5 Things I Recommend When Niching Feels Impossible

5 Things I Recommend When Niching Feels Impossible

“The only time I see a niche working in a coach’s favor is when it emerges on its own”
~ Steve Chandler

I want to share with you my best advice for those of you who have been struggling with the issue of niching in your business. 

As business owners we’ve all heard the advice that we must niche in order to be truly successful. This can feel pretty disheartening for those folks who find the task impossible. I regularly work with people who feel like they should have a niche but, despite trying every niching exercise out there, find the whole thing entirely anxiety inducing.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, a simple definition of niche that I like to use is this: 

The problem you solve and the people you solve it for. 

If you are in this situation yourself, read on for 5 things you can do to move forward in your business regardless. 

1. Stop trying to force it 

I’ve watched countless business owners trying to contort themselves into a niche that doesn’t truly fit for them. It’s painful to watch, so I can only imagine how painful it must be for the business owner. 

When working with clients in this predicament, I usually start by inviting them to give themselves a break from trying to come up with the perfect niche. 

I believe our true niche is something that evolves over time, not something that we can come up with by answering journal prompts, brainstorming or by doing a course or class on niching.

In my experience, your niche comes from the time spent, and experience of, working with people over the long-term. Our niche evolves when we learn who we most enjoy working with and which problems we are most skilled at solving. This isn’t something you can come up with in a vacuum. it comes from being out in the field, doing the work. 

Forcing it, then, becomes a an exercise in futility. Perhaps you can relate? 

2. Go deeper on your possible niches

Usually the clients I have, who are struggling to niche down, are in this predicament because there are multiple types of people and multiple problems that they can, and/or would like to, work with or are working with already. The idea of just focusing on one type of person with one specific problem feels impossible or undesirable.

But what if you could go deeper on multiple niches?  

In my work with 1:1 clients, I’m often supporting them to run mini-campaigns around different problems and aimed at potentially different types of people. These campaigns are designed to get my clients into conversation with potential ideal clients. 

The two main types of campaigns I recommend are gift session campaigns and market research campaigns. This is where you choose a specific problem and/or type of person (or person at a particular stage of the transformation journey) and create a campaign to call in precisely those people, either for a gift 1:1 session (or free workshop) or market research calls. 

Back in my early days of being a Life Coach, there were various problems I had the experience and desire to offer services on. Themes included, having healthy relationships, living without alcohol, overcoming fear, achieving your dreams and so on. Niching at this point in my journey felt restrictive and uncomfortable. Instead of choosing, I put posts (like this one) out on social to call in people dealing with a specific problem, in doing so, I could gain even more experience with a particular issue, as well as uncover if I really did want to do that particular type of coaching. 

In case you’re interested, I did work with a few clients on healthy relationships as a result of this enquiry but never felt a deep enough call to niche down to becoming a relationship coach. Later on when I tested out supporting people with business, I knew I’d found my sweet spot. 

3. Review the reasons people are currently coming to you

When we don’t have a specified niche and operate more as a general practitioner, it can be helpful to look at our data to see who is currently hiring us and what types of issues are they typically bringing. There may be a completely mixed bag and that’s okay, but doing some work to uncover which of these you have enjoyed the most can give you useful information. 

Let’s say for example you are a healer and work with all types of problems. You may get people coming to you for a wide range of concerns from anxiety to chronic pain and everything between. It can be useful here to consider which of the issues your clients bring feels juiciest to you?

When you see an intake form come in and you see what the person needs help with, do you feel excited and ready to go or do you contract and feel a slight sense of dread? Eliminating those issues that don’t light you up can be a step in the right direction of your niche. 

In my business, for example, I love it when people share with me that they are clear on who they help and with what and they are great at taking action but need some support on what action to take to grow their business (strategy is my sweet spot). I don’t love it so much when people say that they know what action they need to take but want support to overcoming the resistance to taking the action. In fact, I’m likely to refer the latter out to an amazing business mindset coach I know because over the years of working with hundreds of business owners, I know that the mindset piece isn’t the one that excites me the most.

Now you might be thinking, but Caroline I don’t have any clients yet so reviewing intake forms isn’t on the cards for me. No problem, simply start with point number 2 and get yourself into conversations with with people you’re interested to connect with. 

4. Create niched offerings

If you’re certain that niching down is not for you, you can bring the benefits and clarity of niching into your business by creating niched offerings. Let’s say you are a health coach who works with all types of people and all types of health complaints. There is nothing to stop you creating individual products and services that serve a specific niche. 

This could be, for example, a 1:1 offering on gut health or an online course on chronic pain. It doesn’t mean you have to niche down as a gut health or chronic pain specialist but it allows you to offer products and services that speak to specific people and specific health concerns. 

Whilst not ideal. because you are potentially speaking to completely different audiences, in the absence of a single niche, this can help you to make sales to specific groups of people when general health coaching might not be as compelling. 

5. Give really specific examples in your web copy 

When we don’t have a clear niche it can be hard to write web or sales copy that really draws people in. Remember most people are searching for help with their specific problem so they may be searching for information that is specific to their needs rather than general. One way around this is to give really clear examples of the problems and types of people you support with your work in your web copy and marketing. 

If, for example, you are a life coach who supports all people with potentially all types of life stuff. This isn’t going to make for very compelling copy but if you can list out some very specific examples of life transformations you can support people to navigate such as quitting an unhealthy habit (like smoking), overcoming fears (like giving presentations at work), achieving goals (like starting a new career), having difficult conversations (like asking for a promotion or setting boundaries with an overbearing friend) then it helps people to see themselves in your copy. It helps them to better understand the specifics of what you can help with. 

Niching is in essence about getting clear on who you can help and with what. You don’t have to just pick one issue and one type of person to be more clear in your business about who you can help, you can do it in the ways I’ve shared above. I hope that what I’ve shared shows you how you can start bring clarity to your marketing and offers even if you don’t have a tightly buttoned down niche.



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Common Business Pitfalls To Avoid

Common Business Pitfalls To Avoid

It is clear the future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o’clock.

~ Woody Allen

This blog post is for those of you who are earlier on in your business journey. Being early on in your business journey doesn’t necessarily relate to how long you’ve been in business, it speaks more to where your business is at in terms of growth. If you’re unsure about what stage you and your business are in, click here to watch the replay of a recent FB Live I did on the Five Stages of Business Growth or head here to read an article I wrote on the same subject.

It’s also worth noting that the pitfalls I share below can happen to business owners at any stage of the business journey and you may well find yourself nodding at some of these even if you’ve been in business for years!

1. Believing the hype

As with any industry, the amount of absolute crap online about how to succeed in business is breathtaking. As someone who has built profitable businesses and worked with countless others to build profitable businesses of their own, I know first hand what it takes to go from making zero dollars to making regular and consistent income and I can promise you now that there is no magic bullet. No secret formula to success, no quick and easy 6-step process.

In fact, when you see promises like these, I want you to run for the hills, because promises like these are hype, designed to play on your desire for success and have you reaching for your credit card before you can say: do I really believe what I’m being sold here?

Don’t get me wrong, there is no shame (or judgement) in getting sucked in by some of these promises. We’ve all been there. Who hasn’t bought the $37 guide to consistent $10,000 months, hoping that we’ll learn something that will expedite our business journey. These offers are designed to manipulate and play on your desires and your fear of missing out on fulfilling them.

I do, however, urge you to exercise caution and common sense whenever you see a promise that seems too good to be true. Anything that promises you quick and easy success is probably a lie — how do I know? Because if a fool-proof, quick and easy way to make big bucks online had been found, then everyone would know about it and everyone would be doing it already. Achieving true, long-lasting results takes time. It takes commitment and it requires taking consistent action, on the right things, over the long haul.

2. Waiting for perfection

Something I see a lot is people who have the desire to start their own business, know what business they want to create and yet they are playing the waiting game. “I need to have my website finished before I can tell people about my business”. “I need to have more people on my list before I can start sending out my newsletter”, “I need to have professional photos taken before I can launch my website.” “I need to clearly define my niche before I can put any offers out” and the list goes on. Can you relate?

Waiting for perfection is the ultimate form of sabotage. The clearly defined niche, the professionally designed website, the brand to die for and the enticing suite of offers you see from the established professionals in your field, all came after years of working this stuff out. Putting things out to see what works and what doesn’t, trial and error. Failure and flops. Dead ends and re-routes.

This is an inevitable part of the business journey and not one you can (or should want to) short-cut. If you find yourself saying I’ll take “x action” in my business when “y thing” is in place, then you’re probably playing the waiting game and I invite you to ask yourself if there is a way you can go ahead and take action before the perfect thing you desire is in place.

3. Wasting time on the wrong things

In the early stages of business it’s not uncommon to get bogged down working on the wrong things for the stage of business you’re at. This often happens when we compare our year one in business with someone else’s year 8, 9 or 10. We might become fixated on creating the perfect brand before we’ve taken the crucial steps of building an audience and then engaging with that audience to find out what would most speak to them.

It’s common nature to look at other business owners we admire and seek to emulate them in order to achieve similar success but when we try to copy someone else’s business model, we risk missing out on the vital steps that see our business model evolve and mature with us, and in a way that is aligned with how we work and want to work in the world.

Something I see often is people getting bogged down with the busy work of their business. Tweaking their website, trying to perfect their website copy, looking for the perfect images, fonts etc for their graphics. In the early stages of business growth your only job is to connect with people and to serve them in whatever way you can.

I would encourage you to be creating content and connections at every opportunity, regardless of whether or not you have the perfect website, brand or niche. Because here’s the thing — all that time you spend early on trying to create the perfect image of your business will likely change the minute you start working with people, which leads me nicely onto the next point.

4. Trying to niche too soon

Yes I know that you’ve heard it a million times. You have to have a well-defined niche or you’ll never succeed and whilst knowing who we help and what we help them with them is hugely important, a common mistake I see is business owners trying to niche too soon. Forcing themselves to pick a focus for their business before they’ve allowed themselves to truly explore what lights them up.

Consider the fact that you don’t need to choose your niche because it will evolve organically if you are out in the world connecting with potential clients and discovering the sweet spot between what they need and what you can offer. It took me years to define my niche as a coach and it only became clear to me after I had coached hundreds of people.

5. Trying to do all of the things

I totally get it, it’s overwhelming trying to start a business, especially, given how shouty many so-called business experts are these days online. With everyone and their dog shouting at you to come follow their secret strategy for immediate success, it’s no surprise that many business owners start to fall into a pattern of trying to do all of the things, a sure road to burn out or worse still, they strategy switch, which is chopping and changing strategies without ever giving the damn thing adequate time to work.

Being successful in business does not require you to do all of the things such as newsletters, blogs, networking events, podcasting, free workshops and being on every social media channel there is. In fact, this is more likely to do harm than good. On the other hand, following through consistently with one or two, tried and tested, business growth strategies (like content marketing and outreach) can make all the difference.

So there you have it, five common pitfalls I see people come up against time and time again. Have you been guilty of falling into one of these traps? If so let me know in the comments below.



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

5 Business Foundations to Support Your Business Growth

5 Business Foundations to Support Your Business Growth

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.”

~ David Allan Coe

You can’t build and grow a business on shaky foundations. What I’ve found as a Business Coach is that people often come to me wanting strategies and tactics for getting paying clients, yet often they can’t even tell me clearly what problem they solve for people, who exactly they solve it for or how they solve it. Nor do they have a body of work (content) or any audience (i.e. people to sell to) to speak of.

Having a profitable business under these conditions is unlikely at best. Given this fact, over the last year or so my work has begun to really focus in on supporting people to get 5 foundational pieces in place so that a sustainable level of income generation can be reached. In this post I walk you through what those 5 pieces are.

1. A Well-defined Niche

You’ve undoubtedly heard that niche is something you need to figure out if you are to attract your ideal clients to your business and you’ve also probably heard a slew of different definitions of what niche is. 

In a nutshell, your niche is: the problem you solve + the people you solve it for. 

And here is something that might surprise you, having clarity on the problem you solve is far more important than knowing who exactly you solve it for. I see so many people getting bogged down in client avatar exercises and figuring out demographics, when knowing what problem you solve is actually far more important.

To give you some examples of problems a business might solve:

As a Business Coach, the problem my clients struggle with is a lack of solid foundations meaning that the growth strategies they attempt to implement fail.

A Life Coach might have clients who have a problem with people pleasing and boundary setting which is holding them back from achieving their goals in life.

A Massage Therapist might have clients who have a problem with specific aches and pains that come from sitting at a desk/driving all day.

Knowing the problem you solve (and being able to clearly articulate it) is vital because, when push comes to shove, people will only choose to spend money on your business if they believe you can solve a problem or meet a need they have.

2. Audience Research

The problem with niche is that most people attempt to nail down their niche without doing any research and instead struggle for months (if not years) trying to figure out what problem they solve. I’ve seen too many business owners choosing their niche, then spending thousands of dollars branding their businesses around this niche only to find after a few months that they don’t enjoy working on this problem or with these people. 

In the early stages of business, research is essential, as you seek to figure out the problem you help people with, it’s crucial that you are communicating and in conversation with people who are struggling with that problem. That way your understanding of the problem is such that you are able to articulate and address it using the very language your ideal clients use and understand.

In addition, the more you know about what people need help with, the better placed you are to know if it’s work you really want to do.

Read this post for more on how to conduct audience research. 

3. A Clear Message

I’m surprised by how little I hear people talking about this one and how unclear the information I do see around it is. The clarity of your message lies in your ability to clearly articulate the problem you help people with and how you help them solve it. It consists of your unique point of view or business perspective and your methodology. 

Tad Hargrave has a useful definition of point of view: 

“Point of view is you explaining what you do and why you do it the way you do it. It’s you explaining what your approach is and why you think it will work.”

Your methodology is your how. It’s your unique model for solving the problem your clients have. It’s within your methodology that you might share a framework or journey that you take your clients through.  It’s what makes you unique, it’s what separates you from others in your field. 

Your methodology is your system, your process, the step-by-step journey you take your clients on to take them from problem to solution. It’s the unique combination of tools you use to help your clients to make progress. It’s your diagnosis of the problem and your suggested cure.

Your message, point of view and methodology evolve over time and comes from your experience of working with people on the problem you help them with.

4. An Activated Network

Activating your network, or outreach as I call it, is another foundation that I see many people overlook. Outreach is basically another way of saying connecting or relationship building. When we come to learn that people buy from people they know, like and trust, we begin to appreciate just how important outreach and connection is.

All too often, I see business owners spending countless hours in front of their computer screens working on figuring out their niche, building a fancy website or creating the perfect brand, without talking to anyone. Neither making meaningful connections nor building relationships. Although the world of business has changed dramatically with the rise of the internet and social media, personal and meaningful 1:1 connections are as crucial to business success today as they ever were.

We’re often taught online that the perfect copy, some slick images and a brand to die for is enough to bring our ideal clients flocking to our doors but the truth is nothing brings about sales faster than reaching out to the kind of people we’d love to work with and making genuine and meaningful connections, rooted in integrity and service.

Read blog posts here and here for more on outreach and activating your network. 

5. A Content Strategy

Last but not least I want to talk to you about content. Content is, in my opinion, the glue that holds all of the above together. If not with your content, how else do you communicate your niche, the results of your research, your message and find the very people worth reaching out to?

Content is, contrary to popular belief, far more important to your business image than fancy design, slick copywriting and stunning imagery. For conscious business owners in particular and the people they serve, substance over style is very much the domain of quality and consistent content.

Not only is content the perfect way to share your message and demonstrate your expertise but it’s also the best way to grow your audience. With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why having a solid content strategy in place is a must if you want to see your business grow.

Read blog posts here and here for more on content. 

So there you have it, 5 foundations you don’t want to overlook in your business. Which of these is your business lacking? Feel free to hit reply and let me know. I’ll be happy to share with you my best tips and resource



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.