I know I'm different
Recently a life coach was trying to describe her ideal client to her peer group, but she got hung up on the problem she was solving. She could “help a woman be more brave, to speak up, to get out of her relationship, to be seen, be whole,” and the list grows.
Someone had recently helped her narrow it down, but she didn’t like their recommendation. She tried it on for a minute but got push back from a friend, so she was back to the drawing board.
So, she was asking the group for their input.
She knows she needs to narrow her focus, but she has so many ways to help her potential clients that she can’t find her way through this forest.
Another coach tells her that she has too much to choose from. Too many ideas. Too many choices.
Then someone suggests that you should pick your niche by what you like, what are you good at fixing, and what makes you feel good?
Someone else suggests you consider what makes you mad. What is it that you can fix? That’s a good question. But she answers back that she can fix many things. She just can’t narrow it down.
Another suggestion is, what have you overcome that others have not? This one has potential. A transformation of some kind is a result that someone else may desire. But who is that someone?
And yet, someone suggested that your niche will pick you. The coach goes on to say that “you’ll attract a certain kind of client and certain clients will fit best”. Or even “the universe will let you know” is another crazy notion. These suggestions are dangerous; indeed, what if you attract tire-kickers with no money. That is a possibility.
“Our happiness and success is beyond picking a niche, it picks itself once we are following our joy, and money always follows our joy,” another coach has suggested. Money doesn’t follow joy, not lately.
Don’t get me wrong, I have heard some good suggestions in group discussions, but sometimes you have to walk away.
Asking for free advice – you get what you pay for. You don’t want to ask someone how to bake a cake if they’ve never baked a cake before.
If you plan to be a professional coach and have too many ideas to choose from, you need to find a solution based on making a living, not a hobby. A hobby is when your niche picks you; you wander from one type of client to another, complaining about your unhappiness with the money you’re not making.
Compared to a business, you look at the potential market, your skills, the problem that you can solve – yes, just one, and all the associated issues that live under the big problem that you solve. You understand your market, what music they listen to, who are the thought-leaders they follow, do they hang out on Facebook, Instagram, or on blogs, and where do they get their information.
Think of people you can serve.
Or, think of people you can’t serve because you don’t understand them. People who are older, younger, into hobbies, or a lifestyle you don’t align yourself with. It’s ok to say I don’t want to work with people like…
You create a marketing strategy. You work your plan. Not only that, but you see it through.
Having too many ideas is a challenge, I certainly understand. I’m an idea generator myself. That’s what creative entrepreneurs do the best; we come up with ideas for everything. But all too often, we can’t come up with the right idea, like what my niche is.
Here’s where you’ll find that shiny object we’re always talking about. It shows up when we get bored. You might be reading how successful another coach is with her process, and you start thinking that might work better, and you’re off to the races. Something else that looks like it would be more fun, work better, or be your answer from the universe. You are playing the what-if game.
Just pick the most viable option. Think it through, carefully. Write it down, draw it out, or create a mind map to figure it out. Be detailed as you document your plan. Keep going until you can see your idea taking shape, like a movie. Visualize the conversations you’ll have with your new clients. Consider how you will optimize the user experience.
Now that you’ve picked your ONE big idea- see how it works. Tweak it a bit to make improvements. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. When it’s rolling, you’ll refine your marketing to attract better clients. You’ll improve your processes to be more consistent, but first and foremost, you’ll have a niche that works. The universe will smile on you for using your gifts to serve others.
Yes, when you’re lucky enough to have many ideas, you can serve many people. However, start with one and grow from there. You may find that you’re so happy serving this group that you don’t have the bandwidth to add another.
The Next Steps
Having beautiful ideas is a blessing. Start a journal or notebook with your ‘someday’ ideas. Collect them, even expand upon them - to test them someday in the future. Some ideas are good but not right for you because they will send you down a dead-end rabbit hole.
Be careful that you’re not stalling with your belief that you have too many ideas that you don’t know where to start. When you notice that you’re doing more thinking than doing, you could be procrastinating.
Ask for help from people who have ‘baked a cake before.’ Stick to your plan until you have enough evidence that it’s time to course-correct. That is more than one person’s comment.
When your ideas are chasing you down, start taking notes. Ideas can be like wild children; they need to be tamed to be a joy to be around. Enjoy your ideas, because you will always have something to play with.
If you'd like to chat about your next project, reach out at Linda@shinyobjectmarketing.com
Linda James Bennett; day 32 of 365 writing an article every day, making you a shiny object in the world.