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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
Life coaching niches and specialities are not rigidly defined and many will interact. On this page we look at the six basic niches and some sub-specialties that may help define your coaching focus.
Whichever niche or speciality you choose, you'll find it's all really life coaching applied to a particular situation that the client brings to you. The principles are the same.
Business coaching can spill over into personal coaching. Personal coaching into relationship coaching, career coaching into life purpose coaching, health coaching and so on. I have yet to have a client who came to me with one specific issue which didn't spill over into coaching about another.
So my take on choosing your own coaching speciality is not to be too narrow in your definition. By all means “identify the need” or “identify the pain” as you will often be advised by niche experts, but realise that the separation is rarely, if ever, that simple.
To help you get an understanding of the core coaching niches that most coaching will fit into, let’s look at the main ones and some of the narrower specialties that can fit under them.
As I’ve indicated, all niches are basically life or personal coaching. If your main niche is personal coaching you might choose to specialise in any of a myriad of sub-niches such relationships, divorce, health, communications, parenting, teenagers and so on.
I've found that often, what also comes up in personal goal setting is "I could also do with losing some weight". So based on my book Be Your Own Goals Coach I've created a page specifically designed to help you coach your clients to achieve success with their Weight Loss Goals.
This is one of the biggest coaching niches and covers a wide area of career and job issues.
The sub categories here can include executive, leadership and management coaching both for small and large companies.
You might choose to specialise with individuals and/or companies in a specific area such as health or finance, if you have the right background in these areas prior to your coaching career.
Business owners often need help with things such as staff relationships, succession, delegation, even work life balance and family issues and so your job as their coach is to help them clarify their business direction and help them work through any obstacles and challenges. If you have the right background you may also help them in a consultants role with a SWOT analysis ROI matters and other financial aspects.
Personally I‘ve found that most business owners know what needs doing, they just need help overcoming overwhelm and support sorting out their priorities.
I discuss what it takes to be a small business coach and where you might specialise here. I've also shared a few of my Small Business Coaching Case Studies to give you an insight into some common topics.
Workplace coaching is a common practice in corporate environments and can be one of the most interesting and profitable niches to explore.
To work credibly and effectively in the corporate environment, you need to understand the culture and the issues executives and managers face and preferably have either worked at executive level or be extremely familiar with it. And, of course, like any business niche it will usually involve some personal growth coaching. Read how Workplace Coaching works and where to find the opportunities and niches.
This is also one area where having a recognised coaching certification and credential is likely to be important.
This is an interesting niche that can be applied to all the above and is a profitable and time efficient way of leveraging your coaching both in person and online.
You can get together a group who want life, career and even business coaching. I had a colleague with an accountancy background who specialised in holding groups for financial planners.
Coaching clients to achieve their goals can also be applied to any of the main niches. The client comes to you wanting help to choose and/or set some goals, in whatever area of their life they are seeking to improve.
Or they roughly know the goal they want to achieve and need to get clarity and put a goal plan in place to make it really happen.
Either way, you will find my book Be Your Own Goals Coach a great help working with your own clients and also, in your personal life. Also here are some of my own Case Studies On Goal Achievement. Each provides a great example of how the process works.