When there isn’t an obvious niche

One of the biggest roadblocks coaches experience is the persistent advice to choose a niche for their business.

But choosing a niche feels risky. Will I miss out on possible coaching clients if they don’t fit my stated niche?

When there isn’t an obvious niche staring at you in the face, my advice is to put a blog on your website and write. Most of us aren’t prolific content creators. But most of us recognize that the businesses we admire online do publish prolifically.

You have to publish

Here’s where I coach the coach: this behavior is new and uncomfortable, but you know it’s necessary to grow your business.

You have to publish your ideas online.

Your first articles won’t look like the polished pieces Kelly Laveque or Dhru Purohit put out into the world. That’s okay. (🔥 Pro tip: scroll back to their earliest podcast episodes, Instagram posts, and published content. You’ll find it looks a lot more like yours!)

Publishing on your website isn’t so much about creating authoritative and exhaustive posts over and over again. That isn’t realistic. Instead, aim to convey how your think. Ultimately, people like us get hired for our vibe and approach, not our novel solutions. Aim to be relatable.

For instance, I know you could Google the heck out of ‘how to niche my coaching business’ and never find my article. But you may not resonate with the articles you do find. But here you are and I hope you resonate with this one.

Drop and give me twenty

If you’re still stuck and don’t know what to write about, make a list of 20-50 insights you have related to health coaching and wellness that most of your end clients don’t know. Don’t get verbose, just make a list.

Include ideas that you feel you should have thoughts or opinions on but don’t yet. Then read, think, and discuss until you can articulate your ideas on the subject.

This is what David Baker in The Business of Expertise calls “Drop and give me twenty.” It borrows the idea from the military that, with a reasonable level of fitness, you should be able to drop and do at least twenty pushups. Likewise, experts with expertise-based businesses should be able to rattle off twenty valuable insights that relate to the problem they solve.

This list of 20-50 ideas will be where you draw inspiration to write about on your website.

Over time, your writing will take on themes. You’ll find you have a deep interest and growing intuition around particular problems. That’s the seed of a niche!

Choose a theme for a time

Especially when you’re just getting started, you don’t know what your business niche is. You don’t have the track record or experience yet.

But you will need to focus your marketing on a particular problem and population. It just doesn’t have to be permanent. I encourage coaches to think in themes. Much like periodization in marketing, a theme is a problem/population focus for a finite period of time. Usually at least three months.

Lean into an area you want to learn about and help with, and for at least three months write about it a lot. Post about it. Follow accounts that focus on it. Subscribe to newsletters. Watch videos. Go deep into this theme for three months.

This discipline around a theme will likely attract clients that fit the bill. That’s great. But it still doesn’t have to be permanent. You can pursue a new theme.

Over years, these thematic focuses create a corpus of expertise that you possess. Or maybe you strike gold and go all in on one of these themes, building your entire practice around it. Either way, it’s an incredibly powerful exercise.

You need to focus

You need to put yourself out there. That means publishing your ideas on the internet. To create content on the internet, you need to focus on a problem and population. But it doesn’t have to be permanent.

P.S. Would you benefit from a little more clarity around your newsletter strategy? Grab 20 minutes to chat with me for free (I love to help).