How To Host a Simple Focus Group So You Can Attract Your True Clients

When I first was starting my coaching business and thinking about focusing on introverts, a colleague suggested I host a focus group for introverts to explore this idea further. Me: “Huh, focus group?”

Can you relate? My self-employed clients usually have the same quizzical response too. So I will unveil the mystery of this very simple action that can give you SO much. I’m providing a complete cheat-sheet here for hosting a focus group.

I bet you’ll even enjoy focus groups! Especially when you see what a difference it makes in your work.

My Focus Group Hosting Experience

My colleague helped me plan my first focus group. I just invited some introverts to a free discussion for about 5 people. Once there, I could see how easy and natural it was to host a meaningful conversation for a handful of people, on something that I and they cared about.

That’s all it is, really. A meaningful conversation that you and they will likely enjoy. It’s a win-win. We all enjoy the connections, and I learned a lot.

Focus group discussion - how to

A focus group is simply a meaningful conversation that you and the participants will likely enjoy.

It turned out people wanted more of these gatherings and so I hosted some more. What I learned helped me to create a solid foundation for my offerings and my marketing. I’ve since done it other times when I needed more input.

I now believe that first focus group was one of the
smartest things I ever did to get my business going.

Is It for You?

In reality, not everyone likes hosting small group discussions like I do. If you’re feeling any dread about the idea, start with reading more here about what it is and then decide if it’s for you. You can also get help to do it.

In this post, I’ll give you a cheat-sheet, with the when, why, how of focus groups. This is a simple model designed for service professionals like coaches, consultants, and healing arts professionals.

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Stop Calling Your Customers “Targets” (This is why you hate marketing.)

When I hear people say “target market” to refer to people we want to attract, it seems to grate on me.

“Target” has awful war-like connotations. And that leads us to make bad marketing decisions.

Just have a look at these images that marketers use to describe the “target market” concept and I think you’ll see the problem. It implies that guns and arrows are pointing at our customers.

We are not at war with them. They are not the enemy! And yet that is what this phrase tells our brains. Yikes!

This “target” phrase comes from the old-school sales approach of pushing something or making people do something. Anyone want to buy from a classic “used car salesman” anymore? I didn’t think so. Continue reading

How To Choose Your Niche

In a previous post, I described the reasons you should choose a narrow niche for your business.

Now we’re getting down to how to choose the right niche for you.

Your niche doesn’t have to be an age or gender demographic such as “50-something women.” That’s a simplistic example that might not be narrow enough.

A better niche idea is to describe people with a particular challenge. For example, your ideal audience could be parents with children at home while having aging parents to care for.

In picking a niche…You find a place where your passions, experience, and strengths meet an aching need in the marketplace.” ~Steve Mitten, Business Coach


choosing a niche

Here’s a cafe that knows its niche and puts it out there clearly. And I immediately knew I was in the right place.

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Very Specific Niches Draw More Interest

Having a narrow niche for your business is so important that I’m determined to prove it to you. If this post isn’t enough, please leave a comment below.

Does your basic pitch say something like “I help people get things done.”? If so, that could be interfering with your marketing.

It’s hard for listeners to picture the generic words “people” or “things,” so they will ignore you. Vagueness puts them to sleep.

It doesn’t matter if you actually can help everyone. No one will listen.

But they will pay attention if you say “I help older adults who want to find a fun exercise plan that helps them feel great.”

[Painting by Weyakin Designs. Click for website]

Your audience will listen even if it’s not describing them. They’ll say “OH, my mom could use that!” Or “Oh, I need that too, do you work with people in their 30s?”

The concrete nature of what you say keeps their attention.

This post will define niches and why you need a narrow niche. The next post will explain how to choose your niche.

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