This article is part of a series: “The 3 Biggest Mistakes Life Coaches Make” See the bottom of this page.
Is coaching dead?
You’ve probably heard the stories that most coaches fail and that the only ones that are successful coach other coaches. And, while there may be some evidence to support both of those statements, the truth is that coaching isn’t dead, it’s EVOLVING.
In fact, this is the best time to become a coach because it’s an industry that is growing. It’s a 2.5 billion dollar field—so it’s a legitimate industry and SOMEONE is making that money.
Coaching isn’t dead, but the old model of coaching doesn’t work. It’s too general.
The #1 mistake most Life Coaches make is that they try to coach everyone.
We can hear you thinking, “but wait, EVERYONE can benefit from what I have to offer!”
But, in reality, even if what you offer COULD help anyone, the truth is that not every one cares.
Plus, at a practical level, you cannot reach everyone. Even more importantly, if you try to market to everyone you’ll reach no one.
You see, when we started coaching a decade ago it was a brand new industry. Since that time us trailblazers have learned from our failures and identified what WORKS. With all of the thousands of coaches we’ve worked with and all of the training programs we’ve been part of ourselves, it’s become abundantly clear that the coaches who are successful are focusing on a new method of coaching… Niche coaching!
The ONLY way to successfully get coaching clients is to target a specific group of people who are uniquely interested in what you have to offer and willing to pay for it.
So, what separates those who are successful?
The top 10% of coaches, with six-figure annual incomes, market to one specific target market, aka they have a specific niche. On the other hand, the other 90% of coaches that are mostly “general coaches” are making significantly less, with the majority grossing only $20,000 to 50,000 a year. That is a major difference. What this means is that whether you specialize or not will determine whether you will develop a thriving coaching business or struggle like the majority of coaches.
But, unfortunately a lot of what you still see in the market is based on the OLD model of coaching, which looks like this = Coach a client to achieve a goal of their choosing through individual coaching sessions. The result is that they spend more time chasing clients than they do actually coaching—time they don’t get paid for. It just doesn’t work.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the word “niche” before.
What’s interesting is that in today’s economy, many industries are changing toward more personalized goods and services and highly targeted markets!
So here’s a good way to look at how general coaching is different than niche coaching.
General coaching, or life coaching is kind of like someone who works as a general surgeon
They can help a broad range of people and yes they can save lives.
But what happens when someone has a specific problem. Like a problem with their brain or their heart. Well they go to a brain surgeon or a cardiologist.
This type of doctor is highly specialized, highly targeted, and they can make up to 2-4 times as much as a general surgeon.
And because this person is so targeted, people come to them.
That’s the value of a niche skill set.
So what is niche coaching?
Niche coaching is focusing your coaching on a very specific type of goal. Your niche would be based on a specialized type of knowledge or experience that YOU are uniquely able to address with clients.
The good news is that regardless of the field that you are in, your passion, or your life experience, there are people who have the same passion or purpose or who NEEDS the transformation you can offer.
So I hope you’re getting the picture here.
It’s the most profitable AND fulfilling type of coaching because…
- You’re coaching based on WHO YOU ARE—your unique gift
- Your ideal clients SPECIFICALLY want what you have to offer
- Because your niche is highly targeted, it’s easier to find your clients (more on that later)
So, WHAT IS YOUR GIFT?
So, the questions is, what unique gift do YOU have to offer?
You might be thinking you don’t know, but if you DID know, what would it be?
Below are a few brainstorming questions to help you start to uncover your gift.
- Do you have a painful challenge you overcame? Would you want to help others thrive through those same challenges?
- What personal transformation or accomplishment have you experienced that you want to share with others?
- Or, do you have a passion, skill or expertise that you want to share?
- What result can you help them get? What do they need from you, specifically?
- What do you know really well that others would LOVE to pick your brain about?
If you aren’t yet seeing clearly what your gift is, or if you can’t yet see that someone would pay for it… Hear this, I mean really hear what I’m about to say. Everyone…EVERYONE has some piece of knowledge or experience that SOMEONE out there is willing to pay thousands of dollars for. THOUSANDS.
Let me give you a great example: Our friend and colleague Michael had a severe stutter his entire life. He would try so hard to stop it that he’d bite his tongue until it blead. As a young adult he felt drawn to Seminary School (to become a minister), yet this job would require him to speak in public. HE dove into personal development & listened to his audiobooks over and over again. Not only did the lessons change the way he thought about himself, but he became so familiar with the material that he could present it nearly verbatim. He practiced and practiced until to his own amazement, he found he could speak for 30 to 60 minutes at a time without stuttering. He ended up becoming a professional speaker and instructor and tried to open several businesses.
After many years he realized his calling to help other overcome stuttering and transform their lives like he had. Started by making videos on YouTube offering tips. He was inspired by the difference his unique strategies were making for people and he found that his viewers began asking him to coach them. Word began to spread and his coaching business grew. He could see that not only could the methods he developed transform people’s lives, but he could truly make a living while fulfilling his destiny. He now has a thriving business and loves what he does; his success came when he aligned with his true gift.
The key insight here is that your true gift is often what you overcame yourself. Not always, because sometimes your gift has more to do with your professional experience, however it is very common.
By uncovering the blessing hidden within the curses of your own life, you reveal the gift contained within your experience—one you can package into a life coaching niche and offer to others to transform their lives.
The 3 Biggest Mistakes Life Coaches Make
3-Part Article Series
Click below to view additional blogs in the series.