I’ve been having a conversation about where different coaches focus their marketing efforts. I have discovered a misunderstanding about what makes a good niche.

I have an engaged Facebook group. It’s called Build A Coaching Business (I use the Ronseal naming method 😉) and it’s for qualified coaches. In it, we talk about coaching and specifically how to find coaching clients.

My experience in working with qualified coaches on business development is enormous. I have thousands of hours of experience and, as I only work with coaches and I the focus of my work with them is marketing, I am uniquely qualified to offer help and support. Helping coaches to find clients who pay a professional rate for their coaching is my area of expertise and I’m very good at it.

How To Choose A Niche For Your Coaching Business

A niche is a target audience, it’s a demographic group and it’s a focus for your marketing. It doesn’t dictate who you coach, you can coach anyone at all, what it does is give a focus to your marketing.

In a conversation over in my Facebook group today, I asked the group members who they worked with. There were several answers that included things like people who are purpose-driven, or overwhelmed, or stressed-out, or stuck. Here’s the thing – those are not demographics, they’re values or emotions. Values and emotions are not niches.

Where Values And Emotions Fit Within A Niche

Values and emotions like purpose-driven, overwhelmed, stressed-out or stuck are things that people within a particular demographic might be feeling. They are definitely things that you’d want to speak to in a marketing message, but they are not enough on their own to identify a target audience.

The problem with trying to market to values and emotions is that they are not searchable qualities and if they’re not searchable, how do you find them?

Let me explain.

Part of your role as a business owner is client acquisition. To find clients, you need a process. This isn’t just relevant to coaches, all business owners need to have a client acquisition process in place.

When you’re building your business and you’ve chosen who you want to market to, you need to curate an audience of people who look like the kind of people you want to work with.

How To Curate An Audience

Let’s just think about LinkedIn – because all professional coaches should have a good, well-optimised presence on LinkedIn. To curate an audience on LinkedIn, you need to be able to find the people you want in your audience.

If you go to the search bar and put any of the emotions or values I’ve mentioned, you’re not going to get a useful return. In fact, if you search for ‘overwhelmed’ your return will include lots of coaches all of whom say that they work with overwhelmed people.

The best advice is for you to choose an industry or profession first, then choose a job title as a place to start. It may be that you work with stressed-out pharmaceutical senior management, or overwhelmed solicitors, or stuck HR professionals. The reason I say this is because you can find those people and some of them will be struggling with the thing you want to focus on.

What Makes A Good Niche For A Coach?

A good target audience (or niche) has the following traits:

  • they have a problem that coaching can help them to resolve
  • they can afford you
  • they are easy to find

If you can’t tick all three of those boxes, then you’re making life unnecessarily hard for yourself.

So, when you’re thinking about what your target audience or niche is, remember to think about demographics first and psychographics afterwards.