How to get clear on who you're trying to reach


Do a little digging, and you’ll find all kinds of names for “the person you’re trying to reach with your business”:

Target audience.

Dream client.

Ideal customer avatar.

(I happen to think that last one’s hilarious, but turns out it’s super-common in the business world. Go figure!)

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Now, even though everyone else in the world seems comfortably on-board with the idea of having a dream client…

Those of us in the health + wellness fields tend to opt out of this approach.

And that leads us to make some serious mistakes.

For example:

Our tendency to do this is driven by genuine fears we have about real-life things like scarcity and burnout.

But, the reality is that getting clear + specific is one of the most powerful ways we can grow our businesses, and be of service to the right people.

So, before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way once and for all:

Health + wellness professionals: You are allowed to have a dream client. In fact, it’s essential that you do.


There are probably as many definitions for “dream client” as there are synonyms for the term itself!

So, I’m going to give you my definition.

This is what I’ve used to guide every step of the process of building my own therapy practice.

And it’s what I’ve used to help other health + wellness professionals get clear on who they’re trying to reach in their businesses.

Your dream client is someone who:

  1. You love to work with.
  2. Truly benefits from your unique value.
  3. Recognizes that value + shares it.

It’s a demanding definition, in the sense that it sets a high threshold for what qualifies as “dreamy”.

And for that reason, it works like a charm.

Let’s break these down, one at a time:

1. Your dream client is someone you love to work with.

This is where we start to squirm in our seats a bit, isn’t it?

As health + wellness professionals, we feel like we ought to love working with everyone.

But, that’s just not realistic!

Of COURSE you prefer working with certain people over others…

You are human, right?

Pretending to enjoy your work more than you actually do isn’t doing anyone any favors.

A much better option?

Doing work you actually enjoy!

But, I get it: Thinking about clients in terms of how “lovable” they are feels kind of icky.

All people are valuable and deserving of care. The challenge is to get clear on the ones who stand out as your people.

So, forget about the word “love” for a minute, and try answering these questions instead:

Of the people you work with…

  • Who gives you a zing of excitement or make you do a little happy dance when you see their name on your schedule? (And then contrast this with: Who makes you suddenly feel tired or anxious, heave a sigh, and start rubbing your temples…?)
  • Who makes you walk away from your time together thinking, “Wow, we really did some great work together”? (And in contrast: Who makes you walk away thinking, “Did I miss something…?or “Who might be a better fit for them…?”)
  • Who stands out as an illustration or reflection of what you do best? (And in contrast: Who stands out as example of what it feels like to keep second-guessing yourself…?)
  • Who do you learn the most from? Who is most memorable to you? (And in contrast: Who just kind of fades from your memory…?)

These questions are so, so important to consider, because they cut right to the heart of why your dream client should be specific:

There’s not a person, brand, or business on earth that appeals to everyone.

If you try to speak to absolutely everyone, you’ll end up reaching no one. So, as you’re deciding who your dream client is, it’s just as vital to decide who your dream client isn’t.

Once you’re able to answer these questions honestly (and give yourself total permission to feel good about your answers!), then you’ll have knocked out the first major step toward identifying your dream client.


On to the next step…

2. Your dream client truly benefits from your unique value.

I won’t mince words here:

Not everyone you work with will benefit equally from working with you.

That’s just the way it is!

So, how can you tell if you’ve actually been helpful?

By the number of repeat customers?
Clients who keep coming back?
Patients who say you’ve helped them?

As tempting as it might be to judge our value by these simple, feel-good metrics…

(And no question: It does feel good to hear we’ve been helpful!)

…we need to go a bit deeper than that:

Your dream clients are the ones whose growth/transformation/progress is evident across multiple indicators.

Exactly what those indicators are will depend on your particular niche.

For example, the benefit for a physical therapy client might be greater flexibility, increased mobility, and improved confidence walking down the street.

In my own therapy practice, I may gauge a client’s benefit through their ratings of their anxiety levels, my observations of their anxiety during our time together, and their ability to engage in situations that once caused them too much fear to even try.

Whatever your niche may be, the gold standard is always to use a combination of methods to evaluate, as honestly + thoroughly as you can, whether your clients are benefiting.

And when you see that they are, celebrate!

Because you’ve not only fulfilled your promise to provide unique value, but you’re one step closer to having a clear picture of who your dream client is!

3. Your dream client recognizes that value + shares it.

I recently hit a milestone in my practice.

For the first time ever, I began working with a new dream client…

…who was referred by a former dream client…

…who was referred by another former dream client!

In the language of referrals, that’s 3 GENERATIONS of dream clients!

How cool is that?!

Let’s break it down into stages:

A client (who I loved working with) saw a real benefit of working with me.

That’s the first 2 parts of our “dream client” definition, right there!

So, they passed my name on to someone else they thought might benefit from working with me.

That’s the 3rd and final part of our definition:

Your dream client is someone who recognizes the value you bring to the table, and shares it.

And then, in the example I shared, this whole cycle repeated itself again! I still can’t believe it…

This is what we mean by “word of mouth” advertising, and it’s one of the most sincere and powerful forms of marketing there is.

The magic of what went into each step of my triple-generation referral is not lost on me.

It’s a sacred thing to entrust a loved one to the health + wellness professionals we see, is it not?

I consider it the highest form of praise when a client sits down in my office for the first time, and says, “My friend/neighbor/coworker, ________, gave me your card…”

So, to witness that happen with a chain of 3 connected dream clients…

It felt like a cosmic wink. A virtual nudge, reassuring me:

You’re on the right track.

I want you to experience that, too.


OK, to sum this all up:

Your dream clients are the people you love to work with, who benefit from your unique value, and who not only recognize that value but can’t keep quiet about it!

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be showing you how to take this picture of who your dream client is and start crafting an irresistible message that’ll cut right through all the noise and land right in their ear.

But, for now, I want to leave you with an example of a true dream client success story:

Erica Hoese is a fitness + wellness coach here in the Twin Cities.

By the time she enlisted my help with her website copywriting, Erica already had a picture of her dream client that was so clear, I felt like I knew her:

She’s an overextended, exhausted mom, with the best of intentions.

She cherishes her commitment to her family, but has struggled to maintain other parts of her identity since having kids.

She values wellness, and knows that prioritizing self-care is the key to showing up for all the people in her life. But, she feels overwhelmed, short on time, and uncertain how to get started.

Not only does this describe some of Erica’s favorite past (and current) clients…

And not only does it describe the clients most likely to benefit from the unique value Erica brings to her private and group coaching programs…

But, it also describes the clients who have become some of the most devoted, engaged, and vocal members of Erica’s #FitMomArmy.

(In case you lost count, her description fits all 3 parts of our “dream client” definition!)

And the best part:

Erica’s dream client was so vivid in her mind that when we worked together on her copywriting, the right words practically jumped onto the screen.

I promise you, friend:

Get clear on your dream client, and the right words will come.


Next week, I’ll be back with my best tips on what to actually SAY to get your dream clients’ attention. (This is the fun part, so get excited!)

In the meantime, I’ve got 2 action steps for you:

  1. Leave me a comment, telling me: Who is your dream client? Who among the people you’ve worked with truly fits our 3-part definition of “dreamy”?
  2. Scroll down to take my FREE quiz below. Just 5 easy questions, and you’ll be well on your way to putting your words to work for you and your health + wellness biz!

When it comes to attracting the people you love working with most, you already have a powerful asset at your disposal! Ready to learn what it is, and start putting it to work for you + your business TODAY?




I help health + wellness professionals connect with their dream clients through genuine, engaging communication. After spending over a decade studying, researching, and teaching psychology + communication principles, I started this business to empower health + wellness professionals like me to “preach what you practice”. I share practical guidance so you can get clear on your unique value, communicate it with heart, attract + serve the people you love working with most… and actually have fun along the way.

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