Smaller Niche = Bigger Business!
Can you imagine trying to have a conversation about ten different topics with ten people at once? After the first few words, you wouldn’t be able to keep it all straight and neither would the ten people! It would sound like gibberish and no one would be able to understand anything. In a sense, that’s what many practitioners do with their marketing – try to give different messages to many people at once! How many messages are you sending?
For instance, with my modality – massage therapy – here are some common comments made by one hypothetical therapist: “Oh, you strained a muscle? Sure, I can fix it.” And “You’re pregnant – I’d love to work with you!” And “Chronic back pain? Come see me!” And “Frequent headaches? Let me help you!” And… and… and… the list goes on!
The problem with this approach is that you’re competing with every other health practitioner in town for every problem, pain, condition and malady. Narrowing your niche paradoxically attracts more clients than casting a wider net. Your USP – Unique Service Position – defines what’s special about you, while identifying your niche considers what’s unique about the group you serve with your work. By aiming your marketing at several different populations, you will get only a small percentage of these people as clients, because they are spread thin over many different modalities and different practitioners, all competing for everyone’s business – every illness, every injury, every disorder, every problem. Trying to market to everyone dilutes your message so much that there’s no flavor left in it!
You’re the Expert!
On the other hand, if you target only people with back problems, marriage problems, weight problems, or whatever fits your modality, you are more likely to get a larger percentage of the target group wanting to work with you. If you aim for one population group, one condition, one problem, you can instantly be recognized as an expert in that area.
Simply by marketing yourself as a specialist in one area, people will assume you are the expert. For example, if you market yourself as the practitioner who helps people with headaches, backaches, neck pain, joint pain and pregnancy, few of them will recognize you as an expert in what they need. However, if you say “I specialize in helping expectant mothers have a comfortable happy pregnancy,” and you direct your marketing toward obstetricians, midwives, childbirth educators and baby stores, then you will get a large percentage of pregnant women wanting your services, because they see you as the expert for them.
Many practitioners have two concerns at this point:
1. “I’m not comfortable calling myself an expert; it seems arrogant or phony.”
2. “Won’t I lose or turn away potential clients if I narrow my target market?”
Let’s look at these, one at a time:
1. “I’m not comfortable calling myself an expert.”
It is not phony or manipulative to market yourself as an expert for a particular problem or target population group. From a marketing perspective, if you know more about a topic than the average person, you are an expert. All you need to be an expert is to know more than most people know about your profession or specialty. If you ask the average person something technical about your work which you take for granted, it’s likely they won’t have a clue. But you could do it with your eyes closed. So, from that perspective you are an expert and you do know enough to succeed in helping others with their health!
2. “I’m afraid I’ll lose clients if I narrow my niche.”
Don’t worry – you can still work with people outside of your niche if they call you (assuming you are qualified to treat their problem). Specialization does not mean that you turn away people who are not in your niche. It simply means that the focus of your marketing is directed to that group – that is where you concentrate your marketing efforts. For instance, there is a physician in my town – an internist who specializes in patients with HIV. He also treats many other illnesses, from colds to cancer – but his marketing is aimed at HIV patients, because he identified that group as a population that is under-served in our community and selected it as a viable niche for his expertise.
Average practitioners have a mindset of lack and competition, so they agree to work with pretty much anyone. Average practitioners don’t give much thought to who will most appreciate and benefit from their particular skills and services. Average practitioners struggle and stress with getting enough clients.
But you’re different! The fact that you are reading this indicates that you want to move beyond average. And you can! By following the step-by-step program of The Prosperous Practice Home Study System, your holistic health business can grow from average to outstanding!