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This episode is about the un-mined gold in your coaching business. It’s also a Listener’s Choice episode, which means it’s popular with coaches. I’ve updated it because, you know … continuous improvement.
Because I’ve studied the strategic art of niching and coaching niches for so long I’ve noticed something that no one is talking about.
There are niches within your niche that will serve you better than staying broad. There are layers. The surface is not the most exciting or lucrative layer. In fact, the most exciting and profitable niche is many layers deeper.
The Layers of Your Coaching Niche
When I work with my VIP clients we begin by discovering a niche ideal for them that’s a few layers down to something more strategic than where they started.
Let me give you an example …
I had the pleasure of doing business mentoring with Maria Napatov, who helps stepparents transform family chaos into meaningful and harmonious co-parenting. Her brand is Synergistic Stepparenting and she has a valuable podcast of the same name. If you’re a stepparent or know a stepparent point them in her direction!
Let’s breakdown the layers of Maria’s niche:
- First there’s the track — relationship coaching.
- The layer beneath that is a more specific relationship — parenting.
- Drilling that down further is the stepparenting relationship. You know those individuals have a whole set of challenges that other parents do not!
- And then below that is the specific PROBLEM Maria helps stepparents solve — going from chaos to harmonious co-parenting. She’s created a dynamic Signature Program to help stepparents transform.
Do you see how SPECIFIC Maria’s niche is and can you imagine why that’s an advantage to attracting clients?
Doesn’t Niching Narrowly Mean You’ll Lose Opportunities?
Many coaches are afraid to niche more tightly at first. If you niche narrowly your friends and family might question your wisdom because they don’t get it. But their advice to broaden won’t help you.
You might be thinking … “But by narrowing in all those ways Maria is missing so many opportunities! She’s missing the chance to work with all types of relationships or all parents about any parenting topic.”
But actually specializing is a strategic thing to do.
The reality is this … in this competitive world coaches must grab attention from the larger service business pool not just from other coaches.
Broad Coaching Niches Mean Slow Business Growth
The broader your niche, the less attention you’ll get. The less attention you get the harder it will be to enroll paying clients. Think about how your scroll through your emails and your social channels. You scroll and scroll until something grabs your attention through RELEVANCE!
You will ignore what is not relevant. And so will your prospects. You know I’m right about this.
If you’ve never read Seth Godin’s book called Tribes, I highly recommend it. The main point is that it’s an old fashioned and obsolete idea to serve larger populations. It’s better to build affinity with a small distinct group and become a leader for that group. Become KNOWN for something.
What Are You Known For?
Which brings me to another layer of niching. I tell my clients to be on the lookout for what will raise their star fast as they build their business and make it easier to get the word out.
You know that I co-wrote curriculum for Coach Training Alliance and trained 500 coaches there. Being surrounded by coaches I quickly realized their BIG problem is niching. So, I studied this problem and solutions then developed a Signature Program around niching. I called myself the Coaching Niche Success Strategist.
Suddenly other mentors for coaches wanted me to speak in their programs. They sent me clients. Coaching schools also started referring people to me. I was no longer competing but leading.
Niching is not at all the only thing I help coaches with but it is a stand out problem that few want to help coaches solve. And it’s the cornerstone of what I do with coaches now because every aspect of a coach’s business begins with a smart niche.
Coaches are a “dime a dozen” unless they stand out. And just choosing a coaching track doesn’t distinguish you. By a coaching track I mean that first layer down in your niche – relationship coach, health coach, executive coach, career coach etc.
Yes, choosing a track helps but it still leaves you competing and not just with all the coaches in that niche but also any other kind of influence in that general area trying to get attention online.
This may be hard to understand if you’re a new coach but when you become a service business owner helping others to reach their goals you have to create your own marketplace.
It sounds super hard and it’s not easy but I can tell you without a doubt that the more differentiated your services are from all others – the better you’ll do and the faster you’ll get there. More clients, better clients, longer term clients, referrals, higher fees and income, more profit – all the things you want will come from standing out.
So, find your stand out thing. It has to fulfill a BIG problem for a specific narrow target audience. It has to be something so acute (not chronic) that it causes your audience to seek help. Because if they aren’t out there seeking help for your specialty, you won’t earn. You can do this!