Niche marketing for coaches

The fact you have found this article suggests to me that you already understand the significant benefits of building a niche for your coaching practice. Niche marketing for coaches has similarities to many other professions.

start a practiceIf you do not, allow me to give you an example from pet products. Here in the UK a company produced a supplement to put in dogs’ diets. The list of benefits on the bottle was massive – wetter nose, bright eyes, shiny fur and the list went on. The company found they were not selling that many. What they did was produce three different products. Each contained the same health giving oil, each targeted a separate condition. The results, you’ve probably guessed it, they sold a lot more. This is simple to explain, people find it easier to believe a claim that is more specific. The original sounded more like snake oil.

The more precise you are about whom you can help and how you can help them, the easier you will find it to attract clients. You move away from that fruitless effort of trying to educate people about what life coaching is. You move to the world where they get the results you can bring them. You now have different conversations with potential clients, now you talk about them and their issues, not about coaching and what it can do.

 Currently there two effective strategies for bringing clients to you

First is who you help. For example, I help coaches and therapists.  Think about yourself here. I’m guessing you’ll be a coach or therapist or somebody working with close personal change relationships with your clients. Now, momentarily think about why you’re still reading this article. Who do you prefer to listen to, somebody talking about selling double glazing or somebody who helps other coaches and therapists?

Second strategy is what you help your clients with. Typically I see people offering work life balance, stress management and so on.

I suggest you get a lot more precise than that. Here is a quick strategy for figuring out what people are willing to pay for. Find a large bookshop near you. Go to the self-help section. See how much shelf space a topic is given. Bookshops understand how to maximise profits, they give more shelf space to the topics that sell more books. Here’s a tip that may be profitable for you, also visit the business section and see what topics are there.

You can follow a similar approach by going onto Amazon. Look at the magazine section, the more magazines there are for a given topic, the more people there are willing to pay money.

Before you commit to any niche

There are three simple tests I have all my clients do before putting in any significant work on any ideas they have for their niche.

Answer no to any of these three and you need to find another niche, or you’re going to struggle.

  • One, can you easily contact this group of people?
  • Two, can you help this group with their issues?
  • Three, are they willing to pay you?

If you cannot easily connect with people from this group, you’re going to struggle to find enough clients.

If the major issues this group has are ones that you cannot help with, then clearly it’s unlikely they’ll hire you.

 This all sounds like much work!

I appreciate that at first glance finding a good niche seems a huge amount of effort. It may well surprise you that this research can be done in days to a few weeks at little or no cost.  You just need some simple techniques.

Many of my clients can explore many tens of potential niche markets in the first few months they work with me. Just think of the bookshop example above, that’s a huge amount of accurate research done within an hour or two.

Looking around this website, there are a few simple tactics for finding a niche – quick methods to test if a market is viable for you. All it takes from you is a decision. This decision is to do the necessary work over the next few weeks to find your ideal coaching niche.

My best advice to you at this stage is find a buddy, or somebody else, to support you while you pass through this phase. It can be a little tedious; you also may well find yourself having to go outside your comfort zone. Regular support through this time will make it all pass much more quickly and easily.

Good luck with finding your niche. There are plenty of options out there; all you need to do is find the right one for you for now. You can always find another niche later. And because you know how to do it, finding the second niche will be much easier. Additionally, finding another niche when you already have a profitable practice is much more fun.