Helping coaches earn more and market less by landing a highly profitable niche they’ll love
Rhonda Hess Niche Success Strategist
Author: Rhonda Hess
Rhonda Hess is Founder of Prosperous Coach, an online community and business development system for professional coaches. Her mission is to help coaches discover the thrill of charging what they’re worth and making it big in coaching on their own terms.
After building an online library at Prosperous Coach full of practical tips on the business of coaching, Rhonda created her comprehensive program – The Coach’s Power Path – to walk coaches step by step through exactly what to do, how and when, to get clients and build a financially successful coaching business.
This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Nancy Marmolejo, the Online Visibility Expert for Heart Based Entrepreneurs…
Click the play button to listen to the audio of this article directly from Nancy!
If you’re a coach, consultant, speaker, author, trainer, or other service professional, then you have a powerful message to share with the world and your business is how you get it out there.
What good is that message is it’s hidden in the shadows and no one can find you?
It’s time to get your business out of the shadows and into the spotlight so more people can know about your message, your business, and your expertise.
These 5 tips will get you started so more people know about you, connect with your offers, and buy from you!
Claim Your Expertise, Claim Your Medicine
Your expertise is more than what you know; it’s medicine for the world. Don’t be reluctant to claim your expertise. In fact, it’s really not about you; it’s about the transformation your work activates. Let your message and your “medicine” lead you to step up into a bigger arena and get your name out to the people who want and need what you have.
Use Your “Spotlight Style” for Maximum Marketing Impact
There are 3 distinct “Spotlight Styles”, which is how we’re wired for marketing success. They’re based on personality traits and comfort level with certain actions. Knowing your Spotlight Style keeps you from making the marketing mistakes that trap your business in the shadows.
Over the last three weeks I had a free video series online called How to Choose a Highly Profitable Niche. If you missed it, I’m sorry, it’s no longer available. But stay tuned because I’ll be doing more teaching videos soon.
The video series drew over 200 comments and I was tickled, amazed, delighted and touched by coach’s sharing their aha’s and also their poignant stories. Many expressed gratitude for no longer feeling alone in what seems like an endless search for the right coaching niche.
To give you a taste of the rich conversations, here is a sampling of comments and, in some cases, my responses. I’ve also provided some references to articles that illuminate some of the struggles and success stories about viable niches.
Bottom Line: You’re not alone in your niche search. There is a highly profitable niche market out there that you’ll enjoy! You just need to know where to look and how to choose wisely for the long term.
Does What I Want to Do Translate Into a Viable Biz?
Thanks so much, Rhonda! I’m currently enrolled in a coach training program and have been confused about choosing a “niche”. It seems to me everyone in class has an idea of who they want to work with/for, what “type of coaching need” they want to work on. But nobody seems to have done any research on whether that “what I want to do” translates into a viable business need.
Have you ever invested in a teleseminar, home study program, or live event to get your coaching business off the ground, and then months later felt guilty for spending the money and frustrated that you didn’t reap the promised results? If so, you’re not alone.
But did you waste your time and money? I think not. Here’s why those programs haven’t worked their magic for you… yet.
You have invested in valuable programs full of cutting edge tools and proven techniques to amp up your income and bring you a better business. But without a solid foundation in place, you cannot fully leverage these techniques, even if you do your best to implement them.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar:
You’ve learned from the best how to fill your teleseminars or launch high ticket group coaching programs, but you still don’t know where to find enough people to enroll in your programs, and you don’t know exactly how to communicate the benefits in way that has them saying “Yes!”
You’ve got all the steps for creating membership programs and other recurring revenue products, but because you’re not certain of your niche, you’re not confident that if you build it, they willcome.
You’ve learned how to enroll clients using the most powerful set of questions, but you’re having trouble scheduling people into your consults in the first place.
There’s a building block needed before these skills will reliably work for you.
Here’s one of the first things I hear from most of the coaches I work with:
“I know I need to narrow my niche, but I just don’t know how.”
This is actually a great sign. It means coaches understand that if you’re not getting the results you want with the niche you have, you probably need a narrower one.
A smaller niche will bring you more clients? That’s right. Not intuitive perhaps, but right.
But here’s the catch. Coaches may know they need to narrow, but most often they don’t want to give up what they’re doing, even when it feels fruitless. It’s scary to narrow your coaching niche, even when it’s not working for you.
Yet there comes a time when sticking with the status quo is worse than facing your fears. That’s when a reality check can help.
So, how can you be sure you need to narrow?
Signs of a Coaching Niche that Won’t Go the Distance
Here are some tell-tale signs of a fruitless niche:
Here in Colorado the new year came in on a snow-scented breeze, with an air of purpose. It feels like 2011 is off to a running start.
Is your business feeling the new winds blowing? Mine sure is. I‘ve upgraded my Ideal Coaching Market workshop and moved my membership site over to a WordPress platform. I’m about to launch a couple of new marketing approaches, and some new programs are also in the works.
All this inspired me last time to write about reasons to make over your coaching business, and that post brought some pithy comments. One coach asked – now that I know a business makeover is necessary, where do I start?
A great question that deserves an in-depth answer, so I thought I’d address it here.
The essence of the business makeover is to systematically go through everything in your business to uncover what’s working and what’s not working, and then replace what’s not working with something better. To make the process manageable, keep your focus on four fundamentals: market, message, offers and conversion process.
Start With Your Niche
Start by looking at your coaching niche. Is it viable? That means, have you targeted a narrow niche market that is accessible to you and ready to invest in their own personal and professional development?
It seems like every year I do a business makeover. Somewhere around September or October I go into innovation warp drive, and by January of the next year I have a completely refreshed business.
Right now, everything I offer coaches is getting reworked and upgraded. (Watch for specials coming soon!)
I like it. It keeps me on my toes and rings in the new year in another delightful way.
But why do I do it? And is it really such a good idea to keep changing up what I’m doing? I think so. It’s about staying aligned with what is most alive in my business. And there are more concrete reasons too.
8 Compelling Reasons to Make Over Your Coaching Business
These eight factors have spurred me and my clients to close up a program, start new ones, upgrade, and update to a new business model. Are any of these at work for you right now?
You’ve realized what you love to do more than what you were doing.
You’ve grown new skills and deeper knowledge.
You’ve learned more from the folks you serve about what they really want.
You want to scale up to serve more people, so you can leverage your time.
You’re utilizing new technologies and systems.
You want to model the best practices of your mentors.
You’re amping up your income and profits.
You’ve refined to a more profitable niche.
The most important thing is to let your business grow and evolve as you do. If you’re like me, you sometimes make changes of a lifetime in mere months. No moss gathers on you, because you’re always seeking ways to better yourself, better your life and help others do the same. That should be reflected in your business, because your business is a reflection of you.
I hope you’re enjoying the week before Solstice and Christmas! Wouldn’t it be great to amp up your coaching income to cover all your holiday cheer? Repeat business from your current or past clients is the least effort, most profitable way.
An often overlooked approach is to simply call your previous 1:1 or group coaching clients to come back for more. You might feel shy about doing that, but don’t. Your call may come at the perfect time and they’ll be thrilled. At the very least, you’ll show once again that your curious about their life and supportive.
Check in about something you worked on together before. Where are they on that now?
What do they want most for the near future? That gap is your next step together.
Have a program or coaching package at the ready. Don’t forget to pay yourself well.
Call rather than email and don’t leave a message. Try again until you reach your past client directly. The high touch approach really works.
Seed Repeat Business Early On
The best overall approach to repeat business is to “seed” the idea of their return before your clients are finished with their current coaching program. Design a natural flow with all your programs that drives clients to your next step. This is known as a funnel or pyramid.
It begins with listening to what people in your niche market specifically want:
Relief from pain, correct mistakes.
Solutions to challenges, filling holes in their knowledge base.
Guidance to achieve their ultimate desired outcome.
Convert that “intel” into valuable freebies and programs that will inspire and motivate your prospects to invest. Catchall programs and topics don’t draw as well as very specific outcomes your market wants.
This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Kenn Schroder, the Coaching Website Specialist…
One of the simply astonishing feats of using WordPress as the platform (the technical behind-the-scenes guts) for your coaching website, is the speed at which you can reach your market to build your expert-coach status.
Here’s an example of what can be done.
Quickly write an article for fresh content – requires one to two hours.
With your username and password, you simply log into WordPress and write a short article – say 400 to 500 words. WordPress gives you a handy feature-rich text editing interface for writing.
Then just click “publish” and you’ve instantly got new content live on your website without having do any crazy coding yourself and without having to wait for a web designer to get to it.
Immediate. Nice. You’ve just increased your image as an expert.