May 9, 2018
Over the past handful of weeks I’ve been showing you 5 ways you can choose a niche. Perhaps a better way of entitling it would have been “5 Things you can wrap your coaching niche around.”
Just to be clear: there are many more than simply 5 (but 5 is what we promised we’d give you!), but the final way I’m going to share with you is knowledge.
By “knowledge,” I simply mean that you know stuff about a particular subject matter. This knowledge could have been acquired through experience, a skill, it could have even been acquired through research, etc. There are a number of ways that people come to know something.
How you acquired this knowledge is probably not as important as your ability to demonstrate it and, of course, to leverage it to make yourself a commodity in order to get paid for it.
Now, as you’ve probably learned from your coach training, coaches aren’t paid to be experts about anything except transformation and partnering with people so the client can come up with their own solutions to get what they desire.
Even if we’ve used our knowledge as our means of choosing a niche, it’s not about our ability to tell people how or what to do with their lives or what solutions are right for them. Instead, we use our knowledge of the subject matter to build a connection, to touch on the pain points or strong desires of my ideal clients, to demonstrate understanding, build credibility, and to convince them that we are experts at helping people come up with that particular solution.
If all of that doesn’t make a lot of sense, let me give you an example…
In my previous career, I worked with some larger non-profits, and became fascinated with leadership, organization building, and team building.
I worked for some great people who allowed me to attend some of the best leadership conferences, read the best books, and meet some real movers and shakers in the world.
Along the way, I put what I knew into building large organizations and recruiting & training volunteer teams of up to 250 people. I loved being a visionary and creating cultures where people could find their sweet spots and thrive.
So it only made sense that, when I began my coaching career, I’d be an executive coach. I didn’t have a corporate background, but I had so much knowledge about leadership, motivation, and strengths that I really knew what made executives tick.
When I went out and about networking, etc., I knew the lingo, and could talk to other executives on the level of an expert. Trust pretty much came about instantaneously, and when I generously served this group of people, they genuinely accepted me and wanted my help.
After I got into the door with these executives, I started seeing more opportunities to leverage knowledge that I hadn’t really considered before.
One of my clients was the general manager of a really large sales organization. One day I was like, “Wow, I really like what I’m doing with executives, but it would be so much fun to help him work with his team.”
I already knew a lot about team building and the pain points that all teams struggle with, but my job wasn’t to put on my consultant hat and say, “Here’s what you need to do.”
As we all know, coaching is about the individual being the expert on their own life who can come up with their own solutions. All I needed to do was create a process that would allow me to coach a team rather than just their boss. After all, the team knows their dysfunctions better than anyone. And the team also knew what the solutions were as well.
When I finally had it packaged, it was a 6-month contract with any company that hired me. Not only was it a satisfying challenge, but it also paid immensely more than coaching an individual. At the time, I was still working a full-time regular job. In order to work with a company, I’d have to take a day off from my regular job to spend time with the team.
The payoff was amazing. I would make more money in a single day’s work than I would make in weeks working my regular job.
Over the years, I’ve continued to capitalize on my knowledge as problems/opportunities have arisen. One of those emerged out of a couple of conversations I was had with various business owners who had staffs that were multi-generational and included large groups of Millennials. Having worked with that generation for many years and created cultures where Millennials thrived, I was able to help them unpack who they are and how they could be managed.
It dawned on me that this was a problem that a number of business owners were facing. They were hiring and losing some of the best and brightest. Other companies who had Millennials mixed in with older generations were experiencing a lot of unresolved conflict that led to toxic environments.
So, I leveraged my expert knowledge on Millennials and went in to organizations to help them get a grasp on their challenges, and then handed them the wheel so that they could come up with the solutions that would promote a healthy thriving culture.
I know these are very corporate examples of how I’ve personally used knowledge as a niche, but there are so many broad and specialized topics that coaches can leverage.
What do you have a lot of knowledge about?
It could be parenting, birthing, homeschooling, health (big category here), travel, etc.
Some time ago, I met a woman who knew about a particular disease. She coached sufferers in order for them to take control and manage their own illness.
Again, the possibilities are really endless as I believe that we have more knowledge available at our fingertips than we ever have had in history. And if you already know a lot or have a passion to know more about a subject, you likely can become an expert on most subjects in a week or two.
If you’re interested in considering knowledge as the source of your niche, I’d spend some time taking stock of all the things that you know more about than the average individual.
In this discovery, I’d highlight the things that you’re most passionate about, that you could talk for hours about, and cross out the things that aren’t really that interesting to you.
Once you’ve narrowed that down, look for the pain points (or strong desires) that people have with regard to that topic.
Finally, ask yourself: what kind of result can people expect if they allow me to coach them on this topic?
It’s really that simple to leverage what you know and monetize it as a coaching niche.
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