How to choose a coaching specialization?

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You’ve decided that you want to become a coach and are ready to take the next step – which is to pick a specialization. Or you could be a generalist coach as well, popularly known as ‘life coach’.

Butwhy do I need to specialize? You might wonder. There are other important questions to ask as well –

  • What are the coaching specialties available for you,
  • what coaching specializing is in demand,
  • where can you make a great career,
  • what coaching niche suits you best, and so on.

We’ll get to all these in the blog to make your decision-making process easier.

Let’s begin by answering your first question, why do you need to specialize or stick to a coaching niche?

Why do you need a coaching niche/specialization?

People are sensitive and tend to be careful when choosing a coach as it’s very personal to them. They tend to choose someone specialized or an expert in a certain field they are looking for.
Specialization also helps you in developing a strong personal brand and establish yourself as an expert in the field. Thereby, making the customer acquisition process easier and more profitable.
Let’s understand it with a few simple examples. You are in a town that has 100 doctors but only 1 dentist. You have a toothache. With whom will you connect? Consider, you are about to decide on a major career change, and you decided to go for a coach. You know a life coach, a business coach & a career transition coach. With whom will you connect? This is how a specialized coach makes it easier for the client to better connect and make the decision-making of the client easier.

A few highlights of picking a coaching niche:

  • Strong personal branding and business establishment
  • Specific and clear messaging makes marketing super easy
  • Set yourself apart from the competition
  • Help your potential clients easily identify the value you’re providing to them
  • Grow your business and thrive

Now that we’ve talked about why a coaching niche, let’s get to the next part – What types of coaching and mentoring niches are available and in demand?

Here are some popular coaching specializations in 2023:

  1. Relationship coaching (as a sub-set of Life Coaching)
  2. Couples / Marital coaching,
  3. Health & Wellness Coaching,
  4. Career coaching,
  5. Transition coaching (involving career change/career progression/employment to entrepreneurship),
  6. Executive coaching to mid-management level executives
  7. Executive coaching to senior-management level executives / CXO coaching
  8. Business coaching to start-ups
  9. Business coaching to family-owned businesses
  10. Business coaching to small/medium size businesses
  11. Team Coaching
Deciding to specialize in coaching can be difficult for new coaches and might involve some experimentation during the early part of their coaching career.

At MasterMyLife (MML), an ICF level 2 accredited global coach success ecosystem operating in 19 countries across the globe, we recommend all our students an effective 2-step process to help them decide their coaching niche.

Step I:

If you’re familiar with the Japanese concept of Ikigai (there’s a popular book on that you could read when you get the chance), this step will be easier for you. If you haven’t, no worries; we’ll break it down for you.

The concept involves asking yourself 4 important questions to find your passion; in this case, niche –

  • What you love
  • What you’re good at
  • What people will pay for
  • The problem you help people solve

Find a sweet spot within your passion, your core values, your core strengths, your life / professional experience, what specific problem you can solve for your target clients with your expertise, what specific solution and services you can offer, and whether your target clients have the priority to solve that problem and are they willing to pay for it?

Write down answers to these and you’ll find your answer to ‘How to find your coaching niche?’.

Step II

This takes you further deeper and involves qualitative and quantitative surveys.

A qualitative survey involves having a structured dialogue with a few of your target clients to identify their needs and aspirations.

We understand it might be a little overwhelming. Find someone in your circle, friend list, acquaintances, or family to interview.

A quantitative survey involves an open survey on social media along with the lead magnet (i.e. incentive to the clients to respond to your survey).

Surely, you’re part of a few communities or groups on social media. Leverage this asset and ask your folks to help you out. You could also incentivize them for their time to show respect and gratitude.

Why these surveys? What will you gain from them? These survey results will

  • offer you insights,
  • either validate or will call for modifying your earlier decision on the choice of your specialization
  • your target audience/client group

It’s not something you nail in the first go, we understand. If you’re still unclear or need an expert’s help to niche down, we recommend hiring a coach to help you decide.

If you already possess an ICF credential, YouMeAndLife Coaching Mastery Consortium (YML CMC offers such coaching and mentoring services for upcoming coaches.

Not yet certified by the ICF-accredited coaching institute? We, MML, have helped 100s of aspiring coaches become internationally certified and recognized coaches. 

Having an ICF credential makes it easier for you to develop your coach competencies and establish your profitable specialized coaching business. Feel free to register and attend our 2-hour online event if you need more clarity on how to become a successful ICF Coach.

If you are looking for an in-depth process of finding a coaching niche, please watch this video –

Wish you all the best in developing your specialized coaching practice.

Choosing a coaching specialization involves gaining a lot of clarity. Have more questions? Have a Clarity call with Expert Coaches

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He has conducted more than 3000 workshops across 10 countries, trained 35000+ individuals from more than 75 organizations. He has authored the best selling book “The Joyful Quotient” in 2019. Deepak is a master Udemy trainer with 4000 students, and growing every second, spread across the globe. He is also the co-founder of Entrepreneurs International, a learning and networking platform with executive members from 30 countries across the globe.

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Anita Sachdev is an Intercultural consultant, leadership coach and a thought partner A globally seasoned business professional and an Award Winner ICF-PCC certified coach. Anita’s versatile leadership experience spanning over four decades across multiple industries, countries, and cultures to enable coachees to bust through their mental blocks and transform them into dynamic, confident decision makers. Besides coaching business leaders, I support clients during life transitions, ignite ambition, and propel growth by freeing  their minds to boldly embrace new opportunities with unwavering certainty.  My  group coaching programs support “Career Pathfinders” and Women to “Step into the Spotlight” have gained global recognition.

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