There’s a lot of fear for most holistic practitioners around defining a niche. Most of us do the work we do, at least in part, because we don’t want to be hemmed in. We like freedom and we can see all the ways that we can work with people. The song “Don’t Fence Me In” was written for us. But here’s the exciting reality. When you pick a niche you start to get noticed. You acquire what marketing folks like to call the “halo effect.” This means that when you stand out your value increases and people will trust you to do even more than they did originally. So, if you are ready to expand your practice, decide on a niche. You can pick more than one but start and get it going before you add to it. Steve Mitten, past president of the International Coaching Federation, has a great five step process to gently lead you through picking your first niche that I’ll share with you today.
Step 1: Identify Potential Niches. Take a half an hour and write down whatever niches you might be thinking about. These should be people that you would like to work with and you have something to offer. You want to have a who – a group of people that you might be working with. And you also need to have a what – the challenge that you would like to help them solve.
Here’s a couple examples.
- women who are suffering with migraines
- athletes who have injuries or want to avoid getting injured.
- holistic practitioners who are challenged to get enough clients and make the money they want.
Step 2: Check for Workability. You want to make sure that there are enough people who will be able to pay for your service. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for struggles. Mitten suggests the following six questions to see if you really have a workable model.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how passionate are you about working with this niche?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, do you really have the experience and training to add value to your niche right now?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, will I have any credibility with them?
- On a scale of 1 to 20, do these folks have challenges that they are willing to pay to solve?
- On a scale of 1 t0 20, how easy is it going to be to reach these folks?
Add up your scores and see which ones are doing well. The scores are really just a rough guide to help you identify how likely you are to succeed in the market you are choosing.
Step 3: Engage Your Potential Clients. Go out and talk to people in your niche and see if your intuitions were correct. Ask what challenges they have? How they are solving them now? And if they would be willing to pay for your service. Mitten thinks this is the most important step of his process and the one that people most often leave out.
Step 4: Structure Your Service. Put your service together in such a way as to respond to their needs. Using their language create a way to offer them a program or service that will specifically answer the problems they are facing and show them how you are the best person to help them do that.
Step 5: Get to Work! Roll out your marketing and start practicing. Having your clear audience in mind allows for all of your marketing from your website to your speaking engagements to be crafted with that audience in mind. And this will allow your market to really heard.
Obviously this is a quick process. Many of you may be able to do this with ease. If this is more challenging for you to do alone, consider working with a coach or mentor. Holistic practitioners know how important it is to ask for help. That’s what your clients are doing when they come to you. Give yourself permission to do the same.
Scott Mills, Ph.D. works with holistic practitioners who are struggling to find clients and make the money they deserve. He assists them in expanding their practices, charging more money and feeling great doing it! If you would like more information please go to www.insideoutsuccess.com or call 800-276-3124.