5 Steps to Identify Your Niche
How many times have you received the advice to “niche down” or “find your niche” or “identify your target audience.” Some even recommend getting so specific that you can craft an avatar of your ideal client.
While it is important to identify your specific area of expertise, it can be challenging to actually accomplish this. But to set yourself apart from other coaches, doing so is critical. To start this process, let’s first step back to see the larger picture.
As you know, a foundational aspect of life coaching is your ability to view your clients as experts on themselves. They are the expert on their beliefs, opinions, attitudes and experiences. Your job as a coach is to ask simple yet curious questions that help illuminate various aspects of their being in order to generate new insights.
Likewise, you are the expert on yourself. You know your journey better than anyone else. It is only logical then that you look to your own story to highlight your expertise and identify your niche. Here are five simple steps that will help narrow down your ideal client based on the experience you discover in your own story.
1. Generate a Life Map
Pull out a sheet of paper and start with your day of birth. Move forward, one year at a time, making note of all the events, people and milestones that have contributed to who you are today. Include small moments and big moments, exciting moments and challenging moments, stagnant moments and growth moments.
Do your best to release judgment during this portion of the activity. Simply notice the path your life has taken.
For an even more visual and interactive experience, write each moment on a separate sticky note that can be manipulated independently from one another. You can even color code different types of life moments.
2. Remove the Definite “No’s”
Once your life map is created, cross off or remove the moments in your journey that reflect an audience with whom you know you do not want to work. For example, let’s say you have been through a divorce, but you know you do not want to work with divorcées. Remove that sticky note or cross it off your sheet. Only do this for moments where you experience a firm no. If you experience any hesitance, leave it on the list for now.
3. Identify a Key Moment or Theme
As you review what is left, notice which moments attract your attention. Are there key themes that run through multiple moments? Conversely, what is a single moment that was pivotal in your own growth journey? What parts of your life map make you excited?
4. Compile Key Learnings
Now, step into your role as a coach with yourself. Ask yourself what these moments have taught you. Write down in specific detail the steps you took to illuminate these learnings. This is your expertise. This is what you have to offer the world.
5. Name Your Niche
Finally, ask yourself who would benefit most from this expertise. This is your niche. These are the lives you can change. You may even develop a program leveraging the insights from your journey as a foundation that your clients can then apply to their lives.
From this place, your authentic voice can shine because it is your story. Your story is what sets you apart—not a cool website or a specific program offering or your logo. You are the expert on yourself and this gives you power and confidence.
When you can fully leverage your story as a way to connect with others, not only will potential clients be able to connect with what you’re offering, but they also will have an example, standing in front of them, of what is possible when they too do the work of self-discovery. They will not only see the benefits of coaching, but they will also see why working with you specifically is the decision they should make.