If you’re a health coach or any other self-employed wellness professional, you’ve probably heard this advice before: you need to have a niche. But sometimes this is easier said than done. A lot of coaches worry that choosing a specific niche means they won’t be able to serve enough people. That they’ll be alienating most of the market. That they won’t have a sufficient client roster.
But in fact, the opposite is true.
WHY IS A NICHE IMPORTANT?
As a wellness professional, you want to help people—as many as possible, right? You went into this business to make a difference. Trouble is, when your business messaging is nonspecific, it’s not going to truly speak to anyone in particular. Ideally, you want to have people see your stuff and think: “YES. That’s exactly for me.” In contrast, if your brand and services come across as vague and generic, it won’t really resonate with anyone.
The good news is that even when you do choose a niche, you are not locking yourself down forever, which is another thing many coaches worry about. Think of your initial niche as your foothold in the market. Once you gain some traction, get some early success, start working with more clients, you could then expand your offerings or pivot toward a secondary niche. But first things first. Starting with one target niche that will give you initial success to build upon.
The question is: how do you choose?
5 STEPS TO CHOOSING YOUR NICHE
Step 1: Brainstorm & mind-map
Make yourself a cup of tea, pull out your journal and sit down for a stretch of time to free-form write about what you love about the wellness field. Who are the type of people you love to work with? What topics do you love to talk about? What experiences and training do you already possess?
Step 2: Journal about your own story
Explore your *why* by writing about your own story. Here, it’s time to dig a bit deeper and think about what brought you to the wellness field? What struggles have you dealt with? Have you had a journey to healing? What have you overcome? What are the most authentic health issues for you, personally?
Step 3: Analyze
Look back over all your pages. What stands out? Are there recurring themes? Generate a shortlist of potential niches. Start to analyze how you feel about each of them. At this point you may want to get specific about your analysis by writing out a list of pros and cons. Explore your thoughts about each of your top options.
Step 4: Synthesize & formulate your niche
You may discover a niche has risen to the top. If it feels right, get clear and specific on this niche. You may want to formulate a short sentence or mission statement for your business, your services, or your offer. Now, nail down the specifics of your target market with this statement:
I am a health coach who helps [ideal clients—be as specific as possible] who are struggling with [specific issue] to [the service you provide] so they can [the benefit to your clients].
For example: I am a health coach who helps new mothers who are struggling with emotional eating to create healthy eating habits and patterns so they can get back to their pre-baby weight and feel great.
Another example: I am a health coach who helps female university students who are struggling with chronic digestive complaints to clean up their diet and cultivate healthy habits so they can feel comfortable in their day-to-day and get on with life.
Step 5: test it out
Talk to a confidante, try out your new mission statement, and see how it lands. Does it feel authentic for you? Does it feel good? What kind of feedback did you get? When you’re talking about it, do you get excited about future prospects? If yes—you’re on the right track. Of course you may need to tweak your niche statement, narrow it further, or make other changes, but you’ve got your feet on the right path.
On the other hand, if things still don’t feel right, that’s okay! Head back to the drawing board and repeat the steps as often as you need to.
FREE BONUS: To help you further, I’ve created a free 2-page worksheet that will guide you through this 5-step process of finding your niche. To download the PDF, click the button below.