Finding Clients Starts with Knowing Who You’re Looking For
When I had my knee operation, why did I see a physio who specialised in knee rehabilitation? When my chimney leaked, why did I find a roofer rather than a general builder? It’s because I wanted an expert in the area to solve my specific problem.
As practitioners, we can help lots of people in lots of ways. But, we’re working and marketing online more than ever before, having a focussed niche is even more important.
When people are searching for help, they’re very specific in what they ask Google – think back to your last few searches.
My recent ones are:
- Women’s warm, waterproof, lightweight boots
- Glamorgan sausage recipe
- Moo luxury postcards
What is a niche?
A niche is a well-defined group of people who you offer your products and services to. There will be something that ties them together such as their problem, lifestyle, interests, background, behaviours, values etc.
A niche is who you market yourself to, it doesn’t stop you from working with others, it just focuses your marketing activities. It helps you to become known for being an expert in helping people in specific ways.
There are many different ways to niche your business. But, you need a group of people who you can help, and who are willing to pay for it.
Using your discipline as a niche
So many practitioners are reluctant to pick a niche in case they miss out on clients. Niching as a herbalist or a holistic health coach won’t help you show up in searches unless you have a lot of people searching specifically for your discipline.
Using your approach as a niche requires your audience to be educated in the benefits of your discipline. People need to be specifically looking for a hypnotherapist, herbalist or reflexologist.
As a practitioner, I specialise in delivering the Lightning Process training. I want to attract clients who already know about it and are specifically looking for this approach. Whilst this works for me now, it’s taken years to build my profile and reach this stage.
If you want to find clients quickly and what you’re doing now isn’t working, you need to clearly identify the problem you solve.
Niches are more than demographics
Traditionally people thought of niches as purely the demographics of clients e.g. location, age, income bracket, male/female etc. but this is outdated. Whilst you can use some of these, a niche can include so many more considerations:
- Values and beliefs
- Attitude towards health and wellbeing
- The problem or issue
- Your discipline
- Quality of the service
- Client involvement
The ideal niche
The perfect combination would be a niche containing the people you love working with, the problems you get great results with, and people who will pay to resolve them.
There may be compromises, but whichever niche you pick, an important criteria is you provide something people will pay for. Without this, you don’t have a business.
What if you’re just starting out?
This is where you use your best thinking right now. What have you been getting good results helping people with? Is there something in your personal story that relates to people?
Your first clients will likely come from your personal connections, so use this to help you figure out your niche. What groups of people you have access to in your personal network and local community?
When you’re starting out, you may not know exactly who you want to work with. A niche isn’t a forever decision, it will evolve and develop as you do – you may even discover your niche finds you.
Your ideal client
Whilst creating a client avatar of your ideal client is a useful exercise, your niche is made up of lots of your ideal clients. You need enough of the people who will pay you to help them resolve their issues in your niche to make it viable.
Once you know your niche, you can create your avatar to help you to make your marketing more effective. Having a person in mind when creating your marketing will help it connect with your audience.
Building your reputation
The ideal is to get known for being the person (or business) that people refer to when looking for help with a problem. So you are:
- The person you go to for help with sticking to a vegan diet
- The person you go to if you need help with complex and ongoing health issues
- The person you go to if you need help with burnout
If you’re struggling to find clients and don’t have a well-defined niche, book a power hour with me and I will help you work out yours.
Podcast 51 show notes:
- (02:34) What is a niche
- (03:39) Using your discipline as a niche
- (05:42) Niches are more than demographics
- (07:28) The ideal niche
- (08;20) What if you’re just starting out
- (10:01) Your ideal client
- (10:52) Building your reputation