What Successful Entrepreneurs Do that Many Coaches Don’t Do

By: Sabrina Schleicher, PCC, BCC

Just returning from Disney World has me thinking about the brilliance of Disney’s marketing strategies. Disney’s marketing is very targeted. Everything Disney creates is geared toward the 3 to 10 year old crowd. However, a wide variety of people visit Disney World. It’s not just parents with small children who go to Disney World.

Why do you see older adults, newlyweds, and others without kids in Disney World? What Disney offers appeals to parents with young children, and it also appeals to others who go to Disney.

Coaches can learn a lot from Disney. When you brand yourself clearly, by targeting a specific need of a specific demographic group, it makes it much easier to attract your Ideal Clients. Along the way, something magical happens. You also attract people who aren’t in the demographic you target. Why? Something about what you offer resonates with them.

For newlyweds who go to Disney World, it might be the magic, the fun, or a fairytale atmosphere that appeals to them. Young adults who visit Disney may be seeking the chance to feel like a kid again—a timeout from the burdens of the adult world. Older adults visiting Disney may enjoy feeling young again, or they may be giving themselves the chance to take part in something they didn’t get to take part in when they were younger. Even as Disney is targeted in developing products and experiences for children, they are still attracting a wide variety of people to the parks.

Disney knows what successful entrepreneurs know that most coaches don’t know… the most effective way to build a business is to be very narrow and targeted in your marketing. Along the way, you will attract people outside your target market. As your success grows, you can expand and market to other groups.

But, if you expand your marketing to other groups too soon, you will send out a watered down, mixed message that doesn’t get anyone’s attention. Unfortunately, this is what most coaches do when we start our practices. You know the feeling…you don’t want to turn anyone away so you create your website and other marketing materials to appeal to a broad range of people with a broad range of life problems (Hey, if this is you, it’s okay to admit it. I started out this way, too!) But, this is the least effective way to build a business!

For example, one coach with whom I worked coached people through life transition. When I asked her who she coached, she told me she coached anyone through any life transition. If she can help so many people with her skills, why was she struggling to attract clients?

The problem was twofold. First, she had not named a specific life transition (e.g., divorce, career change, retirement, etc.) that she addresses. Second, she had not named a specific group of people she coaches in life transition (e.g., professional women age 45-55, male business owners ages 50-60, etc.). Because she hadn’t named a specific problem and a specific group of people she coaches, prospective clients weren’t attracted to her offerings. Simply stating that you specialize in coaching people through transition won’t resonate with prospective clients.

Now, picture what happens when you state you specialize in coaching professional women who are unhappy in their job so they can make a successful transition into a fulfilling career. All of a sudden, the person with whom you are speaking is much more likely to have someone come to mind who could benefit from your services.

By being very specific about who you coach and what you coach them to achieve, you are much more likely to attract clients. This doesn’t mean this coach will be confined to coaching only women in career transition. There’s a good chance men contemplating career transition would inquire about that coach’s services, too.

If you’ve been reluctant to claim a niche because you don’t want to “rule out” working with a variety of people, it’s time to shift what you believe about having a niche. Claiming a niche doesn’t mean you restrict your practice to only working with a certain group of people. Claiming your niche simply means you specialize in working with a certain group of people.

Give yourself permission to claim a niche. By doing so, you’ll be freeing your practice to grow!

Dr. Sabrina Schleicher Dr. Sabrina Schleicher specializes in training coaches and therapists to double their Ideal Clients so they can build thriving, lucrative practices working part-time. Get her free audio training, "3 Secrets to Doubling Your Ideal Clients in 90 Days," plus marketing scripts at www.tapthepotentialcoaching.com