In a previous post we discussed the benefits associated with being an expert in your niche. In this article, we will focus on the steps required to become one. So how do you become (or become perceived to be) an expert in your niche?

Being an expert coach in your niche does not necessarily mean you have to be a technical expert in the industry you operate. Obviously, industry knowledge is very important. But your clients already have good industry knowledge and they are not able to solve their own problems!

Being an expert in a niche requires you to be an expert at solving the problems experienced by your prospective clients in the niche. This is an extremely important distinction.

Many coaches decide to niche in an industry they have previously worked in. This is great, but you still need to develop intricate skill in solving the problems of the niche before you’ll have a compelling service to offer, and before you can establish yourself as an expert.

If you have previously (or currently) worked in the area of your niche, but have little knowledge of the most pressing problems confronted by the niche, and no experience in how to overcome those problems, then your chances of successfully establishing yourself as an ‘expert’ are slim.

Remember, a niche is a group of people with a common problem that they’re willing to pay to solve, and are already talking about it. If you don’t have products and services that will solve the specific problems that your niche is willing to invest in being solved, then you’re not going to have a very compelling sales offer.

Here are some tips for how you can establish and position yourself as an expert:

Know the problems of your niche. To be an expert coach in your chosen niche, you must be an expert about the problems and challenges that your niche is willing to invest in to solve. If you have not identified these (correctly) and created unique solutions, and espoused how you will go about solving them, you will never be perceived to be an expert – even if you are!

For example: Imagine you are a ‘Date Coach’ (big niche in the US). One of the problems facing people who seek out a ‘date coach’ is ‘How to behave when endeavouring to attract their ideal partner’. An experienced ‘date coach’ knows that there are certain behaviours that a man or women need to adopt when in the presence of their desired partner to be attractive. Other specific niche problems may be: lacking the confidence and ability to approach a potential partner; and fearing rejection or humiliation.

This is a simple example of understanding the problems of your niche. Based on these problems, a successful Date Coach would build specific services and products to assist clients overcome these challenges; and would clearly articulate these solutions through their USP and brand.

Develop specific solutions to the problems of your niche. Obviously, knowing the problems is not enough. You have to develop specific, unique, preferably branded solutions to the problems. It’s no good offering a generic coaching solution to a specific niche problem – even if that generic solution will solve the problem. Remember, marketing is about perception.

If you can win the war of perception, you’ll win the war of marketing, and hence beat the competition and build a flourishing business. So, develop specific, niche branded solutions.

For example: A ‘Date Coach’ develops a ‘Double Your Dating’ or ‘Dating Routine’ program for clients. ‘Dating Routine’ is a set of learned pre-organised cues and steps an individual takes to maintain confidence, structure positive conversation, and attract someone to them.

Advocate and position your products as unique. Once you’ve developed your specific coaching services and products, you need to position them as unique solutions. You need to articulate in detail how those solutions will help your client overcome their problem better than any other service. If possible you should brand your solution and associate it with your company and you.

For example: We are now seeing ‘Date Coaches’ specialise in cultural markets to position themselves and their products and/or coaching tools as unique. ‘Date Coaching’ is also positioned uniquely in comparison to ‘Relationship Coaching’.

Research clearly indicates that if people are wanting help on how to ‘get more dates’ then they’ll employ the services of a specialist Date Coach before engaging a Relationship Coach. Can you see how more refined, specific niches can be borne out of larger categories?

Highlight the financial and commercial value of your niche solutions. You need to position your branded products/services based on their value as a solution. You must always identify the financial and emotional cost to your client in NOT having their problem solved. You can then communicate the value of your services to your client in terms of the cost to them for NOT undertaking your niche service.

For example: As a ‘Date Coach’ it’s easy to establish the financial and emotional cost to your client. “Recent ground breaking research from XYZ Institute indicates that behaviours and techniques utilised by highly desired individuals to attract partners is learned, not natural.

By perfecting your skills in dating, research indicates you are 79% more likely to find the partner of your dreams”. That’s a big motivator when you think of the financial and emotional implications of finding your perfect match.