There is something so attractive about being very clear about your niche, the challenge of the people in that niche, and the solution you provide. When you can articulate this clearly, you become the ‘go to’ person for this particular group of people. It is easy to recommend you. Clients feel drawn to a specialist.
If you were going to run a marathon, would you buy shoes at any old store, or would you go to a store that specialized in running shoes? Becoming a specialist will make practice development much easier.
Here’s how I identified my specialty. When I received my niche of coaching new coaches, and decided to accept that group as my focal point, my community, I got on every mailing list that related to new coaches. I joined every Yahoo group for coaches (except those for soccer coaches!). I was a member of the Irish coaches and the Parent coaches. In fact, I found out that there was a limit to how many Yahoo groups you could join in any given day, so I had to do this over multiple days!
I had narrowed my niche from entrepreneurs, to coaches, to new coaches. It was recommended that I get as narrow as possible, and I found that having a narrow niche made it much easier to determine my specialty. It was easy to communicate with new coaches. I knew who they were. And after receiving many ezines, discussion posts, and talking to new coaches, the biggest challenge that I heard time and again, was marketing and sales.
Listen for the questions your clients are asking
The questions new coaches were asking (and still are) were “How do I market my business in a way that is authentic to me?” “How do I sell my services without being sleazy?” These questions came up over and over, so I was clear about the challenge. Now I had to determine what my unique solution was to this challenge.
At the beginning when I was coaching new coaches in practice development, I was also a new coach myself developing my practice. Yet I was a bit farther along the path. I had more clients and revenue and experience than those who I was coaching. So I looked at what my experience had been.
You won’t be surprised to learn that one of my most effective solutions to the challenge of practice development for me was using spiritual principles. I had come from a business background, and was so used to working long hours and working hard. And I had created success in that way. Yet I wanted something different. I wanted to create a business with ease and joy.
I learned that it did not have to take lots of sheer effort to build a business
I was not entirely sure that businesses could be created this way, since all I had ever seen was putting lots of effort in to get the reward. I knew that my coaching mentors had created their business this way. I saw a few others doing it. So I set out utilizing all of my self-development and spiritual tools to create my business. And I began to have fantastic results. I knew it worked!
That was my solution for new coaches. To help them create their businesses using spiritual principles. I could show them how to totally integrate their life and their business. I knew how to bring this all together. I had done it.
I looked around at other coaches of new coaches, and no one was really talking about this like I was. Even though there were others doing similar work, I realized that no one had my unique voice and perspective. I was very passionate about my solution, and I had used it myself so I knew it worked.
The solution that you provide comes from your own experience with the challenge of your niche. What did you do (or are you doing) to overcome the challenge? Remember, you only have to be a step or two ahead of your niche to be able to serve them well.