This Prosperous Coach Podcast episode is a departure from the usual format because this episode is the first ON AIR COACHING episode where you get to listen in on a real strategy session with me and a coach who is ready to choose a smart niche.
First a bit about the coach, Marshall Stern … then we’ll get into the session.
Over the past 35 years Marshall has started & led several businesses. In 2009 he published a book Now is The Time… The Stern Truth on Growing a Business in Any Economy.
In 2011, he partnered with Leadership Expert, John Maxwell, and became one of his certified Leadership Coaches & Speakers.
Currently CEO of Sandbox Signs + Graphics and also Business & Life Mastery, Marshall believes that self-leadership is the key to business & life success. Over the years he has seen many businesses fail and he is passionate and committed to helping others not just build a business that works but also a life they desire and deserve.
Marshall became inspired to coach partially through a John Maxwell leadership training.
With 25 impressive years running his own sign and graphics company, Marshall knew he wanted to work with business owners.
Up until now, Marshall has been on the journey of letting his more specific niche find him. The uncertainty has been confusing.
He heard my podcasts, applied for On Air Coaching and was accepted.
This session covered a lot of points that are valid to all coaches:
- The downside of a broad or ambiguous audience is that the Universe is also ambiguous with your results. When you put your certainty, commitment and persistant action behind all you do, then everything you do has a greater impact.
- Not all potential audiences are seekers — people who readily invest in their own personal and professional growth. See Episode #12 – Why Do Some Coaching Niches Fail? for a definition of seekers.
- There are several ways to narrow an audience so you have more leverage building your business.
- Language has the power to attract or detract. It’s important to use the language that resonates with your audience.
- Clicking on the certainty button for one specific audience helps you leverage the power of language to attract ideal clients to your Discovery Sessions.
- What you learn in a training program may not be fully applicable until you are crystal clear about who you serve and exactly what they want.
- Let your integrity tell you whether something is right for you.
- If you have a few solid choices for your target audience, know that there is NO WRONG CHOICE. Choose one. What draws you the most?
- If you target a narrow audience, don’t worry, you can absolutely work with people who are outside that audience.
- Choosing a specific audience is about marketing power and ease in enrolling, not about excluding anyone.
Marshall knew that he wanted to work with business owners / entrepreneurs and along the way he’s worked with financial professionals, business owners of all sorts and also with mompreneurs.
He resonated with the moms who were also solopreneurs and they resonated with him, especially around his leadership philosophy.
But, Marshall was hesitant to pick one clear direction even though he felt it would help him in several ways to choose.
He was considering:
- Mompreneurs. But he had concerns that, as a man, he couldn’t compete with the women coaches whose messages were about women’s empowerment. (At the same time he thought that letting that hold him back was hogwash.)
- Parents who are also business owners. Maybe it would make sense to include Dads because, after all he is a father who has prided himself in attending all the important family events even while he ran his graphics and sign company for 25 years. But he has found women more interested in achieving balance and that sparks him.
- Financial professionals because he found that group would more readily invest in their professional growth. But when he imagined himself speaking at an association for financial professionals he was not turned on by the idea.
Through all of these possibilities there were two strong themes:Business owners who are driven.
- Business owners who want more time for their family, their community and themselves.
- Ultimately, Marshall came away from this session with a clear descriptor — a short phrase that identifies his specific target audience:
driven women business owners
Next steps for Marshall are to do some fun market research to uncover the specific psychographics of that audience. What keeps them up at night? What do they really want and what’s holding them back? What will inspire them to invest?
Once Marshall knows their words for their top challenges and goals, he’ll be able to convert his branding, messaging, website and offers to fit that audience. Marshall is confident that when prospects have his Discovery Session, he can enroll them. Having a more defined audience and niche will help him get those Discovery Sessions.
My next episode is really fun! Check it out – What Coach Archetype Fits You?