10 Ways to Know You Have a Great Coaching Niche! | by Emma-Louise Elsey (UPDATED)

Happy Coach Leaning on Desk Considering her Niche

One great way to establish if you have a clearly defined niche is if you can answer these questions:

  1. Where do my ideal clients like to hang out? (consider 'in person' group and activities as well as online groups they may belong to)
  2. What do they read? (magazines, blogs etc.)
  3. What websites do they regularly visit?

But this doesn't necessarily mean you have a great niche if the coaching market is saturated with other coaches doing the same thing as you…

Here are 10 factors that suggest you have a great coaching niche:

You won't necessarily be able to say "Yes" to all 10 of the items on this list, but if you can say yes to most of these, it suggests you have a viable coaching niche.

  1. You know where to 'meet' your clients - whether it's online, in print or in person. TIP: Being able to meet your target market in person or through online events will help you get clients faster - it takes much longer to build trust, recognition and rapport online or through advertising.
  2. You know your Unique Selling Point (USP). This could be unique in terms of what you do or it could be how you do it, where you do it or something else. But you are different somehow…
  3. You've assessed the competition. You've looked around at who else is serving this niche and you're offering something unique, specialized or can do it 'better' than other coaches who are similar to you.
  4. There aren't many other people who do what you do. With the internet, people can pick a coach from anywhere, but we tend to pick someone local - even for phone coaching. If there are 10 other coaches in your small hometown coaching the same specialization as you - you may find it hard to get established…
  5. The clients you've identified are willing/can afford to pay your fees! I've seen many coaches struggle because their chosen clients - can't afford their fees. A couple of examples where you need to carefully consider your affordability to your clients could be coaching single moms or aspiring artists. TIP: If you're keen to help low-income clients, consider offering cheaper group-coaching or e-learning options.
  6. You understand exactly what your niche/target market are struggling with and can clearly articulate how you help them. What problems do you help your niche solve? What goals do you help them move towards?
  7. Experience: you've been there and done that. You have first-hand experience (or transferable skills and experience) in what your clients are struggling with - and can demonstrate through your story. TIP: Whilst having experience in the area you're coaching isn't necessary to coach your clients, it's an important signal to potential clients that you are able to help them. This builds trust, and helps people commit.
  8. It's easy to describe your niche to others. This means your friends and contacts (or even a child!) can easily tell other people what you do.
  9. Credibility: you have the relevant "qualifications" your client expects. What would your niche clients expect and respect in someone who would coach them? A business owner looking for business coaching may expect you to have run your own business. Corporations like to see coaching and relevant industry credentials. A lawyer might appreciate the fact that you've worked as a paralegal. A teacher client might love that you have a teaching degree. A mom struggling with kids might expect you to have children of your own.
  10. You're truly excited about the niche you've picked and can't wait to get started!

You may find these other articles helpful:

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

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    • elelsey

      Thanks William! It's a tough subject for most coaches - I found writing this list helpful myself! Warmly, EL

  1. Natalie Schneider

    I found this article very helpful, however I'm still struggling with figuring out if my niche is viable.
    I started out as a Life Transitions coach (1 year), and now I'm reassessing. The clients that I've worked with so far have not been going through a life transition, they have been women entrepreneurs who are learning work/life balance, setting
    boundaries with clients, making time for themselves for self care, fun, and working on self-worth issues.
    Statistics show there are 12.3 million women owned businesses, however I'm not sure if
    my ideal client has a willingness to do the work and has a desire to change. Is this enough of a struggle/pain point for them to hire a life coach? (#6 Above in your article).
    Any suggestions on how to look at this further and determine if it's a viable niche? thanks!!


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