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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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5 simple steps to help you find ‘your thing’


There are many, many, many freelance trainers out there. You don't need me to tell you that. I'm guessing, like me, you find it is impossible NOT to bump into a trainer who does what you do.

Or is that just me?

I was recently working with a new client, who was a very credible leadership expert. However, when you read her bio and website, it felt very bland and vanilla like. We talked for a while, and I asked her what her 'thing' was. At this point, her eyes lit up, the passion resonated in her voice, and she was off. Helping her pull out the messages to attract in clients became easy from then on.

To help you find 'your thing', i.e. your niche, and differentiate yourselves from your peers, here is my simple 5 step process to helping you find 'your thing'.

The hard part of finding a niche is identifying and choosing one where you are confident that there is enough of a market that will be motivated to buy your services, and make a good living from it. Here are a couple of poorly chosen niches or “non-niches”

Trainer specialising in leadershipIsn't that what 25% of all freelance trainers do? What about...

Trainer helping middle management in construction companies take the step up to senior management

Executive Coach working with board members Isn't that what most executive coaches aspire to do? This could become...

Executive Coach helping board members in IT companies engage their teams to deliver the firm's strategy

Can you see the difference? You may find our FREE guide to choosing and capitalising in your niche useful (email required).

To find a niche that will work for you, there are five simple steps to follow.

1. Search the internet to find trainers with a similar skill-set to you. Write down all the sector specialisms and ‘niches’ that you find.

2. Write a list of at least ten possible niches that you could adopt.

3. Assess each one against some key criteria, for example:

  • Does working within this niche excite you?
  • Is there a big enough marketplace for you to build a profitable client portfolio?
  • Do you already have credibility working with this particular audience?
  • Do you have existing good relationships with people well connected to this marketplace?
  • Does your firm want to develop its client base within this niche?
  • Do you like, and can relate, to the people who work within this niche?
  • Is the demand for your services from this niche growing?
  • Do existing advisors currently poorly serve this niche?
  • Any niche which gets at least five ticks is potentially a good fit for you.

4. Take your top five ranked potential niches. Now apply the ‘is there enough of a marketplace motivated to buy my service and products’ test? The ones that pass with flying colours need to be prioritised

5. With your top three ranked potential niches, which one excites you the most? This is likely to be the best niche for you to adopt.

If you can’t decide between some of the potential niches you have identified then think about in which of your niches you have:

  • the most credibility;
  • the most engaged and largest network;
  • The most potential for strategic alliances already available to you;
  • the most number of current or ex-clients; and
  • the most amount of excitement when you think about specialising in this area.

You may find our FREE choosing your niche worksheet helpful (email required).

Remember that adopting a niche helps you acquire new clients. Many trainers, coaches and consultants worry that adopting a niche will cause them to lose their existing clients who don't sit in this niche. Regardless of the niche you adopt, you will only keep these clients if you deliver a great service to them. 

How did you decide on your niche?

One Response

  1. Use of language

    A really useful post, but I would take issue with one supposedly improved description of a niche. 

    Executive Coach helping board members in IT companies engage their teams to deliver the firm's strategy 

    From where I'm looking this includes two particularly vague (and over-used) words – 'engage' and 'deliver'.  I think 'involve staff in meeting the company's objectives' is better, but it's still pretty vague and meaningless!


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Heather Townsend


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