When someone first told me I should choose a niche in order to attract more clients, I didn't get it.
I wanted to help everyone; and my training set me up so I could help anyone with anything. Choose a niche? I didn't want to for a long time. I resisted the idea and felt frustrated anytime another person told me the first thing I needed to do was choose a niche.
Maybe you've already heard that it's important to choose a niche (and maybe you're even wrestling with the idea like I was). Or maybe you're brand new in business and haven't yet considered how important having a niche is.
One of the things we've found, after teaching over 25,000 coaches and holistic practitioners how to attract their ideal clients and get paid well for the great work they do, is that once a good niche is chosen everything else falls into place.
In fact, discovering your niche is the first key to set yourself apart from the crowd and attract your most ideal clients. And it's one of the hardest decisions most coaches and entrepreneurs make while on the path to their first six-figure year.
One of the reasons it's so difficult is that most people misunderstand what a niche is. Some people think it's a specialty, like "authentic Thai massage." But a niche is not a specialty (meaning a way you do your thing differently from others who do the same thing).
We define a niche as: a specific problem that you solve for a specific group of people.
Why do we use the word specific here? Let's look at it this way. If you had a problem with bloating, cramping, nausea and constipation, would you rather see your family physician or would you prefer to see a practitioner who specializes in digestive disorders? The specialist, of course.
Why? Because you assume they have more extensive knowledge and experience to help you overcome your digestive distress and can get you the results more quickly than someone who is a "Jack of all trades, but master of none."
The other reason it's important is because your marketing message will speak to people directly, rather than not stand out for anyone (because it's too general).
So we highly recommend you become the specialist in your field so people who need what you offer can find you.
Part of Cinder's discovery process came from the questions you're about to answer. During this process, she realized that she understands how plus-size feel about their challenges around their knee pain and what it stops them from doing. And she understands how they feel about exercising.
She knew that her passion is to help women move their bodies so they can have full, active lives. So Cinder's niche is helping plus-size women eliminate knee pain. She set up her website and marketing to speak personally to this group and has had a really positive response, including being seen as an expert in this area. Cinder now earns a healthy 6-figure income (working fewer hours than when she started with us) with this very specific niche.
To get you started on your niche discovery, here are 4 questions to ask yourself. Start making a "Niche brainstorm list" as you answer these questions.
Which problems have you faced and mostly healed in yourself?
We have found that for most coaches and holistic practitioners, there's a link between the work they do and their own life experience.
We encourage you to write down the biggest problems you have faced in your life and how you worked through those problems. Taking Cinders' example, she might list how she found a system to reduce her own knee pain, and perhaps faced struggles with exercise or body image.
In case you feel hesitant about choosing a problem you have been working through yourself, we want to give you some assurance that you don't have to be a master yet. We intentionally say "mostly healed" because you only need to be two or three steps ahead of your clients. They will get massive value from you if you can help them get beyond their current state and to the next level.
Which problems are you already helping people with?
One place to consider looking for clues as to what your niche should be is to ask yourself, "Who is already coming to me and what for?"You may notice that most of your clients happen to be women entrepreneurs or happen to be moms who are frequently overwhelmed by how to feed their kids healthy food. You may find that the same concerns, blocks, or interests keep coming up in your people. Make a list of what you notice.
Now look at your list and see which problems, categories, types of people, etc., make you feel excited. Let's say you wrote, people struggling with their weight – does this excite you as a possible niche? Can you get more specific? Maybe when you get more specific it's former athletes who, now that they're older, are finding it harder to keep their weight at a healthy level.
Which problems you want to become an expert at or learn more about?
You may have people coming to you with problems that you know you can solve for them and you might enjoy doing it, but you're not curious enough to learn more about it. Maybe you've maxed out on this area.
Perhaps there are other possible niches you want to fully heal or master.
Taking our knee pain example again, let's say you have dealt with knee pain and only get it every few months, but it is still frustrating when you get it and you want to immerse yourself in mastering healing knee pain. And you want to help other people get through it themselves. It's a problem you can picture yourself working with in the future, learning more about, and expanding your business around. These are the problems you want to add to your niche brainstorm list.
Which problems do you want to be thanked profusely for having solved?
Recall a time when someone was really passionate about what you did for them, and how this made you feel. Take some time to consider what you're really passionate about. One of our members recently shared that she LOVES the feeling she gets when someone tells her they are feeling better (she's a Naturopath).
What are the specific ways you want to change your clients' lives and have them say thank you for? Add these specific problems you could possible solve to your niche brainstorm list.
This last category is one of the most important ones, because it adds in your passion. And choosing a niche that you're not passionate about is not something we recommend.
One of the ways we got more specific about our niche was when we did some visioning work and realized our personal mission is to create a HUGE wave of transformational leaders who change the world. We define a transformational leader as an entrepreneur whose clients are getting great results, and where he or she is earning $10,000 (or more) each month. Whenever we get a heartfelt thank-you or a passionate testimonial from one of our graduates who are experiencing this kind of success, we feel so fulfilled. We know we're on the right track and we know why we're doing this work.
This is what we want you to think about here, on a really specific level. List which solutions you want people to have that they will thank you for.
These four questions are a good start in helping you discover your niche. Once you have your niche brainstorm list, try one on for 90 days. Start sharing with people how you help people using specific language based on your niche...and watch how your ideal clients become attracted to you.
The goal in the process of discovering your niche
The goal in this work on your niche is not to put pressure on yourself to find the perfect niche right away. It's a process. But it's well worth the effort when you begin to connect with the clients who really need you, pay you well, and keep you excited about the work you do.