“Coaching,” for those unfamiliar with the term outside of sports, can be a challenge to sell. That’s because people don’t really buy the idea of coaching, as they might therapy — because, after all, coaches don’t necessarily unearth childhood issues and they certainly don’t promise to resolve trauma or help people recover from mental illness. Coaches do not diagnose and do not provide advice.
Coaching is about asking questions, in an effort to guide the client into finding their own answers, unveil their own solutions.
At first blush, it seems like a hard sell, doesn’t it? As a new coach, imagine telling your client, “Tell you what — I’ll just ask you questions and you come up with everything!”
That would never work. You could not sell your services this way. What people will buy, however, is the opportunity to solve their specific problems — which is where you come in. That is, where you and your specialty comes in.
When you develop a niche, you can target specific people with whom you want to work. You can focus on their lifestyles, their preferences, their challenges. You can clearly share what the benefits are of working with you. You can marry your education, training and life experience, and create something enticing for a core audience. And when you have a niche, you have an opportunity to shine in your specific area.
You may be afraid to pick a niche, thinking that you’re minimizing your chances of having a larger clientele. Or you may have no idea how to pick a niche.
Start with your own experiences. What have you lived through? What made you get into the coaching industry? Is it that you want to help recent graduates get into the workforce? Is it that you want to focus on women who want to learn how to love their bodies? Is that you want to help couples improve their relationship?
Next, what are the characteristics of your target market? Can you paint a picture of your ideal client?
When you select a niche, you’ll be surprised to see how quickly your business will grow, because you’re likely to have chosen it based on background knowledge, passion and love. Marketing will be much easier to research and implement because you’ll know who you’re talking to, instead of trying to create a message for everyone going through anything and everything. And contrary to popular belief, you truly won’t be limiting the number of clients you’ll be ready to serve. Because you’re offering a unique selling proposition, your opportunities won’t shrink — they’ll actually expand.