Niche – Coaching Writers


Hi Brooke – thanks in advance for your input.

Background: I got certified to coach in 2012 and have done so to varying degrees since then – in addition to writing books, speaking nationally and teaching college. But I’ve never done it as a business intently and intensely. I never created systems and automated. I never marketed myself. I simply got clients through people knowing me, and word-of-mouth referrals. It was “feast or famine” but that didn’t bother me then. Now I’m ready to create a steady feast. 🙂

I want to zero in on coaching writers. Specifically savvy writers writing books – a project that takes many weeks or months of focus. More specifically, those who are planning to self-publish their book so they don’t have an external deadline set by the publisher to drive them. Nor an editor supplied by the publisher to guide them. They feel alone in this – like no one would notice or care if they quit working on the manuscript.

To be clear, I’m not offering to read and edit their work. I’ve done that in the past and it’s not where I want to focus. I’m also not interested in teaching them the mechanics of writing (how to structure a rom-com plot, where the commas go, what point-of-view means and when to use each type, etc.). There are other places online, in books, and in classes they can get that info.

I’m interested in coaching them on the mental game of writing: how to overcome procrastination, how to set and actually keep a writing schedule, how to position yourself for creative insight, how to handle others reading/reviewing your work, and how to banish writer’s block – just as if you had Harry Potter’s Boggart-Banishing Spell.

To quote fifteen-time author Joseph Epstein in a New York Times article that reported 80% of Americans believe they want to write a book: “Without attempting to overdo the drama of the difficulty of writing, to be in the middle of composing a book is almost always to feel oneself in a state of confusion, doubt and mental imprisonment, with an accompanying intense wish that one worked instead at bricklaying.”

I can help with that.

My niche question: How narrow do I get, and on what basis do I narrow?

Gender? Age? Location? Amount of time they have to devote to writing? Aspiring writers with full-time jobs? Aspiring writers living in New York City? First-time book writers? Writers who got creative writing degrees and yet can’t seem to finish their book? Or do I market based on WHAT they are writing?

Should I choose just fiction or just non-fiction writers? If I pick just fiction, do I need to drill down even further such as: suspense fiction writers, or romance novel writers? (There are national organizations such as Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America I could market to). Would I need to drill down even further than that such as: historical romance writers, or contemporary romance writers? Or could I create separate FB ads and landing pages for various sub-genres of romance without gearing everything on my website that narrow? Or do I not need to get that far into WHAT they are writing at all? Can I just market the distinction that I work with first-time fiction writers and I don’t fix your writing, I coach your mind so you can write better on your own – whatever you choose to write?