I recently launched a side business providing career coaching to help people do more of what they love and/or reset their careers.
It’s really taking off and I recently had a client ask me how I did it. The successful launch really came down to three things:
1. A Niche.
Seth Godin changed the way I think about a niche. I used to try to be everything to everyone. I felt like the coaching I did could be useful whether you were a 19-year-old college student or a 40-year-old career-shifter. This may be true, but the best thing I did was get really narrow in my niche. The way I did this was by writing this post, which was more for me than for you. I needed to clarify who I served. Even then, I felt I might be limiting myself. At one point I even Googled “when is your niche to narrow?” Guess what? The answer is never. If I’m a customer, the more narrow the niche, the more I feel like you were made to serve me specifically. I feel like you getme. Think of it this way: if your niche is only 50 people in the U.S., be the one who is going to serve and delight those 50 customers consistently over time for the rest of their lives and you’ve got a sustainable business. Define your niche.
2. A Platform.
This could be its own post, but suffice it to say that you need a landing pad. A gathering place. You need somewhere for your tribe to come together and hear your thoughts, share theirs, and learn more about what you have to offer. A website or blog is one of the best platforms and is easy to share. This could also be a facebook page, a twitter account, or any other social media.
3. A First Follower.
The biggest game changer by far for my coaching business was my first follower. Actually, there were two of them. Several months ago I provided some free coaching to two individuals looking to make changes in their careers. I did everything I could to add value and “delight” them just because. In fact, I really had no expectation of anything coming of those sessions. I simply wanted to help and share my skills to benefit them. Afterward, they inspired me to launch a business and funneled friends my way. I did (and do!) my best to add value to their lives and, in exchange, they continue to refer business. At a certain point, momentum kicks in and business takes off. I’m nearing that tipping point now and it’s all thanks to those two early adopters who believed in the service and shared it with their friends. This, of course, means that you need to have something noteworthy to share (all the more reason to discover your talents and use them!) and you need to be sharing it.
In my opinion, every business starts on a foundation of at least these three things. There are likely more and you can tell me what they are. But if you’re looking for somewhere to start, start here!
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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