A big mistake that people make when composing their business plan is trying to be everything to everyone. Another common mistake of coaches setting up or looking to expand their businesses: Being afraid or hesitant to step up and claim a place with top influencers in their niches.
You owe it to your clients to position yourself as an expert influencer within the specific niche you know you can serve.
Own it. Claim it.
And do this by narrowing down your focus and establishing your brand.
Keeping your niche focus as specific as possible will help you make the most of every opportunity within it, as well as truly become the expert you need to be. A vital part of narrowing your focus lies in comparing what you plan to offer to your nearest competitors, as well as to the market in general. Once you’ve done this, it should be easy to see where you fit in.
There is a perfect place for you—a sweet spot in which you can help the right people in the highest numbers and make the most money while feeling revitalized, alive and in your zone. Here’s how to find it:
Make a list of your top competitors.
Identify and write down for each one:
- Her specialty
- Who she serves
- Her secret ingredient (what makes her unique)
- Her big advantage
- The age range she targets
- The income bracket she targets
- What fees she charges (range)
- The big thing she’s missing
Do this for at least 6-10 competitors. Then compare your results with what you plan to offer that will complement each competitor’s specialty or fill their gaps. Decide where you fit in. Finally, identify what you can supply that she is missing.
By doing this comparison, you may surprise yourself by realizing there is actually a better sweet spot for you than you originally imagined. (Use this module’s Action Plan and Exercises.)
Other base areas to cover:
Research and query your actual target market too before finalising your focus. Get a conversation going, join discussions, poll the right potential customers, do your homework. Whenever you think you’ve completed your business planning, get even more specific and drill down even further in each and every area.
Write a mission statement.
Not only will this help you with branding when you are ready to set up your website and offerings, it will give you clarity about what you do, why you do it and who you do it to help.
Start by writing a short mission statement. Just do it, and don’t stop till you’ve nailed down the basics. (Remember, if it’s not perfect, you can always refine it or change it to a long version later.)
[Your name] is a [title] who [why you do it]. She loves helping people [who want to do something] by _______________ and ____________________
Here’s the simplest mission statement formula as a quick template:
Your finished result, using the above template, might look like this:
Charlene McTruffle is a body movement coach who suffered from stenosis as a child. She loves helping people eliminate chronic back pain by identifying problems and showing them how to walk, sit and move more efficiently.
Write a tag line for your business:
Once you’ve identified your specific mission, your tag line should simply target the right people. It sums up what you’re all about.
Strong tag line examples:
- “Selling yourself without selling your soul™”—Susan Harrow
- “We make your clients stick to you”— Coach Glue
- “Your lifesaver in a sea of paper”—Pamela Toutant
Your final step…
Give yourself a specific title.
Your title shouldn’t just summarize what you do or identify who you serve; it should also differentiate you from your competition.
For example, Lisa Fraley doesn’t just call herself a “lawyer” or let the initials “JD” after her name indicate she is one. She indicates her values and who she serves, as well as what makes her unique, right in her title: “Holistic Lawyer® and Coach”
There are literally millions of lawyers out there… but Lisa’s heart-and-chakra-based approach is so different, she registered the term “holistic lawyer”.
This is all part of creating your brand—another exercise that will differentiate you to your ideal clients while giving you clarity and confidence in talking about what you do. You can add more branding strategies and specifics later, but taking the time to do these specific basics now will help you confidently identify your best business structure—the next important step.
As a brand becomes more known and loved, it increases in power. This power infuses all aspects of the business, boosting profits and building opportunity.
Customers who love a brand will keep coming back.In fact, greater brand love and recognition enhances profitability in many ways.
It provides a key leverage point against competitors, it generates media more easily, employees prefer to work for known brands, and suppliers (who wish for association with that brand) may offer special deals.