Do you know how many dream coaching clients you’re missing out on by not defining your niche as a coach? A LOT!
It is important for you to “niche up” from the very start of your career as a coach so that you get off on the right footing.
At the onset, choosing a niche may seem counterintuitive because it appears as though you are locking out lots of clients and yet your career (and income!) haven’t even reached a level where it can sustain you. However, the coaches who choose to go deep (by selecting a niche) ALWAYS fare better than those who prefer to go wide (by targeting everyone who may need coaching services). Here are some of the key benefits of selecting a niche.
The Key Benefits of Finding Your Coaching Niche
1. More Effective Advertising.
When you nail down your specific niche (for example coaching middle-aged women reentering the workforce after a divorce), it becomes a breeze to come up with advertising or marketing material that touches base with your target clients. As you may know, you will not have a lot of money to allocate to advertising early on in your career, so you want to make every dollar count. Having a niche enables you to do just that, and you will see results sooner when compared to another coach who is “targeting” everybody out there.
2. High Referral Rates.
Think of this for a moment, if your GP did a wonderful job to fix a gastric problem that you had, would you refer your friend with a heart condition to this GP? Obviously not!
It, therefore, stands to reason that when you define your niche, every client who gets positive results will send other similar clients your way because he or she will be sure that you can help those other people to get great results from the coaching relationship. You can, therefore, see how you will be getting the snowball of your career rolling at great speed if you define your niche from the very start.
3. You Become an Expert.
True expertise comes from doing rather than reading/thinking. Every coach would love to be the go-to expert in their field and “niching up” gives you the best chance of becoming an expert who is on high demand. When you narrow your focus, you will devote more time to finding the best tools and techniques to help your clients to solve their problems.
Additionally, your numerous interactions with dozens or even hundreds of clients who are generally similar (because they have common pain points) will help you to develop an intuitive understanding of their psyche, so you will be able to connect with them at a deep level. Needless to say, coaching succeeds or fails based on how well the coach connects with and understands the client. Having a niche therefore positions you as an expert in your niche, and that will make your career soar!
4. Premium Pricing.
If you decide to become a professional coach, it stands to reason that you expect to be paid for the services that you offer. The only way to command premium prices is by having a niche and rising to the top of that niche. For example, if you experienced an unexpected injury and you were searching for a personal trainer to help you back to peak physical fitness, wouldn’t you be comfortable paying more to a trainer who specializes in working with people with your specific injury rather than selecting a trainer who handles anyone that comes to them? Or If you were looking for a personal trainer that specifically worked with people training for the Olympics, you wouldn’t hire someone from the nearby nationwide one size fits all gym.
Likewise, if you had decided to start your own hedge fund, it’s unlikely you’d hire a general life coach. However, it would serve you greatly to hire a performance coach that works with entrepreneurs in banking and investments.
When you are too general or generic, you’ll typically have to lower the pricing of your services because it’s not specialized or specific. However, if you’re very specific in who you serve, how you serve them and the results you help people get as a coach than it’s likely you’ll see higher demand for your coaching and this can charge a higher premium IF you truly deliver a high-quality experience.
The key thing to remember is just because you’ve picked a niche doesn’t warrant charging higher rates alone. You must also be delivering a premium service, getting great results for your clients and creating raving fan clients as well. However without a niche to launch your coaching practice off of, it’ll be very hard to achieve those results, so start with defining your niche.
How to Find Your Coaching Niche
Now that you know how important it is to find your coaching niche as soon as possible, you may be eager to know how exactly you can go about identifying that niche. While there may be no one-size-fits-all approach to finding your niche (for example some people start by coaching every type of client that comes their way and then niche up years later after noticing that they are at their best when dealing with a certain category of coaching clients), the following steps can get you on your way to finding your niche.
Why Did You Become a Coach?
Each one of us has that pivotal moment that shapes us in many ways. For example, someone who watched helplessly as a family member died of cancer may later become a leading oncologist due to that drive to help as many cancer sufferers as possible. Look within and identify that deep drive that motivated you to become a coach.
Please don’t say you were motivated by learning about the millions that leading coaches make each year! Money isn’t a strong enough motivator because this reason will not be sufficient to make you hang in there when things are tough. When you identify the force behind your desire to become a coach, chances are that your niche could be hidden right within that motivation.
What Issues Have You Overcome Personally?
As already mentioned, the best coaches connect with their clients at a very deep level. It is as if the client senses that the coach was in their position and rose up strong. The issues that you have overcome could, therefore, help you to identify possible niches from which you can select the one for you. Create an initial list of potential niches that is as long as possible (20 or more niches) and then keep whittling it down until you have a narrow, clearly defined niche.
What Comes Naturally to You?
Each one of us has a “genius zone” in which time stands still as we are doing what comes naturally to us. Your best bet of finding a niche you will excel at therefore lies in identifying your gifts and then monetizing that skill which you are endowed with. Talk to family, friends and other key people in your social circle and let them point out what you are good at. Compare what they say to what you think and start looking for ways to find a niche around those aspects.
What Three Coaching Success Stories Never Leave Your Mind?
Look back at your work as a coach and identify the top three success stories that you have registered so far. What similarities do they bear? Why is each of those stories special to you? What skills did you utilize to attain those results? When you interrogate your successes, you are more likely to uncover your niche and what makes you stand out from all other coaches out there.
Get a Mentor/Coach
The best way to find your niche and rise to the top is by finding someone who has been there before you and can guide you on this journey that you are embarking on. There is no reason for you to lose money, time and emotions “doing it on your own” and yet the learning curve can be shortened by getting help from a mentor or a coach. If you think that investing in a coach when you are a coach is a waste of money, why should other people invest in you to coach them if you cannot invest in yourself and become better? Bottom line, get a mentor or coach and it will be easy for you to find and grow in your niche.
As you can see, failing to select your niche is leaving a lot to chance. When you do that, don’t be surprised if you struggle to find or retain clients or even get referrals. It is far better to put yourself firmly in the driving seat of your coaching career, and the first step to that is choosing a niche. Don’t worry if you try a niche and it doesn’t sync with you, simply change gears and find another until you get the one that clicks. You are better off taking action and correcting course along the way than spending endless years “thumb-sucking” (as Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-term investing partner, says of people who know what should be done yet they keep dilly-dallying). Your time is now, so have fun finding and serving clients in your coaching niche!
To Your Success,
Jairek Robbins and Team PCU
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