I recently read an article from Business Insider about the multi-billion dollar store JC Penny and how they made the big mistake I tell coaches about all the time…
They tried to appeal to everyone and then ended up appealing to no one.
They didn’t focus on their core strength, and their core niche market.
The result… almost 4 years of being unprofitable.
And for a company of JC Penny’s size, that amounted to billions of dollars.
For you, that could mean the difference between having a coaching business or not having one at all.
I’ve mentioned before that I know people that DO NOT focus on one specific niche and succeed with that model, but I’m also very clear that this is a very difficult road to take.
When you don’t have a niche that you focus on, you’ll end up trying to appeal to everyone, and that usually leads to situations like the one JC Penny is in right now.
So that said, I’d like to share a 5-Step “Narrow Your Niche” checklist that’ll help you pick a profitable niche market.
Or, fine to the one you’re in, if you already have one.
Step 1: Make a list of your passions, interests, and skills
I suggest you try and write for 15 or 20 minutes straight. Don’t worry about what you write down at first because you’ll refine the list later. Just be sure to write down everything you like doing and also things that you might have some training or formal education in.
Step 2: Turn your passions into people’s problems
This is a very crucial step, and what you’ll do is translate what you’re passionate about and what you know into the problems people need solved.
Most coaches (and business people in general) miss this essential step when choosing their niche. If you’re going to choose a niche that’s profitable, it’ll likely have to be one that focuses on solving real problems that people face.
For us coaches, this is golden because most of the people we come across will have some problem or challenge that they need solved. And even if they have a huge desire for something (that they don’t see as a problem), there’s usually a problem or challenge standing in the way.
Step 3: Discover how people actually perceive their problems
This next step is a bit counter-intuitive, and might seem tricky, but it’s really not.
Once you establish what people’s problems are, you’ll need to discover how people actually perceive their problems. In other words, how do they describe their problems? How do they talk about them with their friends? How do they think about their problem in their minds?
The great news is, you don’t need to be psychic to discover this stuff. You can use things like Google search and see what articles come up. And check out social media feeds to see how people talk about their problems, and the actual words they use.
Your goal here is to get into the heads of your potential prospects and start speaking their language. I often say that you have to “speak the language of clients”, and this concept starts to really come to life here.
Step 4: Research the size of the market
Now that you’ve done the first few steps and you have a good idea of how people describe their problems, and actual words and language they use, it’s time to put some numbers behind it!
One of my favorite tools for this task is the free Google Keyword Planner.
According to comScore, Google still holds staggering almost 70% of search traffic in the US alone, so this is usually my first choice to check out the size of markets.
What you’ll do here now is a take a search term that reflects what your prospects might type into Google and check out the size of the searches.
If you’re a dating coach for example, you might type in “how do I find a date?” into the Google Keyword Planner. If you help business owners, you might type in “generate more leads”.
Then the tool will give you monthly search results for each search term and you’ll decide if that market is big enough.
Do this for a number of search terms in the niches you’re researching to check the potential volume.
Step 5: Test your idea
Once you’ve gone through steps 1 through 4, it’s time to test your chosen niche.
And don’t be afraid to put one niche market to the side and test another one. The idea here is to test niches until you find one that’s profitable. All successful business people go through some trial and error, so the faster you can get through any niches that aren’t a great fit for you, the faster you’ll get to making big profits as a coach.
I really hope you found this article valuable and I’d love to hear from you and what progress you make as the days and weeks progress.
ps. Please let me know what you found most valuable by posting a comment below!