You probably won’t be surprised to know that I spend a lot of time talking with holistic practitioners. As a matter of course, I have found a quick way to know whose practice is likely to be really busy. When I ask them who they work with I get an answer that would cover half the people in my neighborhood. I might hear something like “I work with people who like to get massage.” If you’re saying something that broad, you probably have yet to fall in love with your clients and those clients that you have are probably paying you way too little.
Let me give you five reasons that you might pick a niche right now. And don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be forever. And you can even have a few specialized areas. But if you start somewhere you will find your practice expanding intentionally rather than haphazardly.
1. Without a clearly defined niche it is very hard for people to refer you to who you should really be seeing. When you ask people to refer their friends, they need something to sort for. “Do you know anyone who acupuncture might benefit?” is a very different question that “Are any of your friends athletes who need the help keeping their bodies in shape that acupuncture can provide?” The second option gives people a chance to think of who they really know.
2. Without a clearly defined niche you are probably not being as successful as you would like to be. And again, you are probably missing out on referrals because your clients aren’t receiving the best results your are able to give them. Working on similar types of issues can give your work a depth that allows you to really achieve profound results.
3. Without a clearly defined niche, you aren’t able to claim an area of expertise. Being able to tell people you work with pregnant women or elderly men or football players allows you to be the expert in your field. Whereas being a “coach” or a “massage therapist” or even a “doctor” makes it hard for people to trust that you really know how to work with people like them.
4. Without a clearly defined niche, you probably lack the passion and excitement that go along way to attracting new clients. Usually when people tell me in great big generalizations who they work with it’s like describing a cloud of gas. It’s hard for them to draw a clear picture in their minds so it’s hard to describe it with any excitement. The more you are able to get excited, to express your passion, the more you are likely to draw those clients right into you.
5. Without a clearly defined niche, it’s hard to fall in love with your clients. I want all my clients to have a line of people waiting to work with them who are just the people we would love to be working with. That’s what I strive for in my own practice. Knowing who those people are makes it way easier to attract them. How will you find them if you don’t tell everyone you know they are who you are looking for?