How to describe what you do? Who are your ideal clients? Take notes after client sessions.

If you’re trying to sell a service, for example coaching or healing, you might hear from marketing experts to never sell the modality but always sell the benefits and always speak to the ideal client.

But you’re left wondering — “how do I know which benefits people really care about… and what type of person is my ideal client?”

To answer these questions, you need to:

  1. Be taking notes about client sessions as you have them.
  2. Work with different types of people, to have more individuals experience your modality, so you can see for whom your skills are most valuable and in what situations.

Let me talk about each of these.

Doing More of Your Work

If you haven’t done your work for many different types of people, you are limiting yourself. You don’t know how your method/modality/process affects different people.

There’s a “secret” that experienced service providers know: the more ideal the client is, the better their results.

In other words, it’s not just about you improving your skills. Even with the same skills, one client of yours will get dramatically better results, and another client gets very little results.

The determining factor? The kind of client you’re working with.

In the beginning, when you simply need work, you’re happy to accept any person who wants to be your client. That’s good, because you then get to experience a variety of clients.

If you are looking to do more of your work, try trading with other service providers for feedback.

But it is equally important to take notes after each client session for the purpose of understanding where your skills are most valuable, and to whom.

Taking Notes

“The palest ink is better than the strongest memory.” (Chinese proverb)

When trying to describe your service, or the benefits of what you provide, or who your ideal client is, do you just “go by intuition” or “try to remember”?

It’s much more accurate, and easier, when you have notes to look at, so you can see the actual patterns and commonalities between your best clients (those who get the most results with you)— and your “worst” clients (those who get the least results.)

  1. What success or benefits have they experienced, since the time of the previous session they had with you? (If this is the first session, skip to question 3.)
  2. About this benefit/success, what did you do that helped?
  3. For the session you just completed: What problem did they come to the session with?
  4. What was the “aha! moment” or the biggest benefit that the client experienced?
  5. What did you do that helped them the most? What exercise, process, or idea did you share with them?

If you answer the above questions right after each client session, and do this on a consistent basis, you will start to notice patterns. And it will help you describe your services more accurately and to write more authentic marketing copy.

Another benefit: you’ll be getting new and relevant ideas for your content.

If you haven’t been doing this, I do not recommend taking notes for previous sessions if it’s been a long time, or if you have multiple clients, as it can all meld together in your mind. Every time we access a particular memory, it actually changes. You might be making things up.

Just start today with your note-taking. The sooner the better.

Who are your ideal clients?

In addition to post-session notes, it’s also helpful to take overall notes about each client.

  1. Demographics e.g. their age, gender, profession, field of study (helpful if you run FB ads) — you can find this info on their Facebook or Linkedin profile.
  2. How they found you. Be specific: which post or ad did they see (if they remember)? Which friend or colleague referred them to you? (Reach out with gratitude to that referral source.) What were they searching for online that allowed them to come across your site?
  3. What they’re looking for. What motivated them to seek out your services? What problem or goal or situation?
  4. What they’ve already tried. What solution or service have they already tried, before working with you? What hasn’t worked well for them, and why? (This helps you to see what gaps are in the market, that your service can fill, that you can emphasize in your marketing.)
  1. Benefits/Results. What results or benefits came from the work with you?
  2. Amount spent. How much did they spend on your services & products?
  3. Rating. Give them a private rating (for your eyes only). Example:
    0 = totally ineffective or high-maintenance client.
    3 = average client.
    5 = extraordinarily effective and easy to work with.
    Note — we are not rating them “as a person” obviously, but only about how good a fit they happened to be, at this time, with your service.
  4. Reasons for Rating. If a poor rating, was it the wrong time in their life to be using this service? Or did they have the wrong idea about what the service is? How can you improve your marketing to filter out the less-ideal clients? If it was a great rating, what was it about this client or their situation? Can you talk more about that in your marketing?
  5. What’s next for them? What are they needing next? This may give you ideas to form referral partnerships, or to create an additional service if it doesn’t dilute your focus.

Every batch of clients that you take these notes about (e.g. every 10 clients), look for patterns. What type of client gets your highest rating? What type gets your lowest rating?

(If you seek out patterns with too few clients, you may be analyzing an unusual case rather than a real pattern.)

Stay open to working with a wide diversity of client types and situations, until you see a clear pattern of what type of client situation is best — and worst — for your service.

Then, modify your marketing to speak directly to the ideal client, and to filter out the less-ideal clients.

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Written by

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"

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