Written by Ali Hendry, Education Director (Europe), Radiant Coaches Academy
When I started my Radiant Coaches Academy training in 2020, I was exploring my niche. Initially, I didn’t want to limit my options, so I cast my net wide. In time, I realized this was a limiting belief; I now realize the right clients will find me. I cannot (and should not) be all things to all people. And if I want to attract a new subsection of people, then I will weave in offers that will call them in.
I clearly remember the moment Dez Stephens (CEO of Radiant Coaches Academy) asked us, “What do you want to spend 24-hours talking about?” I gazed up at my bookcase full of narrative non-fiction relationship books by psychologists and psychiatrists, and various personal development tomes. The answer was simple, Relationships!
From here, I delved into what was the problem my clients faced that coaching would help them solve. I completed several Mission Statements on different aspects of the kinds of relationship coaching I wanted to engage in. For example,
I am a (type of coach) relationship coach
Who helps (type of client) queer women
Who are struggling with (the problem you will help them solve) opening up their relationships
To (what will you help them find) explore their options in a non-judgmental environment
So they can (outcome) live a conscious relationship design
In addition, this exercise is a wonderful Law of Attraction manifestation, as you are bringing your imagined future into the now.
The following questions were enormously helpful in working out who my clients are:
- What drew you to coaching in the first place? – what does this tell you about who your clients are?
- What skills do you already have that are relevant to coaching? – e.g., experiences, training, skills that you are always complimented on by friends, family, and colleagues
- What kinds of people do you feel connected to? – look at how you answer this question, do you default to thinking about personalities, qualities, demographics, professions etc., and find the clues in how you answer as well as what your answer is
- What communities do you have access to? – e.g., at work, hobbies, professional bodies
Before my Relationship Coaching lightbulb moment, I explored other avenues. I suggest trying a range of clients, as sometimes you don’t know something until you know something! From my skills and experiences, I realized that my clients could be from the entertainment industry or the course design world (having years of experience in both).
As a result, I had two wonderfully creative clients, one who used coaching to develop their theatre show and the other to work on their stand-up comedy offerings. Plus, I had two passionate, driven clients who wanted to create courses, one for a performance project in an education setting and the other for a communication skills course they wanted to launch.
However, this second client was where I began to lose the will to live! She booked two sessions a week for three months, that’s twenty-four hours of my life I will never get back… and I feel grateful. While this was a win for developing my coaching skills, I realized quickly that this was not my niche! Not helped by the fact that I could have bashed out her course design in two days! But I was coaching and not training her, and the course had to be from her brain and not mine. Still, we did it, and the final course was ground-breaking, and totally her vibe.
Some of your clients will look to you as a mentor. They are where you were several years ago. They will read your biography, or may have worked alongside you in this sector before you jumped into coaching. This opens doors, but remember it is simply their thoughts about who you are as a person that attracts them in. During the coaching you wouldn’t share your knowledge, you would share your coaching acumen.
Work on growing a belief that your coaching will go where it is supposed to go, which may take it out of the remit of your niche. I have a phenomenal client who came to me for relationship coaching and during our six months of working together not only has she found love, but she turned her business around and formulated a sustainable wellbeing program.
Remember you can change your coaching title anytime you want! Just because you call yourself a Holistic Wellness Coach today doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself full, unapologetic permission to call yourself a Small Business Coach tomorrow! I was approached by a new client who wanted a neurodivergent-aware coach to help them with their business. My website states I am a relationship coach, it doesn’t mention business or neurodivergence. And yet somewhere amongst my biography (I mention that my daughter has autism) and my client reviews (I have helped small businesses thrive) this new contact liked the cut of my jib and reached out. It turned into a successful partnership where she could unpack her limiting beliefs and run an ethical, inclusive business in the way she had always dreamed of.
All the work you are doing now around niching, in terms of identifying your qualities, working out who you want to spend coaching time with, will help how you construct your marketing and sales frameworks. Yes it will help you come up with a title (or not, you don’t need one if you don’t want one!), but it will also inform what you decide to share about yourself on your website and social media platforms.
Here’s how you can explore your niche:
- Interview a coach. Reach out on the Radiant Coaches Facebook group for coaches working in the field you’re interested in. Or research other coaches and approach them directly, people love talking about themselves, so go with a mindset of “They’re lucky to have enthusiastic me coming to them for inspiration!”
- Book review. Choose a book in your niche area. Share what you are reading on social media, discuss it, and open yourself up to attracting potential clients who are also interested in this topic.
- Reach out on the Radiant Coaches Facebook group, or to friends, family, colleagues for people who want to be coached in a niche area you are exploring. And/or get another Radiant student to coach you around helping you find your niche.
You are exactly where you need to be right now on your coaching journey.
This was so helpful as I am currently in the process of discovering my niche. I’m going to sit with the questions you asked and really put it into perspective. Thank you!!