Knowing how to do market research for your coaching business helps you connect with your ideal clients and understand what they need, so you can develop services to meet those needs.

The first step in serving your ideal clients is understanding what they need.

In order to understand what they need, you need to know them: their pains, their desired solutions, and what they want to achieve by working with someone like you.

The way you understand their needs and desires is by asking them. But you want to have a method of asking them that captures their real, unbiased, true answers and gathers answers that you can immediately put into action in your business.

Why do market research for your coaching business?

The main reason you do market research for your coaching business is to validate your offerings, but doing market research for your coaching or wellness business can help you…

  1. Clarify your niche and make sure you truly understand who you want to serve, what they have in common, and how to reach them.
  2. Ensure you’re creating coaching offerings that meet their needs and that your ideal client will want to buy.
  3. Understand how to talk about your offerings in a way that resonates with and attracts your ideal clients.
  4. Decide how to market your offerings  to your prospective clients.

When you talk to your prospective clients, you not only learn WHAT they need, you learn WHY they need it.

You hear them describe their needs and desired solutions in their own words, which helps you create an offering that meets their needs and messaging that speaks to those needs.

When to conduct market research for your coaching business

Doing market research in your coaching business is key, especially in these specific times:

  1. When you’re first starting out. When you’re first starting out, you have lots of ideas of what you want to offer, but you may not have enough information on what your prospective clients actually need.
  2. When you’re creating new services. As you serve clients, you naturally start expanding your service offering to fit what they need… that’s great. But if you have an idea for a new service, you’ll want to validate it first.
  3. When you’re serving a new target market. If you’re branching out into a new niche, you’ll want to do market research to better understand their specific pain points and desired solutions.

How to do market research on a small budget

When you’re just starting out, you definitely want to do market research. But how do you do do it on a small – or no – budget? 

You don’t need to have a huge budget or hire an agency. You only need to prepare, get resourceful, and be willing to reach out to some prospective clients (in many cases, complete strangers!), and be an excellent listener.

As a bonus, doing market research allows you to connect with potential clients who may be interested in what you have to offer!

Market research questions for coaches

So how do you know what questions to ask when you’re doing market research? There are a few different types of market research questions you’ll want to ask on your interviews.

1. Descriptive questions. You want to understand what your ideal clients identify as and what terms they use to describe themselves. Are they high achievers? Midlifers? Creatives? What you call them may not me the same as the terms they use to describe themselves, so be sure to ask them.

2. Demographic questions. You want to capture demographic information related to age, education level, life stage, family situation, and profession as it pertains to your ideal clients. Now, by doing this, you might realize you serve a wide variety of ages or income levels, and that’s OK! But you don’t know for sure until you’ve done this research. You might be surprised about the demographics of your ideal audience!

3. Psychographic questions. I consider psychographics even more important than demographics when it comes to knowing your ideal clients. You want to understand their values, beliefs, challenges, desires, and life goals. You’ll likely see that your ideal clients have similar beliefs, values, and goals… and once you know that, you can talk about those things in your messaging and in your marketing.

4. Questions about what they’ve tried and what has/has not worked. It’s important to understand what your prospective have tried before and how that has worked or not worked for them. This gives you valuable insights into how you can differentiate your product or service to make sure you stand out!

5. Questions as to what’s holding them back. Your ideal client is a person will actually buy from you, so you want to understand all the reasons or obstacles that may prevent them from buying from you, so you can be ready to address them when necessary.

How to get started with market research for your coaching business

If you’ve never done it before, market research can seem intimidating. But you don’t need and advanced degree or course to learn how to do it. In fact, informal market research can help you glean the exact information you need to create offers that sell and to understand the language your clients use.

As a business coach and marketing consultant with past experience in market research, I want to make the process easier for you. My Market Research Guide for Coaches takes you through all the steps of conducting market research, so you can better understand your ideal coaching clients and so you can create offers that sell.

You can get your downloadable market research guide here.