Who Holds the Power?
The biggest difference between coaching and consulting is who holds the power. In consulting the consultant holds the power in the relationship, while in coaching the client holds the power. A consultant holds the answers, while a coach helps their client find their own answers.
Consulting requires that the consultant have expertise in the area that the client seeks to learn and grow. The consultant provides advice and often teaches the client specific tools, skills, or knowledge. Sometimes, a consultant is in a longer-term relationship with their client, acting as a mentor.
In traditional life coaching, it is believed that a life coach’s role is not to give advice. A general life coach goal does not need to have specific knowledge or experience in the topic area that the client wishes to improve. The coach instead offers expertise in the change, goal attainment, and accountability process, which is effective regardless of whether the client is seeking to lose weight, make changes in their business, learn a new skill, or stop a habit.
However, as the life coaching industry has evolved, what has become the most popular and successful type of coaching is a consulting-coaching hybrid, referred to as niche life coaching.
In this case, the coach has expertise, knowledge or experience in a particular area and coaches their clients to improve in that area. In this way, a life coach is like a guide or a mentor.
Niche coaching means that instead of coaching a client on any goal they have, you focus your coaching around a very specific type of goal that YOU are uniquely able to address with clients.
- Your career experience can serve as a catalyst for your client’s careers
- Your experience as an entrepreneur can help your clients start a business
- Your expertise as a sales professional can help people in your field
- Your experience overcoming a specific type of life obstacle can be used to help others who are experiencing the same struggles or pain
In this case, your coaching program would be designed to walk your clients through the process you took to get the results you have achieved in your life. It’s a little bit advice, a little bit education or training, and a lot support and accountability, just like a general coach. The more specific, specialized, and expert your knowledge and experience are, the more like a consultant you become.
This doesn’t mean you are fixing anyone, that you hold all the answers, or that you know what’s best for them, it just means that you have value to share from your own experience, in addition to helping the client determine their goals and hold them accountable as they make life changes.
Why Niche Coaching is the Key to Success
Focusing your life coaching around a specific niche area is the most profitable AND fulfilling type of coaching because…
- You’re coaching based on WHO YOU ARE—your unique gift—making you qualified and confident right from the start!
- Your ideal clients SPECIFICALLY want what you have to offer—and you can offer them the exact RESULT they are looking for.
- Because your niche is highly targeted—and this is the SECRET KEY—you can easily find and connect to your ideal clients
So, what is your niche? Your gift? In what way can you, uniquely, help your clients transform their lives?
Life Coaching 101
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