If you’re a coach, you want to help people. You want to make a massive impact, and a lot of money while you’re doing it.
You might think that having a broader niche will help you achieve this, but it’s not true.
My guest today is living proof that niching down lets you help more people.
Kristine Rucker is The Arm Coach. She helps women find a realistic, permanent solution to weight loss and get killer arms in the process.
In this episode, Kristine and I dive into the importance of niching down and Kristine’s advice for anyone trying to stand out in a big industry. Niching down opens you up to so many more opportunities, so we share how to narrow your niche right now.
Join me November 18-20, 2022, for virtual Life Coach Live where I will work with you on mastering the three things that will change everything for you. Click here to grab your spot.
What you will discover
- Why Kristine originally started as a weight loss coach.
- How Kristine decided to change her coaching niche.
- The concept of the Minimum Baseline.
- Why niching down opens you up to more collaboration.
- Kristine’s advice for niching down in a big industry.
Featured on the show
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 443.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Brooke: What’s up, my friends? I’m so happy. Did you want to say hi?
Brooke: I have a special guest today.
Kristine: So happy to be here.
Brooke: She’s so excited. We are talking today to Kristine Rucker about being an arm coach. And before I introduce her, I have to tell you that we met in the best, most magical way, and we were just meant to be friends. And she was already one of my coaches and she has an amazing niche that I want to share with all of you because it’s such a great example of how so many of you in your businesses can narrow down your niche and make more money. So welcome to the podcast, Kristine.
Kristine: Thanks Brooke.
Brooke: Introduce yourself. Tell them how you stalked me when we first met.
Kristine: So I live here in Scottsdale, and in my neighborhood, there was all this buzz about a new member. And so you know, just curious, like what’s happening? And they’re like, “Oh, maybe you know her, she’s a life coach. She has a podcast.” And I just knew, I just knew it was you.
Brooke: It was me.
Kristine: It was you. And I saw you at the club and I just had to introduce myself. Stalking you, like hey.
Brooke: It was so great. She did not stalk me at all. I was so excited to meet someone at the club. There she was, she was already one of my coaches, and we became literally immediate friends.
Kristine: Yeah, and what was it? The very next week? The weather had kind of turned a little bit here in Scottsdale, so Joe and I decided to go to Miami for a little getaway. So I’m sitting at the pool and you walk by.
Brooke: It was crazy. What are the chances that we are going to - neither one of us knew we were going to Miami. We both show up at the exact same hotel, exact same pool, at the exact same time.
Brooked: Destined to be friends forever. So we became fast friends and we’ve spent a lot of time together. So as I do with my friends who are life coaches, I’m constantly giving them unsolicited advice about what they should do with their companies. And I will say, most of my friends, you know who you are, do not listen.
I do think when you’re close friends with me, you’re like, “It’s not as important.” Whereas I feel like my students listen to me much more. But you are an exception to that rule.
Kristine: Tell me all the things.
Brooke: You’re an exception to that rule. So why don’t you tell them a little bit about you as a coach and the business that you had, and then how you changed your niche.
Kristine: Okay. So, I started off, I was pretty confident that I wanted to do weight loss because I have lost a lot of weight. I’d lost 80 pounds, but still was struggling to find my unique message. Because even though - weight loss is still very broad.
I got certified in keto and that kind of narrowed it down a little bit more, but still just - there’s just such a big pool. So it was very hard for me to find something unique for me to talk about and to set myself up as an expert with so many out there.
Brooke: And so everyone that’s in my life I want to make a million dollars because I want us all to be rich, because it’s more fun if everyone’s rich. So we were trying to figure out how to make Kristine rich as fast as possible. And so I looked at her company and she’s successful and has great clientele and is a good coach, but one of the things you can’t tell about Kristine right now as you’re listening is she had the best arms of any woman over the age of 35 I have literally ever seen.
I’m obsessed with her arms. So go look at the podcast art so you can see her arms because I am not lying, they are extraordinary. And so constantly, me and all of our other friends, we’re obsessed with how do you get those arms? How do you get those arms? What do you do to have those arms? Why are your arms so…?
And she would start telling us and giving us tips. And then finally one day I’m like, “Wait, that is the answer. Why don’t you niche down?” So let me just pause here for a minute. Having a niche, for those of you who don’t know, is having a target market. Having a group of people that you are destined to serve.
So for example, when I first started my coaching business, I was in weight loss as well, but I focused on women who ate emotionally. So women who struggled with feeling their feelings and so they ate instead of feeling their feelings, and they were super smart, super successful, but they could not figure out how to stop eating over their emotion.
So even though it was weight loss, it was a very specific target that I was going after and all my marketing went to them, and that’s why it was so successful so fast because it was unique. So we were out at a club, literally dancing at a club and I’m like, “You know what you should do?”
And I have another friend that I gave another niche to, you know who you are, Moni, you didn’t listen. And I said, “Kristine, you should be the arm coach. You should focus on helping people get arms like yours.” And I want to kind of give the background of why I said that…
Kristine: But can I just tell you…
Brooke: Can you say what that was like for you?
Kristine: So when you said that, I immediately was like, are you messing with me right now? Are you being serious? And you were like, “I am 100% serious.” And I was like, “Okay.” But in my brain, I was like, can it really be this easy?
Because I love arms, I love my workout, I know what I’ve done to get these arms. I guess I just took them for granted at this point and it was like, oh my gosh, how fun would that be for me to be able to provide guidance for women to have arms like this?
Brooke: And I think some of the people that aren’t coaches that were sitting around were kind of like, “Well, I mean, is she just going to give them her arm workout?” And I was like, “No, no, no, no, no.”
Here is what is so magical about picking one area to focus on is you still have to help them with their weight loss. You still have to help them with their discipline, with their consistency, with their mindset about their body and their arms and progress and their patience and their resilience and all of the things that go into creating ultimately a body that you want.
And so I had known this because one of my tools in my original work that I did with clients when I wrote the book If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight? One of my original tools was create a minimum baseline for exercise. And the idea was work out for five minutes every day. Just five minutes.
And everyone was like, “Well, that doesn’t matter and I’m not going to lose weight doing that. I need to be running for an hour.” And I was like, “No, five minutes is all you can do. Just focus on that.” And what happened with my clients is they started with five minutes, and they learned all the things that go into keeping a commitment to yourself, planning, staying disciplined, showing up, being proud of yourself. Putting together two weeks of five-minute workouts was motivating.
Kristine: Exactly. Because you have to strengthen that muscle of follow-through. So it’s not just the workout. It’s the getting yourself to do the workout, of following through, being someone that honors commitments to themselves.
Because listen, we all have libraries full of workout stuff that is free, but we’re not doing them. And so for me, the arms, the arms, it’s very easy to put on muscle in your arms. Fairly easy. You can do it fairly quickly. So it provides a visible result as you’re working on building the muscle of follow-through.
Brooke: Right. I mean, you’re building literally your muscle in your arm while also building determination, getting on your protocol diet, figuring out what you’re going to do to lose weight while you’re focusing on that one thing. And the reason why I recommended it is because so many women want to have nice arms. We want to wear sleeveless shirts, we want to be able to - especially as we get older. By the way, Kristine is not 35.
Kristine: I wish.
Brooke: But her arms are seriously a 20-year-old’s arms. So it gives someone something to focus on and to work towards that isn’t overwhelming. Even if they have a lot of weight to lose, or even if they feel like they’re completely out of shape, if they just start with this one area and stay with this one area and then get that dialed, then they can move on and apply all the other tools to other parts of the body.
Kristine: For sure. So my workout, I keep it very simple and very concise because we’re not going to indulge in confusion. We’re not going to indulge in all of this silliness. But what happens is they’re like, “What else? What else? What else?” And it’s like, oh no, we’re going to master this.
Because you thinking that way is what has led to you giving up. And we’re not going to do that this time. So really keeping them focused and on track and keeping it simple so that they can develop those mindset skills that they need to really follow through.
Brooke: And what’s cool about that is usually when you start a workout, you’re just like, “Oh my god, I have to do that too and I have to do this too and I have to do that.” And it’s the complete opposite to like, “Okay, when do we move on to the butt? When do we move on to the ass? When do we move on to the next thing?”
It’s like, no, we’re going to master all of the components of this framework around building your arms and we’re going to get your arms where - I mean, your clients have significant difference in their arms, which I think is so fun.
Kristine: Well, it is so fun and they all have different reasons. A lot of them, they just want to be able to feel confident in a tank top. But I also have clients that their daughter is getting married and they’re shopping for wedding dresses and they’re all sleeveless and they’re worried how they’re going to look in pictures.
I have people that are struggling to pick their grandkids up and they want to have strong arms. I have friends that play pickleball. But they’re struggling to maintain that arm strength to be able to play a sport that they love. So there’s all sorts of different reasons why, and if you also can keep that, train your brain to keep that at the front, it makes it so much easier to follow through as well.
Brooke: Yes. And here’s the other thing I want to share with you about Kristine and my experience of her at a party, talking about what she does for a living. And this is huge for all of you who are coaches. This is huge in how you portray yourself.
Because if you want to let someone know that you can help them, you have to be speaking directly to them. So if you’re like, “I just work on weight loss,” it’s like, who doesn’t? You’re not speaking to me. And so I had been with you a couple times where someone had asked you what you had done, and your answer was - how did you answer? Do you remember?
Kristine: I can’t even think of any answer to give you right now because it was so big, and I had so many thoughts about it.
Brooke: So you would say, “I’m a life coach.” Well, no one knows really what that is. It doesn’t really apply to me. I’m kind of like, okay. Now, I say I’m a life coach now because I’m not trying to get a client when I’m at a dinner party. But when you’re newer, you are, right? You’re totally trying.
Kristine: And so me not having dialed in my message made me insecure. But now…
Brooke: And made them uninterested.
Kristine: Exactly. Because if you’re not confident in what you offer, they’re not confident that they can get the results that they want from you.
Brooke: Yeah. And it was too vague.
Brooke: You’re like, weight loss or life coaching, I didn’t really apply that to me. But the next time we went out and I had told her this, and she was like, “I’m doing it, I’m going to do it.” And somebody asked her what she does for a living and she said, “I’m an arm coach. I help women get arms like this.” And then she shows her amazing arms. And the woman immediately said, “I need that.”
Kristine: And signed up.
Brooke: And signed up. Can you guys hear and feel the difference between, “I’m a life coach, I’m a weight loss coach,” “I’m an arm coach.” Now, listen, this is just marketing. Once they get in with her, they’re learning all the things. They’re not just learning an arm workout. She’s a coach. She’s teaching them how to manage their mind and how to love their body and how to take care of themselves and follow through on decisions ahead of time.
All of the things that we all want to learn and need to learn in our life to be our best self, she is teaching through just this one modality of training your arms, which I think is so…
Kristine: And I don’t think I really got that at first because when you certify and you’re getting started, you want to help all the people. You want to help all the people. But what happens is if we’re not clear, you can’t speak to all the people, so you’re not helping as many people as you possibly could.
And I’m helping so many more people now with this message on the exact same things, the exact same tools, the exact same concepts that I thought I had needed with a broad audience.
Brooke: Yes, audience and a broad focus. That is so good. So Dan Kennedy, one of the marketers that I study, he says you want to have a dog whistle. You know how when you blow a dog whistle, only dogs can hear it, no one else can hear it? It’s kind of like I have a dog whistle for the people that I want to help.
So other people won’t even hear me. If someone doesn’t care about their arms or they don’t care about coaching or whatever, they’re not going to focus on that. But the clients that are like, “Wait, I want to have nice arms, I like coaching, this sounds amazing. This isn’t just me watching a YouTube video on lifting my arms or going to the gym, this is something different.” And so you’re able to grow your business so much faster, which doesn’t make any sense.
Kristine: So another thing I have found through niching is it really encourages collaboration versus competition.
Brooke: Oh, that’s amazing.
Kristine: Think about there are so many trainers, right? But if you’re a trainer like me that specializes in arms, or say you’re a trainer that specializes in the golf swing, so you can collaborate with them and you’re not in direct competition.
Brooke: It’s so cool. I hadn’t thought about that.
Kristine: Also for me, collaboration, even outside of my industry, like plastic surgeons. Maybe somebody is getting ready to get an arm lift. If they do my arm workout, get their arms in the best shape before the procedure, it sets everyone up to win.
Brooke: Oh my god, that’s so cool.
Kristine: So when you niche down, you find ways to collaborate instead of compete.
Brooke: That’s so great. Here’s the other thing that’s really important is if you go out to market yourself on weight loss, you sound like everybody else.
Brooke: You don’t really know what to say, you’re not as specific as you could. That’s like Corinne Crabtree. She works with people that have 100 pounds to lose. Very specific target. You’re working with people that really want to have beautiful arms. So you are going to attract people that want to lose weight because you don’t want to have a lot of weight on your arms if you’re trying to make them look a certain way.
So it’s a great, I think, small way for people to get started. But for you as a marketer, it narrows your focus on what you should be communicating. Because you’re promising the result of better arms, period.
Kristine: And I think too, I can focus so much more on customer service because I know the exact result that they’re looking for and I can meet their needs in the way that I know that they want. So the customer service is so much better now that I have niched down and I know exactly the result that they’re looking for.
Brooke: So when you’re thinking about your framework, you’re thinking about - a framework is just kind of the map of getting them from where they are to where they want to be. So you have a very specific framework that yes, includes an arm workout of course, includes managing your food and what you’re going to be eating, and managing your mind.
Brooke: All those things. The promise is you’re going to have good arms, but you end up with a client who has learned discipline and mind management and had all these strategic byproducts from picking to focus on that one thing. I love that.
Kristine: And it transfers into, like you said, all different aspects of their life. So it’s literally transformed my business.
Brooke: So good. It’s so good. So talk to people about what you would recommend they do. So they don’t have me to say to them, and y’all know that I would tell you to do a certain thing and some of y’all wouldn’t do it. Just so we’re clear, not going to name any names.
But everything’s not perfect, right? You pick your niche and it’s trial and error and you try to figure it out and you try to make sure that your messaging is right and your communication is right, but why would you recommend anything we haven’t said already, someone niche down as much as they possibly can, especially if they’re in a big industry?
Kristine: Well, first of all, when you’re trying to come up with a niche, make sure it’s something that you have done. So I’ve had some friends that have picked niches just because they’ve seen other people do it or whatever, and it’s really hard to become an expert at something that you’ve never really done.
Brooke: Here’s what I want to say about picking a niche because I think some people could misinterpret this. So they could think, “Oh, I’m going to do a really narrow niche too. I’m going to work with people that are allergic to cheese that want to have good relationships with their sons-in-law.”
Kristine: That’s me.
Brooke: I’m obviously totally exaggerating, but sometimes I’m like, okay, that is very specific but we’re not going to get anyone to buy that, right? That’s too specific and the result that they’re going to get from that, it doesn’t make sense.
So when you’re starting, you want to pick, especially when you’re new, you want to either pick a niche in wealth, health, or relationships. Make sure it’s one of those and you’re making a promise that you’re going to help someone make more money, help them have better health in some way, look better in some way, or have better relationships.
And then from there, pick a more specific niche. So why were you willing to do this? Because you were afraid, “Wait, I’m only going to be able to work with people on arms? But I want to reach a broader audience, I want to be able to do more things.” How did you get over that?
Kristine: It took me a hot minute to kind of figure out how could I make this into a brand. How am I going to make a million dollars talking just about arms? But when you just decide this is what I’m going to do and this is the path I’m going, you just get more creative.
Allow yourself. If I were to make this my platform, what would I need to be saying? What would I need to be talking to? Who could I collaborate with? Who could I bring in that would benefit my clients?
Brooke: I love it. It’s so good. And remember, your niche is marketing. Your niche is how you pull someone into your world. Once your people are in your world and they get better arms, then they can work on any body part after that, yes?
Kristine: Yes, totally. How you do one thing is how you do another. So the same concepts for sculpting and shaping your arms are going to be the same concepts for sculpting and shaping your legs. The workout is obviously different, but you know what I’m saying? You learn the skill to be able to do that in all different areas.
Brooke: So then you have a backend where you can keep selling to your clients, you can do one body part at a time, keep selling to your clients ongoing until they have the body that they want ultimately.
Kristine: And even just the arms, even if we just stayed with the arms, it’s a 12-week program, but then at the end of the 12 weeks, you can’t just stop doing it. So then you go on to workout number two, and you do that one for 12 weeks, and you got to keep rotating. You don’t just stop.
So there’s a lot that goes into different workouts and working the muscles in a different way. So really, I mean, when you put your mind to how can I talk about this specific niche forever, then the ideas just keep coming to you.
And also, when you have in your brain like, how can I best serve my client? What are they talking to me about? What are their pain points? What else do they need? You’re constantly learning from your clients. And if you are just loving on them wholeheartedly, you will find solutions for them.
Brooke: Yes. And the reason I want to talk a little bit about how your niche isn’t actually the business you end up spending all your time on every day, your niche is what you spend your marketing on. It’s how you dog whistle to your clients, let them know.
But once you get in, you’re talking to them about their day where their emotions were running high, and they’re dealing with anxiety, and they’re having a hard time planning their time, and all of the tools that we teach ultimately are what happen in the coaching sessions at that point.
Kristine: Absolutely. Because they had on their calendar they were going to do their arm workout 3pm, kids came home from school, so we’re coaching on how do you make that work?
Brooke: Exactly. We’re not like, okay, well, let’s get back to the bicep.
Kristine: No, because life happens. And so that’s part of being a coach is coaching them through that, teaching them the tools to handle when obstacles arise.
Brooke: So if somebody wants to have amazing arms and they are worried that they can’t, they’re like, “My arms will never be amazing,” what do you say to them? How do you market to them? How do you communicate to them?
Kristine: What if it is possible? What if you just asked yourself a different question?
Brooke: Yeah, have you tried?
Kristine: And what have you tried? What did you learn from that? But maybe it is possible. Maybe I didn’t find the right coach. Maybe I didn’t find the right program. Maybe I’m focusing on the wrong thing. So just ask yourself, instead of signing it off, instead of writing it off, it’s just not possible, if it were possible, what would I be doing to find that solution?
Brooke: Love it. And it just goes to show you it’s something small like arms…
Kristine: Hey now.
Brooke: Are arms small? It’s something small, maybe seemingly insignificant as making your arms look good. Actually, you end up talking about believing in yourself and investing in yourself and being worthy enough.
Kristine: Let me just tell you, something as small as arms, and I’ve had some people make comments about that. It’s like, listen, if you struggle with your arms, if you struggle with being confident in your arms, it can be debilitating.
Say you’re a public speaker and you are not happy with your arms, every time, before you take a step on that stage, it’s in your brain. So what we think, oh, maybe just the arms? No, if it’s your problem, if it’s your area that you are very insecure about, it’s a big deal. It is a big deal.
Brooke: And if you don’t believe that you can have Kristine’s arms…
Kristine: I didn’t believe I could have my arms.
Brooke: That’s interesting.
Kristine: Brooke, I didn’t believe I could have my arms, ever. I was 200 pounds. Everybody said, “Oh, she has such a pretty face.”
Brooke: Oh no. You do have a pretty face.
Kristine: Well, thank you. But I took that to mean my body was just not whatever, and I never thought. And it wasn’t until I was like, “You know what, I’m just going to try.” And some things didn’t work. I’m just going to try something else, I’m just going to try something else.
And finally, I found some things that clicked for me, went on to become a figure competitor, I was literally winning trophies for my arms. Winning trophies. But it’s because I didn’t write myself off. I didn’t give up. I started asking, what else could I try?
Brooke: Well, and this is what I love about this niche so much. It’s kind of like, on a bigger picture thing, a lot of the examples that I use on this podcast is I used all of my tools to lose weight. But then those exact same tools I used to go make money. And then I used to improve my relationships, and then I used in all these other areas of my life.
And so that’s what I love about just get started with the one little thing. Get started with maybe it’s your arms. And then once you’ve done that, you’re like, “I didn’t think I could do that. What else is possible for me?” Once you overcome that. That’s amazing.
Kristine: It is amazing.
Brooke: So listen, first of all, if you’re a person that wants better arms, where do they go?
Brooke: Kristine Rucker with a K and an E and a Rucker.com. The arm coach. You can go and get better arms. If you are a coach who doesn’t have a niche and doesn’t have your niche carved out, go to her site and see how she’s done it. She’s done such a beautiful job. It’s increased her business, it’s helped her be known for something.
Because there could be 15 weight loss coaches and there are 15 weight loss coaches, but someone’s like, “I wish I had your arms or I wish I had better arms.” We’re like, we know exactly who to refer to.
Kristine: That’s so funny you say that. It’s really helped with referrals because people know what you do. You are known for something. So say you’re at lunch with some ladies and somebody’s talking about, “I went dress shopping for my daughter’s wedding,” you’re going to be like, “Have you heard of the arm coach? This is exactly what she does. She does this.” So it really helps with referrals when you are known for something specific.
Brooke: That is so great. So I think that if you want to learn more about how could you be known for something, what is your special niche, your special connection inside maybe a bigger niche, go check out how she’s done it. You’ve done such a good job. It’s totally amazing. I’m so proud of you for listening to me.
Kristine: Thanks Brooke.
Brooke: I was like, “Girl, I’m going to have you on this podcast as soon as you get this new niche dialed in.” And think about it, even for ads, for Google ads, for terms that you want to own. Weight loss is so competitive.
Brooke: You go into arms, now you have a much smaller audience. You’re going to pay much less for ads.
Kristine: It’s true.
Brooke: I’m so proud of you.
Kristine: Thanks Brooke. Keep all the ideas coming. Keep them coming.
Brooke: Yes, I will. And listen, I know that it’s hard. People have a lot of niche drama and we definitely don’t want to create any more of that because here’s what I want to say about this, just as a caveat at the end is a lot of people pretend not to know their niche so they don’t have to risk failing.
And you know, you’ve gone through a lot of ideas that didn’t work and a lot of ideas that do. And even within your niche, you’ve tried ideas that don’t work. But you don’t tell yourself you don’t know what your niche is to prevent yourself from actually going out in the world. Go out there and try it and see if it works. This one luckily did because everything I suggest always works. I’ve been in this business for a thousand years, I know it. It’s so good.
Kristine: I’m taking all the advice.
Brooke: So go get your arms. Make them look good so when you wear that sleeveless dress for Christmas, it’s going to look good. And then once you get the arms, then we move on to all the other body parts.
Kristine: All the other things.
Brooke: Okay, what else do you want to say? You’re on The Life Coach School podcast.
Kristine: Oh my gosh, I’m just having the best time helping people. I do want to say because I did feel this way, I want to help as many people as possible, but the reality is I’m helping more people with a smaller message.
Brooke: Yes girl. That is the facts. That is true.
Kristine: It’s the honest to goodness facts.
Brooke: It’s the honest to goodness truth. Alright, thank you Kristine. I love you. Thanks for coming on.
Kristine: I love you sweetie. Thank you.
Brooke: Okay, KristineRucker.com. Go there right now. Talk to you later everyone. Goodbye my friends.
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