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Defining a Niche? (Sharon Richmond)

  • Episode #14

The idea of narrowing the scope of your coaching business to a specific niche can seem a bit scary and counterintuitive. Sharon Richmond, the founder of Leading Large, acknowledges and understands first-hand that fear and hesitation and explains why clarifying a niche is actually expansive, not limiting.

In this episode, densely packed with answers and advice, Melinda and Sharon discuss how to define a niche as well as the benefits of appealing to a specific client base and what Sharon calls “targeting value”. Similar clients have similar pain points, so targeting a particular client base provides opportunities for shared stories and growth for your clients and for your business. It’s not so much about demographics but about common challenges. Sharon recounts her experience of honing in on her coaching niche and the enormous benefits it has brought to both her and her clients. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Should you define a niche? 
  • How can you determine what your specific niche should be?
  • Will you lose opportunities and clients? 
  • What about newer coaches just starting out?
  • How can clarifying a niche help with marketing efforts?

“Mostly what kept me from being able to define a niche is that I wasn’t confident enough or clear enough myself to be able to describe the who and why of my practice.” ”

“[Narrowing] allows clients to find me and know that I am someone that works with people just like them, and that turns out to be the biggest thing.”

Sharon Richmond

Guest bio: My executive clients are amazing leaders, and are building companies they are proud of. Working with them is my greatest joy, says Sharon Richmond, the founder of Leading Large. Sharon is an executive coach and consultant, leadership expert, course creator, lecturer, speaker, and published author specializing in business-driven change execution.

She is also an MBTI Master Practitioner, known internationally for her work on how MBTI types lead best. She’s certified and works with emotional intelligence tools (EQi, MSCEIT) and has for many years taught leadership at Stanford GSB and Stanford University.

Sharon has 30+ years of partnering with clients to improve their leadership, accelerate change, and achieve their most important goals:

  • Venture-backed to Fortune 50 companies
  • Thousands of leaders
  • Hundreds of teams
  • Leadership instructor at Stanford GSB & Stanford University
  • Founding director of Cisco’s global Change Center
  • International speaker
  • Published author

Resources or websites for this episode:


  • Guest: Sharon Richmond
  • Host: Melinda Cohan
  • Producer: Cynthia Lamb 
  • Executive producer: Danny Iny
  • Writer: Michi Lantz, Cynthia Lamb, and Melinda Cohan
  • Assembled by: Michi Lantz
  • Audio Post Supervisor: Evan Miles, Christopher Martin
  • Audio Post Production: Post Office Sound
  • Music soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely

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If you have a question for Just Between Coaches, put the show title in the subject line and send it to

Music and SFX credits: 


Just Between Coaches

This show is like Oprah’s couch, where conversations cut straight to the heart of the topic, but... it’s only for coaches! Melinda Cohan of the Coaches Console explores the tough questions coaches face on a regular basis. With a new guest host each episode, Melinda provides tactical advice and strategies to address issues like “How do I deal with price resistance?” and “Should I fire my client?”