Whether you’re a health coach, finance coach, spiritual coach, career coach or mindset coach, you definitely want to be seen as the expert in your field.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, coaching is a booming industry, estimated to exceed $2 billion worldwide, that continues to grow exponentially year-on-year. With coaching becoming more mainstream and accessible, people are recognizing it as a tool to achieve higher levels of success and, ultimately, a better life quicker (and more successfully) than trying to muddle through mediocrity on their own.

This is great news for new coaches. With a thriving market and growing audience base, there’s no reason why you can’t make a great living and an even greater impact on your future clients’ lives.

As with any booming industry, though, audiences are getting savvier with who they choose to invest their money with.

With a low barrier to entry, there are a lot of ‘coaches’ (read scam-artists) who will happily take your money without being able to back up their extraordinary claims or help you get the results that you signed on for. I know because I was reeled in hook, line and sinker (more than once) when I was a new coach to the online space.

Many coaches claim amazing results and hire the best copywriters to make you salivate to sign on with them, only to ultimately disappoint you with their services that didn’t deliver on the promise. This could be either because you weren’t the actual intended audience for their product/package (you see this all the time with entrepreneurs pitching to newbies in the online space when their services are actually better suited to those with more experience) or because they really aren’t as skilled as they claim to be.

In any case, as a new coach, I’m sure you’re concerned with ensuring that you provide top-notch service, that you establish yourself (so you’re not mistaken for a fly-by-night operation) and that you’re not scamming anyone out of their money. In other words, you’re looking to be the expert to attract clients, create a positive impact and make bank with your business.

But you may be asking yourself: How can I be the expert if I’m a new-ish coach on the scene? Don’t I need a heck-ton of experience?

And the answer is simple: Yes. You need experience and practice before you can sell your coaching to others. But hold on a minute before you write off coaching as a career option that will never happen before you’re eligible to collect social security.

What a lot of us do is overlook our own personal experience and practice that we already have in the coaching space. And I know, you’re probably thinking that you don’t have any experience or else you would already be charging people.

But remember the reason you got into coaching in the first place: You have a gift of helping others achieve a transformation, probably something that you’ve gone through yourself, which is the reason you are being pulled towards coaching.

So keep reading to find out how to uncover the coaching experience that you already have so that you can position yourself as a legit expert. I would also recommend pulling out a piece of paper or your journal and jotting down what comes to mind. This will get the creative juices and clarity flowing!

1. Choose A Niche That You Love AND Are Good At

Finding your niche is the FIRST step in building your online coaching business and standing out as an expert. A niche is a field of expertise — a specialty if you may. Good coaches can probably coach just about anyone since coaching skills and technique tend to transcend niches (not to be confused with consulting knowledge specific to an industry, which many coaches also provide). However, if you want to be seen as an expert, and therefore sign on clients and build a coaching business, choosing a niche will help immensely.

Focusing on a niche, or coaching subset, will help to narrow your audience so that you are only speaking to a particular type of clientele. This will streamline your messaging and visibility to help you better connect on a deeper, more meaningful level with prospects (and if you’re looking to charge $1,500 — $6,000 per coaching package, you definitely want to be connecting with your future clients).

It goes without saying that you want to choose a niche in an area that you love. It doesn’t make sense to be a habit coach if you can’t stick to helpful habits in your own life; nor does it make sense to be a declutter coach if you can’t seem to find your car keys on a daily basis (and yes, habit coaching and declutter coaching are actual niches where people are making money).

Your niche is probably something that you are already coaching people on — whether free/unofficially or with paid clients. It’s something that other people tend to struggle with but comes easily to you.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you figure out exactly what that niche is:

  • With your friends, family and co-workers, what is a topic or specialty that they are always coming to you for help with?
  • What benefit(s) does your help (i.e. your coaching) provide to these people?
  • What outcome do they get from working with you?
  • What is the transformation that happens in their lives because of your help?

Here’s a hint: It’s probably a transformation that you have gone through yourself!

2. Decide Who Your Ideal Client Is

One of the awesome things about being an online coach is that you get to decide precisely which clients you want to work with. As opposed to the typical 9–5 job where you get thrown into an office of 20 different personalities (some which you get along with and others which make you a die-hard Dexter fan in the hopes you one day get the opportunity to dispose of a body), with your coaching business you get to choose who you want, and who you don’t want, as a client.

Pretty powerful, huh?

So if you’re a new coach, you may be wondering who exactly is your ideal client?

It’s useful to look at the clients (free or paid) that you’ve worked with already as well as the people that you really enjoy helping. This will give you a clue as to who you want to work with moving forward.

You want to choose someone who gets a huge benefit from your coaching and who you also vibe with.

Here are some points to reflect as you go about this:

  • What gender is this person?
  • How old (or young) are they?
  • What is their occupation?
  • What about them makes it just SO enjoyable to work with them? Is it a personality quirk? Something about their background or transformation?

Hint: Determining what makes that person so wonderful to work with is your secret ingredient to really nailing your target audience.

3. Get Confident So That You Can Talk Like the Expert

Now that you know your specialty on what you will be coaching people on, and you know exactly who you’ll be coaching, it’s time to get confident on owning your niche!

It’s really simple for someone to say, “Okay, now that you know your niche, go coach!” But that’s a lot easier said than done. Limiting beliefs, fears and doubts will probably immediately surface:

  • Who’s actually going to listen to someone like me?
  • What if I’m seen as a fraud?
  • Can I really help this person?
  • What if no one wants my coaching?
  • I’m totally out of my league here…

If you’ve ever thought these things as a coach trying to land your first client, know that you’re not alone! Everyone has felt the same thing at one time or another.

But remember, we know for a fact that these limiting beliefs aren’t real because revisit Step #1 and #2: You know your niche and have already successfully helped others transform their life (even if you’ve only helped yourself, you still count)!

Even though we know this on a conscious level, it doesn’t always stop these false limiting beliefs from feeling any less valid. To move forward with confidence so that you can step into your zone of genius and connect with potential clients means overcoming these feelings of inadequacy.

The first thing to do when you hear the Negative Nancy voice start in your head is to begin journaling or free-writing. Explore those limiting beliefs: If you feel that no one will want your help, where are those feelings coming from? You’ve seen other coaches do what you want to do and make a living, so give yourself permission to explore why you think you’ll never make money at it.

You may be surprised at what comes out when you begin free-writing what is on your mind, but this is really important to help you move past these limiting beliefs so that you can start signing on clients!

Join Me?

I’d love for you to come hang out and meet me in my Facebook group, The Freedom Lifestyle Coach: A community dedicated to the new coach who is looking to build her online business without pressure, effortlessly attract clients and create her freedom lifestyle, whether that means travelling the globe or taking 3-day weekends to spend with loved ones.

Kalila Bodden is a medical doctor and business coach for ambitious, introverted women. Supporting them in going from self-doubt to beautiful confidence is her specialty! Helping her clients create an online coaching business that makes 4- and 5-figure months so they can live their dream life of freedom, wellness and travel is what she’s all about.

Originally published at medium.com