Step 2 To Being a Successful Coach: Choose Your Clients And Tell Your Story

by Christie Mims HELLO

This is part two of a six-part series on starting a successful coaching practice. See part 1 over here.

You are a new coach just starting out – congratulations! You are probably pretty excited, and feel pretty great about your future and the fact that you are ready to help people!

If you just finished a coaching program, you might be using words like “blocks” “transformations” and “consciousness” peppered in your speech. You can’t help it – you are excited! You want to help EVERYONE. How can you choose just one area? SO MANY PEOPLE CAN BENEFIT.

I know – it’s an amazing feeling.


But here’s the thing: it’s time to stop.
Why? Because successful coaches have an area of expertise.

Not choosing a coaching niche is like trying to please everyone at a wedding: no one ends up happy, especially not the bride and groom.

Plus, when you are trying to stand out as an expert coach, it’s hard to be credible when you tell people you can coach “everything.” Would you believe someone who told you that? If I need heart surgery, I choose the guy who has specialized in hearts – not the guy who told me he’s “totally got experience in heart surgery, foot surgery, basket weaving and defense consulting.”

Coaching is the same.

So, it’s time to choose your ideal client and your niche, so you can get down to brass tacks and really help some people.

But how?


Well, most coaches chose their niche (area of expertise), in one of two ways:

1. They already have a wealth of experience in that area. That’s how folks who have tons of business experience turn into business coaches, and folks who were recruiters might end up as career coaches.
2. Or, they themselves have just gone through a big transformation and can help others navigate the same situation. This is where you get folks who have just gone through a divorce specializing in divorce coaching, or folks who have lost weight starting out as health coaches.

If you are struggling in how to choose, you aren’t alone.

Most coaches do waffle a bit in the beginning. Chances are, however, that one area is one that you feel you SHOULD do (because it is safe, easy etc), and one of them is the one you WANT to do (because you feel called to it, drawn to it etc).

Choose the one that keeps coming up again and again, that you are drawn to the most – regardless of the “shoulds.” Why? That’s the one you are really interested in doing, and that’s therefore the one that you will be a success at coaching. And, to have a successful coaching practice, you need to WANT to coach in that area :).


Here’s how you tell your story

Okay, now that you’ve got your area of expertise, it’s time to figure out how you talk about it.

This bit is critical.

A lot of coaches make the mistake of talking about what they do using COACHING words like “inner critic” or “block” or “inner transformation” and are confused and surprised when no one understands them OR wants to work with them.

You’ve got to use words that your clients use.

Why? Because you need them to understand AND connect with you.


So, your first order of business:

Write down the words that you would use to describe the problems you see in your area of expertise. I’m a career coach who specializes in passion, so I know the words my clients use are “unfulfilled” “tired and drained” “guilty and anxious” when they think about work. What are the words you would use?

Next, talk to 2 or 3 people who are potential clients, or who have struggled with this problem in the past. Listen to them. How do they describe the struggle AND how they want to feel?

Okay, now that you’ve got some real words to go by, spend a few minutes crafting a short sentence that describes what you do and who you help.

It should look something like this: I help ________________(person/problem) so that ___________ (solution/transformation)



I help smart women find their passion so that they can finally find work they love.

I help new bloggers set up their websites so that they can make money while they sleep.

I help women over the age of 40 date online so that they can find love.

Do not fall into the trap of being too descriptive or flowery!


Example of what NOT to do:

I help passionate proud persistent women find their inner principles so that they can get promoted and get powerful in the boardroom.

Did I lose you at persistent? Or principles? 🙂

The point of this exercise is to say what you MEAN so that others immediately understand. You can absolutely elaborate more after that – but first, you’ve got to engage your potential clients and simply wins out every time.

Once you do this – you can start talking to people and getting clients (and most importantly, getting paid).


Want Christie’s special brand of magic to build your coaching business? Click HERE.




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