You’ve decided to become a life coach. Perhaps you’ve done some coach training. You’re ready to start your coaching business. Now what?
Your next challenge is to pick a life coaching niche.
And this is where many new coaches get stuck. They agonize for weeks over their options.
They worry about turning clients down or excluding them from their programs. They have too many ideas. Or too few.
They are afraid to commit to one niche.
I don’t want this to be you. And so, in today’s post I lay out five steps to help you find the perfect niche for your life coaching business.
For a complete guide on how to start your coaching business, check out my book Make Money As A Life Coach. When you follow the steps in this book you’ll not only start your business, you’ll also sign your first paying client(s) in as little as 30 days.
Why It Pays To Niche Down
First, let’s talk about why you want to pick a life coaching niche.
Let’s say you’re suffering with a problem in your career. You can’t figure out why you are constantly being passed up for promotions.
After years of struggling, you decide to invest in a coach. You want to find someone who can help you advance your career.
If this is you, would you rather hire a life coach, or a career coach?
Most people would hire a career coach because he or she is expert in helping people advance their careers. Even further along those same lines, would you rather spend your money on:
- A career coach or …
- A career coach for busy working mothers.
Assuming you are a busy working mother, you’d probably choose to hire the coach who not only specializes in career coaching but also in career coaching specifically for working mothers.
If people are going to invest their time and money in a coach, they want to know you understand exactly where they have been, what they are struggling with and how to overcome their specific struggles.
When you niche down, you get more customers and can charge a premium for your services. Also, your business is more fulfilling for you as a coach.
When you are passionate about your niche, growing and marketing your business is effortless. You know how to speak to your ideal clients, what to include on your website, and where to market your business to find the most clients.
How To Pick A Life Coaching Niche
Choosing a life coaching niche can seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, figuring out your niche should be a lot of fun for new coaches.
And don’t worry about feeling trapped. You can change areas or hone your niche as you get more experience. So, don’t let the fear of getting it wrong stop your progress or keep you from starting.
Having said that, though … I do suggest that you spend time in self-reflection before embracing your specialty and investing time in it.
Give yourself at least a week to dig deep and discover what speaks to you.
Next up, I’m going to walk you through how to do this. There are five steps to choosing your perfect niche.
Step 1: List Your Skill Sets
Grab a pen and paper or open a document on your computer.
I want you to list at least 20 things that you excel at. Yes, I said at least 20! That may seem like a lot, but once you get started, you’ll probably rattle them off easily.
For example, are you good with numbers? Are you organized? Are you skilled at time management? Do you have a degree? Good with children? Confident public speaker? Know the Bible from front to back? Love to write?
Don’t overthink it. Write anything and everything that comes to mind.
If you are struggling to come up with 20 different skill sets, take a break and come back to it later. Ask a few friends or family members for ideas.
When you’re done, circle five skill sets in your list that you identify with the most or have the most experience with.
Step 2: List Your Life Experiences
Now, list the experiences in your life which have had a big impact on you. For example:
- Had a baby in the NICU
- Gone through a nasty divorce
- Lost a family member
- Been in a management or leadership position
- Had a child with a learning disability
- Completed an MBA or other advanced degree
Step 3: List The Wisdom You’ve Gained
Next to each of your life experiences, write out the wisdom you gained through that life experience.
If you went through a divorce, did you learn how to hire the best lawyer? Or did you learn how to emotionally cope with losing someone you loved?
If you have held a leadership position, did you learn how to motivate your team? Did you learn how to interview for a promotion?
Try to list five things you learned through each of your experiences.
Step 4: Dig A Little Deeper
Before selecting your life coaching niche, you should have a clear understanding of yourself. So, let’s dig a little deeper. Ask yourself the following questions and write out your answers.
- What do the people closest to you say about you? How do they describe you?
- What comes easily to you that you love doing?
- Which of your skills do you perform almost daily without really thinking about it?
- What could you talk about for hours on end?
- What do people say you excel in?
- What is unique about you?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- What do people naturally come to you for help with?
- What brings you the most joy in life?
- What type of person are you most comfortable speaking to (e.g. women in their 50s)?
Don’t over-analyze your responses. There are no right or wrong answers. Write down what comes to your mind first.
The point of this exercise is to gain clarity about yourself.
Step 5: Combine and Create
At the intersection of your existing skill set, life experience, and wisdom gained lies the focal point for your business. You want to select a niche that will allow you to leverage what you already have.
If it doesn’t come to you right away, give yourself some time to mull it over. Here are a few examples of niches to demonstrate that the options are endless.
- Spiritual coaching for people dealing with grief
- Financial management coaching for college graduates
- Stress management coaching for executive level managers
- Public speaking coaching for motivational speakers
- Healthcare coaching for stay-at-home-moms
- Relationship coaching for newly wedded couples
- Work/life balance coaching for working mothers
- Sex coaching for menopausal women
- Health coaching for overweight teens
- Emotional coaching for divorced men
These sound a lot more interesting than “life coach,” right? If you had a specific problem, would you hire someone from this list?
As you go through this exercise, you will see how your specific skill set and passions can be combined to create a thriving coaching business that has clients lining up at your doorstep.
Get creative. The more specific your specialty, the clearer you are on who you want to work with.
This clarity will improve your marketing and targeting. And the stronger your marketing and targeting, the more likely your ideal clients are to purchase your programs.
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