Top critical review
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More about marketing than selecting a niche
on 7 December 2015
In my experience coaches are nice people. They are attracted to start a coaching business because they want to help people and make a genuine difference.
They also see it as a way to make a nice living - and of course, the best known coaches make an absolute fortune (e.g. Tony Robbins).
Coaches don't want to market themselves, they want to coach the people they want to help but the new coach quickly learns two things:
1 - Marketing isn't a "nice if", it is a MUST.
2 - The vast majority of people don't want to buy coaching.
Hence the big demand for help to answer the question "how do I find coaching clients". The standard advice given is to find your niche, your own special position in the market which you can call your own.
When I ordered "Niche Marketing For Coaches", that's what I thought this book was all about. There are a lot of issues in finding the courage to niche, selecting your niche and then establishing your pre-eminent position as the "go-to person" for anyone who needs those services. This entire issue of how to choose your niche and indeed, whether you should be a generalist or specialist, is huge.
This is a very good marketing book but the author hasn't written the in-depth look at niche marketing and how it applies to coaching I was expecting. It follows the standard advice of "find your niche" but doesn't go into the problems that niching can bring (e.g. a one-sale to customers with nowhere to go for a back-end sale.)
The chapter titles tell their own story and I will give start page numbers so you can get a feel for the depth of content in each area.
1 - Introduction - page 2
2 - Using coaching tools - page 12
3 - Choosing your niche - page 28
4 - Positioning - page 42
5 - Pricing - page 56
6 - Your marketing message - page 76
7 - Networking - page 86
8 - Public relations - page 114
9 - Public speaking - page 130
10 - Getting started on the Internet - page 142
11 - Other marketing methods - page 172
12 - Asking for business - page 182
13 - Creating your marketing plan - page 200
14 - Making it happen - page 218
15 - The Coach Files - a look at successful coaches who have chosen their niche (although some are more niche than others) - internet marketing, dentists, media professionals, wealth coaching, small business owners. Only two of those I would argue were properly niched - the dentists and media professionals - since the other three are very wide.
This give you a sense of balance for the book and where it spends its attention.
As a marketing for coaches book, I'd give it four stars but as a specialist book on how to select a niche for a coaching business, I'd only give it 2 stars because so many dimensions of the topic are missing. That's a three star rating on average. It's well worth reading if you want to market a coaching business but I don't think it's much help if you're wrestling with the dilemma of choosing to niche or not, and if so, which niche.
About my book reviews - My goal is to help you to find the best business advice. I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 3 stars is worthwhile.
Paul Simister, business coach