Are self-limiting beliefs like fear, anxiety and comparing yourself to others holding you back from launching your business? Comparing yourself to your competition is counter-intuitive. Standing apart from the competition actually helps businesses thrive. Here’s how to define your niche market and use it as an asset for success.
Are you worried you’re not “good enough”?
Do you look at successful businesses and worry if you’re good enough?
Are you afraid of sharing your ideas because you’re worried about what colleagues might think?
Are you hesitant to launch your business because someone else is doing the same thing, or you think there are too many fish in the sea?
“Too many fish in the sea”
It’s hard to not look at others and wonder if you’re good enough. This is especially true when you’re just starting your business. Seeing widely successful people doing what you do (or want to do) can often trigger self doubt, fear and other self-limiting beliefs. This can hurt your business, or even make you want to give up before you’ve even started.
Competition and variety are good for business.
Think about the tech industry as an example: Samsung, Apple, LG and Google are some of many smartphone manufacturers. The iPhone was already on the market but that didn’t discourage other companies from creating their own smartphones. In fact, the competition encouraged innovation and variety. This is a good thing for consumers. With so many options, people have the opportunity to choose a smartphone that suits their unique needs.
Coaching is no different. A variety of coaches means clients can hire someone that works best for their needs. As an added benefit, it means you can hire clients that match your interests as well.
Remember: you are good enough. You are launching your business because you have something unique to offer. That is an asset.
You are good enough!
…but what if you’re still not sure what sets you apart?
Finding your niche
If you’re not sure what sets your coaching program apart from others, you’ll need to do some work before launching it.
What is a niche in business terms?
A niche is where you sit within a larger market. A niche is essentially a highly specific description of your target customer. It is where your business competes.
Why is finding a niche important? What if I want to coach anyone and everyone?
Defining a niche ensures you attract clients you’re passionate about. A unique niche market sets you apart from competition. The more specific your niche is, the narrower your competition will be.
Looking at search queries on Google is a great way to illustrate the importance of being specific.
Let’s say you’re a women’s fitness coach in the Seattle area. Coaching is your larger market. Being a fitness coach sets you apart from other coaches, but it’s not quite your niche market. Your niche market serves women in the Seattle area. This is where your business competes. You can break it down even further with the fitness activities you specialize in. See how defining a niche narrows down the competition:
…there are 1.7 billion results for fitness coach. That means there are 1.7 billion other webpages competing with you for space in that market. Let’s narrow the market a bit.
The results decrease to 204 million for fitness coach for women. That’s a bit better, but what happens when you get even more specific with your niche?
The results decrease to 9 million when adding “in Seattle” to the search query. That’s still a lot. Let’s imagine you’re certified in teaching HIIT, and want to use that in your fitness training.
Adding “specializing in HIIT” reduces the number to 598,000. That’s a number you’re more likely to break into than 1.7 billion.
Tip: You’ll want to market your business to your niche market. In SEO marketing, “fitness coach for women in Seattle specializing in HIIT” is the type of query your target customer, or niche market, will be searching for online.
This is why you don’t want to “coach anyone and everyone.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to help everyone, but it’s not a profitable business model. There’s just too much competition under a broad topic like coaching. Your business won’t be visible and people won’t see what makes you better than other options out there.
4 Tips for finding your niche: what sets YOU apart?
If you’ve read this far, you might understand why it’s important to define a specific niche market for your business. But what if you don’t know what exactly that is? Try these exercises:
1. Make a list of your passions.
You’re most likely good at (or interested in learning more) about your passions. Coaching is a very authentic profession, which means doing what you’re passionate about is important. Plus, work feels less like work when you’re doing something you’re passionate about! Make a list of the things and ideas you’re passionate about.
2. Identify problems you can solve.
Make a list of problems you can help others solve with coaching. What type of skills do you have? Do you have any special schooling or credentials? Have you overcome anything in your life that you feel confident about helping others with? Compare this with your passions list and see if there are any similarities.
3. Research competition.
Take a look at what other coaches are doing in your market. Look at coaches you admire or aspire to be like. Also look at coaches in other industries. Make a list of what they are doing: What do they have in common? More importantly, what are they not doing? Finding content gaps in your market reveals business opportunities!
4. Ask a mentor, colleague or friend.
Sometimes others see something in us that we might miss for ourselves. Ask people what they think you’re good at, or what they admire about you. If clients or colleagues have left you positive reviews, take note of what they have to say. Hiring a mentor can help you define (and develop) your strengths and expertise.
Not sure where to start?
I’m offering a free masterclass to share more tips on how to stand out in your niche market. In this class you will learn about winning strategies to build a profitable business within your niche market.