Ep 99 – What Coaching Clients Want Versus What You Think They Need

This episode is short and part of the series called Smart & Profitable Coaching Niches. If you’re new to this podcast and struggling to determine a strategic coaching niche, this series is for you. Check out all the episodes in this series at prosperouscoach.com/niche.

There’s something I hear nearly all new coaches say … they say “there’s a real need for that niche” or “that audience really needs help with this”. If I’m their business coach I encourage them to think differently.

Shift from Tracking Needs to Tracking Wants

In the world of attraction, wants are more compelling than needs with few exceptions. So instead of thinking about a person’s or a group’s needs, think instead about their wants – the desire that compel them to action.

All people have needs. And as newly trained coaches we have a heightened sense of this.

But not all people are seekers — people who do invest in their own personal or professional growth. Seekers are people with urgent WANTS. They want something and they are willing to pay well for help to achieve it.

Coaches are seekers. But that’s just an example to help you realize what a seeker is about. I don’t recommend new coaches target other coaches as clients. It’s a much over marketed to audience.

You want an audience that helps you stand out in the crowd of coaches and other people trying to attract attention.

So choosing a niche starts with choosing a viable audience — one that’s full of seekers, is narrow enough to help you stand out and has a BIG problem they WANT to solve.

It may seem like semantics or that I’m splitting hairs but bear with me …

A seeker tends to be social in the sense that they care about people and want to effect positive change in the lives of others. A seeker likes to grow and develop from the inside out. They place a high value on personal evolution – becoming better is some way such as more intelligent, more successful, more aware, more intuitive, more authentic … happier.

Seekers tend to look outside themselves for teachers, helpers, support systems and guides to what they WANT. That’s you. You could be their support system on the way to what they most want.

So if you think – “Aha, there’s a need. I could fill that need!” You may be leading yourself astray. Because needs often run in the background and don’t drive a person to seek.

It’s the big desires that drive a person to seek and invest.

I’m not sure who said this but you may have heard it and it applies:

Sell them what they want and give them what they need.


Your marketing – which includes all of your messaging, your content, your website, your  emails, your social posts – will go further to attract attention if they hit squarely on what a group WANTS rather than what they need.

That doesn’t mean that needs don’t play into the decision to hire you. But first and consistently focus on the big wants – the ultimate desires.

Ep 65 – Are You Solving a Big Enough Problem In Your Coaching Business?

This episode is part of the Coaching Business Checkup series.

If you’re not attracting enough paying clients to sustain your business there could be several reasons why. The episodes in this series are designed to help you isolate what needs attention.

But don’t let these errors move you to give up on your coaching business unless you’re truly done with the dream of being a successful coach and helping loads of people with your unique talents.

To Succeed You Have to Be Willing to Flail and Fail a Bit

I encourage you to be willing to make mistakes and realize they don’t define the possibility of your future success.

Jumping out there without strategy is a time honored mistake. Nearly everyone makes these mistakes if they are willing to risk success.

On the other side of this is the person who does not risk anything and misses out on the chance to learn from their mistakes. And those are the folks who may regret staying in the safety zone.

The Big Thing Holding You Back From Financial Success As A Coach

For this episode, I’m going to dig into the most common problem that holds coaches back from attracting enough clients and earning well:

There’s not enough people inspired to invest in your services.

You are no doubt talented, capable and truly effective as a coach. But that goes wasted if you can’t attract the attention of your audience and inspire them to invest.

What can you do about that?

Well, so many things! For now I’m focusing on one.

Let’s say you have chosen a target audience and they are SEEKERS — people who do invest out their own pocket to grow personally and professionally.

The next thing you do is to define your coaching niche, right?

And this is the place where you might be inclined to totally wimp out. I did when I started.

It’s partly because fresh out of coaching training there’s still this glow about the value of coaching that can blind you to effective ways to attract paying clients.

Have you romanticized the notion of coaching that you believe people know they want it?

Most people don’t think about coaching as a solution. That’s why coaching is a hard sell.

So, at this starry-eyed moment in time instead of niching down, you niche widely or niche weakly.

Niching wide is choosing a broad coaching audience and naming an overarching abstract outcome.

I help women create a more fulfilling life.

OR

I help business owners become successful.

Another way to wimp out in your niche is to only identify your track.

I’m a career coach.

I’m a leadership coach.

I’m a life coach.

I’ve seen many coaches list all or several coaching tracks on their websites. The lack of specialty does just the opposite of what the coach hoped — it turns potential clients away because they see a lack of commitment and focus.

An example of niching weakly is focusing on coaching topics as the specialty.

I’m a confidence coach.

I’m an empowerment coach.

I help you breakthrough limiting beliefs.

I don’t think people wake up in the middle of the night and say to themselves … you know what I need? I need a coach to help me breakthrough limiting beliefs.

Everyone has limiting beliefs. Any coach or mentor can help individuals past them. But it doesn’t inspire investment except for a few sessions at low prices.

These aren’t big enough problems to bring you a steady stream of clients who are ready to invest.

I niched widely and weakly at first! I didn’t know better. Now, I hope to save you some of my flailing and failing.

Fully Commit to Standing Out with Your Specialty

Notice I didn’t saying standing out with your coaching specialty? Let’s take the coaching piece out of the equation. That’s your toolbox — a skillset you’ll use to help your clients — not what people will buy.

If you intend to be a successful coach in the long run, commit to targeting and niching down strategically and then follow through with that in everything you do.

Don’t let your website copy be dumbed down by focusing on the wonders of coaching. Focus on your specific target audience and what’s keeping them up at night.

Make it so that there is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind who you serve, the big problem you help them overcome and the big goal you help them reach.

Define Big Enough

When you’re looking for a dynamic profitable niche, you have to step out of thinking like a coach and step into thinking like your audience. (And this is the best way to create everything for your business and do all your marketing by the way.)

It takes a bit of mindfulness and practice. Here’s the question to ask yourself:

What specific problem will prompt my audience to go looking for solutions with their credit card ready?

Think about all the times you’ve invested in something that was pricey. What made you pay the big bucks for a service even though you knew you were spending a lot?

No doubt it was something that felt crucial for your future.

The Gap Between Pain and Pleasure

You’ve heard about pain points before. Some problems are annoying. Some problems are a hassle.

You’re looking for the problem that is acutely painful.

It’s the gap between what your audience wants and where are they are now. That great longing for something that’s been elusive because there’s a big, fat problem in the way.

The thing in the way is usually the individual.

Big enough problems fall within just a handful of categories associated with a fundamental want:

  • money
  • career
  • power
  • love
  • healing

Here are a few coaching niches. Notice how they fit into one of those 5 fundamental categories.

Helping HR leaders gain more impact and influence in their organization.

Helping moms with a long career gap find flexible work they enjoy.

Helping people with fibromyalgia feel better get their lives back.

Helping parents support their kids with ADHD to excel in school.

Helping wives of civil servants create space for a career of their own.

Do you see how these big problems and desired outcomes would inspire investment?

If you’ve chosen an audience and you think you’ve arrived at a big enough problem to solve, pause to ask yourself:

Would I buy high-ticket services to help me overcome this problem?

If not, dig in deeper.

And if you want help identifying your audience’s big problem and developing a smart business foundation that attracts ideal clients, you know where you can find me: https://prosperouscoachblog.com/work-with-rhonda

In the Next Episode: How to Describe Your Coaching Program Without Selling Coaching