To Niche or NOT to Niche? That is the Confounded Goodly Question!

by Louise Crooks

There has been a lot of confusing information being shared about niching, which might have gotten you a bit befuddled. And certainly would Hamlet, if he’d ever had to ask himself this question!

I want to put the record straight, and give you a few tips too.

Ultimately what any coach or health practitioner wants, and I hope I’m speaking for you, is to help as many clients as possible and have a thriving practice. Am I right?

Here is the truth: whether you call it target market, niche or ideal client – the reality is that you need a focus coaching a group of people with specific challenges in common, all wanting the same thing. And if you’re aligned with their values, spirituality or political persuasion well that is just peachy. (actually is pretty important too! ;))

Ok I’m being a bit irreverent but I’m a bit ticked off with all this double-speak confusing the life out of folks when it comes to creating and defining a niche. When in fact it’s pivotal to your success.

Find your niche

One of the cornerstones to building a successful practice is to choose that special group of people you want to work with. (also known as niche marketing – making your life so much easier filling your practice when marketing to a specific group of people)

Why? Because when you focus on them and their specific challenges and you start speaking directly to them in language that they can understand, they will without hesitation raise their hand and say ‘name, knows exactly what I’m going through, and she /he is the coach for me’.

Here’s an example:
‘I’m a coach working with women going through divorce , wanting to get through the rollercoaster ride in one piece with the possibility of happiness again.

Here’s another:
I’m a corporate coach working with middle managers who are new to management and making a hash of it – helping them to communicate effectively with their team, earn their respect, as well as produce great results.

And another:
I’m a relationship coach helping men in latter years build their confidence and find their 2nd time round soulmate.

It’s a little different to ‘I’m a coach, and I help women move from where they are now to where they want to be’. The more general and unspecific you are about the group of people you’re focusing on, their challenges and the solution they want, the less likely people will work with you. It’s really as simple as that. Because you’re not connecting.

Here are a couple tips to help you decide who your ideal client is (your niche) and start seeing some results:
1) Think of a time that was pivotal to your growth, and how you might be able to support people going through the same thing. This could be a huge challenge, change, illness or shift.
2) Think about something you’re extremely passionate about or get on your soap-box about…where you want to make difference.

The truth is that often our ideal clients reflect who we once were. Eg: struggled conceive or couldn’t find a job, or went broke, or got divorced.  Remember a turning point in your life.
They could be people we have a deep connection to because of something we’ve experienced with someone close to us eg: parent with cancer, or sister being bullied.
Or they could be people we’re able support because of expertise we acquired along the way whether formally through university or through the school of hard-knocks.

Ironically, the narrower your focus, the more success is likely. For a lot of coaches letting go of a more general focus or multiple groups, is difficult. Many have been where you may be. But it’s not forever, put one on the backburner, and pick that one focus that has more of a calling to you now. Give it your all and see what happens.

And remember, whatever those marketing ‘gurus’ are calling it, just know that having that focus will help you do more of what you’re meant to do in the world and help more people.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!  And if you liked it please ‘share’ it.

This is also a prelude to a training I’m giving for the Go Big Video Summit – I’ll update the details here shortly! So you can dive into this even more deeply.

You are most welcome to use this article in your own blog as long as you include at the bottom:  This article was written by Louise Crooks, the KeystoClarity! Advocate – business coach to health coaches, holistic practitioners and integrative healers.  Learn more about her at www.keystoclarity.com 

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