90-Days Blueprint, Part 1: Four Steps to Picking a Profitable Niche
Today, let’s talk about something basic, but Crucial: CLARITY
That is, clarity on Who you serve and What you serve them – both key factors in your business success.
The success of your business depends on the premise it’s built on. That is, if your business is selling water in the desert to parched tourists, then you’ll probably be super successful. Meaning, it’s important to sell a service (or product) that people are hungry for (oh, well, “thirsty” for).
I know it’s a silly comparison, but soak it up, ‘cause that’s the bottom line. Sell “water” to “thirsty” people; umbrellas on a rainy day; food to a starving crowd; sleeping solution to insomniacs; parenting solutions for frustrated parents; productivity solutions for stressed and overwhelmed professionals…
Consider the alternative: “Selling ice to Eskimos” – that is, trying to sell something that’s available for free; or selling some great solutions to major problems to people who are totally broke… and perhaps have given up hope… In either case you’ll end up struggling and making no sales.
So think about it… think about what service you are going to provide and to whom are you going to provide it; then pick your niche carefully.
How to Pick a Niche
Let’s explore How to Pick a Direction for Your Entrepreneurial Venture so that it will Allow You to Grow it into a Profitable and Sustainable Business.
!!! As you go through these steps, keep an open mind. Picking a “niche” does not necessarily mean what you’ve heard from others. In my book, if you pick a strong Target Market – that is clients who can afford your services and you can easily become visible in front of them, you’ll be far ahead of your competition, and inches away from generating an consistent flow of $$$s into your bank account.
Your #1 key to keep in mind: Start & run a business that provides a service (or product) that people WANT and are willing to Pay for!
Picking a Niche – or a specific direction for your coaching business is not always easy. Many provide us with confusing advice, such as “Follow your passion and all will fall into place…” Except, this is not always true (!)
Yes the above can be an accurate statement if your passion lies in a monetizable area; and can be totally False, if your passion lays into helping individuals who are struggling, or helping individuals who either don’t need your service, or even if they need it, they Don’t Want it.
In a moment I’ll share with you my 4-part “formula” to picking a great niche and a great target market; but before we do that, let’s clarify some terminology.
Niche = the service you provide (many use this term to refer to Target Market)
Target Market =the individuals you serve
So with that out of the way, let’s move on to…
Let me start by saying that I do realize that there’s a possibility that you are not ready to commit to picking a niche – if that’s the case, don’t stress about it. The key is to keep on coaching (or speaking, consulting, etc.) and I promise you your niche WILL find you… If you haven’t heard the story of how my niche found me, I’ll be glad to share it with you – simply ask, and I’ll share J
Regardless though, whether you are ready to carve your niche in stone or not, here are some questions that will help you at least get started in the right direction:
1. WHO do I want to serve? Who are they? Where can I find them? The more specific you are, the easier it will be to reach them and offer them your services.
This can be as specific as …
“I want to serve empty-nester single/divorced professional women, who want to reinvent their lives (and who make at least $80,000 per year)”;
OR you can leave it more vague…
“I want to serve professional women”; or “… overwhelmed managers”; or “new managers”; or “recently promoted managers who need help adjusting/become better leaders/become better communicators/become more productive; etc”
The key is to Pick a target market that can afford your fees.
Fail on this and do everything else well, and you’ll be wasting your time – your business will be a continuous struggle and very likely to fail. So take your time to pick your target market wisely.
2. Where can I meet my ideal clients? Where do they gather…? Can I easily get in front of the people I want to serve (the target market you picked in point 1, above)?
Ask yourself, “Are my ideal clients gathering in one place where I can easily get in front of them?” Do they have an association (where perhaps you can present workshops, promote in their newsletter, etc.); do they have a LinkedIn group (or groups); do they have specialized magazines; etc.
This is key, as this knowledge will allow you to target your marketing efforts in a way that it’ll produce results.
3. What do I serve? What solutions do I provide to what problems, challenges, or strong desires?
Make sure to approach your Target Market with services that they (a) Need AND (b) Want! (Both of these have to be in place, as most people DO NEED our services, but unfortunately most do NOT want our service)
What is your target market’s (or your ideal client’s) challenge that’s so “burning” that they are willing to pay $100s or $1000s to resolve?
If I borrowed $150,000 from the bank to start a business, and after 6 months or a year I’m still barely having clients, what will I do? I’ll hire a marketing consultant or coach to help me start attracting clients and start raking in some profits…, right?
Am I willing to pay $100s or $1000s to this consultant? Heck YES! The alternative is way too painful…
Or… if I’m a well-paid recently-promoted manager who is overwhelmed with feeling unproductive and feel like I’m not able to communicate well with my subordinates, would I be willing to invest in a Productivity coach? Absolutely.
The Target Market’s “pain” doesn’t have to be that earth shattering as in the above two examples. You might want to help professionals who want to regain control of their lives and feel alive outside of their workplace too; or singles or divorced individuals who want to find true love….
The key is to Identify your Target Market’s Pain or Strong Desire, so when they find out about you, they’ll automatically consider to hire you. Once you get in front of them, all you need to do is establish Credibility & Trust, and gain their business – and we’ll cover these crucial elements in future parts of this eCourse.
Ok, yes, I know I said above in point 1 that if you fail to get crystal clarity on Who you serve, you’ll end up struggling…, but this point is equally important: You can approach individuals who can afford your fees, But if you try to sell them a service that they don’t need and want, then you are wasting both your time and theirs…
It definitely helps if you are passionate about what you do. It’s even better if you have experience in the area you want to deliver the service in. Experience lands you credibility and potential clients will trust you easier with their hard-earned dollars, in exchange for your service.
Experience is not a must!
If you are passionate about an area, such as weight loss, nutrition, productivity, relationships, marketing, etc. – that passion probably translates into lots of reading, belonging to groups that relate to your area of passion; perhaps you attend regularly bootcamps that help you become more knowledgeable….
The key is to deliver a service that you enjoy delivering and you either have some experience in it OR you are passionate about it and are willing to deepen your knowledge in that topic. Your coaching training might feel like enough credential; but you’ll be a much more credible professional – and hence attract clients more easily – if you can provide some info of Why the prospect should invest in your service.
If you can put in place all 4 of these elements, with a little effort you can become a busy and prosperous coach.
In future parts we’ll explore how to start building on this Foundation and start attract more and more clients…
Did you find this useful?
I’m glad you did – But, reading about it is not enough 🙂
Here are your action-check-list items to complete today:
1. Who is your “HOT” target market? What group of people can afford your service/s or product/s?
2. What is your HOT Target Market’s Challenge or Burning Desire that you can help them with?
3. Where can I find my Ideal Market/Target Market? What are some ways I can get my message in front of them?
4. Why do I want to deliver this specific service? Why do I want to work with this specific group of clients?
Again, make sure you Implement these steps – it’s the only way to transform your coaching (or consulting) business-dream a reality.
Remember, the world belongs to those who take action! Commit to take action daily – implement, implement, IMPLEMENT!
In the next part, we’ll put in place the next piece of your Business-Building & Client-Attraction puzzle…
Till we meet again, Get Out there… – I mean, sit down there and implement this stuff 🙂
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