You can’t just say you’re a life coach. Well, you can but then you probably won’t have many clients. Unless you’re a New York Times Best Seller, an in demand speaker, or house a six figure following on social media. But chances are, if you have those, then you have a niche.
A niche is what makes you visible. Without one, you will quickly fade into the background.
First, what is a niche?
Simply put, a niche is your specialty. It’s one thing that you’re really good. Say you have a vintage Ford Mustang that you love more than your children. It needs work. Would you take it to a general mechanic or one who specializes in classic Mustangs? Obviously one who specializes in vintage Mustangs. Okay, now instead of a car, imagine that what needs work is your life. Would you go to a general life coach or someone who excels at exactly what you are struggling with?
Your niche is the first step in separating you from the crowd.
Life is too broad. What part of life do you want to coach someone through? Relationships, job transitions, one’s spiritual journey, their meditation practice, divorce recovery? The list goes on and on.
But what if you don’t know what your niche is?
Well, that’s why I wrote this. Who am I?
Quickly. About a decade ago, I started a blog after a divorce. I decided to practice transparency and document my journey. This lead to a following and eventually a full practice, a start up, a book deal, and a passion to help other coaches find their niche and do the same.
My niche was organic. I didn’t set out to become the relationship guy. Since I was going through a divorce at the time, I blogged about love, rebirth, and relationships. People related and so that became my niche. But I don’t believe that’s what got me clients. Because there are tons of relationship coaches and therapists.
The other part of my niche was the way I worked. I was the guy you saw if you wanted a therapist who worked as a life coach. Let me explain. After going through the therapist journey, I realized that the hat I wore would be very limiting. A therapist’s guideline didn’t allow me to work in ways I felt were honest to me. I wanted to walk and talk, go on hikes, meet people in coffee shops, and use the internet to reach as many as I could. So I became a life coach, with a clinical background. I become the hybrid guy. And I worked in unconventional ways, casual over clinical. This made me stand out.
The more specific you are and the closer you work within your truth, the more rare and valuable you become. The more rare and valuable you become, the more you shine. Brighten, Stand out.
So a niche is two things.
- What you specialize in (area of expertise).
2. And how you do it. (the unique way you work).
In order to have a strong niche, you have to allow yourself to be authentically you.
That’s the soil.
It’s required to grow your niche.
Do not try to be someone else or copy someone else because they are a successful coach. People will see right through it. But more importantly, you will not feel confident when practicing because it’s not authentically you. Your potency will always live in your authenticity.
But what if you don’t know what your niche is?
Here are 5 steps to discovering what your niche is.
- Ask yourself, under the umbrella of life, what do you enjoy helping people with the most? When your friends come to you for advice, what life area do you feel the most passionate and confident talking about?
- Okay, keep that in mind. Put it in your back pocket. Now ask your friends and family, people who know you the best, what they think your strengths are. Why do they pick you to come to for advice? ← super important question.
- Now take the answers to both questions and pull out what overlaps. What are the common themes?
- Your niche is buried in the overlap. Pick what resonates with you the most. Also, you may have a few. But for now, just pick one. I know that’s tough but it’s the only way to move forward.
Remember, your niche is like your major in college. You may change it many times. Coaches think if they pick one niche, they have to stick with it forever. That’s not true. As you embark on your life coaching journey, your niche can and will probably change. Because you will change and your gifts will expand.
5. Now that you have an area of life you want to specialize in, how are you going to do it?
This is the fun part. The way you go into things, your style, your energy, your tone, your execution, your methodology, your voice, your language, your structure. This is the place where you can be an artist. But like any art, it takes practice. This is why I say your niche is grown. It is a process.
As you coach and try different things, different approaches, fail, succeed, learn, and grow, your niche will surface. Know that. Or you’ll put tons of pressure on yourself to come up with something magical quick and it doesn’t work that way.
If you found this article helpful,
If you ever wanted to become a life coach, come explore the Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive.