When I give my Niche In a Nutshell talk, one of the most common questions I get is “If I choose a specific niche, does that mean I have to become a coach-sultant”?
If you haven’t heard the term coach-sultant or coachsultant, it’s when you choose to become a hybrid of part coach and part consultant to your clients. Many coaches become concerned that if they focus too specifically in one niche they’ll need or expect to become a hybrid coachsultant.
There is a spectrum when it comes to “Coaching” Models.
On one end of the spectrum you have pure coaching (such as co-active coaching where your client comes to the call with a specific topic they’d like to discuss, you ask them powerful questions,use your core competencies and fabulous coaching skills to deepen their learning and forward their action). On the other end you have the “coaches” who have designed a step-by-step, structured process that all clients go through in the same way (which is essentially teaching them “the way” with some support to aid them through the process). And of course you have everything else in-between on that spectrum.
Some coaches think that if they get too specific in their niche, they’ll have to turn into a coach-consultant hybrid and veer away from the coaching experience that they love. But that simply isn’t true.
No, you don’t have to be a coach-sultant if you don’t want to (although I’m of the opinion that a little structure, content and resources can really aid the transformation of our clients). You get to decide where you fall on the scale based on what feels right to you and your clients. If your ideal clients are craving more, it’s likely that you’ll change where you are on the spectrum to attract and retain the clients you want.
The reality is most of my clients fall somewhere in between the pure coaching end of the spectrum and the middle of that spectrum (pure coaching with some structure and training/content/resources aspects). Take a look at your process and your coaching model and ask yourself, “What would best serve my ideal clients?” Then, follow what feels right based on what your ideal clients want and what feels resonant for you to provide.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Tara Butler Floch