Understanding Your Coaching Clients’ Pain Points
September 1, 2020
Knowing what your coaching clients’ pain points are, and how you can solve them, are the two most important things to understand when you’re marketing your coaching services.
Pain points are the reason people will hire you to be their coach, and letting them know that you understand those pain points is what builds the trust prospective clients need to book a consult call.
There are a lot of ways to figure out what your clients’ pain points are, but first, you have to understand what a pain point is.
What is a pain point?
Pain point = a persistent or recurring problem (as with a product or service) that frequently inconveniences or annoys customers.Merriam-Webster
Basically, pain points are the problems your clients are having. The ones that bug them. That worry them. The things that keep them up at night, or cause them to buffer, procrastinate, or completely avoid dealing with whatever it is they’re facing.
They’re results, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that your clients don’t know how to solve. Thoughts that are holding them back. Feelings that keep them stuck. Beliefs they can’t get rid of. And results they may or may not want.
Your clients want to change something in their life, and the pain points are the obstacles getting in their way.
Some examples to get your mind working.
When we started the website template shop for life coaches, it was because of one primary pain point our clients have: they want beautiful sites, but they don’t want to spend a fortune on them.
We both had our own website agencies, and we were painfully familiar with the phrase “I love your work, but I can’t afford your prices.” Price was a huge pain point for our clients.
Then, as coaches guiding our clients in building their businesses, we’d hear that they didn’t know where to go to get a quality website, and couldn’t figure out how to build one for themselves.
Through many conversations, we came up with a list of pain points for our website template customers:
- They don’t want to spend a fortune
- They don’t want to wait 3 months for a custom website
- They don’t know where to find a good designer
- They don’t want to pay someone to make constant changes after it’s built
- They can’t figure out how to build a website themselves
- They don’t know what makes a quality website
- They don’t have time to spend months building one for themselves
- They struggle to figure out the tech stuff
- They don’t feel confident in their own ability to build a website
You’ll notice that our clients’ pain points come from two directions: hiring someone to build a custom site, and building their own site. This happens a lot with pain points, especially when you’re offering a product or service that requires your clients to do some of the work themselves.
And that’s exactly what coaching requires: putting in the work outside of calls.
So let’s do another example, specific to coaching. Because we can’t (effectively) guess what the pain points of your exact clients would be, we’re going to use one of our own coaching niches.
Cass is a business mindset coach, and she helps her coaching clients feel confident in running a business.
Here are some of her clients’ pain points:
- Don’t believe they’re qualified
- Don’t believe they can get people results
- Not as good as other coaches in their niche
- People won’t like them
- People will judge their current level of success
- Haven’t had paid clients yet
- There’s too much to do / can’t keep up
- Not productive enough
- Not an expert
- People won’t pay their rates
- Can’t handle the tricky situations
- Don’t want to trigger their clients
- Will guide someone in the wrong direction
- Everyone will say no to the offer
- Not committed enough to make it work
- Don’t follow through on things
- Frozen in inaction
- Don’t know how to _____
- Never run a business before
- Will screw everything up and fail
As you can see, the list is extensive, and some of them are variations of the same general theme. But your clients will think they are separate problems, and it’s your job to identify every single one of them.
How to figure out your coaching clients’ pain points
Sometimes pain points are easy to identify. But sometimes they’re a little more subtle. And it’s your job to identify all of them.
The big ones are easy to figure out. They’re obvious to your client, and you.
But a lot of the time, your clients might be oblivious to the existence of the subtle ones. They don’t even realize they exist.
That makes sense, doesn’t it? As coaches, we recognize and point out thoughts and beliefs our clients are completely unaware of having, and it stands to reason they’ll have the same thing going on with problems they face. They don’t even see them yet.
And this is where you have the opportunity to market and sell your coaching in a really strong way: by offering to help solve the problems your clients don’t even realize they have.
But how do you figure out what those problems are? In every way you possibly can.
- Start by examining the pain points you felt when you were in their shoes. Typically, we coach what we know, so write out all the things you struggled with when you were in the same situation.
- Think about what every one of your free or paid clients has faced. Your clients are your best opportunity to figure out exactly where their brains are. Write down all of the pain points your past and current clients have struggled with.
- Do some social investigations. Social media has made people way more accessible, and way more willing to open up about their problems. Reach out to people who might be your ideal client and ask them what they’re struggling with right now. Post in your feed asking people to respond and tell you what obstacles they’re facing. Go into groups where your ideal clients hang out and read what they’re talking about, or ask them to share their struggles. You can get so much information from people just by connecting with them and asking them what’s going on.
- Host some interviews. Ask people if they’d be willing to chat and give you some insight into others who might be in their situation. Get on a call and have a conversation.
Here’s the bottom line: you need to do the research. You can’t assume you know what your clients’ pain points are, because this usually ends in not hitting the mark.
Take the time to actually discover what the deep-rooted fears are of the people you want to work with.
Pain points are the goldmine
Yes, knowing people’s pain points will make you more money, but that’s not the point (pun intended).
Knowing their problems, understanding their obstacles, and truly getting their pain points will help you connect with more people, build trust with potential clients, and book more consults. It will also help you market yourself and your coaching offers, have things to talk about on social media, and all the marketing goodies.
Not to mention it will help you build better offers.
Hopefully we’ve convinced you of the importance of pain points. And hopefully you’re ready to break out your favorite notebook and start the brainstorming/note taking process. Because it’s time to get to work.