I asked a question in our public Facebook group this week and it was this: What is your niche?
The answers included things like ’40-60 year olds who want a life change’, and ‘helping women step into the life they deserve’ – neither of which is a niche (give me a moment and I’ll come on to why).
By far the most surprising answer was ‘ask me again in a year and I’ll tell you, I’m waiting for my niche to ‘find’ me’.
I probed a little and it turns out that this coach thought that if he waited for a year or so, that his niche would become apparent. Pressed a little further, he said that it would become obvious ‘who he was enjoying serving and who was getting the most benefit from being served’.
An Initial Reaction
My first reaction was surprise. I wondered if this coach was able to wait for a year or so before making any money. I also wondered if he saw coaching as a ‘side hustle’. Whatever his thoughts – and I didn’t press – clearly waiting for over a year for something to emerge means that he doesn’t need the income.
Here’s the thing. The whole Prosperous Coach ‘powerfully serve and then wait and see’ thing is fine if you have a little black book of contacts to mine. It’s also fine if you don’t want (or need) to earn a living from your coaching. For the rest of us who do want to coach for a living and don’t have a lifetime career’s worth of contacts, a year or so is a very long time to go without income.
Marketing is an important part of your coaching business and sitting back to wait and see what emerges is a poor marketing strategy. It’s particularly poor if nothing much emerges, isn’t it?
A Niche Is A Choice
Your niche isn’t some mystical or ethereal reality that becomes apparent after a period of time. It’s a choice. That’s it.
You choose your niche as the first step of the process of marketing your coaching business.
A niche isn’t the answer to your marketing prayers, but it is a good start.
A Good Start – Then What?
Once your niche is defined, the real work begins.
First of all, you need to encapsulate the issues that the people in your niche have. The issues that are so big that they’re willing to pay someone (you!) a professional fee to be supported to get rid of them.
This encapsulation is your ideal client avatar, or ICA. It is a representation of the kind of client you’re going to work with once your marketing produces results.
Once your ICA has been defined then the next part of the process is to figure out what this particular kind of client needs to hear in order to understand what’s in it for them. This information becomes your marketing message. It should contain things like:
- How does the problem(s) that this client has show up in their lives?
- What impact is this problem(s) having?
- What this kind of client may have tried to fix the problem – and why it hasn’t worked.
- Why working with you will help them remove the problem.
Finally, once you have honed your marketing message, the final step is to work out where that kind of potential client is, both literally and virtually, then make sure that’s where you are too.
Which niche will you choose?
Do you need help with finding your niche? Here is my diary