As a health and wellness coach, it’s understandable you want to give your clients the best service possible. But trying to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and do everything for everyone can end up hurting your business and your own well-being.
While it’s natural to take any work that comes your way when you first start out, for the long-term you’re likely going to want to pick a business niche when it’s time to scale. This is because you can make templates, automate, and really refine your services and products in a way that you can’t do when you’re serving everyone under the sun.
But, I realise that deciding on a business niche is a daunting decision, so I want to discuss how you know the time is right, and what is involved in this post. When is the time right, and what’s involved?
“I try to be whatever my coaching clients need me to be – I’m just not sure it’s helping them or me!”
There are some definite advantages to being a generalist.
- Taking whatever work comes your way means you can spend less time marketing and following up on leads. This means a greater portion of your time is billable, and can be spent doing what you love.
- If you’re capable of context-switching effectively – that is, if you can hold an adequate level of knowledge about multiple fields at the same time and apply them without confusing contexts – you can avoid employing more people in your team.
However, the full idiom exposes the problem – jack of all trades, master of none! By trying to be everything to everyone, you will never have time to get to grips with highly technical areas.
Trying to do everything at once can mean you’re not offering the most competitive and in-depth service. When people come to you with pre-existing conditions, diseases, or illnesses, you risk harming them instead of helping them. Or you might miss out on the opportunity to provide them with the specialist care they could benefit from if they were to go to a specialist with the right skills, tools, and equipment.
And lastly, as anyone who tries to be everything to everybody knows – it’s exhausting! You will put yourself in danger of burnout, and then you’ll be no use to anybody.
The benefits of choosing a business niche as a health coach
Unless you’re qualified explicitly in multiple areas, picking a niche is a good idea for the following reasons:
- Stronger brand message – A clear and targeted focus will enable you to create stronger programs and a more effective, targeted marketing strategy.
- Cost-effective marketing – Having a clear and specific market costs you less money in the long-run too, because you can create hyper focused campaigns and get higher engagement/conversion rates.
- Allows you to charge a premium – Being a specialist means you can charge more for your services.
- Makes you memorable – Niching makes it easier for people to send you referrals because they know what clients you are looking for, and they can be sure you won’t compete with the service they might be providing them. More referrals mean more of your ideal clients.
- Creates unique network opportunities – Becoming a specialist will open opportunities such as conference speaking and guest blogging, which will bring even more clients to you.
It can be challenging to make the jump from being a generalist to a niche service provider.
Follow these six tips on how to choose and develop your health coach business niche.
1. Find Your Sweet Spot
If you’ve ever played a ball sport that relies on accuracy and timing (and most do!), you will have heard the expression “sweet spot.” Hitting the ball with the “sweet spot” of your racket, bat, or club will deliver the ball further, harder, and faster than striking it even slightly off.
We each have a “sweet spot” consisting of situations and activities where we’re maximally effective and create the most value for our efforts. The intersection of your passions, skills and talents, and your values, is where you’ll find your niche options.
- What do you love doing?
- What do you do well?
- And what do you think is important?
If you can immediately answer this, you are in the minority. In the flurry of busyness, most of us lose sight of ourselves and fail to see the patterns in those moments when we achieve extraordinary results. It is an excellent reason to immediately trim clients who take up time and energy you can’t afford.
Make a list of your skills (the things you are trained to do) and your talents (the naturally good things). On a separate page, list your core life values, and on a third page, list the things you are passionate about. You will probably find that work, where your skills and talents coincide with your values, is what you feel most passionate about. Sometimes we can be technically good at something, but if we don’t value the process or the outcomes, it can be soul-destroying – that’s not your niche!
Top Tip: Our values are so insidiously formed by our upbringing and experiences, it can be difficult to articulate them. And what we can’t name, we can’t work with. If you are struggling with identifying your core life values, try this exercise from Liveboldandbloom.com.
2. Evaluate Your Potential Markets
Now that you’ve identified your possible niches based on your internal criteria, throw “opportunity” into the mix. This is the external component of your niche – is there a demand for your niche service offering?
Fortunately, the internet makes it very easy to gauge the “popularity” of any niche as long as you know what keywords and phrases your prospective clients will be searching on. For each of the potential niches you’ve identified for yourself, jot down three to five keywords or phrases you think people will use to find out more about the topics or locate related services.
Once you have these, search for them on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Which are the topics that have the most posts? What are the people in these forums saying, and what are they looking for? Does your service address a “trending” problem experienced by people you have access to?
Top Tip: As you perform this exercise, you may realise you haven’t got your keywords quite right. If that’s the case, change them and make a note of them. They may come in handy for marketing purposes. You can see what your competitors are using by using online tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Übersuggest, or Keyword Tool. They will also provide you with suggested keywords and phrases that are popular with your potential clients.
3. Select a Single Niche
Don’t be tempted to choose more than one niche. Trying to solve too many problems at once will confuse people and make you look less credible. People don’t necessarily understand how different areas of health fit together and can influence each other. They would rather go to a coach who solves the one problem they know they have.
Caveat: Once you are established you can select a complementary niche or area that makes sense for your business development. But to start, don’t muddy the water in your marketing or branding.
4. Watch Your Language
For this same reason, don’t use generic, broad, all-encompassing phrases to describe your offering. Telling prospective customers you want to help them “live their best life,” be “the best version of themselves,” and so on, is too vague and doing yourself a diservice. You need to speak directly to their pain points and show them exactly how their lives will differ after working with you. Doing this shows you know and understand them, and that’s why you’re a specialist! The work you did in number 2 above will come in useful here.
5. Test Your Niche
Before launching your new niche business, identify the milestones that would indicate success to you. Is it a certain number of new clients? Perhaps it’s improved peace of mind and a calmer lifestyle you’re looking for? Whatever success means to you, know how to measure it. With your milestones in mind, develop a detailed plan of achieving them and the timeframe you wish to do it in.
The reality is that you may not get your ideal niche right immediately. Predetermined indicators of success to measure against will help you take any difficult decisions. It’s okay to change your mind about what you consider a success, but not knowing what success looks like for you could lead you to pursue a failure longer than necessary.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Go Back to the Drawing Board
If your first niche idea doesn’t take off as hoped, don’t despair. Go back to the other options you identified under point above and start the process again. Switching niches is not something you can do regularly without losing credibility. However, having a good story to explain the shift will allow you to get away with it at least once or twice. And if you have done your homework right, you will find your niche options are likely related in some way – they are, after all, your passions.
Many experts agree that picking a business niche is an essential step for running a profitable coaching business. The industry is increasingly competitive, and distinguishing yourself from other coaches will be harder and harder. Ideally, it would help if you made it easy for prospective clients to make you their preferred choice. A niche identifies you as an authority in your chosen arena and someone who inspires trust.
If you need help updating your website and branding after choosing your niche, or you need help with messaging, drop me a message and I’ll see how I can help!