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How to Define Your Niche and Build Your Coaching Business

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how do i decide on a coaching nicheAfter you earn your Life Strategies Coach Certification, you will want to further define your niche and build your client base.  Fortunately, you receive a complete business training system as part of each certification program we offer you.

Coaching Opportunities – Finding your Coaching Niche:

The Spencer Institute Program Focus: Certified Life Strategies Coaching – the foundation for all other varieties of coaching contents.

When you, as a coach, are able to guide your client to discover their True Self/Essence and finding their Passion/Mission, you are creating the foundation and centeredness for all other topics of coaching content to be successful.

Content of Specific Coaching Niches:
Individual Sports / Competitive Sports
Personal Fitness/Health
Academic Excellence
Career and other Transitions
Small Business Coaching
Executive/Corporate Coaching Relationships

Once again this shows the importance of coaching for structure rather than coaching for the surface issues or content only.

Where to market your skills: Whatever Your Niche – Life Strategies work!

Organization – Team Building Leadership – Executive/Manager
Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Individuals Relationships
Career and other Transitions Lifestyle
Fitness and Health
Removing roadblocks to success Resolving Conflicts
Negotiation and Mediation

REMEMBER: As part of your coach training, we’re giving you our extensive coaching business, marketing and client acquisition system.

Your Verbal Business Card for Coaching Services:

Respond to the question, “What do you do?” by answering the underlying question

“What do you do that would be of value to me?” (WIIFM – What’s In It for Me?)

The answer is intended to spark the next question of interest with, “Really? How do you do that?” or “Tell me more.” Now you can talk a little more about what you do which is a benefit to people, corporations or whatever niche you have chosen. Even if the person you are talking to is not in need of your services, they will know someone who is.

Creating a Coaching Client Base

It is important to build a base of clients who then become a valuable part of your referral source. When you are working with your clients, plant the seeds or suggestions for them to share their success resulting from working with you with their friends and colleagues. You may even want to have them give you a testimonial or letter of recommendation to be used in future advertising.

Networking to Find Clients and Build Relationships

Networking is a key way to spread the word about what you do. This can be done more causally with friends and business associates and other activities you are personally involved with – community service, church, school and sports activities are a few examples of places to connect with future clients.

Professional Organization Membership in your Field

Once you have established your niche, there are many professional organizations that have a common interest and a common purpose. Joining these organizations will assist you in gaining visibility and often can help keep your skills sharp.

Community service clubs are ways to build your base of connections and establish personal bonds that become another source of referrals. Entrepreneurial clubs such as The Spark and Young Entrepreneurs generally meet once a month and refer leads to each other. Because of the interest in success of these club members – they also become great opportunities for you to increase your business.

Public Speaking for Coaches

Another way to expand your business clientele is to gather a small interest group and teach them something of value that relates to your coaching practice. Here is where you will need to develop a clear sense of what you can offer the public and then create what is called your “Unique Selling Proposition” and “Value Proposition” dialogue. This means that you can talk about what you do in a way that people are compelled to either personally engage you or refer you to others.

There are many radio talk shows and public access television constantly looking for new material and speakers. This is another way for you to spread the word about your work.

This is how you become a certified professional speaker as a coach.

Articles and Publishing

This segment applies to online and print publishing. Depending on your niche, there is a great aspect of credibility gained when you have the stability and perceived authority that comes from having a book, pamphlets or printed journal articles. Another way to connect with clients and keep your name visible is to do a regular newsletter that is informative and interesting.

With a physical book, whether it is a paperback or a hardcover book, there are two routes you can go. You can self-publish, or you can work with a major publishing house. A couple of things you need to know right off the bat: If you self-publish first, you better do really well or it is going to be really tough to later get a published book deal. So in other words, if you self-publish and you sold 50 copies of your book and then you write a book and they know about your self-published book, you will likely not get an advance and it may even be hard to get picked up to be published. So you may want to decide before hand, are you going to have a major publisher publish and distribute this because distribution is king, or am I just going to go the self-publishing route and do print-on-demand.

Also, there is the eBook option,which is an electronic book. An eBook can be simply a digital copy of a written book just as you have seen it on the bookshelf. You can present it in a digital format, generally a PDF. And of course, within these digital formats you also can tap into all of the different digital/mobile devices as well. Here’s a FREE ebook to help you build your coaching business.

A living eBook is a book that gives the reader a new chapter at a set interval of time. For example, readers get a new chapter every other week for one full year. By the end of the year, they have nearly 26 chapters making up a complete eBook. Why deliver it to readers in a drip format over an entire year versus just giving them the entire eBook right away? One very simple reason – the book does not have to be a complete version at that time of purchase.

By setting up a living eBook, you can immediately advertise your book the moment you have your first chapter written. That is all that is needed in the very beginning. You then would advertise the eBook by explaining that a new chapter will be available every other week (or whichever your delivery rate will be).

As a life coach, you know the power of accountability – so apply the skills of accountability to your profession and have your clients/customers hold you accountable. By immediately setting up and “selling” an eBook – which is a living format – as soon as you have a few people download that first chapter, you now have people holding you accountable to make sure that you get your next chapter written before the due date.

Writing books is a very complex topic, but there are some fundamentals you need to know before you get started. The process can be very time-consuming, it is very involved; but in the end it is worth it. Finishing a book from start to finish really does require a great deal of discipline to get complete.

Your Niche as a Coach

You are probably aware that any coaching professional needs specialized training understand the importance of acquiring additional education. All coaches will want a primary designation that gives them the foundational tools to learn how to communicate effectively, how to act responsibly as a coach, and to learn how to elicit the excellence that is inside of your clients – who are, in effect, your students.

A lot of the specialized or “niche” coaching programs don’t focus on the fundamental principles that our life coaching program does; and as long as people realize that the life coaching programs are designed to give you that foundation to where you have the skill set necessary to go out and then find your niche, then you are going to be on the right track.

But if people look at a life coaching program as the end-all be-all, then they might get into trouble because they will think, “Well, now I’ve learned it and now I am ready to go out and do it”, but the challenge with that is that we are becoming more and more of an niched society and if you don’t have a specific niche in your coaching business, you most likely are going to encounter tough times.

The majority of successful coaches start out as “coaches” but have learned to move into a specific niche. This makes sense because if you have a specialty in one area, it will save you a lot of time because you will already be able to anticipate all of the questions, all of the challenges, and all of the obstacles that those people in that specific niche will incur; whereas, if you are a generalized life coach – while you will have the skills of communication – you may not have the specific expertise necessary to help them move to the next level in whatever area that they are seeking.

Here are more ideas to help select your coaching niche.

Avoid Being too Broad in Defining Your Niche.

If you are too broad, you might simply say that you are a “life coach.” This is similar to being a general practitioner as a medical doctor, as an example. When we think about a general practitioner as compared to a neurosurgeon, a neurosurgeon makes far more money, is in higher regard, and in higher demand for more important challenges. That’s just one example.

Another example – if you are a fitness coach – and you simply tell others “I am a personal trainer,” this would be very general and this is not much of a specific niche. If you are interested in adding fitness to your coaching business niche, see the NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification.

However, there should be some limits within your niche. If you are a coaching professional who has drilled down into your niche so much that your specialization is women who have recently gone through divorce (or that are going through a midlife crisis), that live within two miles of your home, that are available on Monday and Wednesday nights for a group meeting, who want to develop bigger biceps using only kettlebells, then this is clearly being too specific.

Any time you want to develop a niche in your business, there are really fundamentally two questions that you should ask yourself and I got these two questions:

1. Who do you like? Because ultimately, if you pick a niche which consists of people that you don’t enjoy working with, you are not going to be happy, no matter how much money you make.

2. Who makes money? When you have a list of all of the types of people you like or respect and a list of all the types of people who make a lot of money, find the commonalities in those two columns and there is going to be an indication with where your niche will lie, because if you work with people that you really like but don’t make a lot of money, you are going to have a hard time making business.

Why is this? If you wanted to become the life coach for surfers, you might like surfing, but how many surfers are really committed to hiring a life coach and have the money to do so? Unless they are pro surfers, they probably are not going to even have the money to afford a coach so it wouldn’t be a good niche.

Likewise, if a coach picks from a group that you know make a lot of money but you don’t like, for example – let’s say you know that defense attorneys make a lot of money but you ultimately do not like defense attorneys – no matter how much money you make with them, you are not going to feel fulfilled. You are going to go through burn-out, you are going to dislike your job. It is not going to be enjoyable for you. Find people that you both like and admire for their success. That is your niche. Taking these steps will help you find success in your practice.

Your Slogan for Your Coaching Business

Your slogan should zoom right into your target market and say one of two things:

1. Who are you and what do you do?
2. Who are you and what is the benefit?

For example, consider a slogan such as “The Professional Speaking Experts”. What does that imply? It implies that if you want to become a professional speaker, you can consider this person’s business as an option to help you learn to be a public speaker. You would avoid saying “Jand Doe, Incorporated – Committed to Excellence Beyond Belief,” because that is not going to speak to a specific need. The slogan needs to speak to your niche. In fact, the slogan really needs to alienate anyone and everyone else who doesn’t fit into your niche program. So people, for example, who have a desire to be a professional speaker, will look at this slogan and they will think, “I don’t know if this is what I’m looking for”. You have to be very clear when you develop your slogan and what it is that you want to convey.

Networking versus Marketing

This is probably one of the most important things you can do for your coaching career and your coaching business. Branding is the unique attributes that make you, your company, or your product identifiable to your potential customer.

Before getting into a definition of branding, lets take a step back and define sales and marketing, because a lot of coaches think that they are branding when, in fact, they are actually selling. What is the difference between the three? Let’s talk about selling.

Selling is what you do to convince people to give you money and that is it in its purest, simplest form. How do you know when you are selling? Usually, if your lips are moving or if your prospects are accessing you via a website where it says, “Buy now” or “Click Here to Purchase,” or, “Add to Shopping Cart”, then you are selling. That’s it. Those are the only times when you are typically selling somebody something. Remember, selling is what you do to convince people to give you money.

What is marketing? That is what you do to get people to know who you are. This can also can be selling because when you are selling, you are also marketing. But when you are marketing, you may not necessarily be selling. Marketing could be things like your website, your brochures, your business cards, your networking, your community service, and your charitable contributions, anything where somebody might find out about you; this is known as a marketing channel.

Branding is even more specific. Branding, is the unique attribute of your service; the best phrase to describe branding is making an emotional connection. Branding is the emotional connection that people associate to you and your product and the benefit it provides for them.

One of the challenges seen with new life coaches is that branding, to them, seems too self-serving. It is as if new coaches think somehow that brainding is too self- serving and they don’t want to “promote themselves”.

Though, in essence, if you don’t promote yourself and build your brand, it is very unlikely that anyone else will.

Here are more ideas for affordable marketing strategies for coaches.

The fundamental rule in developing a brand identity is this:

If your branding is not powerful enough to repel the audience that you do not want, it will never be attractive enough to attract the audience that you do want.

Consider these digital marketing ideas for coaches.

You can build an exciting career in coaching and realize your dreams of a richer, more fulfilling lifestyle for yourself, all while doing something you love. Our industry is booming as more coaches realize the tangible benefits of coaching in both the private and business sectors. Since you have learned a new skill and earned a new credential, now is the perfect time to establish a solid coaching business that endures through tough economic times and is applicable in virtually any demographic.

Here are 13 additional marketing ideas to get more coaching clients.

Not sure which program to start? Click here to view them all.  You can always contact us for help deciding as well.

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