Ep 18 – What’s Holding You Back From Your Coaching Niche?

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Show Notes

This episode is another departure … I’m doing this unedited, so I hope it comes off well.

Also, this is the last episode in the current season called Smart and Profitable Niches.

Even though I’m moving on from my favorite topic – coaching niches – I can tell everybody’s really liking the On Air coaching sessions I’ve been doing with coaches. So I’ll keep doing those. They’re really fun, aren’t they?

Unless you’re in coach training you don’t get to hear other coaches coach. It’s a meta world, where you get layers of information.

  • You get to hear how someone else coaches, which is always interesting.
  • You get to hear how someone like you, a coach, is being coached.
  • And it’s inspiring to hear people go from confusion to illumination on a topic that you may be challenged by — choosing your niche.

Also I will continue to look for and interview other coaches who have chosen a unique and narrow niche and who are well into their business. So you can see what it’s like, four years, six years, 10 years in or 20 years. As in my case.

The Big Mindset Shift

#7 was a popular episode. I think I know why. It’s about a critical mindset shift that I encourage all coaches to make.

And when you make the shift, your eyes are opened to how business and marketing works.

It comes down to this … that even though we as coaches love coaching with every fiber of our being … most other people do not. They either don’t know what it is or they have a preconceived notion about coaching — believing it’s expensive or elitist or ridiculous because of how media spins the idea of coaching.

So, if you are selling coaching, that’s what your website is all about and that’s what your posts are about, you’re going to miss the mark most of the time.

Change your mind about what you’re selling and about what coaching actually is. It’s an amazing skillset but not an outcome people will buy.

Sell Outcomes Not Coaching

What successful coaches really sell is outcomes.

You’ve heard this, but somewhere deep in the heart of you, you may not have really gotten this on the level that you need to. People invest in programs and experiences when they believe that it is going to get them where they want to go.

And that’s why you need to target an audience and to build your niche around what they want instead of the type of coaching you offer.

There’s a misunderstanding about what a coaching niche is and in Episode #8 I busted that myth.

Your Coaching Track is Not Your Niche

Your niche is NOT the over arching area that you want to coach about. That’s a track.

When coaches hire me many have already chosen what I call their track. By itself, it is not enough to help you attract a steady flow of clients.

If you know that track, then it gives you an idea of how to narrow your target audience.

Some people try to choose all the tracks. I see this on coaching websites where there’s a services tab and a menu beneath that with 4 or 5 different coaching tracks.

There’s no doubt that you are capable of coaching around every topic. But you are not capable of adequately marketing all of those areas.

Not choosing indicates that you don’t know really what you’re doing.

Business and marketing is all about choices.

Marketing needs to be clear, congruent and consistent. The 3 C’s. And that’s why you focus it on one audience.

Your Niche Doesn’t Limit You

But … GOOD NEWS… if a person wants to hire you that doesn’t fit your target audience and you want to work with them, you get to say yes!

There’s never a time where you have to say no just because it’s not your niche.

And, if you want to stand out in the crowd, if you want to be well known, if you want to be able to attract people online then you must become a brand with congruent marketing.

The easiest way to stand out and grab attention is to narrow your audience and speak to a specific, acute pain point or urgent goal that group has. People go: “Wow, she’s talking to me. He really gets me. She really understands me.” And that’s why they pay attention to you.

The broader your messages, the less likely it is that anyone will pay attention.

Doesn’t it make sense that the cornerstone of our business would be centered on a unique group of people?

Solve Acute Not Chronic Problems

The 2nd part of the niche is what that audience wants so much they’ll invest in your help to get it.

This is usually a major problem you help them solve or a major goal you helped them achieve. Or both.

It’s NOT a chronic issue floating around in the background.

For example, stress is generally not an acute enough issue to build your niche around because we all experience stress pretty much all the time.

Instead, focus in on a problem your target audience has that’s acute for them. They are highly motivated to solve this problem NOW!

Your Niche Is Like The Front Door Of Your Home

News flash, choosing that one problem or goal that you help your audience with does NOT mean that that’s the only thing you’ll coach around!

You’re not niching for the sake of limiting yourself and what you’re going to coach about.

You niche so that you can stand out in the crowd, grab attention and create a pipeline of clients coming to you pre-sold on hiring you.

With your niche you are showing your target audience the front door and inviting them to walk through it.

Using myself as an example I help COACHES — my target audience — to market less and earn more by choosing a profitable niche they’ll love.

Nailing down their niche is the front door I invite them to walk through because it’s an acute problem they want solved now.

But I help coaches with every aspect of their business from the ground up. And while we’re working on that I’m helping them build confidence, forge better mindsets and habits, learn how to write and market. It’s a big world of support.

Human beings are complex. And we serve the whole human being.

Your Signature System Is Part of Your Niche

The 3rd essential part of the niche — after you’ve narrowed to one unique audience and found that hot button issue they want to solve — is YOUR savvy solution or the pathway that you have pulled together that leads your audience to their desired outcome.

It’s what I call a Signature System. It takes a little forethought to put this together because it is audience specific but incorporates your gifts and skills.

The wonderful thing about a Signature System is that you’ll never again fumble around when you tell a prospect why working with you will help them.

Include Your Zone of Genius

Episode 15 is about this wondrous thing.

One of my super powers is helping people realize their zone of genius. And it’s a huge clue to their ideal niche.

What are the kinds of conversations, the kind of situations that really spark you? What are the moments when you lose your ego, your self consciousness and your mind is set free? When is it that time stops and your body tingles with connection? When is your intuition thrumming and the loudest voice?

It’s usually something rather singular. Your zone of genius is something you plugin to your audience and their top challenges and goals.

Recently a client of mine said that after a year of feeling lost in her coaching business, now she feels both relief and confidence that she knows what her business is, what her value is to her clients.

You may have glimpsed your zone of genius, but you may not have wrapped your arms around it yet.

I’d like to help you wrap your arms around your Zone of Genius and then package it. That’s your niche!

Click on the Certainty Button Already!

In Episode #11 I coached Marshall Stern and this phrase, clicking on the certainty button became a watch phrase. It meant something to him because he realized that he’d been holding himself back by not deciding.

If you haven’t clicked on the certainty button yet but you sense you’re so close, it may be that you have a belief that there is only one right niche for you. There is only one right target audience for you.

Sifting through to find that needle in the haystack has exhausted you and left you feeling hopeless or failing to truly launch your business.

I saw that with Marshall and I see the same thing with many coaches.

I’m here to tell you there isn’t just one right one for you, but it is important that you make a choice.

Your Niche Gives You Lift Off

Choosing a narrow target audience now and crafting your niche around their pain or goals gives you incredible leverage to launch with power.

Down the road, you might pivot. Business is a very organic kind of a liquid thing. Here’s a couple of metaphors …

It’s kind of like riding a horse. You want to give it its reigns, let it find it’s feet and pick it’s way. But ultimately you hold the reigns. You get to decide, stop, turn, backup.

Clicking on the certainty button for one target audience and, and really build your niche around is like the rocket on the spaceship. It helps you liftoff and get a solid trajectory.

In Episode #17, I interviewed Tami Stackelhouse, because I wanted to illustrate for you what it is like to be 10 years into your coaching business when you have niched narrowly.

For Tami, being a general health coach was okay but it was only when she narrowed her audience and specialty that her business really took off.

Episode #12 was hugely popular. I heard from many coaches that they listened multiple times.

Your archetype is a clue to your business model — a piece that fits alongside your niche.

When I work with my own clients, I find out what skills they bring to the table. When I hear what they’re good at, what they don’t ever want to do, and what they would be willing to learn to do, that’s a great clue to their audience and niche.

For example, if you hate networking that will rule out certain tracks and audiences. If teaching is something you love to do, certain audiences will be a good fit. If you’re willing to learn how to write, that opens up options.

Why Not Coach People Like You?

Sometimes your past or present story is the biggest clue to your audience and niche.

Episode #16 was a coach the coach session with Casey, who, as it turned out, came from a family who was very ambitious. She was driven to get a Phd and pursue a professional field that really did not sing for her. She also travelled widely and had a passion for helping Americans change their perspective on what success and work means.

So my suggestions was for her to combine that passion and her personal story into a unique audience/niche high achieving professionals from ambitious families.

When I asked her how she’d feel about working with that audience there was a lot of energy when she said “Yes, I’d love to work with that group!”

Sometimes choosing your niche is as simple as having someone, like me, reflect back to you who you are in a core way that fits with your passions and interests.

Right after I did the On Air session with Casey I was contacted by a woman who’d been a lawyer for four years and hated it. She was exactly Casey’s audience!

Target An Audience of Seekers

Episode #10 explained why some niches fail. There is a fairly large sector out there of people who do NOT invest money in their own professional or personal growth.

There’s nothing wrong with them, it’s just the way they’re built. They are self sufficient and not that interested in evolving with the help of others.

Be sure that the audience that you choose is full of seekers.

If you’d like help to string your own pearls into a beautiful, strong and viable niche for you. Grab a strategy session as a first step and we’ll set your business onto a firm foundation so you can take off!