Many coaches and consultants worry if one niche is better than another to find corporate clients. Maybe some niches are easier to get into or some are more lucrative? It can be quite a rollercoaster if you don’t know how to evaluate the pros and cons of any given industry and company niche!
Here is what I tell people when they ask me how to choose the best niche: use a robust process to analyze which niche you have the strongest connection with.
Note: connection in this context does not mean knowing lots of people in that niche. It doesn’t mean that you have extensive experience in that niche either.
Those factors can be helpful but they are just a part of the bigger puzzle that makes a given niche the right one for you (aka the one where you have the best chance of winning multiple 4 and 5 figure contracts quickly).
Analyzing your niche: Which do you connect with?
What I mean by “have a strong connection” in the context of choosing a niche is having an interest, maybe passion, some insights and the willingness to learn much more about this niche. Because you will have to become fairly knowledgeable about your chosen corporate industry niche which takes time and effort – and those are hard to maintain if you don’t actually give two monkeys about the industry.
The reason why you do have to become very knowledgeable is that corporations in every industry believe that they are special, faced with challenges that no one outside their industry could possibly understand, let alone resolve their problems. They want to work with individuals who are not just experts in their field (i.e. your niche) but experts in applying their knowledge in their company’s industry.
That means, for example, if you are a communications consultant wanting to work with financial services organizations, you must present yourself not just as an expert in communications but as an expert in improving communications for leaders in the financial services industry. Being this specific on who you work with is what gets the attention of potential clients and will be valued much higher than a generic message. And that means you can demand those 5-figure contracts.
Being knowledgeable on your given industry
What does it mean to be knowledgeable about an industry? You don’t need to know all the ins and outs, like market valuations, strategic opportunities or regulatory threats. Knowledgeable means understanding what are the current trends in the industry.
What are the challenges? Are there significant changes underway (think how the banking industry is challenged by new digital providers)? What are the big players doing in relation to your topic? For example, if you help employees manage stress, who are the leaders and who are the laggards in terms of looking after their employees to reduce stress in your chosen industry? What is the press saying about this topic – especially the industry press?
Even being able to understand some of the types of language your target audience is likely to use or the tone of formal vs informal is useful.
You can learn all of these things with a bit of research and dedicated googling (another post is coming on this topic)
But because of the effort involved in researching, it is virtually impossible to become sufficiently knowledgeable in ALL industries (they all have different characteristics, challenges, and trends). And that’s why you have to pick a niche!
For example: right now, the question of how to deal with work post-pandemic is a big topic across businesses and it is interesting to see how the debate plays out differently in different industries.
So coming back to how to choose your ideal corporate industry and target client? There are lots of layers to it and I go into much more with my 1:1 students, but here is how you can get started.
Step by step – Choosing your niche:
– First, brainstorm the industries you have experience in. This relates not just to your work but also experience from holiday jobs, volunteering or from working alongside others from a different industry. I, for example, learned a lot about the logistics industry from coordinating customer deliveries with the warehouse director of a company that I had a summer job with. Write them all down, line by line.
– The second step is to explore your passions. What industry are you actually interested in?
Maybe you enjoy travelling – industries that are relevant here are hospitality, transport, tourist boards, the cruise industry, maybe events or entertainment industries.
Or if you are an ardent shopper, you might be interested in the retail industry. Or as someone who works out a lot you might be interested in sporting fashion or of course the fitness industry.
The aim of this exercise is to be as broad as possible and write down all the ideas you come up with.
– Thirdly, you analyse where you have actual connections, aka people that you know. These are your friends, your family, your book club buddies, your yoga pals, your kids’ friends’ parents and so on. You want to write these down not to pitch to them but because they can be a great source of learning more about the industry, such as personal insights and anecdotes that give you a more holistic view than you get from online sources.
When you have collated your various ideas and pieces of analysis you should have between 20-50 line times and you will probably notice that some industries are coming up several times. So maybe you volunteered in a charity shop (that means you have retail experience), are a dedicated follower of fashion (again retail) and have several connections who work for big retail brands.
This gives a great connection to the retail industry and if this is the strongest one (aka, the one that pops up most frequently in your analysis). Then I suggest you choose this industry to get started.
When I help students think through these questions we identify the industries that they are most comfortable with choosing as their initial niche (they can add more once they are more experienced with corporates).
This usually gives them a great sense of relief and confidence as procrastination and overwhelm are resolved. They know that they have chosen a niche that is truly right for them and that they are happy to get started right away to find corporate clients who are ready to buy. This step lays the foundation for charging a higher price for your offer.
What I can offer you
Helping you choose the right niche for your corporate coaching or consulting business is just one of the 5 points that I help my students to master.
In my 3 months, 1:1 program I also help you to clarify exactly what results you bring to large businesses and their value that commands multiple 4 and 5 figure fees. I work with you on your marketing message so that you attract only those prospects who are right for you, guide you on how to leverage your network without ever worrying about being sales-y or desperate so that your diary is always filled with exciting prospects and teach you how to have simple but effective sales conversations and create proposals that convert at approximately 80% of the time.
Following my program you should be able to generate 2-3 conversations with prospects per week, typically starting in email/LinkedIn messenger, then moving to discovery calls and closing 1-2 new clients per month @$5k-$15k while delivering repeat work at $8k-$25k+.
The investment for this is a respectable 4 figures (but small compared to earning $100k+ from just 5-8 corporate clients) which will go up towards the end of the year.
If you’re interested in the program, the next step is to DM me and we’ll have a chat to see if it’s a good match for your business.