This week I wanted to talk about the importance of finding your peeps. No, not the cute little easter candies that look like birds (or sometimes bunnies or other creatures, as I’ve now discovered!) but your people. The folks who will support you and your business and really get what it is you’re trying to do.
The idea for this topic came about from a client meeting I had last week. My client is actually super, crystal clear about who she wants to work with and who her services are for. She draws a pretty big line in the sand! But you know what - over the years she’s been able to cultivate clients who love that about her, love what her company stands for, and happily promote her to their friends and family. She’s currently undergoing an expansion due to her success and just really has her s%*# together, you know?
Did this happen overnight for her? Well no, of course not! It was years of working hard and experimenting and discovering who her peeps really are.
This is a huge take home point. We can all learn a lot from my client’s experience running her business.
But wait, you might wonder. If I’m a healthcare provider, how does this apply to me? Aren’t I closing off opportunities by drawing that sort of line in the sand? Aren’t I going against health care regulations - don’t I have to see everyone?
And if you work in fitness or wellness, you might feel similarly. Aren’t you ‘leaving money on the table’ if you draw that line in the sand?
Well, if you’ve been reading my articles for a while now, you already know what I’m going to say. ;-)
Being clear about who is your best match client actually helps the right people find you and leads to much happier clients, which in turn, leads to a much better business for you. Think about it. As a client, have you gone and seen a bunch of different healthcare providers (or personal trainers, or coaches…) until you found the right one for you? Did you find a lot of their websites and other promotional materials were more or less the same? But what if they’d made it more clear from the beginning how they’re different from the crowd - would that have helped you decide who to book with? Of course it would have, because you’d have had a better idea of who they are and what they’re actually good at (and not just a laundry list of their training and post grad courses. Boring!). Not every person who does work in your field is exactly the same. Are you exactly like all of your colleagues just because you’ve got the same designation letters after your name?
This is such a huge piece of finding the right clients for you. It doesn’t mean you reject people - it just means you promote your practice in ways that attracts the kinds of clients you’re likely to click with. Who love what you do and how you work. Who are happy to talk about you to friends and family - just like with my client.
There’s also another aspect to this idea of finding your peeps - the client retention aspect. Let me give you a couple of examples.
Have you ever had a client come see you a couple of times, only to have them start seeing someone else in your office instead?
Have you seen a client a few times, felt it went really great, and then they just disappear on you? You try to follow up via email or phone, and they don’t reply?
Be real with yourself for a second. How did those situations make you feel? Were you just 100% in a ‘hey no problem, it just wasn’t meant to be?’ frame of mind? Or was there part of you that felt sad, frustrated or rejected by it?
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we do feel some sadness or rejection or difficulty in those situations. This can be particularly hard if you’re in a financial bind, because losing clients or potential therapists for your business really does feel super personal then - it can feel like they’re rejecting you AND you’re losing money too. Talk about stressful, right? And there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that way, because that’s part of being human. So don’t beat yourself up over this, or tell yourself you’re being unprofessional for feeling that way, or whatever nonsense you might have heard or read. It’s fine, you’re just human and that’s ok.
But wait a second… how does ‘finding your peeps’ help in these situations?
The biggest thing it does is it allows the people who are looking for someone who does exactly what you do find you. People who share your philosophy. People who are probably going to be a great match for you, personality-wise. It’s really a win/win. They get to work with someone they enjoy working with and are much more likely to get the help they need. You get a great client who will likely stick around and refer other people to you.
The other benefit is that when people who aren’t a good match for you come into your practice or business and don’t stick around, you’ll probably feel a bit of relief instead of feeling rejected. Those people leaving makes room for the awesome, great match clients to book instead. It might not feel that way sometimes, but I can tell you from personal experience and from the experiences of my own clients that it is true.
So let this be your call to action to draw your line in the sand. Who are the clients who you work best with? What kind of practice and business have you always wanted to build but maybe felt like you couldn’t or didn’t know how to?
Start by finding your peeps and work from there!