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You’re about to get a super secret behind-the-scenes look at something that happens almost every week in our Clini-Coach Academy® program. 

Wonderful, amazing, smart, educated, intuitive, bright and wildly attractive therapists fail miserably at this one thing. 

So what’s the thing? 

Picking a coaching niche that actually works as a coaching niche

And we get it! Honestly, it’s like trying to learn a new language. It’s such a different way of thinking than our everyday therapist lives. 

So how hard can picking a niche be, right? 

After all, isn’t picking a niche just basically saying I help these people do this thing? Don’t we all have a basic sense of which people we want to help and what thing we want to help them with?

Absolutely we do (ummm sometimes)! But that doesn’t mean it works as a coaching niche. 

Let me give you a sample niche statement I’ve received, with slight changes to the wording, at least 30 different times: 

  • I help professional women achieve the lives of their dreams.

And if I say no, that won’t quite work, we need to be more specific, the sentence morphs into something like this: 

  • I help professional women who wear size 9 shoes and self-identified with ADHD in adulthood and also enjoy tacos and went on vacation to Europe one time…achieve the lives of their dreams. 


So let’s dig deeper. What, at the end of the day, is actually wrong with this statement? 

After all, that’s a worthy goal and it’s the kind of thing that someone could absolutely feel called to do as a mission in life. So why on earth wouldn’t it work as a coaching niche? 

I present to you the difference between vitamins and medicine. 

Let’s say you have a couple vitamins that you take every morning and a medicine that you need to take every day for pain (or your heart, or whatever). 

What happens if you forget your vitamins for a couple days? Or if you go off on vacation and leave them at home? You shrug, right? Not the end of the world. 

But what happens if you forget your medicine? minor panic? Turning the car around to zip back and grab those meds? Absolutely. 

Many of the niches that therapists want to pursue in coaching are vitamins. 

They sound lovely. Any of us would just love to sit around all day helping super high functioning people get even happier than they already are. What a delight. For us. For them. Nay, for the whole world. 

So what’s wrong with this? 

Ain’t nobody going to pay for it. 

Nobody. Not one person. The same way you’re not turning the car around for vitamins, they’re not opening up their wallet for something that sounds kind of nice but isn’t necessary in their lives. 

A coaching niche needs to solve an acutely painful problem. The same way that people don’t go to therapy unless they’re in pain, people don’t go to coaching unless they’re in pain. 

Obviously the levels and the types of pain are different between coaching and therapy, but the pain is still the instigator. 

So what’s your next step? If you desperately want to help these professional women with their size 9 shoes to achieve their best lives ever, what are you supposed to do? 

Follow me here: If they are not achieving their best life right now, it’s because there is some area of their life where they have pain. Either they are unfulfilled or they are failing at something or there is just some tricky problem they have not figured out yet. 

Your job is to identify which of those specific pains you are best suited to help. When you help her through that pain, you are helping her achieve her best life. 

But the pain needs to be acute and specific and right now. 

For people to pay for your coaching work, you need to be giving them medicine, not vitamins. 

When they read your website or your sales page, they need to be thinking Oh thank god, my solution is finally here

And here’s the super duper pro psychology tip to consider: absolutely no one believes that you have all the answers for their life and they don’t. 

This is why when we niche down to one specific pain people are more likely to follow us. 

If you say I help professional women successfully ask for raises and promotions, immediately my ears perk up. I’m willing to believe that you have expertise in this one area. 

If you say you help professional women fix their whole entire lives, I roll my eyes and click away. 

People instinctively know that we are the experts on our own lives: we welcome expertise from others one tiny area at a time. 

So if your niche is not working, I invite you to ask yourself if you are dealing vitamins or medicine. 

Is this a clear and pressing and painful problem for your ideal client? 

Have you drilled down to the actual language that she uses when she talks about this problem in her life? 

Is there a genuine cost to her not addressing this problem right away? 

If you answered no to any of these, I would head back into client research. Get on the phone and chat with some ideal clients. Get into groups online or in person where your clients hang out and listen to the actual words they’re saying. You can learn a tremendous amount simply by being a fly on the wall! 

The right problem to solve will hit you with a little zing, like a lock clicking into place. when you say it out loud, everyone will say Oh, I actually know somebody who could use that! 

That’s when you know you’re on the right track, so keep up the great work!


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