Get More Coaching Clients Series
READ TIME: 2 MIN 49 SEC
Imagine you’re at a networking event and you’re asked what you do.
When someone asks “what do you do,” what they are actually asking is “what can you do for me or someone that I know?”
If you answer “I’m a life coach”, you’re answering the surface question. Not the real question.
So how do you describe what you do in a way that makes it easy for someone to hire or refer you?
You niche down.
A niche is who you specialize in working with. It helps people know if your services are for them. It also helps you, as an entrepreneur, to create more focus around your products and services.
Specialize by the problem, not the demographics.
A common mistake with niching is that you focus on common demographics.
I recently asked a client who he worked with. He confidently answered ’34-year-old males’.
Do all 34-year-old males have the same problems? Do they have problems that are different from 33-year-old males or 35-year-old males?
By focusing on the common problem he wanted to help with, he came up with a new answer. Millennial men who want to spend more time on real life experiences and less time on their devices.
I would never have referred any 34-year-old men I know if I didn’t know what he could help them with.
Now that I know the problem he helps to solve, I can envision who he can help and how their lives would be better as a result.
That’s the power of niching by a common problem.
Overcoming niching resistance.
You might be resisting the idea of specializing. This is especially true if you’re early in your coaching career or if you have many passions.
You also might have learned that ‘true’ coaching works with anyone on any topic, so you don’t need to niche.
You may have no idea of who you want to work with or what you want to help people achieve.
In these cases, you could offer to coach anyone on any topic until you stumble upon a preference.
The problem with this approach is that it’s hard to sell life coaching without a specific problem. Nobody actually wants coaching, they want what coaching can get them.
Often, your resistance to niching is actually a fear of choosing the wrong niche. You’re using ‘I don’t know’ as an excuse to not do something you know you should.
But even the wrong niche is better than no niche when you use the experimental approach. By iterating and accepting failure, you collect new information. With new information, you can improve your niche.
Let your niche evolve over time.
Instead of obsessing over the exact right niche or avoiding the topic altogether, pick one that you think is a good fit and take action.
3 starting points to choosing a niche.
There are many ways to identify a potential niche. Here are my 3 favourite starting points:
- Start with the PAIN. Is there something that people often ask you for help with? Is there something that you’ve overcome and could help others with?
- Start with the MARKET. Do you know who you want to work with or enjoy working with? What are the common problems that they face?
- Start with the RESULT. What is something that you want to help people to achieve in their lives? What are some of the obstacles people face in getting this result?
Craft your messaging to test out your niche.
The basic framework for declaring your niche is some variation of this:
I help [market] to [result they want] with [what they want help with].
I help self-published authors to sell more books with Facebook advertising.
I help socially awkward men to find a romantic partner without using online dating apps.
I help adult women with ADHD learn to use their brain as a superpower so they can find a career they love.
Choosing a niche will make it easier for someone to either buy from you or refer you. This is especially true for life coaches.
In the previous post, we explored the experimental mindset that is required as an entrepreneur.
In the next post, we will be looking at the different types of offers you might have in your coaching business.