Have you been struggling to get clients for your coaching, speaking, or consulting business? Or do you want to get more clients but feel stuck…? Or, did you just start your business and you want to make sure that you get started in the right direction, get clients, and start generating an income as soon as possible?
In my 12-years experience as a leadership coach and 5+ years experience as a marketing and business development coach, I found that those who had a clear niche were 1000s of times (literally) more successful than the nicheless “competitors.”
When you have crystal clarity on WHAT you serve and WHO you serve, you become unstoppable and success is almost guaranteed. Actually, I’ll go so far as to say that with a clear, powerful niche, success is 100% guaranteed as long as you implement basic business principles the correct way; and that’s what we’ll talk about in some detail today.
I’m warning you, though, this is not one of those quick informative articles. You might want to buckle up and do the work with me as I lead you down the path to deciding on a profitable niche…
How to Pick a Profitable Niche and Get More Clients then You Can Handle
The success of your business depends on the premise it’s built on. That is, if your business is about selling water in the desert to parched tourists, then it’s guaranteed that you’ll be super successful. Meaning, it’s important to sell a service (or product) that people are hungry for (oh, well, “thirsty” for in this case).
I know it’s a silly comparison, but soak it up, ’cause that’s the bottom line. Sell “water” to “thirsty” people; umbrellas on a rainy day; food to a starving crowd; sleeping solutions to insomniacs; parenting solutions for frustrated parents; productivity solutions for stressed and overwhelmed professionals… You name it, there are 1000s of needs out there – there’s no reason to go after an invisible “ideal client.”
Consider the alternative: “Selling ice to Eskimos” – that is, trying to sell something that’s available for free… or selling some great solutions to major problems to people who are totally broke… In either case, you’ll end up struggling and making no sales.
So think about it… think about what service you are going to provide and to whom are you going to provide it; then pick your niche carefully.
Get More Clients by Embracing a Clear Direction - a Clear Niche
Let’s explore How to Get More Clients by Picking a Clear Direction for Your Life Coaching business – one that’ll help you build a Profitable and Sustainable Business.
First of all, picking a “niche” does not necessarily mean what you’ve heard from others in the past. If you are unsure of what type of coaching you want to provide (relationship, productivity, etc), you can start out by picking a strong Target Market – that is clients who can afford your services and you can easily become visible in front of them. With this simple tweak, you’ll be far ahead of your (newbie) competition, and inches away from generating a consistent flow of $$$s into your bank account.
GOOD NEWS (to some):
You Do NOT Have to Marry a Niche!
If you want to remain a general “Life Coach,” you can, but embrace a “niche” - or at least a Target Market - for short periods of time. It’ll be easier for clients to relate to you; as well as it’ll be easier for you to find clients…
For example, you could publish blog posts, videos; put on webinars, etc. on topics of performance (and productivity) for 90 days (or whatever length you choose); if you get enough clients during this time, keep going; if not, try a different focus on Effective Communication & Relationships (for example), for another 90 days.
This approach can also help you see what type of coaching you enjoy most; and most importantly, you’ll actually have a chance to get clients(!).
Your #1 key to keep in mind: Offer your ideal clients something that they really want; then once they got that (in the form of an eCourse, complimentary session, video course, webinar, etc.), educate them on what they need. For example, many want to reduce overwhelm, increased productivity, better relationships- give them a checklist or some other value-loaded offer that resolves that "want." Then once you provided that solution to them, let them know how your coaching can help them fully resolve that "want."
Very few people "want" life coaching! We do know that "everyone" can benefit from coaching, but most people wouldn't agree with you. So instead of trying to persuade them on why they need coaching, instead Give them what they WANT; then "sell them" what they NEED (your coaching).
Follow Your Passion
is NOT Always the Best Advice when Picking Your Niche
… though, of course, it’s really really great when the two - (1)your passion and (2)your profitable niche - converge.
For many, picking a Niche, or a specific direction for their coaching business is not always easy.
Our heads are filled with confusing advice, “Follow your passion and all will fall into place…” Except this is not always true (!)
Yes, your passion CAN lead you to success, IF your passion is monetizable; OR your passion can lead you down on a path of financial struggle if your passion is in the area of helping individuals who are struggling financially, or helping individuals who either don’t need your service or even if they need it, they Don’t Want it.
In a moment I’ll share with you my 4-part “formula” to picking a great niche and a great target market; but before we do that, let’s clarify some terminology.
Niche = the service you provide (many use this term to refer to Target Market); though, some use it to combine both: who you serve and what you serve - both are accepted definitions
Target Market =the individuals you serve
So with that out of the way, let’s move on to…
The 4-Part Formula for Picking a Profitable Niche & Target Market
Let me start by saying that I do realize that there’s a possibility that you are not ready to commit to picking a niche – if that’s the case, don’t stress about it. The key is to keep on coaching (or speaking, consulting, etc.) and I promise you your niche WILL find you… If you haven’t heard the story of how my niche found me, I’ll be glad to share it with you…
HOW MY LIFE COACHING NICHE FOUND ME
As I mentioned above, you can test a niche without “marrying” it. I like to work on 90-days “projects,” then if it generates income, I go another 90-days. It’s important, though, to start with something that you love, while also making sure that it is a niche that can generate you an income!
Regardless though, whether you are ready to carve your niche in stone or not, here are some questions that will help you at least get started in the right direction:
1. WHO do I want to serve? Who are they? Where can I find them? The more specific you are, the easier it will be to reach them and offer them your services.
This can be as specific as …
“I want to serve empty-nester single/divorced professional women, who want to reinvent their lives (and who make at least $80,000 per year)”;
OR you can leave it more vague…
“I want to serve professional women”; or “… overwhelmed managers”; or “new managers”; or “recently promoted managers who need help adjusting/become better leaders/become better communicators/become more productive; etc”
The key is to Pick a target market that can afford your fees.
Fail on this and do everything else well, and you’ll be wasting your time – your business will be a continuous struggle and very likely to fail. So take your time to pick your target market wisely.
2. Where can I meet my ideal clients? Where do they gather…? Can I easily get in front of the people I want to serve (the target market you picked in point 1, above)
Ask yourself, “Are my ideal clients gathering in one place where I can easily get in front of them?” Do they have an association (where perhaps you can present workshops, promote in their newsletter, etc.); do they have a LinkedIn group (or groups); do they have specialized magazines; etc.
This is key, as this knowledge will allow you to target your marketing efforts in a way that it’ll produce results.* – if you are a member of ClientsEnrollmentFunnels, you can access our “How To Identify Your “Perfect” Target Market” Video Tutorial & WorkBook – Click Here to access it)
3. What do I serve? What solutions do I provide to what problems, challenges, or strong desires?
Make sure to approach your Target Market with services that they (a) Need AND (b) Want! (Both of these have to be in place, as most people DO NEED our services, but unfortunately, most do NOT want our service)What is your target market’s (or your ideal client’s) challenge that’s so “burning” that they are willing to pay $100s or $1000s to resolve?
If I borrowed $150,000 from the bank to start a business, and after 6 months or a year I’m still barely having clients, what will I do? I’ll hire a marketing consultant or coach to help me start attracting clients and start raking in some profits…, right? Am I willing to pay $100s or $1000s to this consultant? Heck YES! The alternative is way too painful…Or… if I’m a well-paid recently-promoted manager who is overwhelmed with feeling unproductive and feels like I’m not able to communicate well with my subordinates, would I be willing to invest in a Productivity coach? Absolutely.
The Target Market’s “pain” doesn’t have to be that earth-shattering as in the above two examples. You might want to help professionals who want to regain control of their lives and feel alive outside of their workplace too; or singles or divorced individuals who want to find true love.
The key is to Identify your Target Market’s Pain or Strong Desire, so when they find out about you, they’ll automatically consider to hire you. Once you get in front of them, all you need to do is establish Credibility & Trust, and gain their business (we’ll cover these crucial elements in future articles).
4. Why do you want to help this group of people? Or… Why do you want to provide this service? Your answers to these questions might also serve as your Signature Story in the future – something that will help you gain visibility, credibility, trust; and ultimately, more sales….
It definitely helps if you are passionate about what you do. It’s even better if you have experience in the area you want to deliver the service in. Experience lands you credibility and potential clients will trust you easier with their hard-earned dollars, in exchange for your service. Experience is not a must!.
If you are passionate about an area, such as weight loss, nutrition, productivity, relationships, marketing, etc. – that passion probably translates into lots of reading, belonging to groups that relate to your area of passion; perhaps you attend regularly bootcamps that help you become more knowledgeable….
The key is to deliver a service that you enjoy delivering and you either have some experience in it OR you are passionate about it and are willing to deepen your knowledge in that topic. Your coaching training might feel like enough credentials; but you’ll be a much more credible professional – and hence attract clients more easily – if you can provide some info of Why the prospect should invest in your service. If you can put in place all 4 of these elements, with a little effort you can become a busy and prosperous coach. In the future parts, we’ll explore how to start building on this Foundation and start attracting more and more clients…
Did you find this useful? I’m glad you did (if you did) – But, reading about it is not enough – now let’s create a plan, and I’d like to you commit to taking action on this plan…
Action Check-List & Worksheet
Here are your action-check-list items to complete today:.
1. Who is your “HOT” target market? What group of people can afford your service/s or product/s?
2. What is your HOT Target Market’s Challenge or Burning Desire that you can help them with?
3. Where can I find my Ideal Market/Target Market? What are some ways I can get my message in front of them?__________________________________________________________________
4. Why do I want to deliver this specific service? Why do I want to work with this specific group of clients? What excites me when I think about working with this client?
Implement these steps – it’s a crucial step to transforming your coaching (or consulting) business dream into reality.
Remember, the world belongs to those who take action! Commit to taking action daily, then implement, implement, IMPLEMENT!
Till we meet again, Get Out There and…
Ok, HOLD YOUR HORSES!!! Don’t go anywhere just yet…! This is a Crucial Success Element! Invest as much time as you need to complete this exercise (above) to the best of your abilities.
I promise you, this step WILL make all the difference in your business’ success and profitability!
E.G. Sebastian, a veteran entrepreneur of 20+ years. He is the founder of ClientsEnrollmentFunnels and an international speaker (speaks 6 languages). E.G. specializes primarily in helping coaches, consultants, speakers, authors, and service-business owners put in place all the elements needed to business success, with a focus on helping clients automate a large part of their marketing, get massive visibility for their business, and convert that visibility into paying clients.
He is the author and co-author of several books on Relationships, Communication, Workplace Bullying; and is the author of the soon-to-be-published Get More Clients by Next Week – 51 Proven Marketing Strategies for Coaches and Consultants, which he’ll graciously share a Pdf copy with you when you post a comment below this article.
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