"Do you think a coach needs a niche in order to succeed?"
No. But, I think most coaches will find success more quickly once they do select the right niche market for them. And, it will make the marketing process so much simpler and more effective.
Yes, a lot of this does come down to marketing. It has to do with who you want to serve. Another way to look at it is, "Who do you do your best work with?" Why not focus on them?
When Should you Select a Niche Market?
I selected a niche market before I ever served my first client. My initial market was too broad and my message wasn't specific, appealing and compelling enough. And my business model was not profitable. I have since adjusted my niche market three times and am now satisfied I'm serving the right clients. And my clients are getting results.
I think you can select a niche market at any time and you can also change it. The main challenge is that it costs money to change your brand, your message and your marketing materials. And changes can create confusion in the marketplace. But, as time goes on, people who will come to know you, you will attract your ideal clients, and they will refer you. And your alliance partners will also refer and help you.
I do think there is an intuitive component to selecting a niche market, but I don't see a problem with selecting a market before you have figured it all out.
Rick's Niche Market:
I work with entrepreneurs who want to grow their business. I help them make more money and spend less time doing it. I specialize in working with Coaches, Speakers and Experts. I help them attract their ideal clients.
I have a broad market and a niche market. I see myself as a Coach, but I am also an Author and a Speaker. And I create products (books, workbooks, audio programs, home study courses, etc.) that are applicable to my broader market also.
Who Do You Do Your Best Work With?
Niche Market Challenges:
The trouble with a niche market is it can drive away prospective customers for products and programs. However, it does allow you to target your marketing message so it really appeals to your ideal clients. A niche market is very important for identifying your coaching clients. In my opinion, one-on-one clients should be from your niche market. It's who you do your best work with. And taking on anyone as a client can lead to problems and a lack of results. It's better to refer a coaching client who is not a good fit for you.
I have learned from Michael Port, Andrea Lee, Jeff Sooey and others who understand the coaching community and what works for coaches. And online marketing lends itself to a niche focus.
Coach Websites and Marketing Materials:
I've seen too many boring (and ineffective) coaches websites that give me no clue as to who the coach best serves. And that makes it tough to identify who to refer them. And it does nothing to generate a lead to advance the enrollment process. You want to have your website and other marketing materials attract clients and generate leads. And the rest is up to you.
If you want to attract your ideal clients, you need to select a niche market.
I have spoken to some coaches that do not have a niche market and are happy to serve a variety of clients. Maybe that works fine for them.
Become a Go To Person People Can Easily Refer:
For coaches who are all over the map, it can hold them back from becoming a "Go To" person who solves a particular type of problem.
Your niche market may not simply be about who you serve, but the types of problems you solve. Be known for something. Make yourself easy to refer. Increase your visibility. Provide tips, strategies and ideas that help people. And that will bring your ideal clients to your doorstep.
In the End, It's Up to You:
There's more than one way to build a successful coaching practice. Attract your ideal clients and build the business of your dreams!
Source: Content was original posted in the New Coach Connection Forum by Rick Cooper