You may have seen some recent messaging from highly successful coaches saying “you are your niche” but are you really?
Niching is one of my favourite topics because it is so essential to the success of your business. I want to open the can of worms around the phrase, “you are your niche”. Now, I have a stance on this particular saying and I want to unpack it but I will be leaning into the grey areas of this topic. Every business and situation is different so when I’m working with people I want to understand who they are, where they’re coming from and where they’re going. Plus, everything about their industry and product. Everything is dependent on something else so you can’t take blanket advice.
Yes, you get a lot of value from podcasts but it’s golden nuggets that you need to consider in relation to your business. So this episode is an open letter to all business owners who might have heard this term.
You are your niche
If you’ve been listening for some time you will know that I’m scientific and strategic in my approach to niching. You do need to have a niche – this is a side that I’m willing to stand for. And I believe the phrase “you are your niche” is oversimplifying a complex issue.
For example, when you look at your competition and make yourself unique, I very much believe in having a solid USP that doesn’t revolve around your personality and you being you. Everyone has a personality but it doesn’t make you usefully different from the next person. The whole point of a USP is that there’s a selling point at the end of it and not just uniqueness.
I also think that having a personality and a personal brand is important in a business. In my book, Expert Unrivalled, I lay this out as part of the ingredients you need to become a market leader. Therefore, I don’t like “you are your niche” because it is so definitive. As though this is all you need.
I think where coaches are coming from when saying this, there are coaches who’ve made a lot of money but they think it’s purely due to their personality and who they are.
Your experience as your niche
Although saying “you are your niche” can mean something you’ve been through. I’m more on board with this because this does happen. You’ve been through a challenge and come out the other side so you can help others overcome this challenge. This is a whole other matter in terms of integrity. Do you know how you got through it? And do you have a systemised way of how you can sell that to others? Or do you think you might be able to help someone and are giving it a go?
There is a difference between those two things. Many people can create successful businesses but that doesn’t mean they are great coaches who can help others do the same. You need to prove that your system works so you can sell it. Otherwise, you’ll be lacking substance and integrity. I’ve been through a lot in my life. It doesn’t make me an expert in how to overcome trauma.
On the side, you might have people who are highly qualified but have not been through something themselves. For example, a heart surgeon may not have had a heart attack but they are highly qualified at heart surgery. You don’t necessarily need to go through something in order to teach it.
If you have the skills, the proven method and the evidence that you know how to solve the problem, then that’s what you need.
It doesn’t matter which you are. However, many people fit into the category of they were their ideal clients at some point. Often that brings a sense of purpose to your business and a level of understanding to your niche.
Connection with your clients
I think this statement often comes from a place where coaches feel they are connecting with people and resonating with their audience. None of that is untrue and I believe in every business we should have a personal brand and that deep connection. One of the big parts of when people work with me, we look at messaging for content. One of the important things about content is having a real blend of marketing and authenticity.
You do need to blend the sales and marketing together. The sales posts are getting ignores. So why not connect with people and offer them somewhere to go on the journey straight afterwards? Yes, you need that personality to make a sale but you also need to be the guide, not the hero in the story you tell others. If you make your personal stories the centre of your marketing, people may not resonate with them. You’ve got to show people how you help others and not how great you are and the money you’re making. People are becoming wise about this and that it won’t work.
I’ve been very careful about this in the coaching industry. I’m not a 7-figure coach. I’m a 7-figure business owner who runs successful businesses. I come from a different point of view. I am not a coach making money from making other coaches. This is not what I do. I create unique businesses that function in their own right.
So I do not teach what works for me because that may not work for you. However, I do know a lot about businesses and many different industries so I know what works for them. Yes, sometimes, there is a piece of luck where a client can take the whole thing and run with it in their business.
When someone is saying “you are your niche, come and learn from me”, why do you go and learn from them? Is it because they’ve just told you that you are your niche and you’re fed up of trying to figure out your niche that you buy into that statement? There is more psychology that goes in behind the scenes. You probably look at that person and think: “they’ve grown a huge audience, how did they do that?”
So you are potentially drawn into the idea that having a bigger audience could potentially give you more money. More people means more eyes on your things and more sales. But actually, these coaches who have these great personalities and made huge success appear to be from their personal brand, if they’ve made any money there is something else happening in the background. They may not realise it but they’ve been niching their product.
You need a problem and a solution to sell
There is something about their product that has drawn you in. So, I’m not saying don’t follow that path. Inject more personality, be authentically you and inject that energy into your business. Connect with your audience and show your face. However, I do believe you need the other bit as well. Once these coaches grab you in with their connection, then they show you what they’re selling.
It’s not a baited hook but a genuine journey. Sales are all about helping people. In a way, that’s part of the niche. They’ve articulated a perfect heaven that you’d like to have – this is part of the niche. There are other parts of the problem you want to overcome. Businesses and sales revolve around solving problems. You need to be able to describe it – which is enveloped in this beautiful way of describing that niche. I think sometimes the coaches who say “you are your niche” and potentially say you don’t need a niche when that’s absolutely not true. There are a lot of celebrities out there with a big following who release a product and it doesn’t sell because it doesn’t solve a problem.
We need credibility, trust, the niche and people to understand why they are buying something and what it will do for them. Again, the personal brand will help to propel that forward behind the substance. It’s not about just finding the niche, you need all aspects.
If there is no substance behind the product and it doesn’t help customers create a transformation. They don’t get anything out of it and feel like they’ve wasted their money. How familiar does all that sound? How often have you seen this happen? This is why the coaching industry is blowing up because people are sick of being sold something that doesn’t solve their problem. It’s about being transparent and having substance.
Coaches without substance will continue to draw in naive people. But is this right? Is there integrity here? And sooner or later, these coaches will be found out. They won’t truly create a legacy business as they will have a bad reputation.
I’m hoping this discussion around that statement helps to unpack it for you and show you the different sides.
Book a Call with Jen – bit.ly/claritycallpodcast
Download my FREE Seven Figure Market Leader Roadmap –http://www.marketleaderleague.com/marketleaderroadmap/
Send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Available on Apple iTunes, Spotify & Stitcher (Just search Expert Unrivalled Podcast)