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July 1 2016

Understanding psychographics to attract and retain clients

Have you ever had the experience of marketing your fitness business - maybe you are hosting a workshop, a mini-challenge or a three-day trial - and no one responds? You’ve spent money on both print and Facebook ads hoping that they would work to bring in traffic and… nothing. Crickets.

Is it that no one is interested in slimming down, getting healthier and building muscle? We know that’s not the case. So what’s happening? Why are your marketing efforts falling flat? Why is it that you can’t figure out how to attract a steady stream of clients who want to commit to doing the work and value the investment in their own health?

It’s likely because you aren’t using psychographics in your marketing communications. You aren’t using language that hits the emotional hot spots of your ideal clients. Instead you are promoting the name and features of the program – things like the number of sessions, the equipment being used and the price.

If you want to attract and retain a steady stream of ideal clients who pay you what you are worth without objection, then it is time to dive deep into learning about your clients’ psychographics so that your marketing deeply resonates and motivates them to give you an on the spot “YES.”

Before diving into explaining psychographics and give you strategies to define them, we need to take one step back and first talk about your ideal client profile. Only after you have an ideal client profile will you be able to create a client psychographic profile to be used in all of your marketing and content efforts.

What is an ideal client profile?

Think back to when you decided to start your business. Why did you want to start your business? It is safe to assume that the reason you decided to go out on your own and start up your business was not solely to make money. You feel a deep purpose to create something that would help other people.

Who are those people? Who do you want to help?

Who do you want to connect with and be of service to?

An ideal client profile is an in-depth word picture describing the demographics and psychographics of the one type of client you want to attract and work with in your training business.

This profile gives you a deep level of understanding of your client’s life, their way of thinking, their values, their challenges, their hopes, fears and visions for their future. Drilling down to the core of what makes your ideal client tick is where all of the client attraction and sales conversion magic happens.

There are 5 phases to creating an ideal client profile:

Phase 1: Where is your dream client right now, at the first point of contact?

Phase 2: Where does he/she desire to be or what’s the dream goal?

Phase 3: What’s holding them back from achieving the dream goal or desire?

Phase 4: What’s the ‘why now’ trigger?

Phase 5: And if he/she does nothing what’s that going to cost him/her?

When you take the time to really understand your dream client you will be able to truly empathize with her. You’ll be able to walk in her shoes and communicate with her on such a deep, soul-to-soul level that she will feel like you are telling her story or talking directly to her. She will feel understood and she will want to work with you.

What are psychographics?

Demographics describe WHO your clients are: age, gender, geographic location, marital status, profession, their annual income and maybe even their favorite color.

Psychographics describe your clients’ WHY: their worldview, their habits, their buying decisions, their motivation, their fears, their challenges, their life goals and dreams.

Understanding your ideal client’s psychographics means that you have taken the time to understand them, you have learned what makes them tick, what keeps them awake at night and what their biggest dreams are. Learning client psychographics means you are able to truly empathize with them. You are able to step into their shoes, feel what they feel and use that clarity to communicate to them in an authentic way.

Here’s an example:

Client demographics:

Age: 42

Gender: Female

Marital Status: Married with 2 children

Profession: Bookkeeper

Household Income: $100,000+ per year

Geographic Location: Suburbia

Client Psychographics:

Believes that in order to lose weight she must severely restrict herself and not eat carbs.

She talks herself into “being good” during the week and then binges on the weekend. She feels extremely guilty when she binges and tells herself that she’s a bad person.

She’s deeply embarrassed about her body, specifically her tummy, and can’t stand being naked in front of her husband so she hides herself and that is affecting their sex life.

She thinks she’s weak because she has no will power.

She doesn’t really believe that anything will work for her because she’s tried it all.

She would do anything at this point to be ‘skinny.’

She knows that if she does nothing she’ll end up getting fatter and probably have diabetes like her mother and that scares her.

She so badly wants to feel good in her body, she wants to feel sexy and she wants her husband to tell her how sexy she is.

Can you feel the difference? When you only target clients based on their demographics the marketing feels cold and empty. Yet when you communicate your clients’ darkest fears and deepest desires the marketing feels supportive and compelling.

How to create a client psychographic profile

Getting a clear picture of client psychographics can be tricky, especially if you’ve never been through the experiences and challenges that your ideal clients face. Below are two of the easiest methods to really dive into your ideal clients’ psychology.

Method # 1: Interview ideal clients (existing clients)

Think of your favorite client - how amazing would it be to only work with 20 people just like him or her. Well, that is what happens when you do the work to define your ideal client profile and use psychographics in your marketing strategies and sales systems.

Ask your favorite client if you could interview them. Make sure that you audio record the session because you’ll want to capture their exact words as you’ll be using those exact words in your blogs, marketing pieces and during your sales consults.

Questions to ask:

Where does he/she spend their free time? What social media platforms are they on? What magazines do they read? What blogs do they read?

What motivated them to want to work with you? Why then? What was the trigger?

What fears did he/she have around working with you?

What was going well in his/her life?

What was not going well in his/her life?

What are his/her goals? Why are they important? Why do they matter? How does he/she want to feel when they achieve their goals (self-identity)?

What’s stopping him/her from achieving their goals: Fears, self-sabotage, lack of support, money, overwhelm?

What would happen if he/she doesn’t achieve her goals? What would happen to his/her confidence? Marriage? Financially? Health-wise?

If he/she could pop a magic pill that would transform their life, what would their new life look and feel like?

TIP: You want to get to the real answers, the answers that are hard to speak out loud, so when your client gives you an answer that you feel isn’t deep enough ask: “why does that matter?” Continue to ask that same question until you get the deep, real answer. You’ll know it when they say it.

Method # 2: Read Amazon book reviews

Pick the top 10 books you think your ideal client is most likely to read. They should be specific to health, mindset and/or lifestyle. The comments are filled with people sharing their deep, emotional stories. The comments reveal how people feel about the topic at hand.

The other thing the comments can reveal are the aspects missing from the book that the ideal clients would find helpful. You’ll gain a tremendous amount of insight from reading book comments.

3 ways to use psychographics in your marketing

Now that you know a lot more about your ideal client you will be able to market your business in the right places. Use the information you collected from your ideal client psychographic profile to create new content and marketing campaigns that attract your ideal clients.

Take the top 5 challenges you know your ideal client has and turn each into a video or blog post, sharing one specific strategy to overcome that challenge.

Create an email marketing campaign that vulnerably reveals that you were once where they are and share how you overcame that painful time. If you’ve never had that experience then use a client’s experience to tell the story.

Create a multi-day challenge that solves ONE problem your ideal client has. The problem you are promising to solve should be directly related to the bigger problem you are solving with your training programs. The challenge is something you can run over and over again and will help you to attract the right types of clients. Create daily content that is easy for the prospect to do, giving them a mini win each day. They’ll increase their confidence and love you for it.

The bottom line is this… we all just want to feel heard, understood and supported. It is your responsibility as the expert to demonstrate that you ‘get’ your ideal client. When you can do this effectively, you likely will no longer have any issues with client attraction or retention.

Lori Kennedy is a Toronto-based nutritionist, health and wellness business expert, online strategist and mother of two who works with health practitioners, healers, coaches and fit pros who want to start up and grow their purpose-driven businesses. She’s a published author and acclaimed speaker with a real-world approach to entrepreneurism. For more personal development and professional training join her FREE Facebook community called The Wellness Business Hub. You can also follow her on Instagram @lorikennedyinc.