In over 10 years of training, mentoring and working with coaches, I have yet
to see a truly successful coach who didn't have a niche.
A niche is a position, activity or area of the market that particularly suits
your talents and personality or that you can make your own. Ideally, your niche
is where your passion and expertise intersect with the needs and wants of an
existing target market.
Consider the benefits of claiming a niche for yourself:
- It helps you position your business so that your ideal clients can find
you more easily.
- Your marketing is more targeted, which saves time and money.
- It's easier to develop solution-based products and services for a target
market that share a common agenda.
- Positioning yourself as an expert gives you pricing leverage.
- A niche differentiates you from other service providers.
- Your business is more profitable when you focus on the products and services
that your niche most wants and needs.
- Quality referrals are easier to get when you tap into the natural professional
and social networks in your niche.
- Clients in a niche market are more likely to invest money to resolve their
- It significantly reduces the competition when you focus on a niche, because
you're not trying to compete in the larger market.
- Niching attracts pre-qualified clients so that you don't have to spend time
cold prospecting or pitching your services to people who aren't interested
If having a niche is clearly an advantage, why do so many of my own clients
complain that they can’t find theirs?
Looking at a client's website recently, I realized that the problem isn't that
she can't find her niche; it's sitting on the tip of her nose. Well, all the
clues are right there on her computer screen, anyway.
Everything about her website, from the style and color of the site to the words
she uses to describe herself and her business, appeals to some visitors, has
a neutral affect on others, and has a negative impact on a few. That’s
how a niche is born.
But she doesn’t see the niche that’s forming around her organically,
because she’s in “shopping” mode. She’s trying on different
niches. This one’s a good possibility, but maybe the next one will be
The problem isn’t that she doesn’t
know what her niche is; it’s
that she hasn't DECIDED.
That's a big problem, when your niche is RIGHT THERE, but you can't decide.
It's like cheesecake.
You know you love the New York cheesecake with a twist of lemon and a side
of warm chocolate syrup; that's the cheesecake you would BE if you died and
came back as a cheesecake. (Well, that’s the one I’D be, anyway!)
But there are all those other cheesecakes on the menu winking at you provocatively
and flaunting their impossibly exotic flavours … and the waitress is asking
(again!) "What would you like?" and you say to yourself, "Maybe
I'll like one of these other cheesecakes even BETTER…"
And suddenly, you hear yourself ordering the caramel pecan turtle cheesecake.
It sounds so strange coming out of your mouth, you can't even imagine what it
is you just ordered. For a second, you feel giddy. And a little confused. Ah,
but then your friend (the one you're having lunch with) says, "Hey, I thought
you didn't like nuts!" Oh, right! I HATE NUTS! What was I thinking?!? So
you get the waitress back and you say, "Uh, actually, I'd rather have the
New York cheesecake." And just saying it makes you feel better; you're
back in the groove again. The New York cheesecake is YOUR cheesecake, you can
taste it already…
It's not enough to know; you have to DECIDE. And deciding on a niche is where
a lot of folks get tripped up, especially when there are soooooo many possibilities.
So let me offer a bit of advice…
Three tips for deciding on a coaching niche (or a cheesecake)
1. Put the menu down. You don't need to look at every possible
flavor combo. Look at what's right in front of you; look for what’s already
in your heart. Ask for more of what you love.
2. Trust the groove. That's what your niche is; it's the groovy
place where your business thrives. You'll know when you're in it; it just feels
right. It feels like home.
3. Ask a friend (or your coach!) to remind you as often as
needed: NO NUTS.
Bottom line: Stop worrying about finding a “better” niche. DECIDE
and see what happens.
Kathy Mallary, the Signature System Coach, works with personal
and professional/business coaches who want to learn how to make money with their
own signature coaching system. Discover how to build a thriving one-of-a-kind
coaching business at www.spiritspring.com.