HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TOLD THAT AS A COACH YOU HAVE THE SKILLSET AND TOOLS TO COACH ANYONE IN ANYTHING?
Well, at least I’ve been told this phrase when graduating from coaching school.
I agree with the fact that you can coach anyone in anything, but if it’s a smart move to do so is a different story.
And I totally get it.
Coaching the masses is enticing, especially as most coaches believe that the more people they can offer their services to the more sales they’ll make.
From a marketing perspective, this way of “thinking” can’t be further from the truth.
IF YOU WANT TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL COACHING BUSINESS, IT’S CRUCIAL TO THINK LIKE A MARKETER AND MARKET LIKE A COACH.
To do this effectively, you need to understand some basic marketing principles first. As you’re here, you’ve taken the first steps towards it.
...the #1 thing your prospects want to know before they engage with you.
...why you’re better off focusing on a niche rather than the mass market.
...the incredible benefits that come with serving a niche.
...whether there are particular niches you can make more money in as a coach.
...why you should steer clear from referring to your niche as life, health or success coaching.
...the simple yet powerful niche formula that makes defining your niche a breeze.
Let's address the elephanT in the room:
Should you offer your coaching services to the mass market, or are you better off focusing on a niche market?
I still remember how the eyes of my peer coaches lit up when they’ve been told that they can coach anyone as “all coaching is life coaching”.
They imagined an unlimited stream of coachable humans flocking to their digital office. I mean, hello endless opportunities and clients and money...
However, having worked in the marketing world for a long time, I couldn’t share their excitement about this incredible outlook on starting a coaching business.
Because I knew that the “I’m a coach and I can help you with anything” approach won’t convince a client to reach for their purse.
What I knew back then and still believe now is that a coaching prospect wants to know only one thing before they engage with you...
THEY WANT TO BE CERTAIN THAT YOU’RE THE BEST COACH TO HELP THEM SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS OR SUPPORT THEM IN ACHIEVING THEIR GOALS.
That’s all they want to know from you. Just think about it...
If you had a severe heart condition, would you let your GP reign the parade or trust a heart specialist to help you get this sorted as quickly as possible?
I bet you’re a bit like me and you would go with a heart specialist.
If your potential coaching clients can’t find themselves and their situation in your messaging, they’ll move on faster than you can say “please wait, I’d love to explain”.
As the saying goes, the riches are in the niches...
Promoting your coaching services to the masses is ineffective as you’ll waste a lot of elbow grease and a bucketload of money putting your coaching packages in front of people who don’t need or want your support.
That’s why you need to turn your back on trying to please or serve or coach the mass market and focus on a well-defined niche market.
Having a niche is so powerful that it’s one of the most asked questions fellow coaches want to know from me all the time - “so what niche should I focus on?” Because they get it and I know you do, too... niching down means levelling up.
The three benefits of having a well-defined coaching niche
Think about all the benefits that come with a niche:
Now that we have the niche market and mass market question out of the way let’s look into which coaching niche is the best one for you.
Before we move on, I’m curious, what’s the #1 reason for you to focus on a niche rather than the mass market? Let me know in the comments here.
Before we go deeper into narrowing down your niche, I’d like to bust some myths first...
Don’t buy into these two misconceptions when finding your niche
Let’s clear up some common niche-related misunderstandings, shall we?
Misconception #1 is that there are only one or two niches you can make money in as a coach.
It’s so not true! I know successful coaches in many niche markets, and I know unsuccessful ones in the same niche than their successful peers. So the “just work in this niche, and you’ll make it recommendation” is BS. Pardon my French here.
MISCONCEPTION #2 IS THAT ONCE YOU DECIDED ON IF YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON LIFE, HEALTH or CAREER, OR PARENT, TEEN or EXECUTIVE COACHING, YOU’RE ALL SET UP FOR SUCCESS.
Wrong! These aren’t niches from a marketing perspective. Why? Because they’re only focusing either on a very generic “who” - think parents, teens or executives, or a very broad “what” - think life, health or career.
Not trusting these myths means that you’re free to choose a niche market that makes you happy. And, gives you that slight edge (or difference!) your clients will search for when deciding who they’ll work with.
But what is a niche anyway? And, how do I define it? Glad you asked...
The simple yet powerful formula that makes identifying your niche a breeze
A good or well-defined niche can be best defined as follows...
A niche is a small and profitable market segment based on the following formula:
who + what
By serving a specific niche rather than the mass market, you’re able to focus your message and marketing on an audience that cares about what you have to offer.
But let’s stop with textbook definitions...
Here are some real-life coaching niche examples
Let’s assume a female executive wants coaching in overcoming burn-out and future-proof herself that she doesn’t fall into the exhaustion trap again. (And yes, the medical part is catered for.)
Would she search for a “life coach” as burn-out impacts her entire life? Or would she reach out to a “health coach” or a “career coach”? Or an “executive coach” because that’s her field of work, right?
Hmm, tricky one... Guess what? She won’t search for any of those coaches.
Think about it. What would she search for in Google?
“Support in getting back on track after burn-out” or “how to ease into your life and demanding job after burn-out” or “how to overcome burn-out as an executive and avoid relapse”...
I think you get the point. They don’t want a life, health or career coach.
They want to know if you can help them specifically with their problems and goals.
So let’s look at what the niche description would look like in this example:
Coaching female executives (the “who”) in getting back on track after suffering from burn-out and supporting them in easing into their old jobs without relapsing (the “what”).
But that’s not all. I’ll give you two more examples to help you understand this niche formula even better so that you can apply it in your business:
Niche formula example #1
Coaching first-time moms (the “who”) in having more energy to power through the day without time-consuming self-care rituals (the “what”).
Niche formula example #2
Coaching busy fathers (the “who”) in getting that well-deserved promotion without the need to spend their weekends playing golf with the CEO (the “what”).
Got it? Perfect.
Over to you. By applying this formula, what’s your new or adjusted coaching niche description? Leave a comment here. I can’t wait to read which niche you’re going to rock.
What you focus on grows...
Now you know whether you should zero in on the mass market or on a specific niche. Because you understand the level of difference a targeted niche can make on any coaching business - including yours - if you’re willing to narrow it down and stick to it.
And you’ve got the best formula to turn your niche description into one your ideal clients instantly resonate with. So, go ahead and find a niche that works for you (and your bank account!).