Coaching Tips & Support:
Is it important to have a Coaching Niche?
Although it’s helpful to have a niche or an area of coaching that you work within, is it really a must? It’s a contentious issue amongst coaches and whilst I recognise that there are some clear advantages to having a niche it’s not something that I feel coaches should be overly preoccupied about, particularly at the start of their development as a coach.
So what are the advantages of having a niche, say calling yourself an executive or a life coach? Well, firstly from a marketing point of view it helps you and your client find each other. Most people, when they look for a coach on a search engine they will attach that label to their search term. Sometimes a potential client might even add the location that they might want a coach to work in, so for example, Career Coach London. So from that point of view having a niche means that you become more marketable and easier to find.
Another advantage is that there is some comfort, which in turn leads to confidence, to being a specialist within a coaching area. This might in turn enhance how you coach, knowing that clients you are working with might follow a typical pattern (although in my opinion, as we are all human beings, putting a person in a box like that can delimit the coaching breadth and potential).
Having a niche can also helps to streamline your training and CPD. Undertaking your first coach training programme is great as it sets the foundation however this is a profession of life-long learning. Knowing what you’d like to focus on, e.g. maternity or retirement will help you choose further training programs in line with your interests.
However, once again, going back to the original question. Do I need to choose a niche? No. Certainly not. You don’t need to, and if one isn’t clear for you as yet then don’t worry.
What I would suggest that you need to do is understand who you are, how you like or want to coach and what you bring to your coaching clients. This, for me, is by far more important than attaching a label to your coaching practice.
Robust coach training programmes will help you focus on this, bringing you back to this question in relation to your coaching style and how you are going to show up for your sessions. For example, for me it’s more important than I am courageous, act with integrity and find a part of me that is genuinely curious about a client than simply calling myself a Career or Executive Coach.
So to summarise, I understand the practical implications of choosing a coaching niche however I’d also say let’s not let that get in the way of the more important question of ‘Who am I and how do I want to coach?’
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