on your computer, this would be a Google doc, this could be in your journal, it really doesn’t matter but what you want to do is write down a long list of ideal client goals.

Make an ideal client language library with:

  1. Biggest Pain Points and Struggles they have
  2. Biggest Goals and Wishes they have
  3. Things they want to avoid at all cost (“without”)
  4. Insecurities they have (that might hold them back)
  5. Things they don’t want to give up (“while”)

I would like to hear from you. Let me know below in the comments below as always. Every week, I want you to have a conversation with me. What was your biggest ah-has from today’s episode? Did you do the research or are you going to do it soon and what were your biggest takeaways? Let me know below and let’s talk.

A Link to a Freebie for You

It’s a sample ideal client questionnaire you can download right now and you can use it as a starting point as you develop your ideal client questionnaire for your qualitative market research. The Ideal Client Research Guide –  and my Free Online Masterclass –

Don’t forget to attend our brand new training that will show you how to get all the coaching clients you could ever want. I know it’s a big promise, but in this training, I’m going to give you three simple secrets and steps you can take right now that will help you get a funnel from your clients, draw more clients to you and land more clients for your coaching business almost immediately. The training is completely free and all you have to do is go to to sign up, I can’t wait to see you in the class.

Now, as always, stay focused on your goals because I believe that you are meant to bring your passion to the world. I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.

From Passion to Profits Live, our big annual event for coaches is happening this September in Hollywood, California. Do you want a ticket? For more info, visit: From Passion to Profits.

Check out this video podcast: 

Compassion Fatigue




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