Don’t be afraid to identify your “Ideal Client”

This is part of a series of posts that cover some of the highlights of my Book Yourself Solid® In Private Practice, 8-Week INTENSIVE program that starts in September

When it comes to identifying our ideal clients, we often think about our target market and our niche services and put those together to determine who we need to focus on when it comes to developing services and marketing those services.

We take the time to find out who these folks really are (their desires and needs; where we can find them; who they hang out with; what they worry about; etc). That is all well and good (and very helpful), but it is missing a very important piece.

Once you’ve got all of the basics pinned down, it’s time to tighten that red velvet rope a little bit more.

What else makes clients “ideal” to you?  Are they of a certain age?  Do they commit to treatment fully?  Are they able to pay out of pocket?  Can they come in for appointments during the day?  Whatever your requirements (the really BIG ones) — they should be blended in with the rest of the picture of your ideal client.

Let’s say, for example, your ideal client is someone who is looking to recover from addictions.  Although it is a great specialty (and a very good target market) – you’ll probably want to dig a bit deeper.

  • Will you work with addicts of all ages?
  • Do you want to work with mandated clients?
  • Are you comfortable working with both males and females?
  • Does the type of addiction matter to you?
  • Will you work with folks who don’t strive for total abstinence?
  • Are you looking for folks who can private pay?
  • Will you come in on Saturdays for appointments?

The idea isn’t to be TOO specific or exclusive, but you might want to be specific enough to increase your chances of attracting clients who inspire you to do your best work.  Those folks will always get the best you’ve got to offer; you’ll enjoy your work more; and you’ll see your word-of-mouth referrals increase as a result!

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  1. Linda Fabe /Reply

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve been receiving your emails and have just now had the opportunity to read about the Book Yourself Solid Program.
    I have a few questions:
    -It sound like this is an appropriate class for someone (me) who would like to build a private pay class – not just rely on insurance. Is that correct?
    -I currently have a small private pay practice (about 7 clients I see every other week + others who call for “tune ups”.) I am in the process of getting things in order to market my business beyond my presence in two therapy directories and my website. -Specifically I am creating a couple of brochures to use in my outreach with referral sources, and a talk. What I need as much as a system is the support to implement things and keep me on track. (i.e. I’ve been studying how to market and am ready to implement more – I even have read and am using Michael Port’s book among other resources.) WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE MUCH OF THAT COACHING SUPPORT?
    Thank you and I’m glad you are offering this program!

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @ Linda – I’m very excited that I became a Certified Book Yourself Solid(R) coach as I’ve used Michael Port’s system (along with other things) to build my own practice as well. Most of the strategies in BYS are things I’ve done over the years, and I have now tweaked them to turn it into something specific for us as therapists.

      The 8-Week INTENSIVE is a group coaching program where I teach you the system over the course of 8 weeks. In addition, we use the Facebook group for questions, comments, support, brainstorming — whatever group members are willing to do to really utilize this benefit for maximum benefit. Each week I’ll be putting up a post asking what each member plans to accomplish for the following week, with a check in process to help those who want to use the group for accountability. The Console houses the materials associated with the training – it is a place for reinforcement of the material, and further instruction. It is a fantastic value for someone who is ready to roll up his/her sleeves, soak it all in, and put it to work. Doing those things will most definitely gain a great ROI on time and money invested!

      If you are looking for a program that includes 1:1 coaching calls, month-long email support, and individualized guidance with your process you are looking at my BYS in PP Boot Camp (30-days, where we focus on a specific area of the system), or the BYS in Private Practice 1:1 Coaching Program (3-6 month program, where we cover the entire system). These programs will be rolled out this Fall along with the BYS in Private Practice Group Coaching Program (monthly membership to learn the system at your own pace, along with other like-minded people).

      I’ll email you with more details (anyone else interested, let me know) so you can make a decision about the 8-Week INTENSIVE before it starts on Monday!

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