Need to Niche
You know, even big-time academics kind of have groupies. Anyone with any sort of fame.
So, like, in your micro-world, or in your niche, you’re kind of like a celebrity.
~ Tucker Max
Before we get into who your ideal client is, we need to discuss why choosing a niche is so important as you begin to build your practice.
First off….the definition of niche as it relates to business:
“Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond.”
When you are specific in who you serve , what you serve and how you serve them, picking up the phone to book with you becomes the easiest decision your clients will have to make.
However, most practitioners fall into the trap of trying to see every client that wants to see them. This doesn’t work for a few reasons:
- Without a niche your business plan and marketing tend to lack focus and can become diluted to the point of being ineffective.
- It is hard to gain momentum when you are unclear on your focus
- Without a niche you are often splitting your time and resources working in different directions
- If you are not clear on who you work with, neither are your potential clients
- One plan doesn’t fit most, trying to create a general plan gets you general results, whereas a specific plan gets you specific results
- Working in multiple areas tends to spread you thin in the beginning so work harder but get less results
- Without a clear niche, it may become harder for others to know what you do and for them to refer to you
Reasons why you want to START your practice with a niche are:
1) It will help you focus
You can’t be everything to everyone. As we cover in this module, each client group requires its own approach and plan. Trying to speak to everyone usually leaves you with no one listening.
2) Easier to build momentum
When you are moving in a focused direction, it is easier for you to build momentum personally and professionally. As you have a clear vision, it is much simpler to make decisions that align with that goal.
3) It will make it easier to create a marketing plan
When you are only trying to speak to a specific sub-set of the population, you can use language and techniques that will really speak to that group.
4) It will help you weed out inappropriate clients
When you are really clear (and communicate) who you work with, clients who don’t fit with that vision tend not to call. This eliminates doing intake sessions with clients you would ultimately end up referring anyway.
5) It will help potential clients self-select and feel more confident you can help them.
Since clients will be able to see themselves in your marketing, the ones that do reach out will be quality clients who are truly looking for what you are offering.
6) It will help you feel more confident in your ability to work with your clients
When you are working with client groups you resonate with, who have concerns you understand, you will be more confident in session and ultimately provide better services.
7) Building your reputation happens faster
It is easier to become known for one thing than to become known for 10. Being the go to person for Athletes or Eating Disorders makes it easier for people to refer to you when they find an appropriate client.
8) Networking becomes easier
It will be simpler for you to decide who to network with. Instead of networking with everyone, you can really connect with those who are already working with your ideal clients.
Different ways to Niche
1) Specific Concern / General Population
2) Specific Population / General Concerns
3) Specific Population / Specific Concerns
Specific Concern / General Population
In this instance you would specialize in something specific, for example Addictions, but you would work with anyone struggling with this concern, or things relating to this concern.
Pros – Can target your training and networking
Cons – harder to market as the client group is so diverse
Specific Population / General Concerns
In this instance you may work only with Elite Athletes (maybe even just Football players in honour of the recent Superbowl), but you would work with any concerns that they may have, not just one specific thing.
Pros – Easy to understand your client group, as they tend to be somewhat similar
Cons – Need to be a jack-of-all-trades to address multiple concerns. May need to refer out for specialized issues.
Specific Population / Specific Concerns
In this instance you would work with only a specific group who has a specific concern so if we use the examples above, you may only work with Elite Pro Football players who are struggling with Addiction concerns.
Pros – Easier to market to, easier to gain expertise in one thing
Cons – clientele can become repetitive
Now if you want to get even more specialized, if you learn a specialized modality or treatment technique, you can layer that on top of the above niches and become even more differentiated and create an even more specialized niche.
Share your niche with the group. You may need to wait till you have completed the other exercises for this week to help you decide. This can either how you already are specialized or how you plan to specialize in the future. Do you work want to work with a specific population, with a specific issue and do you have/want any specialized training.