How to get clear on your niche

Getting clear on your niche as a coach can be really bloody hard – and I’m most definitely speaking from experience here!

I’m a classic multi-passionate, I’m interested in lots of different topics and this has always made it hard for me to decide where to put my focus and how to communicate what it is I do.

But what is a niche anyway?

‘A small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer. Market niches do not exist by themselves, but are created by identifying needs or wants that are not being addressed by competitors, and by offering products that satisfy them’Business Dictionary

So if you’re trying to decide how to craft your niche as a coach I hope these tips give you some ideas…

Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll talk about the competitors bit too!

Focus on the problem you solve

Many people spend ages creating detailed ideal client avatars, and don’t get me wrong, these exercises can be helpful and serve a purpose. But what’s far more important and way simpler when it comes to niching is being clear on the problem you solve for people.

My coach asked me this question last year and I couldn’t answer it – it was a big wake up call for me that I needed to make a change in my business.

Now most coaches will probably help people solve multiple problems, but by focusing on the biggest problem it means you can really clearly communicate how you can help them and in what way.

People will generally pay more for support to solve problems, not just for things that would be nice to change. Be an aspirin not a vitamin.

As your business develops what you might find is that different services and different products are designed to solve different connected problems.

In my self care business the key problem is women not having the time or energy to take care of themselves and feeling like crap as a result – the connected problems are mindset, disconnection, overwhelm and stress.

In this business (helping coaches) the key problem is women feeling confused and overwhelmed around the next steps in their business with connected problems of not having an online presence (or one that’s crap), not feeling confident and not making money!

So… what problems do you solve?

Write a brand statement

When I was at Atomicon, Chris Ducker talked about writing a personal brand statement and how this can help you communicate how you help people and the problem you solve.

It’s basically a sentence or two that sums up what you do.

Here’s the formula: I help (people) (do something) so they (outcome)

Here’s my statements for my businesses:

‘I help women get clear, creative and confident so they can create enjoyable, profitable coaching businesses’

‘I help women take better care of themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually so they can get more shit done, have more fun and feel more awesome’

Give this a try for your business – it’s also super helpful when it comes to telling people what it is you do!

Know when to let stuff go / create something new

The biggest lesson I’ve learned when it comes to niching is knowing when to let something go so you can create a more focused niche. Not so long ago I was trying to focus my brand under the very general umbrella of being ‘wholehearted’. The problem with this is that it just wasn’t all the clear what wholehearted really was – I wasn’t able to be as focused as I wanted to be with my content and everything felt a bit unclear.

Then I decided to split my business into two – my self care coaching business and my supporting coaches business.

Sometimes two different elements actually work well together within a niche, but more often than not it’s far easier for your potential customers if you keep it simple and clear.

Another thing to think of around this is if you ever think you’re solving two key totally unrelated problems you need to drop one (or create a separate business or offering depending on how it connects or does not connect)

Do some market research

It’s really easy to skip this bit when you’re setting up your business but market research is essential. It doesn’t have to be anything scary – you can talk to people who are experiencing the problems you’ll be solving, you can check out the comments sections of other coaches or bloggers posts on topics related to your niche, you can do an actual survey (I often survey my email list, usually once a year), even check out the reviews on Amazon for books in your niche. Basically what we’re looking for is understanding how people describe the problem they’re experiencing in their own words.

This is really important when it comes to getting clear because you need to be able to communicate what it is you do in a way that your ideal client (the person experiencing the problem) is going to understand it and connect with it.

Don’t forget ‘you’

While the main element of your nice is the problem you solve another part of your niche comes down to you. In the description of niche I included at the start of the post it mentioned ‘not being addressed by competitors’. The truth is, in this day and age unless you happen to have a very specific and narrow niche you’re going to find other coaches who also help people with the same problems you’d like to help them with.

This is where your brand in general, your messaging and you all come into play. For example there’s any number of weight loss coaches out there who help people lose weight – but what’s going to make them different is how they help people lose weight, the approach they use, who they are and their own experiences, how they look etc.

This is why having a strong brand alongside your niche is vital when it comes to helping you stand out online from a sea of ‘competitors’. I say competitors in air quotes because I believe that when your brand is really strong it’s almost like creating a niche of you. No one else can touch you when you’re being uniquely yourself. 

Coming up with a clearly defined niche can be tricky, but hopefully these tips will help you on your way! Don’t forget I offer a business clarity call where we can spend some time helping you get much clearer around all of this – and also try not to get too strung up around it all. Your niche will likely shift and change the more you work with clients and discover your own zone of genius – don’t let finding the ‘perfect niche’ become an excuse for procrastination either!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this – have these tips been helpful? What’s your niche? Or are you still thinking about it?

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