How to target a niche for your coaching business
Most successful coaches aren’t just generic coaches but have a specific area where they focus their work. That’s because when people search for a life coach they usually have a particular problem they are trying to solve: for instance a career challenge, relationship problem, confidence issue, or health goal.
Therefore "life coach" is really just an umbrella term for the many different types of coaching. And contrary to popular belief, if you want to rapidly build your business you will eventually need to choose a niche vs. going mass.
Once you decide on your niche and build experience and expertise in that area, you can start coaching clients. The more you coach, the more you’ll begin to understand the type of person who truly flourishes under your guidance.
At that point you’ll be able to build what we call a persona — a detailed representation of your ideal client that will help you get better at finding the right clients and adding the most value to them.
Read on for more detail about finding your niche and developing your persona. Or enroll in our e-Course on starting a coaching business where we dedicate a full module to this step in your coaching business plan.
Determining your niche
Before you become a life coach you'll want to assess your experience and interests in order to choose an area of focus. That's because "life coach" is actually just an umbrella term for the many different types of coaching including business, health, financial, relationship, and more.
Your area of focus is beneficial at the start of your coaching career as it enables you to focus your training and build credibility. However, it takes actually coaching several clients before you get a good sense of your niche. That's because a niche helps you refine who your ideal client is within your chosen topic.
For instance, instead of broadly being a business coach you may realize you really have a knack for helping startups and small businesses instead of larger organizations. And within the startup space, you may choose to target female entrepreneurs because you're eager to help them breakthrough the barriers that still exist for women startup founders.
Creating your persona
Your niche clarifies who you are targeting so you can get better at sourcing, nurturing and closing the right leads for your coaching business. In order to be even smarter about finding and retaining coaching clients, you should develop a persona.
As mentioned this is a detailed representation of your ideal client that you can write out and keep handy especially when making marketing decisions. Here are some examples of questions to ask when crafting the persona for your coaching business:
Where does my client live?
How old is my client?
What is my client's gender?
What is his/her profession?
What is their income?
What are their ideals?
What goals does my client aspire to achieve?
What are some of their biggest fears and challenges?
Where would I find this client to position my services?
What coaching methods work well with them?
When answering these questions keep in mind your "ideal" client. You'll have to make some generalizations that may not all be true for your actual clients. However, this helps you paint a better picture of the type of person you want to coach.