5 Steps to Finding Your Profitable Niche

Let’s tackle a hot topic.

One that’s tempting to avoid, because it makes most people go round in circles.

I’m talking about coaches pinning down their profitable niche.

In this article, we explore:

  • What a niche is
  • Why a niche matters
  • How you can find a profitable niche that aligns with you, your skills and your passion.

One of the most Googled questions of all coaches is, “Do I need to niche?”

My answer is a resounding YES!

The definition of a niche and why it matters

A niche is a specific target market, a well-defined segment of people, or a segment of a problem or an outcome that these people want.

By narrowing down your focus to a specific group of people who have a specific problem and who want a specific outcome, you can position yourself as an expert and attract clients who are actively seeking solutions.

The key phrase here is ‘actively seeking solutions’. No-one is ‘actively seeking coaching’.

People are driven to look for solutions to their greatest challenges, and that is why finding a profitable niche is so crucial.

It helps you to stand out in a crowded coaching market, and this market has quadrupled in the last two years alone.

A search I did on LinkedIn in December 2020, using the word ‘coach’ came up with 1.6 million results. Two years later, the same search came up with 8 million coaches!

And, operating in the global market that we are, we can find literally in seconds absolutely anything we want at the click of a button. It’s not like the pre-Covid world, where coaching would be mostly face to face, local to you.

How exciting that anyone in the world could find you! That’s why it’s impactful to put a stake in the ground and shout about what you are an expert in.

Defining your niche will enable you to increase your visibility and be really focused.

What I’ve found in working with 40 or so coaches in the last 12 months alone, is that as soon as they nail their niche they know what their marketing message is and they are seeing the results – their businesses are actively growing.

You can see how hard it would be to market your coaching business if you’re not really sure what you are talking about and who you need to talk to. You can end up saying nothing and being invisible.

And, if you’re invisible, how can you get clients?

It’s interesting how many coaches come to me, confident they already have their niche, but it’s actually not really a niche.

Niching also allows you to build a signature coaching offer. You can read my article on this, or listen to my podcast, to learn how.

The benefit of building a signature programme is that you can charge higher prices for your coaching and you will find it easier to sell a tangible programme.

It can be challenging to sell coaching sessions, rather than a signature programme, which is why I suggest really honing in on who you serve and how. This really will help you to make money in your business.

Whether you have been in business for years, or are just starting out, we can all grow in defining who we help and how – it’s one of the greatest indicators of your future business success.

So, let’s get started on our 5 steps to discover your profitable niche for your own coaching business. 

Step 1 – Reflect on your passions and skills

Start by reflecting on your passions, skills and interests. What topics could you talk about all day? You’re going to be talking about your business a lot when you start marketing it, so make sure you love it – this way, your enthusiasm will shine through and will be infectious.

In my programme, I take people through a full life reflection. It is really helpful to go through your life history; it helps you to see your calling.

Think about your background, education and previous work experience.

Also, think about what really riles you.

For me, for example, I got really wound up by the fact that there were very few kind, honest, genuine people helping coaches to build their businesses.

A huge 84% of coaches give up in the first year of starting their business, and it continues to drop off around years two and three because there is such a limited level of awareness of what it takes to build a business.

I want to fill that void between the exciting moment of training to become a coach and the less exciting moment of “Now what? How do I actually make this work for me?”

It was my anger at the ridiculous claims we hear every day about how easy it is to build a six figure business that made me want to stand against that, and show you how to do it in an honest, straightforward way.

So, now you have thought about your areas of excitement, passion, expertise, you can lay the foundations for a profitable niche that aligns with your expertise.

Or, you might want to go completely off piste and think, I want nothing to do with the industry I used to work in.

And it also depends on your priorities. For example, if you need to make money from coaching quickly, then I would advise you to go all in on the area that you can immediately start monetising.

Whereas, if you know you have the time, the space and the capacity to completely reinvent yourself and go all in on a niche that you really want to work with, then do that.

It depends on your personal needs and desires at that moment.

Step 2 – Research market demand 

This is an area that is often neglected and people I speak to on discovery calls can be staying behind the scenes for weeks and even months, creating their niche and their offer.

Within the first three weeks of you working with me, I like you to get out there and share your niche and your offer, to see if there is actually demand for it.

Sadly, what sometimes happens is that a lot of us want to save our previous self, but our previous self maybe didn’t seek out support and, therefore, maybe the people who need the same help are not seeking out support either.

You might struggle to create a profitable niche out of something that people are so busy in, and so all consumed by, that they are not going to take that time out to get help to change their life.

You can explore online Facebook groups, social media groups and industry publications to gauge the level of interest and engagement in your chosen niche.

If you, for example, put a request out for market research and get no enquiries back, even though you might be offering these calls for free, then that might be an indication that there’s either something wrong with the way you’ve written the message and people haven’t understood it, or there isn’t demand for that particular service.

Again, this is something that can keep coaches stuck for a really long time because if you want to help people create good habits, unless it is specific enough, most people are not looking for that or they might buy a book instead.

Step 3 – Identify the specific pain points these people have

Now you have explored the market with your niche, we now need to further drill down your chosen niche by identifying specific pain points that your potential clients might be facing.

Coaching is about providing solutions so, by understanding the struggles of your target audience, you can position yourself as the go-to coach to help them to overcome these challenges.

Most coaches generalise, saying things like, “This will make you feel incredible.” But if they’re not the words coming out of your target audience’s mouth, then your message is not going to strike a chord with them.

It’s not what they’re saying to their friends. It’s not what they’re thinking in their head.

So this is why the step of market research is super important and why I give my clients all the detail they need about how to gain market research, exactly what to say when they get on the call, and exactly what they’re looking for, because this is a really crucial part that most people miss.

Step 4 – Consider profitability and viability

Whilst your passion is essential, if you also want to earn a living with coaching we need to evaluate the potential market size. What competition there is. The ability of your target audience to invest in coaching services. Have these people invested before? Are they prepared to invest in it?

A profitable niche will have a balance of demand, willingness to invest and room for growth.

Whether we like it or not, if we are trying to serve a group of people that really don’t want to help themselves or aren’t in a position to financially invest, then you are highly unlikely to create a profitable niche out of that group.

So, back to your goals. What is your priority right now?

What do you need to happen and what are you prepared to go all in on?

Step 5 – Test and refine your niche

Once you have identified a potential niche that meets the criteria of being profitable and aligns with something that you are prepared to go all in on, it’s time to test it out.

Start offering your coaching services to a few clients within that niche.

It will help you gain so much. The insights you learn will enable you to refine your offering and ensure that you actually enjoy working with clients in that niche.

It’s important to remember that your niche is not set in stone. Be flexible and open to tweaking it and changing it as you go along. Just get out there, approach potential clients, learn and refine. It’s all about adapting to what your clients want.

I hope you found this article useful.

And, remember, your journey as a coach is unique and finding your profitable niche is just the beginning.

Keep exploring, learning and growing – building a business is all about the nuances and the refinement.

Go out there and make a positive impact on the world, one coaching session at a time.

Prefer Audio? You can also listen to all my new content on my podcast Women in the Coaching Arena.

 

Get the love and support you need to make it happen

If you’d like my help to implement this so you make a difference, AND make a living, you can learn more about how I can help you here.

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Hello and welcome! I’m Joanna Lott, and I’m passionate about empowering qualified coaches like you to build brilliant businesses.