It seems like everybody and their mum is telling entrepreneurs that niching is the most important thing they can do for their business. It certainly is one of the most frequent business questions I hear from coaches.
Two things I wanted to share today:
1) Niching indeed is crucial, but only if you’re the one who’s speaking first.
If you regard coaching as a space that you hold, where you offer questions, curiosity, observations, a commitment to travelling alongside your client, in partnership, rather than advising or guiding clients… then it’s really really versatile as a skill set, you won’t need expert or niche knowledge, and you can help out a lot of people across a broad range of niches.
So when you listen first, you can then position your coaching skills in relation to what they want to create (or move away from), and you won’t have to think about niching.
However, if you’re the one speaking first (via an ad, a social media post, an article, a book, a pitch, a website, or approaching someone at an event… then it’s super important that you’ve got a clear sense of who you’re speaking to; and yes: the narrower the niche, the more likely it is that you’ve got that person’s attention.
2) Niching is more than a defined demographic(think: Female C-suite level leaders in the insurance industry who are in their early 50s, like cats, and live in Singapore).
You can niche based on
- the problem you’re solving or desire you help clients fulfil (e.g. stress reduction),
- your approach is a niche (existential coaching, positive psychology coaching) or a specific technique you’re utilising (EMDR, PERMA-powered coaching), and
- who you are as a person is a niche too – people from any demographic who connect with your worldview, values, beliefs or character, often want to work with you based on that connection, and may draw on a variety of skill sets you may have to offer. This is a relationship-based practice and allows you to “just be you” in your marketing efforts, on the basis of which you ideal clients (which often are a version of ourselves) connect with you.
Whether niching is crucial to your business’s success is therefore dependent on your approach to marketing (as in: how are you building a bridge between your skill set and people that this could help), as well as what you understand a “niche” to be.
Hope this helps! As always: curious about your thoughts…
New content: Edgy Ideas with Dr. Simon Western – Coaching & Psychedelics?
Dr. Simon Western’s podcast “Edgy Ideas” is a wellspring for challenging your views and assumptions about coaching and the world. I really like Simon as a critical thinker, and we’ve had an interesting conversation introducing the intersection of coaching and psychedelics. You can listen to the podcast here.
Also, on that topic, following a number of snippets, the full episode 16 of Talking about Coaching and Psychedelics is out now with our friend Fernando Hettiyadura is out now and you can watch or listen to this episode.