Going Deep: The Value of a Niche Audience

A coach encouraging another man through drills - going deep - the value of a niche audience

What if I told you people will pay five times what you’re currently charging?

You’d probably say, “This sounds like one of those sleazy ads, Coop!” So I’ll stop.

Instead, let me tell you a story about one trainer in my city. This guy trains hockey players.

Every summer, a few dozen hockey players show up at this guy’s garage. Or a local track or a big grassy hill on the outskirts of town. They lift weights, they sprint, they throw tires up the hill. Sometimes he calls their workouts “CrossFit” and sometimes he doesn’t.

The trainer has virtually no overhead. He doesn’t have his own gym or any fancy equipment. He doesn’t have a degree in exercise science, and he’s never played in the NHL. Last I heard, he had two barbells in his garage gym. He doesn’t advertise. But every summer, he clears tens of thousands of dollars training hockey players. In fact, he probably profits more than any other trainer in town over those three months, even with 90 percent fewer clients.

How does he do it?

By dominating a niche. He doesn’t train people for fat loss. He doesn’t train basketball players. He trains hockey players. And if you’re a hockey player in Sault Ste. Marie, you train with this guy.

Sure, I’ve had NHL players and high-level hockey teams in my gym. But they don’t come back year after year after year. They pay my gym rates, not thousands of dollars for small-group training.

If you’re a hockey player in Sault Ste. Marie, you don’t do CrossFit. You don’t do bodybuilding. You train with this guy.

What’s he doing differently? Not a thing—except he’s not doing anything but training hockey players. That’s his niche.


Scope and Focus


I once lost a client to another coach.

My client was a sprinter, and he wanted a “sprinting coach.”

The other coach didn’t have my education, experience or connections in the sprinting world. He’d never heard about periodization and probably couldn’t tell you the role of ATP in a 100-m race. He didn’t know about disinhibitory stretching techniques or how to use petrissage, never effleurage, when massaging a track athlete. But he called himself a “sprinting coach,” so he got all the sprinters. I called myself a “personal trainer,” so I didn’t.

The more you focus on one small audience, the more valuable your service becomes. By narrowing your scope, you gain focus. And your clients perceive greater value from focus.

This is why you see pro athletes doing wacky exercises on TV. This is why you see antiquated training techniques employed at the top levels of sport. Because they’re not listening to the best trainers: They’re listening to the people in their niche instead.

As a trainer, this drives me crazy. But as a client, I totally understand it.


“Niche Down”


I’m a cyclist. I’m not competitive, but I consider myself a serious student of the sport. I spend around five hours per week on the bike in the offseason and double that in the summer. I spend over $5,000 every time I buy a bike (my wife says that happens too often) and probably the same amount on gear every year (don’t tell her).

With those price anchors, what do you think I’m willing to pay for coaching? You guessed it: around four times what I’d pay to do CrossFit at my own gym. And what does my coach tell me to do outside of riding? Well … CrossFit.

Forget my personal coach. Let’s say you’re a cyclist and you want coaching from Tyler Hamilton.

Here’s his website: Tylerhamiltontraining.com. Pricing: $185-$395 per month for online programming. No in-person rides included. No contact with Tyler himself.

Compare that with online programming for fitness on the SugarWOD marketplace:

– CompTrain Individuals – $39.99 per month.

– Speal Icon – $19 per month.

– Progressive Programming All In – $39 per month.

Are there more expensive options on there? Sure. If you’re a competitive CrossFit athlete, the price goes up to around $150, on average. The smaller the niche, the higher the price.

The Coronavirus Crisis presents a huge opportunity to build your online coaching platform. If you’re in the Two-Brain family, you can use our instructions to create and launch online training. It’s a step by step plan, and it’s on the Growth ToolKit (Revenue Diversity, Milestone 10).

When you do, don’t think about the blue ocean. Think about the little ponds.

What can you coach better than anyone else?

What niches are wide open opportunities? (I’ll give you a few later in this series.)

Where can you earn more money by going deeper instead of being broad, general and inclusive?


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.