Wednesday, June 1, 2022

7 Steps to Finally Nail Your Niche … And Do You Even Need It?

We are happy to share an article from our friend Iveta Zaklasnikova, who is a coach and business consultant for service entrepreneurs in the health industry, titled 7 Steps to Finally Nail Your Niche…And Do You Even Need It?

7 Steps to Finally Nail Your Niche … And Do You Even Need It?

If you’re a solopreneur coach trying to figure out your niche or you need a niche in the first place, keep on reading.  Ok, but let me address the wild question I hear from so many coaches, “do I even need a niche?” 

My answer to this is… absolutely YES.  Well, I mean, if you want to attract consistent paying clients your way. But, if coaching is more of a hobby to you, then no, you don’t need a niche. 

Iveta Zaklasnikova

Ok, so here is why niche is super crucial for coaches’ entrepreneurs.  Ready?  People don’t understand what coaching is.  Simple as that.

If you’ve been in the coaching industry longer than 48 hours, you might have noticed that most people (non-coaches) just don’t have a freaking idea of what you do. I remember my early days as a ‘freshly baked’ coach, I received questions like: 

  • “Is it a therapy?”
  • “Are you like Tony Robbins or something?”
  • “So, you ask questions? And don’t give advice? Hmm… How will you help me then?

Pff… It’s fairly annoying trying to explain to everybody what coaching is and isn’t, right? 

So here are the 7 steps to nail your niche:

#1 Find Problems

Firstly, here is a little bit of tough love which I have to share with you: Nobody cares about your business. Let me explain this to you. 

Nobody cares about your skills and the amazing services you offer. Not many people care about how many qualifications you’ve got or the amount you charge. Nobody cares about the name of your business, how you look on Facebook video or how many followers you’ve got on your Instagram. 

All people care about is HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM.

Therefore, you have to understand what your target audience’s difficulties are so you can help them solve their problems.  What are they struggling with?  Yep, that’s the million-dollar question because you will create your niche based on PROBLEMS.  If there are no problems, there is no need to hire you, right? If no one hires you, how are you going to pay your bills?  Instead of trying to think if you want to be an empowerment coach or a leadership coach, think about the problems people have. 

Grab a paper and pen and list out 20 or more problems you think or know people have. Here is a little tip: What I see with my clients is that they serve ‘the past version’ of themselves. So, think about the challenges you have overcome in the past. 

Here are a few problems you might be familiar with: 

  • Not being able to lose weight
  • Fear of speaking in front of a crowd
  • Not feeling confident about oneself
  • Anxious when settling in a new role 
  • Difficulties in expressing oneself during an interview
  • Burn out 
  • Transitioning to a vegetarian diet

You might want to ask yourself questions like: 

  • What have I overcome in the past? 
  • What makes me upset? 
  • If I could, what problems would I be passionate about solving?

#2 Pick Three

Now, look at the list of 20 problems and circle 3 that you feel most passionate about helping people with.  Don’t overthink it, just follow your heart and your intuition, the same way you do when you coach someone. I’m not coming to your house to steal the list of the problems you wrote down, so you can pick any other niche if you wish at any point. 

Just pick 3. 

#3 The One

Now, look at the 3 you’ve circled and pick one. Again, no need to overthink this.

#4 Specify Your WHO 

So, you’ve got the one problem you see in the world. I want you to think who has the problem? Who are these people? Mums? Managers in their 50s? Single dads? Leading women in the fashion industry? Be specific. Saying men or women or everybody will not get you far. 

Go ahead and specify your WHO. You might want to think of your specific career background and life experiences.

#5 Ask 

I don’t want to disregard the problem you’ve selected, but what I often see with coaches is that they try to sell problems people might not even have or problems people don’t think of the way coaches do. A perfect example is self-love. People don’t think of self-love as a problem, they think of “I don’t like my belly fat.” 

So, you want to ask them more about the problem and then figure out whether they have the problem (you know very well how easy it is to create assumptions, right? ;-)) and how they describe it. You can use online tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to create a survey and ask your WHO details about the problem and other problems they might have.

Or, you can invite them for a short phone/Zoom call and ask them a few questions such as:

  • What do you struggle with?
  • How has it been impacting your life? 
  • What would you like to have? 
  • If there was someone who could help you with your problem, would you hire the person? 
  • If yes, what would you expect from the support? 

Tip: Don’t include your family and friends in this survey, as they most likely love you and would tell you what you want to hear. 

Also, you might be wondering about two things right now: How many people should I speak to, and where the heck do I find them? 

Great questions! I usually recommend my clients speak with about 25 people to better understand their WHO and the problems they have. But here is one rule – the more the merrier! And where to find them?  You can ask your friends and colleagues if they know of someone who might be your WHO, check out FB groups where your WHO might hang out, and simply reach out to them on social media. 

Trust me, if you come from the place of purely conducting market research, people will be happy to help. 

# 6 Evaluate

Go back and evaluate the results from the research.  If you’ve learned that your WHO has problems you can help them with, go ahead to step #7.  On the other hand, if you’ve learned that they don’t have a solid problem you can help them with, then go back to step #3 and repeat the process. Think of these steps like a recipe for a cake. The first time you bake it, it might be delicious or not edible. And it’s ok. Next time you bake it, it might be freaking ah-mazing! So, go ahead and bake! 

#7 Write Your Message

Your niche is basically a group of people that has a specific problem. That’s it. 

If you’ve got your niche, congrats!  Now go ahead and write your marketing message so that it is super clear what you do and how you help others. 

You can use this template:   I help ___ (niche) to ____ (what they want) without ____ (the problem they have). 

For example: 

  • I help project managers to become excellent in giving presentations without breaking a sweat! 
  • I help healthcare professionals become confident when selling without losing their integrity. 
  • I help women in their 40s get a six-pack without spending hours in the gym. 
  • I help coaches get FULLY BOOKED without wasting money on paid ads. 

Voila, you’ve got your niche and you know how to explain to others what you do.

Now, roll up your sleeves and get in front of your WHO and keep talking about their problem and how you can help them. That’s how they’ll start noticing you and you might even get clients sooner than you think! 🙂 

How does it apply to you in your life?
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