Think a Target Market Is Limiting? Think Again.

This short, but poignant, blog post is written by one of my Elite Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coaches, Ana Melikian, Ph.D. She addresses one of the biggest objections we hear when suggesting a service business owner choose a very specific target market. Enjoy.

Explanation of target market

Many of my coaching clients provide services that are helpful for a wide range of people. When I work with them to focus on their target market, they often resist because they believe that narrowing their target audience limits their chances of getting new clients.

I understand their point of view.

One of my coaching programs is based on Positive Psychology. I designed this unique program to support my clients so they can cultivate and keep a positive mindset in spite of their many challenges and adversities.

I know that most people can benefit from a program like mine. Yet, if I don’t define a target market, I will have trouble to get booked solid. Let me explain why…

You Have Climbed the Mountain

Imagine a huge mountain. This mountain represents the many challenges your clients have to overcome. They are stuck and don’t know what to do next. Because you have already climbed the mountain, you know what’s possible. You know the benefits that people will get when they work with you.

Most of your potential clients are overwhelmed, have doubts, and fears. Your challenge is to connect with them at a deeper level. If you create marketing material that tries to match everyone’s needs, it is much more difficult to enroll the clients you want.

As a coach or consultant, you have to choose a place from which you want to begin to attract your clients. A client who starts off from the forested side of the mountain has a very different perspective from someone who starts from an arid desert valley. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes.

Identify and describe in detail their needs and desires from their unique and personal perspective, as you use their own words.

From that personalized connection you will start to attract a similar group of potential clients who identify with your unique style. It will be easier to understand and communicate how you can help them, as you create enough trust and credibility so they want to buy from you.

Learn From Your Own Experiences

Think about your own past experience when you bought a service or program. Remember how you felt when the person that led that program spoke to your feelings, needs, desires and aspirations. That person’s understanding of your exact wants and needs sealed the deal. If you repeat this process with your potential clients, you will build their trust and enroll them with ease. 

The Moral Is…

If you don’t have a target market, define one. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

Grab a copy of Book Yourself Solid Illustrated and do the exercises in the book. The Book Yourself Solid system will help you identify your target market and get you booked solid.

The author of this post, Ana Melikian, Ph.D, is an Elite Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coach who specializes in empowering coaches and consultants to get more clients online with ease and joy.

35 thoughts on “Think a Target Market Is Limiting? Think Again.

Francine Graglia

Ana,
I love the way you use analogies to make this crystal clear.

Ana Melikian

Francine – Thanks for your comment. And yes, I love to use analogies and metaphors to make concepts like the target market more relatable 🙂

Elana

Ana,

This really helps to bring the exact issue I am working on into focus. I’ve got a lot of ideas running through my head…Thank you.

Ana Melikian

Elana – So glad to hear that this post help you focus, that is the power of defining the target market 🙂

Tatiana

Ana, the mountain analogy is fabulous! Such a helpful way for everybody to see! Thank you!!!

Ana Melikian

Tatiana – Thanks for leaving your comment. I love to use analogies because it helps people to visualize (i.e., see) and feel the importance of key concepts such as the target market.

Leila Youssef

Ana, I am diverse and usually offer a wide variety of services at high value. You helped me identify the STARTING POINT (specific target market) which was exactly what I needed in order to start rolling the ball. I understood that I could EXPAND from that one point as opposed to restricting myself to that one point. That is one of many great things I learned by being part of your special inner circle group. THANK YOU!

Ana Melikian

Hi Leila – So happy to see your comment here. I really appreciate your words and so glad to read about how your business is expanding. I totally agree that the big mindset sift is to see that the target market is a starting point, what you need “in order to start rolling the ball.”

Dawn

Ana and Michael
Great post. I see the same challenges with my clients. It’s close to impossible to intentionally market if you don’t have a target market. Book Yourself Solid Module 1 is the key to creating a sustainable business.

Ana Melikian

Hi Dawn – So glad to read a comment from another Book Yourself Solid Elite Certified Coach! I absolutely agree with you that Module One of the Book Yourself Solid system sets a solid foundation needed to create a sustainable business 🙂

Liz

I didn’t get “the forested side of the mountain” and “the arid desert valley” part. What does that mean?

Ana Melikian

Hi Liz – thank you for asking for this clarification. What I was trying to explain with “the forested side of the mountain” and “the arid desert valley” part, is that our potential clients can have different subjective experiences, and ways to articulate their needs and desires, depending from their starting point. For instance, if you are a services professional that want to start a local in person business (i.e., yoga studio), your specific needs are different from someone who want to have a online based business with international reach. We can see better results when we use specific language that our target market really feels connected with you and starts to give you opportunity to earn their trust.

Kate

Ana, You are a master at analogies! What mountain have you climbed?

Ana Melikian

Kate – Thanks for your words. My background is psychology and teaching -analogies have been always helpful to explain complex concepts 🙂

J Brett Abbey

Great blog! Only, the Book Yourself Solid Illustrated link does not work. Hmmm…

Michael Port

Ah, sorry, Brett. Fixed now.

Andre Pilon

Great post. I now understand why my potatoes were not the best, growing between pumpkins, tomatoes and strawberries.

I will continue to dedicate my field to only one culture at the time. Watch the prize winning potatoes.

Really great post = concise.

Ana Melikian

Thanks Andre. And lets watch the prize winning potatoes 🙂

Irma Jennings

I appreciate the blend of positive psychology and problem solving you bring to any situation, Ana. Wonderful post. I’m one of your biggest fans!

Ana Melikian

Thank Irma. Always appreciate your comments 🙂

Caroline Frenette Master Intuitive Coach

I used to struggle with that (figuring out my target market). It was a process of letting go, peeling the layers to get to the core of who I really am, what is my message, my true voice, my unique style, what is my gift and finally which clients are truly excited to working with me.

Now that it has become cristal clear (and that my copy & marketing reflects that) I am definitely on the path to becoming booked solid.

Ana Melikian

Congrats Caroline 🙂

Philippe

Thanks for an informative blog post. I used to be so afraid that defining a target market would be way too limiting.

Then I heard someone (sorry I can’t remember the name) talk about the Pepsi slogan: “Pepsi, the choice of a New Generation”. Pepsi was obviously targeting young people with the slogan. But it also worked for other people. Everyone wants to feel young, and if Pepsi is what young people drink, then Pepsi will also appeal to people who want to identify with the new generation.

It made me realize that targeting a market may not be as limiting as I thought.

Ana Melikian

Philippe -Thanks for leaving the example of Pepsi 🙂

Maria Eksteen

It took me a while to find my target market. It was kind of a mind wrecking process. First I also struggled with the idea, but when I started hearing quite a few people defending it, I knew it was the way to go. Then, it was finding MY target market that was the challenge, I lacked clarity. Eventually I found it! 🙂 I’m now rewriting the whole of Module one in BYS based on that.

Ana Melikian

Maria- Great to see you here 🙂
Love to hear that you are define YOUR Target Market the Book Yourself Solid Way!

Steven J Fromm

These are invaluable insights. As a an estate planning attorney my practice focuses on my client’s needs, concerns and fears. Once we explore these issues in detail, we can then draft documents that address these special and unique problems of each client. This approach definitely works, at least from my experience and perspective.

Ana Melikian

Steven – Thank you for giving your perspective based on you own professional experience.

Patty

I am going through this right now. I have spent the last 7 months working through the BYSS system and have chosen a very specific target market. I will say that over that time I fluctuated between 2 different audiences before deciding on one.

My challenge (and fear) was that since I had been in business for quite some time, I was afraid of alienating my existing clients.

What I discovered, however, is quite different. Those existing clients, with whom I do my best work, hardly require my attention. They’re pretty much off and running on their own.

The part of my client base with whom I do not do my best work (the ones who completely suck up my time and energy) are leaving and cancelling their services by natural selection. They are the ones who don’t want to invest the time or money in their business with the services I offer.

The financial loss is scary, however, I am banking (no pun intended!) that a year from now, it won’t matter.

The specific target market I chose did come out of my existing client base. Now that they know I am dedicated to just them, two things have happened so far:

1. During the BYSS process, I was very confused, however, now I feel very free!

2. My list of prospective clients is really picking up growth momentum and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. As of today, I have 5 1/2 weeks worth of leads to reach out to and follow up with.

Thank you!!!

Michael Port

This is fantastic news, Patty! Thank you so much for sharing it. Just great. Just great.

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