It can be hard to decide who you want to coach. Right after graduating coaching school you’re so filled with inspiration, so clear that “This work is good for everyone!” it’s often stifling to limit yourself to only one or two groups of people to work with.
As a coach you will often hear people say two phrases: “this work helps everyone” and “you need to niche down.”
Both are true, there is no arguing with that. However these concepts are actually way more nuanced than you think. Starting with the fact that you don’t want to work with everyone. There are a lot of different types of people out there, some great and some totally bonkers. There are going to be potential clients that you simply don’t want to coach, and that’s a-ok. Coaching isn’t a one-size fits all solution. It’s a deeply personal experience, and you want to partner with people who you connect with.
This brings us to “niching down”. while it can feel counter-intuitive, it is one of the single most important actions for business growth.
Having a solid niche (or group of people you work with) lets your business get more targeted referrals. How are your friends supposed to recommend your work if they don’t know who you want to work with, or how to talk about what you do exactly?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to only work with ideal clients? Guess what? You can. Having a clear niche lets you do just that. It fills your practice with amazing, ideal clients.
Here are 3 ways to think about niching without feeling oppressed or limited.
THINK ABOUT WHO YOU LOVE TO TALK TO
This seems simple and obvious, so let’s not overcomplicate it. If you adore talking to expectant mothers, even if you’ve never had a child, then your ideal client might just be expectant mothers. Because who we love to talk to is indicative of what topics, types of people, and problems we’re obsessed with. Don’t overlook that when thinking about your ideal clients.
It took me tooooo long to realize that I was obsessed with talking about big business dreams + strategy with my friends. I’m obsessed, and once I got real about that, my business exploded, in the very best way.
THINK ABOUT YOURSELF, 6 MONTHS AGO
We tend to build our business around what we wished we knew when we were getting started.. This might feel cliche, but it’s also totally true. The lessons you learned, skills developed, that could really help past versions of you. Also, people tend to hire who they want to be in 6 months.
Clients want to see you walk your talk. So, what talk are you already walking?
WHAT GROUP OF PEOPLE DO YOU WANT TO SEE SERIOUSLY CHANGE THEIR LIVES?
Because whatever your niche ends up being, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. So it’s important that you’re really revved up to change lives and create massive value and impact for them. If you’re thinking from a place of strategy, or ‘these people are good enough because they have money to spend’ – you’ve got to keep looking.
It’s also ok to NOT want to coach a group of people, even if you could create massive change and value in their lives. I could easily do grief work and coach women who have lost their father too soon. But, right now, that’s not whose lives I want to change most. I love them, I relate to them, but I participate in those communities as a participant, not as a change agent or leader. So, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
I hope you’re starting to see how a niche is an amazing thing for your business, and how to go about choosing one that feels great to you.
Remember, you can always expand and pivot, but not choosing a focus will prevent your coaching business from gaining traction and growth in a reasonable amount of time.