I believe that coaching is changing the world for the better. But to make a huge impact, more people must experience the power of coaching, and that requires a sustainable business model. Coaches have to eat, too.
Sustainable business requires you to sell something that people really want to buy. How can you tell if you are selling the right thing? Start by asking yourself – how many people will readily buy my coaching at fees that pay me well?
Most coaches try to “sell” a broad coaching niche, like life coaching, career coaching, wellness, transition support, or balance. Many try to sell a collection of niches. I understand the impulse. You want to cover all the bases and coach about the topics that interest you most.
But marketing this way is a recipe for disappointment, because it fails to connect with the immediate priorities of a unique audience. People may believe that you can help them achieve wellness or balance, but they will tend to see your services as a luxury rather than an essential. And they will tend to reach for services that are more known to them (therapy or a personal trainer) or less expensive (a gym or meditation class).
The fix is simple. Find out what your future clients need right now, and sell that.
You can do this in three straightforward steps:
- Identify a narrow, viable coaching market – narrow enough that you will stand out from other service providers, viable in that you can easily locate them and they will pay for your coaching.
- Find out what motivates them to invest.
- Build your offerings and craft your marketing language around those motivating factors.
I call this the client centric approach to marketing. I’m the first to admit, most coaches find it counter-intuitive and scary. But it’s tried and true for attracting a continuous flow of ideal clients. Think it over:
- Isn’t it true that with all your coaching tools, you can help your clients achieve whatever it is that they most want? There’s no reason to fear that you don’t “know” enough.
- Isn’t it fundamental to coaching that the client, not the coach, decides what the objective of the coaching is? The client brings the agenda, and the coach serves that by drawing out the client’s wisdom.
If your marketing approach is client centric, you connect with the client where they live. Once the coaching relationship is established, you’ll find you coach around whatever comes up. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to coach around the topics you love best no matter who the market is.
Does Your Niche Measure Up?
Most don’t. Here’s a litmus test. Have you identified a market (a unique group of people) who are:
- ACCESSIBLE – Can you find 100 members of this market each month and build relationships with them?
- NARROW – Is this market small enough that they are distinguishable from other markets by their top challenges, goals and fears?
- MOTIVATED TO INVEST – How likely is this market to invest in coaching to achieve their goals?
When you choose a viable target market, you set the foundation for a sustainable business by selling services that you know specific people will be motivated to buy.
I’ve helped hundreds of coaches find the most viable market for them. If you’re interested in setting this foundation for your business, check out my home study course on how to instantly choose and Champion Your Ideal Coaching Market.