Ep 148 – Is it Wise to Have 2 Coaching Niches?

This episode is inspired by an excellent question posted by two coaches in my Facebook group called Prosperous Coach Club. Find the full transcript at prosperouscoach.com/148

Before we dig into this, let’s get on the same page …

What is a Smart Coaching Niche?

To me, a smart coaching niche has 3 clear components:

  1. One unique viable target audience full of seekers – people who want to grow personally and professionally and are actively seeking solutions. Without this, it’s hard to have a successful niche.
  2. A strategic coaching business model built around what that audience urgently wants and the BIG problem that’s in their way. If you don’t know what will motivate investment for your audience you don’t have a robust enough niche to earn well.
  3. Your skills and talents applied to those other two things. This is more than just coaching skills. This is bringing forward all the skills and maybe even expertise that will make you credible to your audience – something that help you relate to them and them relate to you.

A coaching niche is weak if one of more of those things is missing or not solid enough so it’s worth it to take the time to develop a niche fully.

And let me just stop the worries here … everyone has skills to bring to the table. I’ve never worked professionally with a coach that didn’t have options for their niche based on the sum total of who they are.

It’s good to remember that coaching is a business and you need to operate in the marketplace.

What do I mean by that? Your business needs to be more than selling coaching services. Unless you don’t need to earn, you need to frequently grab the attention of and enroll clients who pay you well. That’s not a casual thing for the long run. It’s totally doable and some strategy is needed.

One Coaching Business for One Well-Formed Niche

I encourage my clients to develop one business built for the long term around one well-formed niche.

Why limit it? Well, because two niches may very well feel like having two businesses, which is like having two full time jobs. No one really wants that.

It comes down to what you can handle effectively. You may be able to do many things at once but is that the best life to live? Why not build a business that’s sustainable for the long run?

You might start out with two niches but somewhere along the way one will get more attention and the other will suffer unless there is some way to leverage the two. So let’s talk about those possibilities.

Two Different Audiences for Your Coaching

Targeting two distinctly different audiences is not a good idea unless the two audiences are related in some easy way.

For example, over 10 years ago I worked with a coach who targeted Financial Advisors. That went so well that her clients introduced her to their clients — wealthy families — so that she could work with them. The two audiences are related by context.

Context is critical.

But here’s the thing to realize … she didn’t start with both audiences. She started with one and later that lead to the other. And she didn’t have to build a new business, a new website and a new content strategy for the wealthy families because they were referrals from her primary audience. No marketing needed!

Two Different Outcomes for the Same Coaching Audience

You might be curious about having two different topics or areas where you help one target audience. That approach is likely to be doable as long as one topic naturally leads to the other. That way, you have one enrollment effort. You attract the client and they stay beyond the original offer.

You could target a single audience and have two Signature Programs — one for an early phase of the outcome they want and one for the later phase.

For example, I specialize in helping new coaches to build their entire business foundation from the ground up. I could add a niche for experienced coaches and help them scale up or build a group program — something like that.

I choose not to do that because I have my hands full with new coaches. It’s enough for me. I get great variety in my work by the unique differences of each client. And that allows me to be my best at what I do and still stay on my toes sometimes.

You might think, if I can help different types of people about different types of topics, why not? I used to think like that but ran myself ragged just trying to get enough clients and earn well.

The first few years you may spend 40-50% of your time attracting clients and building a network. It takes time to build a business. That time investment does slack off as you gain traction.

Choosing Speaks Miles About Your Professionalism

But I just personally would not advise that you choose two disparate audiences or two disparate tracks or two disparate topics to help people about.

I still see some coaches all over the place in their messaging and offers. Their coaching website mentions multiple audience and even broad topics like “I can help you with relationships, career, health.

Guys, that’s a hobby, not a business. Not specializing in at least a track says to people “I can’t choose.” It’s not confidence inspiring.

So be a specialist. It’s how you’ll be perceived as professional and worth the investment.

Ep 140 – What’s Missing From Your Coaching Niche?

This episode is a refresher about what components are needed for a strategic coaching niche — one that will bring you clients who are inspired to invest and engage fully.

Look, I know this whole niche thing is aggravating. And that’s because it’s complex and it takes a few mindset shifts to approach this decision intelligently.

Simplifying this complex thing is my super power. I help coaches strategically develop a smart and profitable coaching niche and build their entire business foundation around that.

That’s my niche because I’ve seen too many coaches throw up a coaching business, website and all, without thinking it all the way through. And then the business only works well enough to keep you struggling but not to earn well.

Partially creating a niche is like building a new house without a foundation.

Think about it. If the foundation is good, the house is solid and secure. It will last. If the foundation is non-existent or poor, the house is not long for this world. It’s flimsy.

You may know that flimsy feeling in your coaching business but not know what to do about it.

That flimsy feeling is like this … you don’t know exactly what to do every day to attract clients that pay you well.

Your Coaching Niche Idea is Not Quite Enough

When you finished coach training you may have had the seed of a good idea in mind for your niche. But you might have stopped short of fortifying it with the essential parts.

You might have felt romantic about your idea and become attached to the vagueness of it then just put up your website and started posting.

That vagueness is keeping you from earning well.

Most coaches who hire me have a good idea that’s not fully formed. They tried to make it work and it was only somewhat successful.

They are dancing on the edge of success.

I can see in that seed something valuable. And I can clearly see that it’s missing the parts that would take this good idea into the concrete world so it sustains them.

Most Coaches Only Choose a Track

Some people say that a coaching niche is the area you focus on, for example:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Relationship
  • Career
  • Business or entrepreneurship
  • Executive or Corporate Leadership
  • Spirituality

See, to me, these are not quite niches. They are coaching tracks — a seed of an idea. You might have taken coach training in one of these areas and that training WILL be very valuable to you and your clients.

However, alone that is not a strategic niche.

A coaching track is a direction but not a destination.

If you’ve only gone so far as to choose a coaching track it won’t likely bring you a good income for 2 reasons:

  1. Because it’s selling coaching and people don’t often know they want coaching so the coach then has the hard job of having to convince people they want coaching.
  2. And also because a track is missing the specific and compelling things that would attract clients who are inspired to invest well.

Few people buy coaching for the sake of being coached. If you haven’t heard it yet, episode 7 was about this called Why Coaching is a Hard Sell.

But specific groups of people will invest in intelligent support to overcome their specific urgent problems so they can reach their most desired specific goals. A whole lot more specificity is needed.

Specialize in a Deeper Way for a Better Coaching Niche

To make one of those tracks I mentioned work, you need to further specialize:

  • Specialize in a specific narrow audience.
  • Specialize in a specific outcome they struggle to achieve.

And don’t just leave it there. Do research. Find out exactly what their most acute challenges are on the way to that specific goal. Use their language to describe it.

When your website, your weekly content and daily posting all speak directly to those things then you’ll inspire that audience to invest highly in your support. As you stay congruent, you leverage all your efforts and your income grows exponentially.

For example, a wellness coach might focus on weight loss, or a relationship coach might focus on dating.

It’s smart because it speaks to a specific PROBLEM people have in that track. If you’ve specialized on a certain problem, take an additional step and target a unique audience.

Let’s say you are a relationship coach and you’ve decided to specialize in dating. So far so good. Now go deeper … focus in more narrowly.

For example, focus on helping single parents with dating. That’s a strategic niche! Do you see how with that degree of narrowing you can hone in on the very unique set of challenges and goals this audience has?

They have to consider their kids in every aspect of dating and also as the relationship grows.

So don’t call yourself a relationship coach and coach about all relationships. Don’t call yourself a dating coach and coach about all dating. Instead develop a Signature Program designed just for a specific audience with specific challenges as it relates to dating. Be specific!

Getting Attention is Job #1 for Coaches

We live in a too busy and highly distracted world. So your message will only snap people to attention IF it’s highly relevant and to be relevant it has to be specific.

If you haven’t chosen a track yet, don’t worry about it. You can actually skip over that part.

Instead target an audience that’s easy for you to find and connect with, find out what they want so much they’d be willing to invest significantly in your help to get it.

Coaches serve people. That’s why your coaching niche should begin with the unique audience you serve and their real problems. You’ll be amazed how it can change your day to day as well as setting you up for long term success and incredible opportunities.

Ep 126 – Is Your Lead Magnet Too Coachey?

This episode is the 3rd in my new series about Lead Magnets.

In all the time I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve downloaded hundreds of freebies.

I’ve gone seeking solutions to specific problems, found websites and lead magnets that seem to address my problem.

I give my name and email, somewhat begrudgingly I must say, and faithfully go through the process to download my prize.

I’ll be honest, I can still count on one hand the free offers that have provided real insight, delight or a sense of desire to pay for the services of the person who wrote the freebie. And in each of those cases I did hire them.

But really, 5 out hundreds. That’s not good odds.

Is that your experience too?

So what do you do then? If you’re like me the lead magnet goes quickly into the trash and with the next email I receive from that person, I’m unsubscribing and feeling like I’ve just swept up the messy crumbs of an unsatisfying snack that wasn’t worth the calories.

Obviously, you don’t want THAT to be what happens with the people who opt in for your freebie.

5 Goals Your Coaching Freebie Must Achieve

Look, your goal isn’t just to get the name and email of a person in your target audience. It’s to keep those people on your list long enough to build a sense of trust. You want them to perceive you as a credible solution to their specific problems and desires.

So you have to think this through before you throw any old freebie up on your website.

  1. How will you entice them to opt-in? (More about this in future episode. Clue: It’s partially about titling)
  2. How will you inspire them to at least skim but hopefully read most of your lead magnet?
  3. How will you deliver UNIQUE insights, tips, tools or simple exercises that will impress them?
  4. How will you make them want to read your About copy and make yourself credible?
  5. How will influence them to take a next step with you without being salesy?

In my 5 month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program, I collaborate with coaches to help them create a memorable lead magnet that does all 5 of these things. It’s not easy, but it’s absolutely doable and I have a process.

Most Coaches Freebies Miss the Mark

The initial free offers most coaches create early on tend to be too coachey. By this I mean they are on typical coaching topics like:

  • work/life balance
  • values
  • imposter syndrome
  • confidence
  • fulfillment
  • life purpose
  • authenticity
  • boundaries
  • gratitude
  • stress
  • goal setting

These are topics all coaches enjoy coaching about. And while there is no doubt that you could provide value on one of these topics, this information is out there on the internet in millions of hits.

So it might be a good idea before you create your lead magnet content that you Google the topic and see how much there is out there about it.

3 Ways to Increase Uniqueness in Your Coaching Lead Magnet

Now, there really isn’t anything wholly new under the sun. But that doesn’t mean you can put your own spin on a well-worn topic and make it highly relevant to your audience. Here are 3 ways to dial in uniqueness:

  1. Base your lead magnet on your audience’s specific big problems and goals, not what you think they need and want.
  2. Contextualize your freebie by making the language fit with their unique circumstances. (If your target audience and niche are narrow enough this won’t be hard to do.) Use key words.
  3. Develop your own models and simple jargon to illustrate your points.

This last one requires you to tap into your own brilliance and think outside the box. You want to stop regurgitating what you’ve read and learned and instead integrate it into your own concepts and speak.

I’m always deeply gratified when I talk to a prospect interested in my Signature Program and I can tell they’ve actually read my lead magnet and are listening to my podcast episodes because they are using terminology I’ve coined.

Yes, you can coin new terms and concepts!

And that’s how you will pre-qualify and pre-sell people into your own Signature Program. For more about that listen to Episode 59 at prosperouscoach.com/59

Ep 125 – Your Ideal Coaching Clients Respond Best to Slow Marketing

This episode is part of the series about lead magnets and how to make sure yours will help you enroll ideal clients who pay you well.

And, if you haven’t heard it yet, first listen to Does a Coach Need a Lead Magnet? at prosperouscoach.com/124. It’s super short.

When I started my coaching business, if you would have asked me my marketing approach I would have said “I let people know I’m a coach and offer a free sample coaching sessions to enroll clients.”

Everything I did reflected that basic misunderstanding about what effective marketing is — from the topics of public speaking I did, to the types of articles I wrote, all the way to the messaging on my website.

Did that approach work for me. Not a wit. Even though I got a lot of praise for the sessions, people who had a free session said “Thanks” but had no interest in long term coaching. And sometimes I fell into the trap of coaching them for many, many free session just hoping it would hook them in.

It took me a long time to realize why my mindset and actions weren’t paying off. But also it seemed most others coaches were doing the same thing so like a lemming I followed them off the cliff.

Two decades later, I’m a bit surprised when I look at coach’s website and see them trying this same approach.  I feel so much compassion for them and I am instantly transported back to my own frustration early on – working so hard and not getting results.

Mistakes Coaches Make on Their Websites

There are loads of mistakes I see on coach’s websites and I have a whole series about client-winning coaching websites to help you with this, which you can find at prosperouscoach.com/websites.

One of the big coaching website mistakes, but by no means the biggest, is offering a free coaching session. Sometimes it’s high up on the home page. Sometimes it’s buried where it will never be found.

Either way, a free coaching session is not a strategic approach to enroll paying clients who are serious about transformation. A free coaching session is not a smart lead magnet.

Why not?

  1. The coach cannot possibly demonstrate the real value of ongoing PAID coaching through a single free coaching session.
  2. It’s too soon to offer a live call.

This last point is my main point. Too much too soon makes coaching prospects turn and run.

Fast Marketing Only Sells Products Not Coaching Services

I admit I’ve purchased things through a single Instagram ad IF the unique value of the product is clear AND I’m already seeking a solution to the problem that product answers. That’s fast marketing.

But services, and especially paid coaching programs, aren’t easily sold through fast marketing. Coaching is still a relative unknown. Rarely do people seek it, but that’s just one reason why fast marketing techniques aren’t appropriate.

Think about it … what makes for an excellent coaching relationship?

  • A good fit between the coach and client
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Collaboration
  • Accountability
  • A growth mindset

Those things take time and repetition.

Coaching Relationships Are Intimate

The relationship between you and your client is intimate. Add to that the fact that time and money are invested to work with you. That increases the need for trust and fit.

So if someone arrives on your website and one of the first things they see is you offering a free coaching session, what happens inside that visitor?

Confusion. And a confused mind never buys. Let me illustrate this a different way …

Imagine you are in a grocery store line and the stranger in front of you turns to ask you out to dinner. A rare person would say yes because it’s too much too soon.

Maybe you’d go for coffee but probably not even that until you have enough of a sense of attraction and trust. How will the two of you get to that place? Time.

So, a free coaching session or even a free consult, is not likely to bring you paying clients unless you have first slowly and consistently built trust and helped prospects assess their fit with you.

You know how I build trust … you’re listening to it. Besides my free lead magnets, I publish a podcast episode every week showing how I understand you  — your specific challenges and desires. And I deliver unique value through my voice, the way I care and the practical tips I provide.

Do all the people who opt in for my freebie and listen to my podcast weekly hire me? No. But those who feel the fit and trust me do.

That’s slow marketing. It’s authentic, non-salesy and honors us both.

Ditch your free sample session offer on your website and get behind the slow approach. Part of that is creating a lead magnet that builds trust while providing unique value. You’ll be amazed how it pays you back with ideal clients and a lucrative income as a coach – all without trying to convince people how great your coaching is.

Ep 124 – Does a Coach Need a Lead Magnet?

This episode is part of a new series about lead magnets or what I call freebies.

I bet you’ve opted in for dozens of lead magnets since you decided to become a coach.

In case you haven’t, a lead magnet or a freebie is just what it sounds like. The idea is that you offer something of unique value related to your niche that your audience wants in exchange for their name and email address.

Then they become a lead for you – a potential future client.

Your Future Coaching Clients Are the Gold Mine in Your Business

They are just as important as current paying clients.

It’s important to build relationships with future clients otherwise you’ll find yourself having to chase potential clients rather than attract them. I labored so hard chasing clients for the first few years of my business.

If a lead stays on your list, you have the opportunity to continue to communicate with them by email.

Those emails could be anything from a follow up series of emails for a specific campaign or purpose to a teaser email that let’s them know you have a new podcast episode or blog they might want to see. It could be an email that’s personal about you.

It’s a good idea to share some vulnerability and reveal something about you in every email.

If you are receiving my teaser emails each week to let you know when each new podcast episode airs then you have an excellent example showing what I mean by vulnerability in small bits.

Why Do Coaches Need a Leads List?

Well, I suppose you might not need a lead magnet or a leads list if you already have a steady stream of prospects contacting you. And those people are adequately primed to hire you.

The first thing – a steady stream of prospects contacting you — does not necessarily mean that the 2nd thing — people adequately primed to help you — is happening.

Most coaches need to create their own network of potential clients and get them excited about hiring them. Believe me, this is not accomplished by talking all about the virtues of coaching.

It takes time to develop a relationship of trust with people in your target audience leads list.

It may take dozens of messages before your words strike that resonant chord with a person in your audience. That’s because people are busy, distracted and bombarded with messages all day long.

Every one of us only pays attention to messages that hit the mark of what’s most important to us right now.

And, of course, not everyone on your leads list will take action to work with you.

That’s completely natural and, in fact, you don’t want everyone on your list to become a client. You only want to attract the most ideal clients. Listen to episode #117 called How to Attract ideal Coaching Clients Who Can’t Wait to Work with You.

I feel blessed. All of my ideal clients are finding me through my podcast. In a way, those subscribers are an alternate leads list Occasionally, I offer a special freebie related to a podcast and coaches are opting in for those by the dozens every week. That’s how they get on the Prosperous Coach list.

It’s fun. I see someone subscribe for a freebie of mine and then a month or two later some of those people fill out the application to work with me in my Signature Program. That’s how I know my systems to connect with ideal clients are working.

I want you to have that going for you.

A shout out to Mark who honored me during our recent Discovery Call where he enrolled in my VIP 5-month program.

Mark said: “I’ve listened to 75 of your episodes so far. I have to complement you, your podcast and website are extremely well thought out. You address everything going through my mind. I was jumping at the how rather than the what, and fuzzy about what to do first. I first looked at what other coaches are doing, which is could see isn’t effective. Your podcast brought clarity to what I would likely have done wrong following in their footsteps.”

This is the kind of response you want all of your messaging, whether it’s your freebie, your emails, the content you put out regularly, social posts – anything you put out there should be designed to strike a resonant chord with your audience.

6 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself About Lead Magnets

Do you have a lead magnet?

Does it strike a resonant chord with your audience?

Does it show them you are a solution for their unique challenges and goals?

Does it pre-sell and pre-qualify people into your Signature Program?

Does it contain highly unique insights that your audience can’t find anywhere else online?

Is it part of a strategic conversion process that helps prospects discover that they are indeed your ideal client?

Over the next several episodes I’ll explain how your lead magnet can do all of these things. And, at the end of the series, I’ll give you access to a free assessment to test your own lead magnet and see if it’s doing what it ought to do. For now, take a look at your lead magnet and consider if it’s wholly UNIQUE and shows your brilliance as it relates to your target audience and niche?

Ep 123 – Coach, You Don’t Have to Sell Yourself

This episode is short and sweet.=

When coaches reach out to work with me, they almost always say that their biggest fear is marketing. They say: “I’m no good at selling myself.”

And I say, “Well, that’s okay because you don’t have to sell yourself.” And I mean it.

Sure, you’re the coach and you’ll be delivering coaching to your client. Although, I really believe that coaching is co-creative. It’s not at all about performing.

But if you go about your business the way I suggest, you won’t sell coaching at all.

Coaching is a hard sell. People don’t know they want it. I’ve talked about this many times before. If you haven’t heard it I recommend you listen to episode #66 – How to Describe Your Coaching Program Without Selling Coaching.

Still, this is important. Do not sell yourself. Don’t be salesy and promotional. It doesn’t feel good and it’s not effective.

Instead be about what your prospective clients care about. Know without a doubt the exact things that they want. Not the general things. Don’t try to cover all the bases and say I help people reach their dreams or something equally bland and non-specific.

Specifics grab attention. Specifics grow the know–like–trust factor because your audience can sense that you understand them and are an advocate for them.

My very first coach, Judy, used to ask me: “What has frustrated your audience so much that they feel mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore?”

When you know the answer to that your marketing job just got a lot easier.

When you speak your audience’s language, when you care about them … when you speak to what’s tripping them up, what’s keeping them from the big important things they long for … you don’t have to sell.

Yes, you should think this all through. Strategize everything about your business so that it shows you can help that specific audience solve those specific problems and reach that elusive goal. This is what I do with coaches in my 5 month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program.

Here’s what you can do right now to dramatically improve your coaching income and your joy in your business:

Stop having your website be all about coaching.

Stop having vague language about how you help your clients.

Stop making your marketing about you!

When you make this shift you’ll be amazed at how much better it feels. You no longer do the unsavory thing – to sell coaching, to sell yourself.

You’ll no longer try to convince people about the value of coaching. Instead you’ll attract ideal clients who resonate with your message and they’ll want to hire you.

It’s such a HUGE relief. Make this change today. It’s worth it to retool your business a bit so you don’t keeping preaching to an empty house.

Ep 120 – Should You Partner With Another Coach?

Some time ago a topic came up in Prosperous Coach Club, my Facebook group for new-ish coaches. The coach was talking about the challenge of networking with other coaches.

And that topic spurred me to talk about something related but not exactly the same, which is about partnering with another coach either short or long term.

By the way, for this episode partnering could be anything from partnering on one small project to going all in and building a business together in partnership.

So first, I want to own my bias. I’ve always been a bit of a maverick. I have unconventional ideas and like to be the sole driver of those ideas.

I very much enjoy the challenge of running my business driven by my own values and desires. I want to be able to turn on a dime. Make decisions quickly knowing it affects only me.

For those reasons, I’m not a good partner candidate. And that’s okay. You might be a good partner candidate.

By the way, I didn’t always know these things about myself. I found this out the hard way trying to partner with a number of fine human beings over the years including, at one point, my husband. Bless us, that was a challenging time in our marriage I can tell you!

Looking back at it all I can say that the biggest reason I floundered in partnerships was a lack of confidence.

If I had known my own business, known my own mind, my wants and what doesn’t work for me before I leaped … well you know … hindsight.

Partnership is a Big Risk

If you are risk averse or a conflict avoider, you may not be up for partnership until you grow those strengths.

When you’re a new coach you are vulnerable to partnership because it can be lonely and overwhelming doing everything yourself.

You don’t have automatic colleagues, as you do in other jobs, to bounce ideas off of. You don’t have the built in accountability of a supervisor or a team leader.

Everything is on you – the costs of building and maintaining all aspects of the business and the workload of marketing and delivering services.

For this reason, many coaches prematurely reach out to partner with another coach. Some other coach shows up, suggests collaborating and out of loneliness you say yes.

On the other hand, trying a partnership may help you grow in lots of ways through the lessons you learn. There’s a lot of value in trial and error.

When a coach I’m working with brings up the idea of collaboration with another coach, I throw a red flag out there so the coach can slow down and think things through.

The first rule of thumb is only partner once you are well established in your own business. Then, you are clear of the value you deliver, your audience and services. You are differentiated from the other coach.

With that confidence and certainty you’re less likely to enter into a partnership out of desperation and unwittingly jump right into a classic trap.

4 Big Considerations Before You Leap Into Partnership with Another Coach

Finding the RIGHT partner at the RIGHT time for you is more important than looking for a helpmate. Hire a business coach for that role.

Here are 4 things to think through completely before you offer or accept partnership of any kind with another coach (and for that matter, with any individual or organization)

Are You Complementary and Compatible?

Partnership in business is a lot like partnership in marriage. You need to be compatible and compliment each other in many ways to weather the difficult times and find joy in the partnership. Ending a partnership can feel much like a divorce and get ugly. I’ve seen it happen between coaches many times.

Do your coaching niches align but not compete? Episode 119 is all about competition and why you need to stand out. If you and your partner haven’t settled on your target audience and niche yet, you’re not ready.

Do you have complimentary skills? For example, one of you is especially good at writing and the other is especially good at presenting.

Do your work styles blend well? If one of you is a workhorse and the other a slacker — that’s a deal breaker. I’ve always been a doer and I’ve partnered with people who don’t do. If I had a contract it would have raised awareness for us both from the get go. I wish I’d thought of all this. But I learned and I’m still here!

Do Have Aligned Vision and Values?

What is your collective vision for the project or business? Does it gel well together or is it jarringly different? Notice when you’re uncomfortable and ask yourself what that’s about.

Do you trust each other? Watch if you or they becomes a “yes person”. They assert and you automatically go along to get along or the other way around. Best to back off if you sense that.

Do your business values align? Let’s say you have high integrity and demonstrate that, but that’s not important to your prospective partner — that’s a deal breaker. Talk it all through and find out.

Can you sense mutual respect? One sign of disrespect is cause for a conversation. But more than one is a strong message that this isn’t partnership material.

Do You Stay Current and Have High Standards for Communication?

Are you two in excellent communication? Notice how the other person communicates verbally and in writing. Are they clear? Are they too verbose? Do you feel confused or frustrated with emails, texts or conversations?

Do they or you have a tendency to ghost – disappear or respond too slowly? That’s not going to work.

Create a Contract with Clear Responsibilities and Boundaries

If everything is looking good and you both agree to move ahead, create a contract – even for a small project. Sit down and set clear goals, responsibilities, timelines and boundaries. If money is involved hire a lawyer.

Ep 119 – Find the Niche Within Your Coaching Niche

This episode is about the un-mined gold in your coaching business.

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, it’s many layers deeper.

The Layers of Your Coaching Niche

When I work with my VIP clients we discover 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.

  • Layer 1, of course, is coaching. Coaching itself is a kind of niche.
  • Another layer in might be relationship coaching
  • Another layer beneath that is to pick a particular type of relationship, let’s say marriage.
  • Then you can niche deeper than that to put some context about the specific PROBLEM you help the married individuals solve.

Now, keep this in mind as I share one of my VIP client’s niches …

Deanna Bryant, whose brand is Revive Your Midlife Marriage helps married WOMEN cultivate meaning and intimacy with their husbands after the kids are grown.

By the way, Deanna has an insightful podcast called Revive Your Midlife Marriage. If you’re a woman in midlife with grown children and your marriage is feeling a bit flat and empty, her show and services are for you!

So let’s break this niche down into components:

  • Deanna serves women. (Choosing a gender can help you narrow your niche but alone it’s not enough.)
  • These are women in midlife – a tough time of life with specific challenges. (It’s smart to pick a time of life sometimes for a specific audience.)
  • In addition these women have husbands. (Not all women have husbands and only some are still with a husband in midlife.)
  • AND they want meaning and intimacy with those husbands again. (We know this because Deanna did market research for her audience.)
  • She also adds after the kids are grown because that empty nest time is a crossroads in a marriage. (Sometimes the kids are the glue holding the marriage together.)

Do you see how SPECIFIC Deanna’s niche is and can you imagine why that’s an advantage to attracting clients?

Doesn’t Niching Narrowly Mean You’ll Lose Opportunities?

Look, lots of people don’t understand the value of niching. 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 Deanna is missing so many opportunities! She’s missing the chance to work with men, to work with unmarried women, to work with women who don’t have grown kids.”

The reality is this … in this world we live in we must compete for attention as a service business. Even if you don’t think of it as competition, it’s there.

Broad Coaching Niches Mean Slow Business Growth

The broader your niche, the less attention you’ll get. Think about how your scroll through your emails, your social networks. In a way we are all always scrolling and waiting for something to grab our attention through RELEVANCE! We ignore what is not relevant. You know I’m right.

If you’ve never read Seth Godin’s book called Tribes, I highly recommend it. It makes the point that you don’t have to serve a huge population. That’s the old fashioned way. It’s better to build affinity with a small distinct group and become a leader for that group.

And 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 get the word out.

I wasn’t always the niche strategist for coaches. That happened about 2 years in serving coaches, which came about because I co-wrote curriculum for Coach Training Alliance and trained 500 coaches there. When I realized that was the top problem coaches have at the beginning I studied niches and offered help for that BIG problem. That catapulted my business into a much higher level of income, client attraction and expertise.

I’ve said before that I started as a Spiritual Coach and when I didn’t find much traction there, I targeted women entrepreneurs. Keep in mind coaching wasn’t nearly as big an industry then as it is now. I’d hazard a guess and say coaching has grown exponentially every year since 1997.

What that means is that 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 – life coach, 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 brand 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 your services are differentiated from all others and you stand out – 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 back to being known for something. I became known as the coaching niche strategist this way. I was coaching coaches and trying to compete with all the tens of thousands of people offering support to coaches to grow their businesses.

I wanted to joint venture with other people and one such person, Milana, said:

“Rhonda, why would I help to promote you when I offer exactly what you offer? You need to stand out!”

So I looked around at my colleagues – many were direct competitors – and I asked myself how can I stand out from ALL of them? No one was into helping people with coaching niches because … well … it takes a lot of work.

As soon as I began offering specific support for coaches to help them with their coaching niche my business jumped a level and I had co-promoters happy to help raise my star.

The moral to the story is find your STAND OUT thing.

It has to fulfill a BIG problem for your 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 seeking help for your specialty, you won’t earn.  You’ll just give away a lot of free stuff.