A friend of mine, in the coaching business, is doing so much better at generating business that I decided to swallow my pride and ask him how he is doing it. His answer “niche”. He ONLY talks to retirees who own Bed & Breakfast establishments, he has made himself a specialist in their problems and coaches clients around the world.
Funny enough, I became a coach to broaden my span of attraction to potential clients. Previously, we did best practice consulting with a narrow focus but felt that there were two many players – so we were not differentiated – it was a bit stifling. LinkedIN “Coaching Groups” are full of discussions on the benefit of “niche-ing”, but suddenly, while reading this article by the founder of Hubspot, and especially the comments, I realised – to be focused is not that bad.
Our bad thinking was focusing on the product, either it was specific as was the case when we consulted to only one business process, or generic, when we positioned ourself through a coaching “ability” to cover the whole waterfront of my potential client. Niche-ing is not about your product (forgive my late epiphany), but about your prospect! Focusing on a niche in the market where you bring specific industry knowledge to businesses through your ability to understand their holistic challenges rather than bandaging a specific wound. To find their root-cause rather than be distracted by their burning platform(s).
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Bill Cosby