Becoming a successful coach is no easy feat. One could even say it’s a calling. You have to be devoted to the idea of becoming a guide for others, and you must commit to it through learning and experience.
Simply referring to yourself as a coach isn’t enough if you want to truly thrive in this industry, though. To do the most good and have a meaningful impact on the world, you have to know your strengths, what you can offer, and who it is you want to serve. This process is called “finding your niche,” and it can be instrumental towards achieving success and longevity as a life coach.
But what is a niche? A niche is your speciality; something that you’re really good at. It’s also what distinguishes you from others, specifically the unique way that you do what you excel in. Having a coaching niche helps you find the right audience for your strengths and thus become better equipped to advise them. Discovering your niche also empowers you to create the right kind of content, programs, and products that you should offer your clients. Indeed, finding your niche gives you focus and puts you on a specific path to develop your brand. Here’s how you can uncover it:
Find Your Audience
The first step in finding your niche is figuring out who you want to provide your coaching services to. Yes, it can be argued that everyone needs help and guidance, but there is probably a specific group of people whom you can assist with the knowledge, skills, and experience that are specific to you.
This is the first step because it can be the most difficult one to overcome. However, it shouldn’t stress you out. Jot down all the groups of people whose lives you sincerely believe you can make a genuine difference in. From there, you should be able to see common themes and patterns that will clarify the direction you should take.
Draw from Your Own Story
A lot of coaches actually start simply by having the courage to tell their stories to others. People then begin to relate to their experiences and find themselves comforted by the fact that they aren’t alone in their difficulties. This may inspire them to take a point from the storyteller’s subsequent actions to overcome the challenges they face.
Your story, no matter how specific it may seem, can and will resonate with others. It will also let you stand out and separate you from other life coaches, so draw from it. Think about it in terms of how your perspective can be impactful and valuable to the world. How can telling your story in an authentic and meaningful way spark conversations and inspire discourse? The answer to that should guide you towards your niche.
Identify What You Love
Coaching at its core is an act of love. It has to come from the heart and needs to be done with sincerity if you hope to not just reach but change the lives of those you wish to guide. And you can’t do all of that without genuinely loving and taking joy from the act itself.
In addition to finding your audience and determining your story, another way to narrow your niche down is to ask yourself what you enjoy helping people with the most. What are your passions? What subjects do you feel most confident and assured to talk about? What topics resonate with or come easily to you? What you glean from these questions will not only guide you to your niche, but they can also inform your coaching style and approach.
When distilled into its simplest form, finding your niche all comes down to finding what you specialise in and identifying the unique way that you do it. However, this can be extremely limiting. If you only keep to the criteria that you’ve uncovered, you won’t be able to branch out and maximise your reach. Think of your niche like you would your major in university: you don’t have to stick to just one. You can become an expert on a lot of different subjects.
Constantly learning and adapting is incredibly important. It keeps you from stagnating and allows you to stay dynamic as you continue to move through your own life. You’ll want to continue refining your approach, your brand, your image, and your coaching style. This will allow you to broaden your horizons and give you the power to touch more lives, even ones that don’t necessarily belong to your niche audience.
As with most things, discovering your niche can be a long process that involves plenty of trial and error. You’ll want to be open to try different things and come at issues from different angles until you find a spot that’s comfortable and just right.