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What Business Are You REALLY In? by Terri Levine

by | In the Magazine, Terri Levine

You need to realize right here, right now, you are a business coach.

You are also in the business of marketing your business coaching services and that marketing your services is equally as important as doing the business coaching work you perform.  And if you don’t become great at marketing your business coaching services, you won’t have client family members to utilize your services, and that, my friend, is selfish.

I want you also to know that marketing your business coaching services is not something you do one time… it is an on-going permanent activity which brings you client family members regularly.

Let’s face it, client family members will come and go so you always will need more coming than going.

I suggest that you focus your business on continuing to learn so you can earn.  In fact, learning and implementing marketing strategies regularly should become your new hobby.  When I say the word marketing, I mean attracting prospective client family members, converting them into long term family members, retaining them in an ongoing long-term relationship and creating massive benefits for

Client family members

As we go forth in this article, you will see that there are many facets of attracting prospective client family members and I will show you in simple steps how to do this with ease.  I will also show you the proven process of how to convert prospective client family members into paying long-term client family members without selling them.  And also how to build a relationship with them where they stay with you long-term and freely refer others to you as well.

Everything I share with you, you will feeeeeeeeeeel good about learning and implementing.  No trickery, no lies, no sleight of hand; just valid professional marketing in line with your image as a business coach.  One of the things you will be creating is a way for client family members to be attracted to you without you chasing after them.  Oh, and no “secret” here… no Law of Attraction and hoping it works – all action and marketing that is valid!

I believe that you, like my client family members, will love the process of marketing because you will find it easy and fun.  It won’t be based on convincing people, and it will be based on people coming to you vs. you running to them!  The process I will teach you will make marketing natural for you and something that becomes a habit for you.

I will reveal to you shortly how to focus on ideal prospective client family members that meet your ideal client family member profile.  Then I will show you how to affirm the core benefits you provide to those who are right for your business coaching.   Remember the saying, the right client family members, with the right message, at the right time?  This is what creates your financial success. Ready to create some financial success? 

Ok, let’s create your ideal client family member profile now.

Create Your Ideal Client Family Member Profile

There is a common mistake that most business coaches make which kills their ability to have high profits.  The mistake is trying to be everything to everyone and attempting to serve all living and breathing prospective client family members who can pay for services.  This is a horrible way to run a business.

Let me use my personal story for example.  When I started my own coaching business, I wanted to help everyone.  The problem was I couldn’t buy a sorted mailing list for “everyone.”  There was no category “everyone” for magazines either.  So I spent much time and many dollars marketing to “everyone” with few results.

When I decided to specialize in one type of client family member I could help the most, then I was able to rent mailing lists, find magazines and even attend or offer to speak at events for that client family member category.  I only had to have one marketing message for this group of people.  I found that instantly attracting new prospective client family member was simplified.

Think about this in your own life.  Let’s say you wanted some legal advice in your business.  You could search the Internet.  If you searched under the general term attorney or lawyer, you would still have to find the kind of attorney you needed.  Let’s say you needed one to help you incorporate… finding divorce attorneys and real estate and trust attorneys would be of no use to you.  That is why domain names, ad words, sponsored links are segmented by type.

Remember this.  You must appeal to a single segment – not the entire market.  I must also say a single segment does mean one.  I know you might be thinking two or maybe three… One is the rule.  If you don’t follow this, you will spend a lot of money marketing without successful results.  I promise you later you can add other segments.

When I first began in my coaching business, I started by helping people in career transition since I had just been through my own.  Then I moved into working with sales professionals since I had a ton of experience selling services and products.  And now I coach and consult with only business coaches and consultants because that is where I have decades of experience.  I coach client family members just like you. 

So how do you know which segments are right for you and offer you the most opportunity?

I always began any creative thinking by doing a 2-minute drill.  I do this drill by grabbing a sheet of paper (don’t keyboard), and I set the timer for two minutes, and then I write as fast as I can (without judgment) all the ideas I have.  You will do this for every type of market segment you can think of.  Nothing gets ruled in or out here.  You write very quickly, and you keep writing even if you feeeeeeeeel stuck until the timer has counted down to two minutes.

So now you can see I am not going to teach you anything difficult here!  I am all about doing things easily.

As a coach, I learned the skill of asking myself important questions.

Here are the powerful questions you will use to create your Ideal Client Family Member Profile. 

You will do a two-minute drill for each one.

  1. What are all the possible types of client family members who can benefit from my services?
  2. What kinds of client family members do I love to help?
  3. What kinds of client family members are the most lucrative?
  4. What kinds of client family members am I great at helping?
  5. What causes people to become my client family members?


Do your 2-minute drills now.

Remember you are just stimulating creative thoughts at this point. Grab your timer, write quickly and don’t stop until the timer is up.

Are you done? 

If not you are playing a game with yourself skipping ahead and pretending you are not learning and implementing.  You are seriously cheating yourself of the income you can earn and the freedom you can create in your life.

Take a look at your lists.  Circle or highlight the answers that resonate the most for you and notice if there are themes where specific answers show up on more than one drill.

Which types of client family members are most profitable for you and easiest for you to find?  These are the client family members you will be focused on as your utmost opportunity.

From here we are going to get to the one segment you will be focusing on. 


For each remaining segment you now ask these questions:

Do client family members in this category tend to seek out business coaches help?  – If no, remove this category.  It takes too much time and money to educate client family members who don’t seek out services.

Do client family members in this category have the money to invest in my help?  Let’s not waste time and money marketing to people who cannot afford you.

Are client family members in this category the decision makers?  If not, you are again spending time and money speaking to the wrong audience.

Is this segment clearly defined and very specific?

Are there enough people in this category to build my business from?

Is this a segment that is relatively easy for me to reach?  Are there organizations, associations, newspapers, mailing lists, Internet forums, for this segment?

Am I credible in this area or can I quickly become credible with this segment?  If you are known in this segment, it is easy to market and be successful fast.  If you need to become known you are going to have to be doing press releases, mailings, speaking, etc.  It is also possible to borrow someone else’s credibility in the industry to get in front of their client family members.

Now it’s time to narrow your focus.

Review your answers.  If there are client family members, who want what you provide that is a viable category.  If not, scratch it off now.

If the client family members in a category have the funds, keep that category.  If not, delete it.

Are the client family members in the category the ones making the decision? 

Question whether the segment is obvious and specific.  If no, you know what to do!

Are there enough people in this category?  Again, be honest and cross off the category if the answer is no.

Is the segment one you can reach pretty easily?  Do some research on the Internet and find out.

And finally, if you aren’t credible or can’t quickly become credible to this patient category, pass it by. 

Now narrow down to one segment that is your highest opportunity market segment.  If you have two or three that are somewhat equal pick the one that resonates with you the most. 

You have just completed the most critical step that most business coaches never do!  Congratulations!  I celebrate you for taking action.

Describe Your Ideal Client Family Member

Now that you have defined the marketing segment you are going to serve it is time to create clarity, so you know exactly who your ideal client family members are. 


Write out a narrative that describes your Avatar that is your ideal client family member is.  This Ideal Client Family Members should be crystal clear in your narrative.

Begin your narrative describing the family member.  Tell about their age, the business they have, and what their business problem is.

Talk about why they want help from you as a business coach and what would compel them to do business with you. Why do they believe you are credible?

How can you reach them quickly and easily and with little expense?

What kind of image do they have in their mind of a business coach?

Let me share my own Ideal Client Family MemberProfile to help you:

Terri Levine’s Ideal Client Family Member Profile

My ideal client family member is a business coach who would like to get a million dollar business.

My ideal client family member spends much time facing the challenge of how to attract leads, how to convert them into paying clients and how to retain their clients long term.  They know they are good a business coach and struggle with making the income they want.  They want someone to help them who has the experience and proven solutions for them that are easy to learn and implement and that ring the cash register.

The best way to reach my ideal client family members is through email, direct mail, Internet and speaking at their associations. I show them I am the real deal with the credible testimonials, experience, expertise and a solid guarantee that makes them comfortable hiring me.   They know they can trust me.

See how short and sweet and yet very specific this is?  Doesn’t leave any room for guessing.


Now it’s your turn.  Write your Ideal Client Family Member Profile now.

Great going!  Now that you are armed with this information let’s move on.

Your Core Unique Positioning Statement

When you are asked the usual question “What do you do?” if you are like the business coaches I meet each day (that are not my client family members or haven’t learned from me) you, like them, will fail miserably when you respond to this question.

Notice when you answer this question most of the time the person you responded to seemed totally disinterested.  They didn’t really care.

Occasionally you will have a person who thinks what you do is interesting or wants to hear more or learn more.  I can tell you for a fact that the business coaches pulling in the big money have an answer to the “what do you do?” question that causes many people to become interested and want to hear more.  If you continue to tell people what you do and have them react without interest, then you are going to fail.

So, let me first take away the fallacies you have already learned.  You were probably taught to say, “I am a business coach.”  Frankly that doesn’t sound all so interesting and certainly won’t have me saying, “tell me more.”  The second fallacy you probably learned was to list your credentials – boring! Imagine if you asked me “what do you do?” and I said, “I am a small business coach to other business coaches.  I have a Ph.D. in organizational behavior, I am a Master Business Coach, and Master Certified Guerrilla Marketing Trainer and Coach.  Come on, who the heck cares?  It is a huge turn off and certainly doesn’t have anyone asking to hear more.

Hopefully, you didn’t learn to say something that is hard-core selling that instantly turns people off either.  Recently someone said this to me, “I’m a financial planner.  Do you have a succession plan for your business?  I create succession plans for people just like you.  Can I call you Monday morning or is Tuesday afternoon better?”  That one left me running out the door.

I also met someone whom I hope is not like you when they answered the question and told me, “You know it’s hard to say what I do.  I do so many things.  I help business owners, I speak, and I write books.  I do it all.”  I was left having no idea at all what they did and decided I didn’t even care anymore.

What do you do?

How do you answer the “what do you do?” question?  Be honest.  What do you say at a cocktail party or networking event? Can you see how you can be chasing people away instead of having them wanting to hear more?

The problem with the way most people answer this question is it is all about them and not at all about the benefit to the listener as the potential client family member.  You have to be able to respond in a straightforward sentence, not in several sentences or paragraphs.

To craft a one-sentence message like this you have to know why client family members invest in your services.  If your services don’t have a distinct advantage, then you don’t need to provide them… plenty of other people like you are out there doing the same thing.

The good news is that most of them aren’t reading this article and YOU are!  So you will have a definite competitive advantage over them.

Let’s think about this powerful coaching question:

What do your client family members buy when they invest in business coaching services?

What they buy is a solution to their business pain and a way to attain better business results, yes?  I believe this is what they buy and is the solid benefit they are looking for.  They need you to help them achieve what they desire, so they invest in your services.

If you offer client family members a solution to their problem and a way to achieve greater business results, then you are hired.  That is all there is to it.  You don’t ever need to hard sell or convince anyone.

What is most important is to realize your client family members’ greatest problems and their greatest needs.  If you can solve their problems, you are hired.

When you put this together in a statement expressing the benefit to your client family member, then it becomes clear to them if you are a fit for them or not.  I am not talking about creating an elevator pitch or a unique selling proposition here.  Nor am I creating a vision or mission statement or statement about the purpose of your business because those statements all focus on you and your business and not on the client family member.

So what is a Unique Core Positioning Statement? 

Very simply it is stating the most critical problems your client family member face and the goals that they would give anything to achieve.

Many people rush off and answer these questions and then create their statement.  This is wrong.  This doesn’t tell you what your patients think; it tells you what you believe, which is not based on fact.  You must (even if you have one client family member right now) ask your client family members to answer these questions. 

You can do this in several ways.  You can call your client family members; you can email them or use a survey like or or, and ask them this question:  “If I could help you with one business issue in the next three to six months, but only one business issue, what issue would that be?”

Keep a record of all the answers.  Review the answers looking for patterns.  The frequent theme or recurring answer you hear is what you will use to create your Unique Core Positioning Statement.

If you are a new business coach without client family members or with only a handful of client family members at this point, find a website where your ideal client family members hang out.  Ask people to complete the survey and offer them a special report with the findings or give them a gift of some sort.  I find when I gift people one of my e-books or special reports more people respond to my surveys.  And you never know, sometimes these people become client family of your business, too!


Take time right now doing the research and gathering the answers to this vital question.  If you move on without this foundational information, your business will suffer greatly.  Don’t be foolish.  You invested in reading this article now invest the time, so you get the results you deserve.

Responses to: “If I could help you with one business issue in the next three to six months, but only one business issue, what issue would that be?”

Now you have the information you need to create your Unique Core Positioning Statement.  If you didn’t take the time to do the research you won’t create an effective statement, you wouldn’t attract prospects, and your business will not prosper.

You now have taken some action steps to create a solid foundation for the business you are really in – the business of marketing your business coaching – congratulations! I put together a free workshop with some of my best templates for you to help you even more. You can access them here as my gift to you and my way of passing it forward. How to Create a High Ticket Signature Program Quickly and Easily

 About Terri Levine

Dr. Levine has more than 30 years of business, sales, and marketing experience encompassing work with over 5,000 business owners. She is also a best-selling author of over 30 titles and a very popular keynote speaker.

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