Example of Ideal Client Description

My ideal client is between 35 and 65. She may be married or divorced with one or two children. She is middle class, educated, and lives in a middle-to-upper class neighborhood.

She has always been financially independent. She owns her own business or would like to have a part-time business of her own. She is discerning with money, though will rarely spend it on herself unless it’s for a practical reason.

She makes lists and likes to be able to cross everything off her list, even though there is often more there than she can achieve. She compares her achievements to others as a way of gauging her worth. She often is overcritical of herself and lacks compassion for herself, though finds it for others.

She grew up in an environment where she had to take on responsibilities too early, which forced her to put aside her creative, spontaneous side and lose touch with her own needs and intuition. As a result, she is an over-responsible, independent, strong adult. She is dependable and tries to be there for others, whether it is in her best interest or not. She is overly loyal and often takes care of others because she feels like she should because nice people do that.

She follows the rules. She lives a lot in her own head and is afraid of making the wrong decision. She is a thinker and analyzer. As a result, she has lost touch with her own feelings and needs.

She has difficulty setting boundaries with others until circumstances become extreme. When she does set a boundary, she feels guilty and often softens the boundary or changes it to suit the other person. She says “yes” when she doesn’t want to, then feels resentful. She doesn’t have a good sense of self-worth and therefore has difficulty honoring herself.

She’s unaware of her own values and using them as a way of navigating life or making decisions. She makes decisions out of fear or guilt. Only when she feels she’s been pushed too far will she get angry and lash out or finally give herself what she wants.

She is a busy person who experiences free-floating anxiety during quiet moments. She tries to get out of these feelings by staying busy, eating, or distracting herself with Internet activities. She is afraid to feel “negative” feelings for fear they will lead to something bad or shut her down completely. She is knowledgeable about positive thinking and feels guilty or fearful if she isn't thinking constructively.
She has a spiritual reference (God, the Universe, Spirit, Higher Self) and may engage in a spiritual practice. She has trouble with meditation because her mind is constantly busy. She loves self-help books, psychology, and spirituality (especially relationship books, Law of Attraction, and codependency). She loves to read or learn about these things so she can fix her problems. When an issue arises, a book or self-help source soothes her. She feels in control of the problem.

She is afraid to let go of control. She has difficulty relaxing and will often need to eat, drink, or distract herself with Internet use to relax.
She is constantly thinking about the future and the next moment. She’d like to have more fun or nurturing activities, but can’t give herself permission or justify them. She often feels overwhelmed and drained. Her feelings seem to vacillate between anxious and depressed.
She can be found working on her computer either from home or at coffee shops, running errands, and taking care of the people in her life. She enjoys bookstores and self-growth classes. She has a creative side, though it is undeveloped and not given priority. She has a worldly cause she believes in that she may or may not be aware of yet. She enjoys people and has friends, but doesn’t make relationships a priority – this can be because of lack of time or lack of energy.

She has difficulty trusting or being intimate with men. She often attracts untrustworthy or needy men. (Or this could describe her relationship to a husband.)

Her greatest desire is to learn to love herself. She realizes she doesn’t treat herself well and wants to change. Yet she feels caught in shame or guilt when taking steps toward this.

She is tired of feeling anxious and depressed. She wants to feel better about herself and her relationships but does not know how, despite the self-help books.

She is attracted to my sense of self-acceptance, non-judgment, safety, optimism, and trust in myself and a Higher Power for my safety and future.

She is ready to work with me because she sees my story and wants the balance and security I’ve achieved within myself. She feels seen and safe.

I offer her a place to begin to get to know her own feelings and emotions without fear. I show her how to feel her feelings in a way that will allow, heal them, and lead her to hear her own Inner Voice. She feels encouraged to listen to and take action toward her own needs and self-care. She experiences more self-love, self-compassion, and self-trust.

She feels more settled in her body and is able to feel good about herself and her decisions. When she makes a mistake, she sees the growth and good without shame. Though life may present her challenges, she feels more confident in herself and in life to take care of her. She is able to be with others in a way that allows her to be real and unafraid. She is able to lovingly set boundaries. Her relationship with herself and others are healthier because she is different inside. She now honors herself and is able to present with others in a way that honors them.

New ideas and desires arise in her as a result. She is more in touch with her body, needs, and emotions. She knows more of what she needs and where her limits are. She knows herself and how to take care of herself under stress. She has the resources, tools, and knowledge to handle her life. She can hear own Inner Voice and feels empowered to take risks towards what she desires.

Free Course–Step Seven–Setting Boundaries

Even with a clear communication plan and format in place, your client may push the limits. Setting boundaries is a primary task for your peach of mind and your client's best coaching experience.  

  • Clients may keep you on the phone longer than you intended
  • They will email you more than is allowed
  • They might text you for non-emergencies
  • They will send you messages on Facebook, on Twitter, on Voxer, or anywhere else that is convenient for them—regardless of your preferences

Does This Work Both Ways?

Are you tempted to reach out on the weekend to answer a question or schedule a call on a Sunday afternoon because that's when your client is available. You might think this is good business—after all, you're building a relationships.

The idea is not the best for you. The situation will lead to burn out because your boundaries are weak.  You'll always feel like you must do more for your clients. Sooner or later, you'll lose touch with your own health and personal space.

Setting boundaries is the answer for both you and your customers. Establish from the outset exactly what your coaching package includes, and be sure to include when contact takes place.

 For example, you might say:

Your coaching package includes one monthly, 50-minute phone call with me and one question by email each working day.

 My workdays are Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm Eastern, and I'll answer all calls and emails during that time.

With this format, you are setting boundaries and have included 

  • What the client gets (one phone call and once daily emails)
  • When she gets it (Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm)

You’ll also need to establish exactly how your clients should contact you, and what will happen if they do not follow the procedures. Setting boundaries includes  specific email addresses and phone numbers or conference lines exclusively for your client use.

Another step is to create “planned responses” to send out when a client attempts to contact you outside of your established boundaries.. For example, if you receive a Facebook message (and you don’t offer this as a form of contact) you might respond with:

Thank you for reaching out, and I'm happy to help you with this big issue. For better organization of my client files, though, I do ask that you send all your questions to my email address at yourname@yourdomain.com.

A gentle reminder for setting boundaries creates a better coaching relationship for both of you.

To keep phone calls shorter, use a simple kitchen timer. At the start of the call, tell your client, "We have XX minutes today, so I'm going to set a timer for YY minutes to remind us when it's almost time to end. That will help ensure I can answer all your questions."

Then set your timer for 5 minutes before the call is to end. When the timer goes off, let your client know you have 5 minutes remaining, and ask if she has any final questions before you hang up. Following this simple system will prevent those endless phone calls that trample all forms of boundaries. 

Resist the temptation to allow calls to be booked outside of your working hours, or to respond to questions on the weekend, or to book additional appointments "just this once." 

Doing so will make it appear to your client that your boundaries are flexible, and will invite them to push the limits as well. After all, if you email on the weekend, it must be ok, right?

 

Exercise: Map Your Work Hours

 

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

6am

 

Exercise: Craft Your Boundary Responses

How will you set the expectation at the start of a call, so it does not run too long?

How will you respond if a client contacts you outside your established system?

What will you tell yourself when you fail to respect your own boundaries?

 

Free Course–Step Six–Determining Your Price

Having trouble pricing your coaching program? A coach's difficult decision to make when determining your price is to consider value to your client and the your time not only to prepare, but also to coach.. 

Beginning coaches in all niches tend to price their time, content and value to the client way too low. You might charge as little as $97/month, while top business coaches can easily command $40,000, $50,000 or even $100,000 per year. Where will your program fit? A variety of factors affects this answer, such as:

  1. A year-long program is costlier than a 6-week offer.
  2. Certain industries, such as business, can demand higher price tags than others.Determining your price by comparison includes the value and end result for your clients. 
  3. Beginners will be less likely to shell out big bucks for coaching than will more advanced clients.
  4. If your result includes an increase in profits for business, then a higher-priced program is possible.

In addition to these elements, consider comparable programs from your coaching colleagues. What do they offer and for how much?

Exercise: Determining Your Program Price for Length 

Note: You can create multiple levels here as well. For example, you might offer both a 3-month and a six-month program.

Program Duration

Cost