Today we talked to Alison Jones, to discuss her coaching niche helping small business owners to self-publish their books.

Today we talked to Alison Jones, to discuss her coaching niche helping small business owners to self-publish their books.

What is your niche?

I work with small business owners who want to publish a book to build their brand and their business.

What made you decide on your niche?

I’ve been in the book trade all my life - as reader, author, bookseller, traditional publisher, digital publisher and self-publisher - so you might say it was inevitable.

Originally I planned simply to focus on small business coaching - strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship being my other passions - but when they found out my background, most of my practice clients wanted to talk about how they could self-publish books to showcase their expertise and create a passive revenue stream.

Why are you passionate about your niche?

I absolutely love working with people who are passionate about their businesses, across such a diverse range of sectors. Helping them clarify their thinking and move their businesses forward is rewarding in itself, but their reaction when they see their finished book is really special. It’s just a joy to help them turn their idea into a beautifully produced book they can be proud of.

What sorts of challenges do you help people solve?

Most entrepreneurs who want to write a book are daunted by the prospect, or get lost in endless rewrites along the way.

I help them get real clarity about what they want to achieve and work with them to turn that into a workable plan for writing their book, integrating it into their business activities so that the book benefits from real-world input and their clients get engaged in the book.

What benefits do you see your clients get from coaching?

I think the single biggest benefit any client gets from coaching is understanding the journey: seeing the destination (sometimes for the first time) and mapping out the best path to get there.

The client still has to take the steps, but walking with purpose and direction is transformationally different to running around in circles or trudging along on a treadmill. And the side benefit is the confidence it breeds: once a client has experienced that process of identifying goals and taking bold, purposeful actions to achieve them, their vision and their goals expand and their mindset changes forever.

It’s so rewarding to be part of that.

Where do you find your clients?

So far my clients have found me, really, and mostly by word of mouth: several of my Diploma practice clients have become ‘real’ clients, and most of them have recommended me to others. I’ve had a couple of enquirers from The Coaching Academy Directory which is great, and a few from contacts I knew through my previous career.

How do you market yourself?

True to my own philosophy, I focus on content marketing rather than traditional ‘interruptive’ advertising.

My main online channels are my blog, social media profiles (especially the new publishing function on LinkedIn) and guest blogs and articles on other sites; offline, it’s mainly face-to-face networking and speaking engagements. I am building a ‘referral network’ of related service providers such as designers, PR specialists and audio/video professionals who can work alongside me as and when required, and who recommend me to their own clients in turn: this is proving to be a really powerful marketing tool.

Before you ask, I’m in the process of writing my book!

What other services do you offer, if any, such as workshops or conferences?

I’ll shortly be offering webinars and workshops on self-publishing for business, and hope to build this up into a suite of training courses around strategy, content creation and publishing. I also work as a consultant with traditional publishing companies who want to understand better the opportunities of the new publishing ecosystem and to build a more innovative, entrepreneurial culture in their organisations.

What other questions would you like me to ask you?

I’d love you to ask me what my business will look like in five years’ time: I’d take great pleasure in telling you that I only know it will be a) different from what it is today and b) a lot of fun!

Alison didn't find her coaching niche, her coaching niche found her, thanks to her passion and experience.

Having a passion for your niche is crucial to success, amongst other factors. But how else do you know you have found the right niche? One of our delegates asked Bev James that very question. You can see her response in this video to help you with your coaching business.

Start your own coaching journey today - book your space on our free 2-day life coaching course.



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