When you start a coaching business, it seems like everyone is always saying to pick a niche.
There's a reason for that.
In the past I've written about how you don't necessarily need to pick a niche when you start out. And that's still completely true. But getting clear on your niche does make things a whole lot easier over time.
Because people like to buy specific solutions, not general ones.
For example: let's say you were diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Would you rather pay to see a general physician or would you want to see the doctor who is known for focusing specifically on that form of lung cancer? Hopefully this never happens to you, but you get the point.
Well, it's the same with coaching: the more specific you can be about what you do for people, the easier it will be to get clients.
How to uncover your niche
The key to nailing your niche is to combine your real-world expertise and experience with your coaching skills. Add a motivated target market to that and you're golden.
So, as you look through the list I want you to be thinking about the areas of your life where you've already gotten great results for yourself or others.
To get you started, I've compiled a list of 21 proven coaching niches and examples of each. Most of the examples I use are clients or colleagues of mine. A few of them I don't know personally but based on my research they all seem to be successful.
Each of the these niches falls into one of three "channels". I call them channels because these are the three big areas of life that people tend to be receptive to coaching. Even if you can help clients with lots of different things, it's helpful to focus your marketing on just one of these channels as a sort of access point, and then choose a specialty within that channel.
Here are the channels, in no particular order:
- Health and fitness
- Relationships and dating
- Business and career
Let's dive in...
HEALTH AND FITNESS
1. Weight loss. This is one of the most proven and profitable niches out there. For better or worse, our society values appearance very highly. Not being at your ideal weight can create all sorts of confidence -- not to mention health -- problems. If you can help people look good naked, you can make a lot of money as a coach.
2. Muscle/strength gain. This is another great niche. Since gaining muscle means gaining weight, it often attracts a different group of people from the weight loss niche. Be aware that whether you help people with weight loss or muscle gain, people are going to be paying attention to how you look and they'll want specific plans to achieve the same thing.
- Example: Christian Thibaudeau
3. Stress/anxiety. As our lives become faster and more complex, many of us are experiencing new levels of stress and anxiety. Not everyone will be receptive to working on their anxiety, but there are certainly people who are aware of the toll it's taking on their health, work, and relationships. Find those people and you have yourself a coaching business.
- Example: Tim JP Collins
4. Wellness/health/natural healing. This can be a tough niche compared to something like weight loss because it's often difficult to sell prevention. The more you can use your health coaching to solve a specific problem for a motivated group of people, the easier it will be to get clients (this is true even if your approach is holistic and helps with lots of things).
- Example: Sara Best
5. Performance in a specific sport. When someone has a specific sport or competition that they want to do well in, they become very motivated to get help from an expert. This is "coaching" in the most traditional sense of the word and it's not going away any time soon.
- Example: Robin Legat*
RELATIONSHIPS AND DATING
6. Dating. As long as there are single people on the planet, there will be people who want to improve their dating lives. My advice? Start by focusing on men OR women at first (not both), since each group may want different things and will definitely require different messaging.
- Example: Evan Marc Katz
7. Relationships/marriage. Just like dating, there will always be people who want to improve their relationship or marriage. The thing to remember here is that most people (especially men) aren't going to look for coaching unless the relationship is in trouble. If you can find and help those people, you're in business.
- Example: Laura Doyle
8. Parenting. One of the biggest challenges people face is being an effective parent. Whether it's dealing with specific disabilities, school, confidence issues, or bad behavior, many people are more than willing to spend money if they believe it create a better future for their kids (and their marriage).
- Example: Meghan Leahy
9. Divorce/post-breakup. Bouncing back from a breakup can be hard. Many people lose their sense of self and struggle to create a new life as a single person. If you become the go-to coach for this big life transition, you can create a full roster of very grateful clients.
- Example: Annie Huang*
10. Sexuality/intimacy. Many of the negative emotions that we experience as human beings can be traced back to sex. If you are able to help people experience greater intimacy (even if it's in their non-sexual relationships) then you've found yourself a profitable coaching niche.
- Example: Abby Spindelman*
BUSINESS AND CAREER
11. Investing/retirement. Whether it's through real estate or another form of wealth-management, people want to know how to manage their money. Make sure you are qualified to give financial advice and use client case studies to help build your credibility. Also, keep the focus on what your potential clients want, not on what they know they "should" do.
- Example: Doug Andrew
12. Growing a business. General business coaching is certainly a well-established niche at this point. The challenge is that it can be a bit too broad if you don't narrow in on a specific target market or become known for a unique approach. Handle that and you're golden.
13. Money mindset. I'm always a little bit hesitant to recommend coaching niches that are all about mindset. But when we're talking about creating financial abundance, that's a whole different story. There are definitely people who have challenges around money that they are ready to get handled - just make sure you market to the ones who are receptive to a more spiritual or alternative approach.
- Example: Denise Duffield-Thomas
14. Marketing. When businesses fail, it's almost always because they don't have a steady stream of customers or clients. If you have a unique approach to marketing, or if you help a specific type of business, this can be a great niche to get into. I should know!
15. Time management/productivity. This can be a tricky one because most people don't actually care about being more productive. What they care about is what greater productivity will get them (more time with their kids, more money, etc.). So, if you choose this niche, make sure you focus your messaging on the results that you get people and not on the process.
16. Finding your passion/purpose. This was actually my very first niche as a coach, and it can be a good one. What people usually want here is to get paid to do work that they love, so make sure you focus on how their purpose can translate to their career and finances. Make sure you aren't attracting people who have inertia and are using their lack of clarity as an excuse not to take action.
- Example: Jacob Sokol
17. Career transition/starting a business. I've grouped these two niches together but you can certainly choose to focus on just one. There are also plenty of sub-niches here depending on what industries you want to help people in. The bottom line is that people often get restless or frustrated with their current work and they may want some support in making the leap to something new.
- Example: Liz Traines*
18. Transformation/creativity. This niche can be a tough one since it's so much broader than the others. In order to succeed as a transformational coach, you'll need to develop an audience that really resonates with your view of the world. You'll also need to show how the broad self-development principles you share relate back to success in specific domains of life.
19. Leadership. There can be a few different elements to leadership coaching. Sometimes it's about helping the leader get more out of their team. Other times it's about helping the person develop personally. Either way, the executive coaching niche is one of the most well-established niches you can enter into.
20. Peak performance. Some people, especially those in athletics and financial services, are willing to pay good money to perform at their best each day. Find 'em and coach 'em.
- Example: Todd Herman
21. Sales. Whether it's business owners or sales managers, there will always be people who want help closing more deals. If you want to help people specifically with sales, make sure you choose clients who don't have a marketing problem. Otherwise you may not have enough leads to work with.
- Example: Kendrick Shope
*A star means that this person has been a client of mine so I know for a fact that they have made money in their niche.
There You Have It
So, those are 21 coaching niches for you to consider.
I know it can be tempting to start off broad in your coaching business, but I'm going to encourage you to focus on just one or two of these niches to start. You can always expand out to other niches once you've gotten traction.
You can also play around with combining niches to create totally new ones.
Once you're ready to start finding clients, go ahead and grab a copy of my "21 Ways To Find Potential Clients" PDF below: