How to Define & Attract Your Ideal Patient
One of the best things you can do for your business as a health-care practitioner is to answer this question, “Who is your Ideal Patient?”
Who do you love to work with? What type of clients get you excited about your day and the impact you will be making? When we attract clients who we enjoy, we resonate with who we are and how we do things — and then, we can get crystal clear on how to attract more of these ideal patients — and our business growth in the right direction will happen with way less friction.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you just want to add more people to your schedule. The truth is that if you’re marketing to “everyone,” you’re essentially marketing to no one.
Maybe you’ve already done some deep diving into discovering your ideal patients in the past, or maybe you never have… and maybe your ideal patient has changed because, yes, that also happens. Whatever the case may be, today, you will learn how to determine who your ideal patient is so that all the marketing pieces you put together (whether it's your website, social media content, email campaigns, events, or emails) are going to land better and be more successful.
Knowing who you want to attract brings clarity to how you communicate and provides a clear focus for your business. The goal is to be known as the go-to expert for a particular focus. This process is called choosing a niche, and it goes hand-in-hand with defining who you want to attract.
What Makes an Ideal Client?
An ideal client is someone you would want to have coffee, a glass of wine, or a smoothie with… or maybe even go to the gym with, go on a hike with, or do a fitness class together. They are also someone who buys whatever you are selling.
They are the type of person who engages in whatever you are doing and is happy to buy anything new that you offer. Typically, they’re going to have your favorite characteristics in a person.
For example, if you are a young grad starting out, you may have a tough time connecting with baby boomers that are looking for help with brain health. Or if you are in your 50s, you would rather work with motivated people of a similar age than with weight loss clients in their 30s.
Perhaps you can more readily connect with people who have had a similar health issue as you had because it is easy for you to resonate with their struggles, but you have a tough time connecting with stressed, anxious women or men with libido issues.
Our best fit is not that complicated to sort out. Typically, the greatest challenge lies more in achieving the mindset that allows you to eliminate the masses so that you can focus on the specifics. I get it; this approach can seem counterintuitive when you are building a business, but I promise you it’s not.
Build Your Ideal Client Avatar
The types of characteristics that you want to work out when thinking of who your ideal client as a person is includes:
Age, income, gender, marital status, kids and their ages, type of job, where they live (e.g., in the suburbs or the city), and what kind of car they drive, etc.
What are their values, beliefs, lifestyle, hobbies, interests, etc?
When you manage to clearly identify who this person is, then you can picture them. You can walk on the street and point them out! This is how specific you want to get, with complete clarity and the feeling that you know exactly who these individuals are at their core.
Ask Questions to Narrow Down Your Ideal Patient
Take a minute to think of an ideal client that you’ve worked with or are working with right now. They are most likely the one person who you’re happy to see when they walk into your office.
Figure out who that person is for you and then start to think about these questions. These factors are going to help you define your ideal patient avatar.
What is the biggest mistake your ideal client is making right now? What keeps them awake at night?
This one is fairly straightforward, but make note of what their biggest mistakes are and what’s creating their issues.
What are the emotions associated with their health issues that are causing their emotional distress?
Are they easily bloated, have adult acne, can’t fit into their clothes, or can’t get out of bed? Do they avoid social situations because of these issues?
What’s the cost of staying where they’re at right now, and how bad can it truly get without help?
This is important for you to become clear on because it’s truly about helping them understand the urgency associated with poor health or living with symptoms that can become a bigger problem in the future.
Most often, people just coast through life thinking it will probably go away or they can deal with it in another month. They don’t realize how fast things can get serious. They could have a long-term condition that’s suddenly screaming at them right now, and if they don’t fix it soon, they’ll be setting themselves up for a variety of worsening symptoms, autoimmune conditions, chronic illness, etc.
What’s the most urgent, pressing crisis they need to be solved right away that is causing them real pain?
This is also known as the tipping point because this is the one thing they aren’t going to wait on. You may be thinking it’s a chronic issue with one cause, but it’s not about what you think their underlying condition is, it’s what they believe the symptom or issue is that they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis that needs to be fixed.
You must take your expertise out of the mix for a moment and put yourself in their shoes when answering this question. As an example, smelly gas after eating, bloating all the time, and insufficient sleep that's affecting their job are all examples of the tipping points often based on daily struggles.
What do they “rant” about with their friends?
This gives you a sense of the words they use to communicate their issues. The better you can understand what they believe to be true about their symptoms, the easier your marketing communications.
Go and Create Your Own Ideal Patients Story
Take a few minutes (ok, maybe really an hour or so) and describe the ideal patient you’d like to attract. Stand in their shoes for a moment and then write it all out. Give the patient a name and complete the following:
Demographic: Age, income, gender, marital status, kids and their ages, job, whether they live in the suburbs or the city, and what kind of car they drive, etc.
Psychographic Traits: Attitudes, values, beliefs, lifestyle, guilty pleasures, hobbies, exercise, social life, purchases, and interests.
Their Big Issue: Emotional pain points, their impact, the cost of staying where they are now, and their tipping point.
What Can You Do to Help?
Your unique selling proposition is your gift.
The outcome of doing this exercise is to not only to find out who your ideal patient is but to understand them on such a deep level that you can speak to them with ease and never have to think about it twice. You know who they are now, what problem they are encountering, what messaging they need to hear, and where to find them. This is how you can laser target your marketing directly to them and only them, and then actually reach them.