Here's a different way of looking at competition in your field
Do you know what I mean by "market saturation"?
And is it something you should be concerned about?
"Saturation" in business is simply when a product or service has been very well distributed in a marketplace or region, and therefore creates stiff competition and/or little new demand for the product or service. (Unless someone does things rather differently!)
Said even more simply for professional coaches like you and I: there are a lot of other professionals offering similar services to your business in your area or industry.
Here's how it shows up for the experienced coaching pros:
- you were the only game in town until all of a sudden you weren't (happened to me!)
- you see new people enter your field, with far less experience and seem to be doing much better then you (Hot dang! This happened to me too!)
- you find yourself keeping your prices "affordable" so you can stay competitive and keep the clients you have (Not fun!)
- something has changed in your field that is forcing YOU to change (Uh, hello Facebook ads! Oh, hi 500+ new coaches graduating my alma mater EACH MONTH.)
- web design styles swiftly change, and inexperienced coaches entering your field are getting beautiful pictures taken, investing in expensive and successful looking branding and their web presence slams your website into the dark ages. (Yeah, I've experienced this one as well.)
- a marketing strategy loses it's effectiveness, or what was once good enough before many other professionals set up shop, isn't cutting it anymore.
- or seeing colleagues create multi-million dollar empires while you chug along with one part-assistant and makes you question everything you thought you wanted. (Yep! Experienced this as
well. This was a doozy!)
For new coaches, it's looking around at the playing field and thinking "I don't even stand a chance!" or, "do I have to invest 10K in a website before having one client just so I look the part?!"
Now here's some good news (and what that I wish I had known about 7 years ago!)
Listen, you may not be able to win the game of "who has the most clients" and who can "out market or out work" the other.
In fact, it can be disconcerting if you're like me and my clients whose days of "out working people" are long gone with mornings, evenings and weekends dedicated to family life.
So, if you know you can't out market the big coaching companies or your colleagues that seem to
have more reach, a larger volume of clients and deeper pockets...
Then you are going to have to ZIG where they ZAG.
Market saturation is simply forcing you, me and all of us, to evolve and step into the changes you likely have been putting off for some time.
1) Instead of following what everyone else is doing, focus on what others in your field can't do
(or is afraid of doing!) and specialize in solving one very important problem for one group of people that you can become masterful in serving. This puts you in your own league.
For me, it was realizing, "okay, I can't win the game of saying I have hundreds of people in my programs." But I could win the game of saying the opposite: I have less clients, but for the right
clients, they are better and more deeply served. That I can do. So I showcase that in my work. You can do the same.
2) Instead of lowering your prices and trying to keep pace with other struggling, charge-by-the-hour professionals, be the boutique coaching business in your field that cherry picks her clients and has people apply to work with you because you're so specialized and you actually have standards of care.
I knew I couldn't afford to lower my rates. I was not going back to that!
So then, I had to validate my rates.
I do this by showcasing my experience and the experience my clients receive that is one-of-a-kind (they feel seen, they get coached by me, they can connect with me each day, etc).
For some people, it's a game changer to have that kind of personalized attention.
Most of my clients are already doing this but not showcasing this in way that highlights this as the gem it is. You can do this too!
3) Instead of trying to nail your brand, showcase your MASTERY of your craft.
Learn how to create, collect and display outstanding testimonials from the work that you do.
I find web design to eat up a lot of expenses for small practices, especially if you want to get it
And the really good people charge upwards of 7K and up for a custom website.
Which means, the "average" personalized web work is $2500 to $3500 and I'm so over that level of work. It ain't that great!
So, I zig where others zag.
I have a super simple, clean, modern website with no fancy branding.
I've gone minimalist in a sea of gorgeously branded websites.
I find this so radically simplifying, like finally deciding on your signature outfit, that you'll
wear at all of your signature talks instead of spending hours each morning tossing through all your outfits and turning your closet inside out.
Instead, I let my work, copywriting, testimonials, a few high quality images (that are the opposite
of the glamour shots I see everywhere... it's me, the beautiful countryside in my pictures, and no perfect hair and make-up).
And then I bring it home by nurturing the relationships I create through my emails I send a few times per month, instead of a few times per week.
I could go on in the ways that I zig where others zag.
I teach my clients to do this too, because it's what they CAN do well, and do so consistently.
You can do this too.
So if you're worried about any aspect of market saturation in your field, just remember.
It's just an opportunity for you to zig where they zag.
Fine tune your message and get specific so competition becomes irrelevant.
Create a league of your own.
Then let everything else you do... how you work with clients, how you present your work, how you
do your pricing... everything!... mirror that focus and watch yourself no longer have to play the game that others play.
Want me to help you do this?