A Coaching Niche To Make You Rich

If you are a regular reader of this Blog and you’re not already a coach, or training to become one, there’s a good chance that becoming a life coach is something you have given serious consideration to.

If so, I’ve been in the business long enough now to know what’s likely to be holding you back.

There are about half a dozen questions that 90% of people considering a career in life coaching routinely ask. Right up in the rankings is: “Can I make a success out of this?”

I normally preface my stock answer with the following quote from Henry Ford (see the box below:)

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right!”

– Henry Ford

Coaching Niche
 

A Coaching Niche To Make You Rich (continued)

 

The best guarantor of success

Like with pretty much any new venture in life, there are no cast iron guarantees of success when it comes to life coaching. Success itself is a very subjective concept, meaning very different things to different people … but that’s the topic of a different post!

Rather ironically, the best guarantor of success in life coaching is to undertake comprehensive training. You cannot be effective in applying tools and techniques to assist others to lead their best lives if you haven’t mastered those tools and techniques in your own life.

The great majority of people who complete our training attest to the fact that their own lives change substantially for the better as a result. We would offer this as sufficient endorsement for an investment in training, regardless of whether one continues on to take up a full time career in coaching.

Nevertheless, let’s get back to answering the question we raised at the beginning.

Success and money

Rightly or wrongly, most people, if pressed to explain what they mean by success, would bring up the issue of money and whether they could make enough through coaching to live comfortably. This is fair enough. After all, money is the chosen currency of exchange for humanity and we need it to survive and, preferably, prosper.

I could rabbit on about the subjective nature of what it means to live comfortably but in doing so you might think i was trying to avoid the question, so let me rather be upfront with a very honest answer.

Keep off the vanilla

“Yes, without any doubt – provided that you stay committed and keep off the vanilla.”

“What on earth are you getting at?” I can almost hear you grumble.

Before you think that I’m finally losing my coaching marbles, let me explain by way of an example.

Brett and Brittany

Brett and Brittany are two newly certified life coaches. With a view to developing their practices both embark on a campaign to promote their services within their in their local communities.

Brent reasons: “The more clients the merrier.” It makes no difference to him who they are or what their backgrounds or interests are.  He’s happy to take on anyone who can see the value of life coaching. After all, he’s been taught that, at least in theory, every person could benefit from having a coach.

Brett takes the shotgun approach to marketing. He places a bulk order for a thousand business cards and flyers, buys a mailing list of people living within a 30km radius of his home and sets up a basic website. He promotes himself as a general life coach, working with all types of people and he summarises his offer as ‘Helping YOU lead your best life.’

Brett spends the next month working tirelessly to distribute his promotional material throughout the community via bulk emails, mailbox drops, pinning leaflets to community bulletin boards and handing them out in shopping malls.

Brittany takes a very different approach. She decides to narrow her target market to a field that really captures her interest and that she can relate to, namely career women who are first time mothers or mothers-to-be.

Brittany takes a two-pronged approach to her marketing. She gets a list of medium to large companies from her local chamber of commerce and writes to the HR managers to promote her services. At the same time she books a modest but centrally located venue that will accommodate a talk for 40-50 people in a month’s time. She also creates a small but attractive website designed to take bookings for the talk.

Brittany promotes herself as an expert in work-life balance for corporate mothers, and her catch phrase is: ‘Love life as a working Mum’. Her plan is to offer a free one hour talk on work life balance for a limited audience and she will use that to sell her ongoing coaching services.

Who would you bet your money on?

Ok, so assuming both Brett and Brittany are fully committed and work equally hard at their plans, which one do you think will attract more clients after a month or so of promoting their services?

I can tell you through experience that Brittany’s chances of success are a serious order of magnitude higher than Brett’s.

But why?

The vanilla trap

Brett has fallen into the ‘vanilla’ trap, a common marketing mistake made by many, if not most, new life coaches.

By trying to appeal to everyone and anyone, he will likely end up appealing to no-one.

Also, by promoting himself as a ‘life coach’, he is making a very dangerous assumption that (a) his potential clients will automatically understand what he is offering and somehow appreciate the benefits of his services and (b) that he will stand out from other life coaches in his area.

Niche marketing

Brittany, on the other hand, has cleverly identified a niche market and ways to zero in on that market through employers who have a vested interest in nurturing their talent. Her free talk offers her prospects a no-risk way to test her claims.

In the US, the word niche (of French origin and pronounced ’neesh’) is pronounced ‘nitch’. American marketers are fond of using the rhyme: “It’s the niche that makes you rich”.

Choose a niche

In my opinion, life coaches (and, in fact, anyone appealing to a potentially broad market) would do well to heed this.

It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to come up with a variety of different niche markets that life coaches can exploit, such as young adults,  newlyweds, people entering retirement, stay-at-home mothers, business executives … and even other coaches!

Choose your flavour – just not vanilla

Once the niche has been chosen, time and energy can be devoted to re-inventing the vanilla term ‘life coach’ to be more appealing and appropriate to the respective niche.

After all, if your aim is to coach people who want to manage their finances better, which description of what you do will best hit the mark:

‘Life coach’, or ‘Financial Freedom coach’?

 

This is the official Blog for New Insights Life Coach Training. Find out more about life coaching and becoming a life coach here:

SA/Africa: http://www.life-coach-training-sa.com

UK/Europe: http://www.life-coach-training-uk.com

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18 Comments

  1. Kathy Bam
    Aug 23, 2017

    Many thanks Bill, reading this as a new trainee coach has re-enforced that I have chosen the right path of study for me. I look forward to reaching the point where I can decide on my niche market.

    • Bill
      Aug 23, 2017

      Wonderful!

  2. Neo Menwe
    Jun 25, 2017

    Thank you so much Bill.
    I fully agree with this niche marketing strategy, Yes a life coach can help most people in different aspects of life, however I believe the unique gift in us is channelled to a specific aspect of life.
    I understand and thank you once again.

  3. Catherine Chisnall
    Jun 5, 2017

    I am a bit confused. I’ve read many times that finding a coaching niche is important to reach the clients you can really help, so I’ve been working out what mine would be.
    But recently I was told by a life coach that we must say on our website that we can help everyone, because narrowing down to a niche may become boring and put off clients we could potentially help e.g. if I was a coach specialising in business, I should still help someone who wanted to lose weight, if they came to me.
    ??

    • Bill
      Jun 6, 2017

      Hi Catherine. Actually I think I answered your question in the post. I believe that the advice you were given represents the mistake that so many coaches make – trying to appeal to everyone and then ending up appealing to no-one.

      My suggestion is not to be shy about marketing to your chosen niche. You will enjoy the coaching more anyway. If a client comes around who is not in your niche and still wants coaching then of course you can accept them if you want to. Just don’t dilute your marketing message!

  4. Lindiwe
    May 31, 2017

    Thank you Bill really helpful to know the approach and strategy to apply right from the beginning as a new life coach student.

    • Bill
      Jun 6, 2017

      You’re welcome Lindiwe

  5. Nina Cleland
    May 31, 2017

    Jack of all trades, and master of none springs to mind. My Dad always used to say find the one thing you’re good at and do that. Quality over quantity I guess.

    • Bill
      May 31, 2017

      Wise words from your Dad!

    • Catherine
      Jun 5, 2017

      Don’t forget though, the full quote reads:

      Jack of all trades
      Master of none
      Oftentimes better
      Than master of one

      Some of us are good at many things/ areas/ niches 🙂

  6. Yolande Olhaus
    May 31, 2017

    Great blog Bill, I have seen a huge change in the numbers of clients I have been attracting since I started communicate my niche and know who to market to and how speak to my potential clients pain points!

    • Bill
      May 31, 2017

      Thanks for bearing out what I have said!

  7. Karen
    May 31, 2017

    Thank you so much for this well substantiated advice, Bill. You chose 2 very clear examples of two possible strategies and the consequences of both. With this “New Insight” we are all well equipped to succeed in the niche markets in which we have chosen to work.

    • Bill
      May 31, 2017

      Thanks Karen!

  8. Patrick Tarpey
    May 31, 2017

    As a native Englishman I thought I would try to come up with my own saying. ” Success is within your reach, if you decide upon a niche” Not as pithy as the American one but at least I don’t have to pronounce niche incorrectly

    • Bill
      May 31, 2017

      I like it!

  9. Zandile Shaba
    May 31, 2017

    Wow. This is enlightening. Just yesterday I asked someone who is in the recruitment industry whether Life coaching was something that people would value in Malawi. She said she didn’t think that “people would pay for those kind of services here”. By using the generic term “Life Coach” she didn’t see much value in that. However, if I had framed it in a niche that people can identify with, explained the result of what would be accomplished in that niche, I think she would have responded differently. Thanks for the post.

    • Bill
      May 31, 2017

      I’m glad the post could reinforce what you have heard!

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