One of my training sessions includes 3 activities around loving yourself, loving what you do and loving your sales process. The one thing that stood out from that for most people on the course surprised me.
I was talking about niching and even micro-niching your business and making that niche “an inch wide and a mile deep” (an expression I’d learned from Dr Joanna Martin of Shift Speaker Training.) Which means you specialise in a specific area and make it as narrow as possible but go deep into it more than anyone else so you become an expert. I have found so much resistance to this idea of niching that I investigated it further.
For a lot of people, particularly coaches, whether they are starting out or have hit a plateau in their business, niching seems scary because
- it feels like you are shutting the door to anyone outside of that group/area
- you don’t want to be trapped doing one thing or one type of customer and think it may be boring
- you are still exploring exactly what you want to specialise in
But niching is counter-intuitive. You won’t get noticed until you specialise and once you are noticed you will get others beating a path to you assuming you can help them too (which of course you can).
Also you can change and expand your niche, move on to other niches once you have done all you can with the first one. It doesn’t have to be forever, just to get yourself established. That’s what made the difference for me.
Five years ago I was a “Business coach” along with at least 3 other people at every networking meeting I went to. In that scenario all you have to compete with is being the cheapest. But that doesn’t work as people don’t necessarily value the cheapest.
Now I am a Sales coach for female coaches who love to serve but hate to sell themselves. I do the same work, have the same tools and models and questions that I had before but I’ve added so many more specific activities and ideas that I know work for that group of people because I’ve specialised in it. I get loads more clients, invitations to speak etc as a result. I also get male clients, CEO’s of organisations and others outside that niche because I’m talked about and more people know what I do and what they say is different to everyone else, so my name comes up to solve a specific problem.
So the benefits of micro niching:
- You stand out from the crowd. I met a Hypnotherapist at a network meeting a while ago, I thought ” I meet them all the time and know some nearer to where I live, I won’t bother keeping her details.” Then she told us about her speciality in curing bird phobias and all the other weird phobias she cured. I sat up, took notice, kept her card and now if I meet anyone with a weird phobia I will send them her way.
- You can get inside your prospective client’s heads in a much more specific way so your ads, promotions, marketing, emails will appeal directly to them, answering the problems they specifically have, rather than being a bland catch-all that doesn’t attract attention.
- You can be the go-to expert in your specific field – write blogs, articles, comment on media coverage, post comments and advice in relevant Linkedin groups on new aspects, changes, applications of your specific area and therefore command higher fees.
- You can’t compete with big companies covering everything in your chosen field by yourself but as a one-woman business you can afford to specialise in whatever field you love and compete with the big guys in that one specific area.
- You can save time, money and energy by focusing on your ideal client and not trying to be everything to everybody.
- There will be more repetition in what you do as you are solving similar problems – that leads to clarity around group coaching, online programmes and writing your unique book. More income streams leveraging your expert knowledge.
I have seen and helped so many coaches raise their game, help more people and increase their income so they can afford to spend time specialising and creating their own materials just from making this one step from one of many to one of a kind.
If you need to nail your niche I have 3 options for you
- Do the self-study programme “5 star Coaching Breakthrough” for just £700 +VAT. One new client would cover the costs of this programme and give you a process you can use time and time again for generating new leads and clients
- Get a group of fellow coaches together and I’ll run a group programme for you of “5 Star Coaching Breakthrough” Click here for details of how that works.
- Enrol on a 1:1 programme with me, Nicci Bonfanti and we’ll work on this until we’ve nailed it, going through my Nail your Niche process before moving on to Finding your Ideal Value Match.
Make 2018 the year you up-scaled your coaching business and having a better life-work balance!