October 20, 2022 by Amanda Reill
There are many who hold the title “life coach” or “executive coach,” but there is only one you. When you start a small business like coaching, one of the most prominent pieces of advice you’ll hear is to “niche down.” The reasoning for this is two-fold. It is easier to corner a particular niche in the market than it is to market yourself among the many voices who are generalized. The second part is that your passion for that particular niche shines through in your work, leading to an easier, happier time all around for both you and your clients. Anyone who has been coached can attest to the fact that the value of coaching is best “sold” through the coaching itself. Marketing what we do can be challenging, though!
Building a successful, fulfilling coaching career is not necessarily about bringing the most leads out of a sea of prospective clients — it’s about finding the right ones. Think about it like a store. It’s much easier to sell shoes if you open a shoe store, because you know the people who walk in that door want shoes, whether now, or later. It’s not as easy to sell shoes if you open a general store, because the customer who walks through the door might need a loaf of bread, instead of shoes. Niching down is one way to attract “your people” to yourself. Finding the right clients is a great way to make you a more effective coach.
Many people prefer to hire a specialist when they’re looking for someone they trust. A coach and client relationship can feel like an intimate and vulnerable one, even without a niche. But imagine the possibilities when you are an expert in the niche they need help with. This is where niching comes in. There are infinite possibilities to your niche potential.
Here are five to get your wheels turning.
Executive functioning skills are those that help us manage the details of our lives. Organization, task prioritization, focus, time management, and task completion are a few. This niche is growing in popularity because everyone, no matter their age or life stage, has to get things done.
Many executive functioning coaches focus on students, seeking to help them get an early start on strong habits. Others exclusively serve people diagnosed with ADHD.
In order to niche down even further, you could be a focus coach for people working on doctoral dissertations or large creative projects. If you have experience in a particular industry, you’re uniquely positioned to know the needs of that industry and can create a niche around it!
The field of relationship coaching is growing rapidly, and while it is not exclusive to intimate relationships, more and more people are realizing they can incorporate professional help into their long-term romantic partnership strategies. Love can put blinders on us, and having someone who is experienced in coaching can help us set better boundaries, improve communications, and get our priorities straight.
Many coaches have connected with clients through zeroing in on a specific demographic of dating coaching. Introverted Alpha is an example of one such niche dating coaching company, who describe themselves this way on their website: “Hi, we are Introverted Alpha: an oasis for goodhearted men who are analytical and logical by nature: engineers, business owners, honest men who are used to solving problems in a linear way.” This is an excellent example of connecting with a precise target audience! Men who fall into this category are likely reassured that they’ll be understood.
Your expertise may be in maintaining committed partnerships with busy careers or while traveling. Or it may be helping folks find new love after a decades-long relationship ends. You may start out as a general dating coach and find that your niche actually finds you!
When we transition to a new season of life, it can feel like all the balls we’re juggling are thrown up into the air. Transitions in and out of parenthood, in and out of relationships, in and out of careers change everything they touch. This is a very common time for a person to seek out a coach, so it’s a great niche to be positioned in.
Some variations of transition coaching are:
The health and wellness coaching industry is one of the oldest niches, and there will be swathes of clients looking for general health coaches. But those who are seeking a specific wellness lifestyle, such as plant-based eating, may benefit from a specialist!
Whatever health and wellness experience you carry into your coaching practice can make its way into a niche. It may be another diet plan like keto or paleo, or specified fitness like Crossfit or yoga, or even something such as long term diabetes management.
These niches work well for group coaching if you prefer to create groups of support.
An organized space is an organized mind. Many people feel overwhelmed and bewildered at the idea of re-organizing their home and think it might be impossible without an accountability partner. Getting someone in the passenger’s seat is an amazing step toward success.
Niching down in this area of coaching is highly attractive. We all have homes. Studies have shown these homes impact our mental health. As a coach, you may have skills unique to this area.
Home decluttering and minimalistic living came to the forefront of our minds when Marie Kondo released her book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2010. Since then, many people have been intrigued by the idea of keeping items that “spark joy,” as Kondo says.
Additionally, you may have skills in design or aesthetic that can assist you in walking a client through their ideal living space. The sky's the limit! Your solutions lie within.
You may not be ready for a super-specific niche yet. It may rise to the surface later, or you may pivot several times throughout your career. The key to thinking in a niche is asking what problems you are uniquely equipped to help people solve. Get some experience exploring those niche areas with practice clients and see if it fits! Who knows, you could be the next expert in the field.
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PO Box 2021
Hood River, Oregon 97031