If you’ve ever seen my stuff before, you probably know I’m a big fan of niching. More specifically, I’m a big fan of giving niching a fair shot.
I’ve known a ton of coaches who struggle to get their prospects’ attention, and often it’s because they’re marketing as generalists with no specific target in mind.
When I bring up niching to them, though, they tend to pull back, clam up, and list out their fears with moving to a niched business.
Maybe you’re in a similar spot. If so, pay attention. I could go on and on and on about how great niching is, but there’s no point in talking about it until we overcome the fears of niching first.
These are the three most common reasons why coaches don’t niche, and why it’s time to move past them.
The more you try to appeal to everybody, the more that nobody pays attention to you -Taki Moore [Tweet This]
Fear #1: “I’ll Lose Opportunity”
Many coaches rightly believe that if they niche, they’ll lose opportunity. Yes, you read that correctly — I said ‘rightly believe’.
When you pick a niche, 99% of the world will ignore you.
It’s true, but who cares?
We may have 99% ignore us, but the 1% we’re going after will pay attention. Their ears prick up, their eyes get big, and they’ll turn towards you and wait eagerly for the next words you have to say. You’ll have their full, captivated attention.
You might lose opportunity in terms of the width of potential options, but you gain a tremendous amount of opportunity in the niche you end up choosing.
When you niche, you don’t halve your opportunity — you actually triple it. Because, to one type of person with one specific problem, you’ll stand out as the only person with their solution. Your prospects will say, “Wow, that person is talking directly to me!”
If you’re a generalist, who could be your prospect? Who can be your client?
A farmer, accountant, print shop owner, Fortune 500 CEO — it doesn’t matter. Anyone could be your client, right? The problem is, the more you try to appeal to everybody, the more that nobody pays attention to you specifically. You become like everyone else and get lost in the noise around you.
That’s not what we’re after.
Fear #2: “I Don’t Know Which Niche To Pick”
The second reason coaches don’t niche is because they don’t know which niche to pick.
They ask themselves, “How will I know how to choose the right one? I don’t want to commit myself and change my entire business model.”
I totally understand. Here’s the thing: you don’t have to get married to your niche forever. Finding the perfect fit can take time. I want you to pick one niche, date it for a while, and see how you like it.
Second, there’s no need to change your entire business model, especially when trying out a new niche. When first testing your new target market for fit, only niche your marketing.
After a month or two, you’ll either say, “Wow, that was awesome. I’m going to stick with these guys and niche my whole business,” or you’ll say, “That was good, but I’m going to pick somebody else next.”
Fear #3: “I’ll Lose The Variety”
One of the coolest things about being a coach and working with so many different kinds of people is that you learn a lot. Every new client is a new learning experience, even for me.
A lot of generalists are scared that niching will put an end to the variety and their coaching business will become boring and monotonous.
The truth is, if you have one particular niche, you’ll go super deep into that niche and end up learning everything there is to know about that segment.
Yes, there might be less variety (at first), but you’ll gain the ability to walk into any situation and instantly find the money. What you give up in width, you’ll gain in depth. This gives you an incredible amount of confidence!
Extreme Sports Adventurers and Mac Geeks
I first discovered the power of niching years ago when working with a coach here in Sydney to help fill his group coaching program. It was a seven-session course — run every two weeks for 13 weeks.
He was having really tough time filling his workshop, so we decided to try a different approach.
I said, “Let’s make this fun for both them and you. Let’s niche it down and pick the people that you most want to work with so you’ll be really jazzed about running this thing too. It’ll also make the marketing a lot easier because we’ll only be going after one particular kind of person.”
We thought it’d be fun to pick clients just like him, so we did some research, looked into his passions and his past, and started to profile his new target client based on his interests.
This coach was a total Mac geek. He’s the guy that first got me hooked on Mac computers over 10 years ago. He loves design and tech, but he was also really into extreme sports. He loved barefoot water skiing, caving, canyoning, rock climbing, and all other types of crazy stuff. It was awesome.
We thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool, just for this workshop, to try this niching thing out and only pick Mac nerds and adventure dudes?”
We didn’t have all of the automation tools I use today so our approach was pretty basic.. He’d jump on the phone and say something like, “I’m a coach and right now I’m putting together a training program for adventure sports companies here on The Northern Beaches. It starts in a month’s time.
“Right now, we’re looking for a rock climbing gym. There are only three of you in the area, and I’m looking for the one who’s the most proactive and wants to take the lion’s share of the business away from the others.”
People were hooked.
We did the same thing with design and tech companies and here’s what happened:
The very first session of the course started a few weeks later and I came along to help him out because it was our first joint project. At the start of the session he led an ice-breaker where people went around the room for introductions. As each person introduced themselves and their business, I could see the smile on his face get bigger and bigger and bigger.
We’d done it! We realized the whole room was full of adventure sports companies and mac geeks — and I mean the whole room. It was packed! The coach was in his element for the next 13 weeks, and the clients got amazing results because the program was targeted directly to them.
The point is, we were able to fill his entire program, lightning quick, because we targeted our particular niche and hunted for them.
If you’re a little nervous about niching, I want you to face your niche fears. I want you to identify what’s holding you back from niching in the past.
What are your beliefs around that?
Are they true?
What have you missed out on?
Ready to give niching a shot? On the next post, we’ll look at how to choose the perfect niche for your coaching business with five easy filters.