How on earth do you get started when searching for your coaching niche?
If there’s one piece of advice for coaches that seems to get bandied about more than any other, it’s the value of setting up a niche for yourself. However, the reason it’s so often repeated is simply because it’s so true. When you have a niche, then you’re effectively the only water provider in a dry desert; you can pioneer the standards for your own industry and set your own terms, in addition to enjoying the lack of direct competition.
However, many coaches find it hard to choose their niche. They might have a lot of interests, or even many different areas of strength, and they feel that dedicating themselves to a single path is going to limit their overall options. However, even if you continue to dabble in other areas, putting most of your focus on a single niche is going to get you the success that you need in order to achieve your goals as a coach. So, how to go about choosing that niche?
First of all, take a look at your own CV. This should be a continuously updated document that chronicles each of your important successes. As such, it will give you a clear and objective idea of what exactly you’ve accomplished so far as a coach. While looking at this list, ask yourself which of your accomplishments might be fairly unique ones that other people would want to emulate?
For example, you might have a real strength as an organizer, or as a team leader. Whatever the case, you must identify the area of your greatest strength and your most rewarding accomplishments. This will give you some indication of where your niche as a coach should lie.
Once you have a good handle on where your strengths lie, ask yourself what kind of people are most likely to need the help of someone like yourself. In so doing, you’ve now identified your ideal client base, and taken another major step towards identifying your niche.
Once you have the type of person in mind, as well as the kinds of problems that you’ll be best able to help them with, you can try out the process of tailoring some of your marketing directly at this group of people. If all goes well, you should see some activity in that vein fairly quickly. Your list of clients is likely to grow very quickly. If so, congratulations: you’ve just found a niche for yourself.
Remember, however, that it’s important to balance your niche between being too broad and too specific. While “people in trouble” is too broad to be an effective niche, “people who need help establishing the confidence to become circus lion tamers” is way too specific. Try to find a comfortable medium that you can work with.
© Copyright Hannah McNamara 2009
About the Author: Hannah McNamara is the author of Niche Marketing for Coaches – the practical handbook for anyone setting up or building a life coaching, executive coaching or business coaching practice.Know someone who would make a great life coach? Share this page with them by clicking on the SHARE button below.