The following 30 questions may help you peg your true niche:
1. What do you love doing? (This might be a very short list initially, in which case I strongly recommend you to take some time to reconnect to yourself and go through your life story looking for clues.)
2. What have you dreamed of?
3. What is your passion?
4. If money would not be an objection, what would you do?
5. What makes you feel good?
6. What do you like so much that you would do it for free?
7. What is your life legacy?
8. What are you skilled at?
9. What value can you give? (This one is like the question above, but with a tweak. Here we have a look at things from a client’s perspective. What value can you give to a client? Why would someone turn to you? What can you give that others cannot? What kind of services or products will you offer? This part might take a while, but do notskip it, as this is an essential question to clarify your true niche.)
10. What are your past experiences?
11. What did you enjoy doing most in your life?
12. What are your strengths?
13. What are you for others? (eg. friends, family, colleagues etc.)
14. How would others describe your strengths?
15. How can you help others while doing what you love?
16. What is typically the occupational area of your target market or their career stage?
17. What is their education?
18. What are the demographical characteristics of your target market? (This includes any common characteristics eg. weight, income, age.)
19. What clients would you like to work with?
20. Where are they located geographically?
21. What are their common thinking patterns? (This can include hobbies, other interests, beliefs, convictions etc.)
22. What are your target market's common issues? What do they want to avoid or solve (pain points)? What do they want to move towards to (goals)? How will it impact their lives if the pain points stop existing? How will it impact their lives if the pain points continue to exist? How will it impact their lives if they reach their goals (pleasure points)? How will it impact their lives if they do not reach their goals?
Once you are close on deciding on a niche, test its viability with the following questions:
23. Is there a (big enough) market out there? (Once you establish your niche, you might want to check if there is a wide enough market for your services. Conduct some research. You can do a keyword research on internet or visit community boards and join discussions to get a feel for the market. Your niche must be narrow and specific enough but still there need to be enough people fitting into that niche.)
24. Is your market aware of their problems? (If you try to grab your market before they developed awareness of what their issues are, they might not see any value in turning to external support.)
25. Is your market hungry? (This means if they are really motivated to solve their problems. If your niche is looking to explore if coaching is the right profession for them, is it really that urgent and important for these people to buy external help to resolve their problem? They may just need some information on the coaching profession and will make their choice, start coach training. Where would revenue come from in this case?)
26. Is your market willing to invest? (It is great to have a niche that you are passionate about and there is enough demand for. But are those people ready to invest for your support? If you want to specialize with job seekers who unemployed, do they have the financial means to pay you? And sometimes it is not just about having the financial resources. There are people who are just trained and brought up to look for answers from within. Attorneys and physicians are typically like this…are they ready to invest into your coaching services?)
27. Is your market (relatively easily) accessible? (It doesn’t stop by knowing that there are enough people out there. They also have to be relatively easily accessible. You can find job seekers on job boards, but where do you find grief coaching clients?)
28. Does your market have a common problem? (It is very important that you are able to communicate with your tribe by transmitting your key message that is relevant to each and every single person. Keeping it broad, like career coaching, will not work because how will you send out newsletters or create products or programs if one person is interested in job search and the other in how to be an efficient executive? So if you experience lack of commonality within your market, then this is a sure sign that you need to narrow your niche further down.)
29. How is the competitor market? (Let’s say you found a niche where there is enough paying demand. But how does the market look ? Is there enough room there for you to ask for what you want to ask? You see, even if your market is ready to invest, it is all worth nothing if your competitors offer their services so dirt cheap that you would have difficulty in justifying your fees. So take this market check into account when making your final decision about your niche.)
30. Is this niche authentic to you? (This is a very important question because you will attract the people who are like you. So if you try to be someone else, you will simply attract the wrong people.)