It feels counterintuitive to specialize instead of generalizing, but coaches who niche down end up making more money. The trick is to choose a niche correctly. Generalizing will hurt your business in the long run.
It is not helpful or necessary to try to appeal to everyone.
Two important questions to ask yourself when choosing a niche market are:
- Who you want to help.
- What you want to help them do.
Once these two questions are answered, you are on your way.
This information should find its way into your tagline. Instead of ‘Business Coach,’ you can be a ‘Business Coach for Sales Executives who Want to make their First Million.’
A dating coach can be a dating coach for busy women who want to find success in love. Or for shy men who want to date beautiful women.
There are three general themes that almost every coaching business falls into Relationships, Work/Money, and Health/Fitness. Your coaching practice will fall into one of the three areas.
So here are the four features of a good target market for a coaching business:
Choose a target market that is large enough. If the people you are looking for are too few, you will have a hard time sustaining the growth of your business. There will be growth at the beginning but eventually, you will run out of leads.
Your target market can be differentiated by age, gender, job or profession, marital status, income level, physical fitness, buying habits, and even geographical location.
Bonus points if your target market is both (relatively) large in number and relatively underserved. Your business will grow faster when you target an underserved market.
If your coaching services will be offered locally and in person, then you have to have enough of them in your city to be sustainable.
For example, a parenting or marriage coaching business can do well locally but if you try to go for a more targeted market like step parenting then you will need to go beyond your city by offering services online in order to survive.
Easy to Find
Your target market has to be easy to find. Think about how you plan to market your services and decide accordingly.
Can you target them on Facebook? If not, they are probably not a good fit. If you design a coaching program for people who want to change careers, trying to run ads for them on Facebook or LinkedIn might be difficult.
Perhaps the only way to reach them would be through search engine marketing, which might be too limiting and expensive.
Want the Desired Result
People have to want the result that you are going to give them. And they have to want it badly enough to pay for your service. It is easier to sell an outcome to people who already want it than to convince them to want it.
Look for a burning need. Are there Facebook groups made up of people from the target demographic trying to address the need? What about Google search? What insights might it offer? Are there people from that demographic whom you can talk to as part of your research?
For a fitness coach, you want to reach out to people who are motivated to get fit. If you are a business coach you need business people who are looking to grow more than anything.
Only people who are motivated will pay for your coaching program and follow through with it to get results. Unmotivated
Clients Who Can Pay for Your Services
People might need your service but if they can’t pay for it then the business won’t succeed. You will be forced to price your coaching very low.
Unemployed people looking for work probably can’t afford to pay for the service. Struggling single mothers might need your help but they won’t be able to pay. Freelancers might need your service but they will have a hard time paying for it.
Startup entrepreneurs might have a problem affording you, too, which is why you will.be told to target growth stage entrepreneurs.
The only way you can work with such demographics who can’t afford you is by employing a nonprofit model and securing grants.
Alternatively, you can take on a limited number of them. Maybe only one at a time. Concentrate more of your time on those clients who will pay what you are worth.
Grow Big by Narrowing Down
Narrowing down to a specific target market makes marketing easier and more effective. Imagine trying to reach retirees, moms, business owners, and athletes. Your marketing would be all over the place.
Don’t choose a target market unless you have knowledge and experience in that area. Choosing a target market that you are familiar with will also make it easier to market to that group.
Specialists enjoy more credibility and trust than generalists.
Test your program with a small group of people before rolling it out.
Just Do It
You don’t want to waste too much time thinking and planning. If you find yourself spending weeks narrowing down your target market, that is too long. It is likely that you will refine your definition of your ideal client as time goes by.
Working with real clients in the real world will help you to narrow things down better.
In today’s seemingly overcrowded market, entrepreneurs are under pressure to narrow down their target market in order to make it.
Once you have a rough idea of who you want to work with, create a program and start working with them. As time goes by, you will get to know yourself and your client’s better and you will refine your program.
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That’s it for now.