Should You Niche Your Coaching Business or Not?

If you’re determined to do good in the world while doing well financially, then it’s worth asking whether you should choose a coaching niche or not. There are some very compelling reasons why you’d want to niche as well as a few circumstances where niching would not be right for you. I’ll cover both in this post.

woman questioningIn the “pro” column, targeting a viable coaching niche opens wide the doors of opportunity and prosperity by helping you:

  • Solidify your brand.
  • Earn more by specializing.
  • Become well known quickly.
  • Break through filters and capture more attention.
  • Get more of the right kind of referrals.
  • Build “social proof” with colleagues and future clients.
  • Focus and leverage everything you do so you can work less.
  • Stand out in the crowd of service providers.
  • Positively impact a unique group of people.

Since the nineties, when coaching became a profession and consulting of all types burgeoned, there are more solopreneurs in the world than ever before. That means niching is more of an advantage than it used to be. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to get your share of attention from potential clients if you don’t stand out strongly in some way. Your niche helps you stand out in the most complete and long lasting way.

But for some, choosing a viable coaching niche is like finding a needle in a haystack. And then, what if it doesn’t work out? All that time is wasted.

Or is it?

The truth is that time you put into understanding your own zone of brilliance and what your ideal clients really want from you is highly beneficial and can be leveraged into great results. And if you’re moving forward on a coaching niche, you’re a lot more likely to find the sweet spot in your business than if you resist it altogether.

In the “con” column, choosing a coaching niche can feel a bit messy, like so many meaningful things in life. You definitely won’t profit from choosing a niche at this point if:

  1. You’re a well known icon in print or on stage.
  2. You always have a wait list of clients who pay you well.
  3. You’ve already got a huge leads list of people that trust you professionally.
  4. OR, you are completely niche-resistant — the #1 reason why niching doesn’t work out.

7 Powerful Questions to Help You Break Through the Resistance

If your emergency brake is full on when it comes to choosing a coaching niche, go through this set of questions to take the brakes off your success:

When you think about choosing a coaching niche, what are you most afraid of?

What’s the worst possible outcome you could have if you chose a niche?

Is that much different than what you are experiencing right now?

What steps could you take to help you avoid the worst possible outcome?

What are the likely outcomes of choosing a coaching niche?

What is it costing you NOT to choose a viable niche of your own?

What are you ready to claim for yourself right now?

 My first coach used to say “whatever you resist persists” meaning that the pain we feel when we resist taking an action or making a decision is far worse than what will come of that action. And that’s an understatement.

3 Ways to Niche and 1 Better Way

  • Your Passion — There are some for whom “do what you love and the money will follow” works like a charm. This is the way of the ICON — the person who has a unique message that strikes a resonant chord with the masses. Public speaking and book tours are the icon’s route to a fulfilling biz.
  • Your Core Wound — Your greatest lesson in life may be the best way to niche. If you’ve found your way around the spiral of life and come out with wisdom for the rest of us, polish up your signature system and get it out there!
  • Your Skills or Expertise — If you’ve got depth of expertise or highly sought after skills that inspire investment, leverage those into a niche for yourself.
  • All of the Above + a Unique Tribe — The best way to niche includes all of the above plus a unique, easy-to-find target audience that’s eager to evolve and motivated to invest.

If you’d like to hear more about this last way to choose a coaching niche which combines your passions, life lessons and skills with a unique tribe that you can champion, check out my content rich training Your Highly Profitable Niche.

Below, share what niche you’re pursuing right now and if it’s working well for you. I’m collecting a list of niches/target audiences that are highly profitable. Also share any questions you have about how to choose a niche and I’ll answer them personally here. And, finally, TEST YOUR COACHING NICHE here.

 

  • I realized that my niche is not eager to evolve nor motivated to invest. I’ll be
    focusing on the 3+1 formula now, especially the ICON and Core Wound. Thanks as
    always Rhonda! You’re the niche queen!

    • Hello and Happy New Year, Fon! I’m stunned that salon owners are not a viable target audience. Are you sure you’ve given it enough of a chance? I know you’ve created some really savvy programs but I’m only aware you tried one enrollment opportunity.

  • You are so right, Claire… no one is searching for the word “coach”. No one wakes up thinking “I want a coach” so it’s doesn’t make sense to try to convince people to buy it. Coaching is a toolbox not an outcome desired by any target audience. Your skills will help your clients but first you need to narrow your target audience and find out exactly what they want that they are motivated to invest in.
    Similarly, calling yourself a “growth specialist” or something equally vague is not the solution either, as you already guessed.
    I’ll explain in my webinar next Tuesday. And don’t worry, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. Helping coaches choose niches is my “super power”!

  • accioquill

    Hi Rhonda,  My niche is helping people with PTSD and unhealed trauma.  I have learned over time that many people do not recognize that what is holding them back is unhealed trauma, or even undiagnosed PTSD, so they don’t respond to that description.  Any thoughts?  Thanks.

    • Thanks for sharing, Karen. I think it’s a great niche for a therapist because individuals with PTSD would naturally seek you out and other health care professionals would refer to you if you develop professional relationships with them. I’d think it would be a challenging niche/target audience for a coach.

      In general, it’s usually a lot of work for low return to offer services the end user doesn’t know they need or want. That’s why I encourage coaches to choose a target audience that’s easy to find, eager to evolve and motivated to invest in their future and find out exactly what they know they want. That’s how you’ll be able to attract them.

      • accioquill

        Thanks, Rhonda.