When Does Niching Not Work?
When I finished my training they told me to niche and I understood the purpose and intention for doing this so as a ‘good girl’ I did as I was told. I chose to market myself as a mums and daughter relationship coach. And it did work. I started to gain the reputation as the go to person for mums and daughters and soon referrals from networking and clients started to arrive. I was attracting not chasing clients.
Chose your niche carefully
My mum had died a few years earlier. I had no idea the impact coaching other mums and daughter woudl have on me as I continued through my grieving process. Slowly but surely, piece by piece my self esteem was being eroded. As I watched my clients creating a beautiful bond with their mum I became angry, hurt and even resentful. I felt guilt and a sense of failing. I knew I could never have that kind of relationship with my own mum and it broke my heart.
Being reminded every day my chance had gone. I couldn’t go back and be the difference I needed to be to connect us in a loving bond. No one told me that I should be careful which niche I chose and the impact telling that story over and over would have. No one said remember when you create a niche you will be telling that story for the rest of your life.
Imagine having to say over and over again that you failed to love your own mum without judgement or contempt and then setting others up to love unconditionally and open heartedly.
When I did a great job, I would smile on the outside but inside I was grieving.
Then as I hit the teens with my own daughter, I struggled. I felt a failure because of my own relationship with my mum and lost sight of the good job I was doing with my clients. With my own self confidence in tatters I was not strong enough to support my daughter through her teens. It became all about me and I was not able to park my needs to give her the stability she needed to negotiate change.
With my own self esteem at an all time low, my relationship with my daughter struggling I soon started to feel like a fraud promoting myself as a mums and daughter relationship coach.
Not to mention that a pattern had emerged that many of the mums who were wanting a better relationship with their daughters were also struggling at work or in their personal relationships. They didn’t feel valued or like they mattered. Their life seemed to lack direction and purpose.
I soon found myself pulling on my sales and motivation skills as well as my coaching skills to support these women to grow their business and understanding of how they mattered, how they added value and how they made a difference.
By now my clients were referring clients to me and now I seemed to attract clients who want to work evenings and weekends and that took me away from my own family.
I hit a brickwall and I knew something had to change.
With this in mind I pulled away from mums and daughters and played with various other titles such as business coach or communication coach. Without a clear niche clients no longer gravitated towards me. My existing clients stopped referring clients to me because they became confused was I helping mums and daughters or businesses?
I was flundering and felt alone.
I knew I had to be clear on my niche and I had to get my message clear. I had to know who I was on this planet to serve and which story was I happy to share over and over again.
But I had lost confidence in my own message and what I did that was of value. Now my business stopped being profitable so not only was I failing as a mother, I was also failing in business too.
It was as though my critic had completely forgotton all those clients I had already supported and inspired which at the time was in the hundreds and that without income I had no value.
As many of you know I have worked with book mentor Karen to write my book Manage your critic.
And in the early days I coached Karen when she was writing her first book to manage the overwhelm that was causing her to feel like she was on an emotional rollercoaster and we have always stayed in touch and suported each other. Over the years I observed her and noticed that she didn’t pick a niche but more her niche found her. As she wrote her second and third book clients started asking her how she did it and then she rebranded as Librotas The Book Mentor. I watched the magic happen. The clients knew what she did and the clients were attracted to her.
But it is more than that. When I listen to Karen and she says I am a writer, she truly connects with that identity. When she says out loud, “I am a writer” her eyes light up and she shines from the inside out. That was what the clients were gravitating towards. It was her energy and her confidence.
I wanted that. I wanted potential clients to understand what I did and how I could help them.
Having committed the last 12 months to working with Karen to write my first book my message is much clearer. I am on the planet to help you to be heard, understood and valued. I am hear to show you how to manage your own critic so that you can listen to and ask questions from a place of curiosity not contempt. And it is my hope and aspiration that you will discover how to attract the kind of clients that will allow you to do your best work and live your best life.
I want you to have the income and the time to be with your family and friends having more fun than you ever thought possible.
I truly believe listening skills are vital to your success and learning how to manage your critic to move you and others from overwhelm to clarity is the first step to understanding what you want and need to work and live at your best with others.
When I work with clients I pay attention to when your eyes light up and that is something you cannot see or hear for yourself. That is why it is so important you have someone ‘outside’ of you to observe your patterns, behavoiurs and language so that you can truly tune into what you want and what works for you. Learning to attract clients that will value your story and will build your confidence not destroy it is important. There will be people who resonate with you and those that don’t and learning to differentiate who you are wanting to attract means you don’t get side tracked by feedback that is not relevant to your mission, purpose and vision.
What have you learned reading this article? What would you like to have happen next?
It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside when you comment. It makes me feel like I am writing to you personally and not just talking to myself so please do share below your thoughts. Even if you don’t agree with me I want to know and if you do agree with me I am also interested.
And feel free to join us in the Facebook group Clarity confidence and change.
If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happily set you up for success. I might be part of the support you need and I might not be but either way you will you know your next best step.
Or find out more about how to manage your critic in 21 days with our on line library and webinars that explain why the critic occurs and practical ways to manage it.
Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.
That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.
Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.
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