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What is a Niche and do I need one?

What is Niche?

A niche is described as having a specialised area, mostly used for marketing.

When I set up my practice I decided against having a niche – I really didn’t want to restrict myself to who I would treat and wanted to be accessible to everyone. Also I think I misunderstood the meaning and how useful having one could be.

I had completed my holistic course and gone on to qualify in Sports and remedial but felt this made me accessible to a wider range of clients rather than specialising in one area and restricting myself.

There was lots of talk about finding your niche and how this would make marketing easier and you would get more clients. BUT this didn’t make sense to me…how would limiting your reach increase clients???

Overtime this changed.

In my personal life I was trying to get into running, by doing this I joined lots of running groups on Facebook in the hope that this would fill my news feed and inspire me to run – this did work and i did run for a bit but I never did get the running bug like many others do.

One of the side effects of this was that on one page someone commented that they had pulled their calf and they had asked for advice from their fellow runners.

A few people commented and I added to it giving advice. – I was worried about promoting myself incase this annoyed admin for the page but also didn’t want the person to think I didn’t know what I was talking about so I simply added that I was a SRMT and happy to offer more advise if they wanted it.

I was very careful not to promote my clinic but instead offering free advice.

This happened a couple of times on various posts and then one of them booked in to see me.

After the treatments they then told others in the group about me and after a few months I was seeing quite a few of them.

One day one of them mentioned I was like the groups own MT. I realised I had found my niche – or rather it had found me. Runners!

They promoted me on their page and soon I was treating runners from other groups too.

The thing I learned was I still treat anyone who enquires, I don’t have to be limited to runners, but by advertising to them it increases my reach. They tell other runners about me and I have been told by some of our clients that they like to see someone who understands runners and as I have spoken to quite a lot now I get an understanding of how they think regarding training and recovery from injury.

I love that I am able to treat various ailments and not stuck to one type of person as this would bore me, many of my running clients have asked about friends who have various pains and would I treat them, so even though my niche is runners I can expand on it too.

Many of my friends have found their niche in other areas and this is nice to be able to cross refer too. For example I had one client ask if I would do pregnancy massage to her sister. I could as I am qualified to but I know a lovely friend who is also a midwife and MT and that is her niche so I referred her there. My client really liked that I wanted the best for her sister in finding the best therapist for her rather than just taking the client myself. Also the same MT has referred some of her clients to me who want deep tissue work or have an injury.

If you are looking for a niche and not sure where to go, try looking at the clients you have already and who you enjoy treating. It could be an area of the body that you prefer to treat or it could be the type of person, this could be a career type. Maybe consider the life of the person, carers or parents or pregnancy.

There are so many options and once you find what you want to work with market yourself to that person. Join Facebook groups, leaflet in places that person would be – gym, coffee shops, hospitals… Get inside the mind of your ideal client and think about where you would find them and that is your ideal place to market yourself.

You could always arrange to take your table or massage chair to a space that would attract them. For example asking local business if you could set up for a couple of hours to give short massages to office workers or inside a gym to attract sports people or even to a local club or group. Remember to get permission first and also advertise that you will be there at what time and day to maximise your reach.

Change or alter your graphics to include your niche – for example my logo now has a runner in it. It is attracting to runners but also doesn’t exclude other people.

If you are having trouble finding your niche don’t rush into it, maybe like me it will find you and you just need to keep an eye on the clients you are seeing. There are no rules if you don’t want to you can carry on as you are and not find a niche at all, but if you are struggling and want to create more clients this will definitely help you to achieve this.

 

Good luck.

 

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