Is your coaching niche helping you or…?

There are many theories about the best way to choose a coaching niche. Start broad and let it find you. Focus on a topic you know. Go with your passion. Or my favorite, target a narrow and hungry audience for quick success. All of them have some appeal. Some are more effective than others.

Ultimately, you want a coaching niche that helps you use your special gifts to do good in the world while you do well financially.

Missing the Mark

However you come to it, when you land on the right niche for you, it’s as if all the doors of opportunity open up and prosperity flows in. It solves so many problems:

  • How to talk about what you do without selling generic coaching
  • How to authentically inspire enrollment
  • How to leverage your efforts for a bigger impact and result

Test your coaching niche to see if it will payoff here.

What if the coaching niche you’ve pursued isn’t helping you? What if it’s actually holding you back?

It happens, and it can be painful, especially if you’ve invested a lot of time and money. Then it’s hard to let go, even if it’s not working. Release it. There’s a better path ahead.

Sometimes the “Safe” Coaching Niche is a Dud

I’ve noticed that some coaches choose a niche solely on what they think they are capable of coaching about. They pick what seems to be a “safe” topic or audience such as moms, divorcees, empty nesters, life purpose or retirement. I understand the impulse, but I haven’t met a coach yet who made a good living with these niches. (If it’s working for you, please prove me wrong!)

If you’re feeling the impulse to niche around what seems like a safe topic or target, think again! And, remember the core essence of coaching — it’s about drawing out the client’s wisdom and solutions, not about your expertise.

Coaching is a communication toolbox. The two main tools are listening and powerful questions. Solutions come from the client.

Just think about what that means. It means YOU can coach anyone about anything! Don’t hold yourself back from a smart niche — one that will help you do good while you do well.

The Sacred Six

Here’s what I know for sure — people are people no matter what they do for living or their place in life. We all grow from the inside out. No matter who the target audience is, you’ll primarily work with your enrolled clients on these “sacred six” issues:

  • Uncovering and honoring their values and integrity.
  • Visioning for the life they want.
  • Planning, strategizing and staying on the path.
  • Moving through fears with courage and commitment.
  • Leveraging strengths and managing obstacles.
  • Upleveling mindsets, habits and support systems.

Totally doable, right? But don’t try to build a business around selling coaching for these topics. This is the process not what people will buy.  Instead, choose a viable target audience, find out what they want that they’d be willing to invest in and you’ll find that these topics above are what you’ll end up coaching them about when they hire you.

If you picked what you thought was a “safe” coaching niche and it has let you down, don’t let that mean that you’re not good enough, or that you can’t have the coaching business you dreamed of! A better niche is waiting for you.

Choosing a Niche Doesn’t Have to Be a Brain Teaser

Choosing a niche is a thoughtful process. It’s worth spending time to think it all the way through from several perspectives, including and beyond what feels safe and fun.

What do I mean by a viable target audience? Can you easily find them? Are they eager to evolve, and motivated to invest in that evolution? After all, your niche is the foundation of your whole coaching business. It’s critical that it pays off for you, or what’s the point?

Choosing a niche that you’ll love is a journey. I invite you on that journey. Step away from wracking your brain about this, and step onto a path well traveled by service entrepreneurs who have found their sweet spot before you. Make this easy on yourself with my step by step coaching niche system called Your Highly Profitable Niche. Check it out and get your niche settled once and for all.

  • Hi Rhonda
    I’m a niche coach based in Europe and recently discovered your wonderful work. This post is spot on. Love your Sacred Six. 🙂

    • Hello Rachel! Thanks for checking out my blog for coaches. So glad this post landed with you.

  • Samia Hasan

    Thanks for sharing Rhonda, excellent post! It rings a bell on so many levels. Love your sacred six as well the point on not advertising those sacred 6 to potential clients because that’s not what they’re looking for. Coaching is still a rather new profession here in the Middle East and I see plenty of life/career coaches who don’t have a clearly defined niche and who just sell coaching on their pages.

    I’m a marketer at P&G and also a career coach. Since I’m starting now, I want to stay a bit broad so I experience what it is like before carving out a focused, narrow and specific niche. My current ‘work in progress’ niche is ’empowering stuck corporate executives and millenials to excel in their careers.’ Guiding people who are either seeking career identity, growth in their chosen field, looking for a career shift or going through a career transition.

    Let me know your thoughts please.
    Samia

    • Hello Samia! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and niche direction with me. You’re thinking about this in a very intelligent way.

      So, to clarify for others reading this comment, you currently have two target audiences and one specialty. One target audience is Corporate Executives, the other is Millennials. Your specialty is helping those individuals who are “stuck in their career to become empowered”. It is on track but could definitely use some refinement. You already knew that. 😉

      I understand why you want to stay broad at first to try things out. When you do focus in on one niche and create a whole “conversion” process tailor made to one target audience, everything will click into place. With two target audiences you’ll have to wait to get your messages and offers pulled together. You’ll want to wait to launch a website and freebie until that’s settled so you have a powerful online way to build relationships with your future clients.

      Many people think their specialty is their niche but it’s only one part of 3 critical parts of a highly profitable niche. The other parts are the target audience (1) and exactly what they want so much they’ll be willing to invest money and time to get it. To know that for sure you have to do a bit of fun market research. I have a great process for that.

      Have you done market research with these two audiences to find out exactly what they want — in their words. Using their words in your marketing is so important. My guess is that feeling stuck and wanting to be empowered isn’t what they would EXACTLY say. They may feel stuck but what’s the TANGIBLE outcome they really want? What are the SPECIFIC challenges they want a solution for right now? Knowing those things helps you create messages and offers they will buy.

      Samia, if you haven’t read it already, I have a relatively new FREE report that is a great primer on what I’m talking about called 5 Secrets to a Highly Profitable Niche You’ll Love . Here is where you can get it: http://prosperouscoachblog.com/subscribe.

      And at the end of that report is an invitation to have a FREE consult with me. Read it and then let’s talk about this. You’re on the right track AND I know things will come together for you more quickly when you hone in on one target audience, test it’s viability and do a bit of market research.

      • Samia Hasan

        Thanks a ton Rhonda for your detailed response and feedback. You are amazing! Really!! I had read the 5 secrets twice before and read it again now..it’s brilliant. a must read for all coaches who try so hard to sell their broad coaching to anyone and everyone out there..

        You know, the first time i read your report was 2 months ago when I started this journey and had no clue on coaching specialty or niche etc. But coming from a hard core marketing background , I could relate to every word of it and it stuck with me since then. If there’s one thing that keeps me up at night, it is choosing my niche.

        So, to clarify on the above – i gave it a bit more thought. You’re right, the choice of words need a lot more refinement and focus. Firstly, on the target audience, i really want to experiment with two audiences, in order of priority: 1) Millenial executives and 2) Millenial students. I think my passion, life purpose and strengths all lend themselves very nicely to these two audiences. I can motivate and inspire them and they tick all the boxes that you mention in your report. To your question on why two and how i can tailor my message for two..The business model for approaching both will be quite different in the sense that students dont necessarily seek out 1-1 coaching themselves. I would have to reach out to their universities, talk to their career development departments and arrange for guest speaker sessions, talks during career fairs etc. to connect with them. I do some of this already so i know the approach is more of speaking/mentoring/training. Specialty for them would be finding their career identity/passion – i know this is the topmost need that students have between the ages of 15-19.

        For millenial executives (young professionals) who have just embarked into the corporate world, it is very easy to target them through both physical and web presence. I’m planning to launch my website/social media pages exclusively for them in a month or two. I need to do more research on crystallizing my broad speciality of ‘career growth’ for them. Although, it seems obvious that as new players in their fields they would want to excel and grow into well rounded business professionals. But, there is no harm in doing more research and i can definitely take your help on this.

        My NLP training as well as ICF core curriculum courses are starting in a week, really excited and looking forward. I will touch base with you once I’ve taken these two and know the tools i could use for my target audience.

        • Smart thinking, Samia. If you’d like help to do valuable market research and create your whole online conversion process with compelling offers and language on your website, just fill out this form on my website and contact me. We’ll have a free call and talk about your vision. http://prosperouscoachblog.com/work-with-rhonda

  • Olga Marín Sierra

    Rhonda,
    Why are these niches “as moms, divorcees, empty nesters, life purpose or retirement” not good niches? For example, there are a lot of divorces, and people need advice, for example, on coparenting well etc. Can you explain a little bit further? Thank you.

    • Hi Olga and thank you for your question. Those audiences are generally non-seekers. That means they don’t readily invest in their own personal growth unless they are also part of another audience. For example moms who are also entrepreneurs may invest in support to build their entrepreneurial business. But it’s unlikely they will invest much in support to help them in being a mom.

      I came to this conclusion out of experience. Dozens of coaches who hired me to help them pick a more profitable niche after targeting these audiences and failing to earn a good living in their coaching business.

      I write about this and how to pick a profitable niche in more depth in my free guide — 5 Secrets to a Highly Profitable Niche You’ll Love. You can grab that here:
      http://prosperouscoachblog.com/subscribe