Are You Disco Ball Marketing? | By Steve Mitten

peopleMH900431237This article by Master Coach Steve Mitten, is about the importance of having a niche - or focus - in your practice.

Do you remember the disco ball?  It is that round, multi-faceted, mirror-ball that is a fixture at so many high school dances.  It was fantastic at breaking up a beam of light and scattering it into a million, faint, fleeting images across the dance floor.

Too many coaches market like a disco ball.  Being highly intuitive, feeling, inclusive, souls we do not want to say no to anyone.  So we send a bunch of weak, general and ineffective marketing messages out into the market.

In contrast to a disco ball, a laser so concentrates a beam of light that it can cut through anything.  The marketing equivalent of a laser is developing a niche, or focus, for your coaching practice, and it's important.  (However if you are in your first 6 months of coaching, don’t worry about finding a niche yet.  Experiment coaching different people to build your confidence and competence, and learn who you really like working with.)

In picking a niche, you differentiate yourself from the rest of the world of coaches. You find a place where your passions, experience, and strengths meet an aching need in the marketplace. And then you get noticed by communicating a clear and consistent message in the language of the problems your clients already have.  When you find a good niche, you get to a place in your practice where suddenly your clients recognize the tremendous value you offer, and start to come to you.

When considering a niche, as a minimum, it is important to pick a group of people:

  • That you love to work with.
  • That would appreciate or value much of your life experiences, training and accomplishments.
  • That have big challenges or problems they are spending money on now.
  • To whom you will be able to add a lot of value.
  • To whom you will have credibility as a solution provider.
  • Where the competition is not too entrenched.
  • That you can reach in large numbers, quickly and cheaply.

The fact that you pick a niche does not mean you cannot keep coaching your current diversity of clients, or that you have to turn down any future clients who may not be in your niche.  It's simply about being more effective with your marketing efforts because with a niche you will:

  • Understand your ideal client’s problems.
  • Speak their language.
  • Know the competitive landscape.
  • Know how to reach large numbers of them. (Their magazines, meetings, associations, etc.)
  • Be able to stand out as a recognized solution provider so they start to come to you. (I.E. - a big fish in a small pond.)

My best estimate is that a carefully chosen niche gives you about 10 times the return on a given investment of marketing, than the disco-ball approach.

"The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance
- and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning." Oprah

steve mitten headshot

Contributing Author:
Steve Mitten B.ApSc., CPCC, MCC. Steve is a Master Certified Business & Executive Life Coach, and Past President of the ICF (International Coaching Federation). Learn more about Steve and check out his many resources for coaches at acoach4u.com.

 

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