The Most Effective Way I Know To Connect With Your Ideal Client

The Most Effective Way I Know To Connect With Your Ideal Client

Until you understand your customers — deeply and genuinely — you cannot truly serve them.”
~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

In this blog, I tell you about the best way I know to connect with your ideal client and the business benefits of doing so. That way is audience research and I’ll be sharing not only my approach but 4 important benefits you can enjoy when you employ it.

In my experience, doing market or audience research is one of the most overlooked activities in the online business world.

So many business owners sit behind a screen trying to figure out the answers to questions like:

Who is my ideal client?
What is my ideal client struggling with?
What products and services should I create to best support them in that?
How much should I charge?
What language should I be using on my website to appeal to my ideal client?
What should I be sharing about in my content and marketing?

I’m going to let you into a secret. You won’t get these answers from client avatar exercises and/or pondering branding questions.

Our audience (or if we don’t yet have one, our market) knows the answers to all of these questions and more. Those answers are available to us, if only we take the time to ask.

My approach

The approach I teach my clients is to run what I call, 30/30 research call campaigns.

This is where you put out an invitation to your audience, via your newsletter and social media. Or if you don’t yet have an audience, in places your people already hang out such as Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

In the invitation, describe who your ideal client is and a few bullets on what they might be struggling with and then offer 10 x 60 minute conversations.

Share in your invitation that the first 30 minutes will be dedicated to market research (this is where you’ll ask a number of research questions — see list above for inspiration) and the second 30 minutes is where you’ll support them with their greatest struggle, this might be through coaching, healing, teaching or whatever modality you specialise in.

There is so much to be gained from running a campaign like this but here are 4 of the biggest business benefits.

1. Clarity on your niche

I’m a firm believer that your niche evolves over time and with experience. I don’t believe niche is something you can figure out intellectually or through doing branding exercises and answering journal prompts. For me, clarity around niche comes from being out in the field talking with people and testing various niches out through working with people or when you don’t yet have enough clients through research calls and/or offering gift sessions.

Often when business owners come to me, there are several types of people they could help and several things they could help them with. I often work with people who have a range of skills and work with more than one modality. They also tend to do the kind of work that would be beneficial to everybody and so niching can feel particularly tricky.

The problem is that when you offer services to everybody, nobody really sees that service as relevant to them or their specific issue.

In these situations, I recommend conducting market research calls with a specific group of people who might be struggling with a specific set of problems. This way, you get to test out niches and talk to people in those groups to see if it’s a problem you really want to work with.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are a life coach who can help people with a wide range of issues such as relationships, facing fears, achieving goals, breaking bad habits and so on. Instead of putting out a generic post that talks about general life coaching and helping people to “live their best life”, hone in on one of these. For example…”I’d like to have conversations with 10 people who have a clear and specific goal that they want to achieve but are finding it hard to get started. Perhaps you struggle with procrastination, self-doubt or a lack of ideas on what action to take, but at the same time you feel 100% committed to doing what it takes to achieve your goal.”

Can you see how much clearer this is? After talking to 10 people about this specific problem, you’ll soon know if this is something you want to cover in your niche or not!

2. Language and topics for your content and copy

How many times have you heard the advice to use your ideal clients own language in your web and sales copy? And how easy have you found that to be so far?

When we get into conversation with our ideal clients and ask them specifically about what it is that they are struggling with, they tell us! This means that they give us the exact language they themselves use to describe the issues they are looking for support with.

When we can describe what we do in terms that our ideal clients would themselves use, we create a deeper connection that makes sales far more likely.

It’s for this reason that I recommend recording research calls so that you can go back over the recording and jot down the exact wording used.

These conversations are also a rich source of content ideas. If you are talking to the very people you’d love to work with and they are telling you what they need help and support with, you can then go write posts and articles on these very topics, meaning that your content is also going to land much better than it otherwise would.

3. Input, ideas and suggestions for your products and services

Similar to the content point I just made, research calls can provide us with ideas and inspiration for our products and services but more than that we can ask direct questions about what people truly want and need.

I like to do research calls when I’m considering a new product and service so that I can be sure that there is a true need for what I’m thinking of creating. All too often, I see well-intentioned business owners pouring their heart and soul into making something fabulous for their people only to be met with zero or very few sales. Why? Because for whatever reason, it wasn’t what their people really wanted or needed.

You see as practitioners, who in all likelihood have already overcome the struggle our would-be clients are facing, we’re not always in the best position to know exactly what our people are looking for. I see lots of business owners putting forward the solution to the problem in their product and service when their people don’t yet know that’s what they need. If you don’t know you need something, then you’re unlikely to buy it.

4. Clients

Yes, you read that right! Conducting research calls can and does bring in new clients — I see it all the time with my approach. Why? Because first of all, you’ve hopefully described your ideal client well in your invitation, which has the people who respond feel seen and heard, and it also signals to them that you are someone who helps people just like them, with their specific struggle.

Secondly, when you use the second half of the call to deeply serve the person and demonstrate your expertise in your field, people get a real and tangible sense of what it would be like to work with you and if that experience is positive, often they will enquire about working with you.

I have had several clients get multiple clients from a single research call campaign. And even if people don’t sign up for your services there and then, in having this conversation, you’ve built a deeper relationship. One that may well result in future sales and/or referrals down the line.

So there you have it, 4 pretty big business benefits of conducting research calls. I’m such a huge fan of these calls and it’s often one of the first things I get new clients to do. Do let me know in the comments if this piece has inspired you to run a research campaign yourself.



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

The Best Way To Get Repeat Customers + Referrals

The Best Way To Get Repeat Customers + Referrals

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
~ Bill Gates

I want to talk to you about something that many business owners overlook in their business and what you might be missing out on as a result.

In order to maximise your chances of having people buy from you again and again, as well as tell others about you, you’ll need to be creating regular opportunities for your clients and customers to give you feedback so that you can make improvements to your products and services. 

Take a moment now to consider when you last asked your customers or clients for feedback. If you can’t remember or if you never have, then read on, this is for you. 

If you are a business owner, then it follows that you have products and/or services. Not asking for regular feedback as to how those products and services are landing for your customers and clients means you have no idea whether or not they are fit for purpose. Whether or not they are serving your clients needs.

Creating a positive customer/client experience is crucial if you want repeat business and word of mouth referrals. When people buy something from you and it has a positive impact on their life, it follows that they will tell other people about you and/or will be back to buy more from you in the future. If the experience was less than satisfactory, at best they’ll never buy from you again and at worst they’ll share with others their negative experience. 

Now I get it, even though asking for feedback seems straightforward enough – I mean how hard can it be to send out some feedback forms – it’s actually something that a lot of business owners put off. Why? Well my best guess, based on my own experience, is that it feels vulnerable to ask people what they think about what we created for them.

It’s significantly easier to bury our heads and avoid the possibility of hearing from someone that we could do better. Believe me, I know from personal experience just how much it can sting to hear from others that we fell short of their expectations. And….

It’s absolutely crucial to ask for feedback if we are to have any hope of offering the best product or service possible.

Now that I’ve made the case for feedback, allow me to share with you just some of the ways I have created opportunities for feedback in my own business.

My two primary offerings – where I spend most of my time and generate the most income – are my 1:1 coaching subscription and my Conscious Business Mastermind.

With my 1:1 coaching, to overcome the natural resistance to asking for feedback, I’ve created an automated off-boarding system that kicks in when clients finish up with me. What this essentially means is that when someone’s subscription comes to an end, I have a templated email ready to go that shares a few things. A gift coaching session for them to use whenever they feel the need over the next 12 months, a link to a feedback form and an invitation to share a testimonial with me.

In my post-coaching feedback form I ask 9 questions including the following: 

What situation were you in before working with me? What were you struggling with?

What results have you achieved since we started working together? What is different for you now, how would you describe the change that happened?


Is there anything you would have liked to see done differently or any improvements I could make to my coaching service? If so, what?

As you can see, I’m trying to get a solid picture of the impact our coaching together has had, as well, of course, insight into any improvements I could make to my offering. 

When I used to offer a 3-month coaching package, I also sent clients a mid-program review, which contained questions designed to understand if the program was working as the client hoped it would and to offer an opportunity to course correct if it wasn’t. 

Since moving to the subscription model, I don’t do this, as I never know how long a client will stay with me. Based on my experience with subscriptions, it could be anything from 3 months to 2 years plus but as I write this, I’m contemplating ways to incorporate opportunities for feedback within the subscription itself, rather than just waiting until the end to hear how it went, which is too late to course correct if needed. 

In my yearlong Mastermind offering, I also have an end of year feedback form and an automated mid-year form that gets emailed in June. In terms of how I automate this, I use Dubsado (this is an affiliate link which means you’ll get a discount and I’ll get a credit if you use it), using Dubsado allows me to set up users when they become clients or Mastermind participants and then set up automations as needed.

For the Mastermind, this means that an email with the mid-year feedback form will automatically get sent out in June without me having to remember to do it. A cheaper approach than using a software tool is just to create a reminder in your calendar and use gmail templates for the email.

I should probably mention at this point that I use Google Forms for all of my feedback (and application) form needs. 

Now even though I have my end of year feedback form and my mid-year feedback form, a year is a long time to go with only one check-in. So to deal with this, I’ve also created a Suggestions spreadsheet in our shared google folder and regularly remind the women to add to it if they have any suggestions for improvement. I’ll also check-in on a fairly regular basis inside our private Facebook Group, to see what people are wanting and needing support with, which informs which content I create and teach.

I’ll also hop on calls with any of my existing or former clients and mastermind participants to dive deeper into what they think about how I can improve my offerings. Sometimes a form just doesn’t go deep enough, so when I see something worth digging into deeper, I won’t hesitate to set up a time to talk. 

Another area of my business where I feel feedback is a must is when I’m contemplating creating something new, like a workshop for example. If I don’t know what to create then I’ll conduct audience research (different from feedback) but if I already have a good sense of what my audience needs from me, then I’ll present possible options to my people (on social and in my newsletter) and ask for feedback on those options and or names. In terms of live workshops, I will of course ask for feedback after the event to see how it landed and to identify ways to improve. 

Even though I have all of these things in place, I definitely think I could do more when it comes to creating opportunities for feedback. I genuinely don’t think you can ask for feedback enough.

Now having made the case for asking for feedback, it does come with a warning. It’s important to remember that you can’t please everybody. What one person might love and value highly, another might be completely disappointed by. Your job in analysing feedback then becomes to work out who your ideal clients are and what they are saying about your work.

If someone buys something from you but you don’t feel they are a fit for what you do, then you can to some extent disregard their feedback, but there is still gold to be mined here. Why did a less than ideal client or customer buy from you? Are you failing to hit the mark in your marketing or sales copy? Could you make improvements that will help to prevent wrong-fit people coming your way? There’s so much to learn here. 

So there you have it, why I think asking for feedback is so important and some tangible examples of how I do it in my business. If this is an area you know you need to improve on and would love some guidance on how to implement it, let me know in the comments so we can explore how I might support you with that. 



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Creating Your Next Client

Creating Your Next Client

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
~ Peter Ducker

Years ago, when I worked with a Business Coach for well over a year to set up my Life Coaching practice, there were two things he repeated to me regularly.

Clients are created not attracted.


No client is ever created outside of a conversation.

Which meant for the purposes of growing my business, I needed to be in conversations every day. I duly followed his advice and grew my coaching practice quickly and relatively easily.

Clients are created

This approach to client creation is best laid out in a book called The Prosperous Coach by highly successful coaches, Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. Here’s what Rich has to say in the book:

“You don’t get clients. You don’t acquire clients. And you definitely don’t attract clients.

Clients are created.

‘Getting’ clients is an old-fashioned, hunter-gatherer approach to growing a coaching practice. It’s outdated because it puts all of your success in the hands of other people. It puts you in an aggressive mindset that isn’t conducive to having people say yes. And it has your clients on edge, waiting for that moment when you are about to manipulate them.”

If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet looking into how to get clients for your service based business, you’ll likely have heard that having certain things in place, such as beautiful branding, a fancy website, photos of you looking amazing and sun-kissed, enticing copy and highly converting marketing funnels, are all a must if you are to attract your dream clients.

The key to this approach is attraction — make yourself as irresistible as possible to your ideal client and they’ll be putty in your hands. But what to do if you don’t have $15–20K to spunk on professional branding, web design, copywriting and a set of personal branding photos? Or if, like many of my clients, the whole idea of portraying a perfectly polished image online, leaves you feeling cold.

Well I don’t mind telling you that I have none of these and I’m doing just fine on the client front thank you very much. I’ve also pretty much DIY’d all of the above.

For the bootstrapped business owner who has little choice but to DIY it, not needing all of these fancy bells and whistles to enrol clients, often feels like a blessed relief. But if we don’t need to go to all this trouble of attracting our ideal clients, what then?

Well my lovelies, this is where the fun beings. Instead of trying to attract clients, we get to create them. And we create clients by doing what we, as purpose driven, conscious folks love to do.

We connect with people and we help them.

Before we get into that though, I want to share another thing my business coach used to say.

Your next client is right in front of you.

This one has been a game changer for me because it has allowed me to a) focus fully on the person right in front of me and b) put my attention and care on looking after the people in my network rather than have my focus on the growing the number of people on my list or following my Facebook page.

When you seek to help the people you already know and take the time and effort to cultivate deeper connections with those people (regardless of whether or not you think they can afford to work with you), you will inevitably create your next client. And you’ll also grow your audience because when people are blown away by how you’ve served them, they go and tell everyone they know about you.

All too often I see business advice that encourages business owners to be looking out at the horizon for their next client rather than focusing on the people and followers they already have.

How often have you put a piece of content out and bemoaned the fact that only 1 or 2 people commented or shared it? Rather than focus on the lack of engagement, I invite you to celebrate those who are showing up, reading, commenting and/or sharing your work. When we do that, people feel seen and appreciated, which inevitably and organically leads to more business.

Being of Service

This is where I favour 1:1 connection versus 1:Many. So much marketing advice would have us shouting to the masses, posting on social media and churning out marketing designed to attract clients to us.

But there absolutely is another way.

What if rather than spend your time trying to attract clients, you spent your time simply serving people. Showing up to your network and being generous and helpful with your gifts and your content? Read blog posts here and here for more on outreach and activating your network.

Finally, I’ve also created a graphic that simplifies the distinction between the attract and create approaches below. I think I can already guess which approach you’d rather take!



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.