How to Find Your Niche: A Guide for Wellness Practitioners
Finding the right niche as a wellness practitioner and/or entrepreneur is one of the most important aspects of long-lasting success.
Even if you start your business with an existing pool of clients, you will still need to find ways to stand out from the competition and retain your existing clients.
And that’s in addition to other common challenges you will already have on your plate.
So let’s talk about how to identify a niche that shows promise and make it your very own.
Defining Your Niche Market
So what is a niche anyways?
First, let’s go back to an easier term: your market.
This is the group of people that makes up your potential clients, and those who are already engaged with your wellness business.
Business and marketing tends to look at a market as being made up of two groups: the mass market segment and smaller “niche” market segments.
The mass market is a broad segment that includes the entire range of people within a broader segment. In your case, this would look like all potential massage customers in your area.
Large businesses can afford to target the mass market through marketing efforts like commercials on national television networks or ads in print magazines.
In contrast, the niche market is a smaller segment defined by the unique needs, preferences, or profile that make its customers different.
This could be massage therapy for professional skiers, or reiki for anxiety relief.
A smaller business can serve a niche much better than a large business, and this is where your business can succeed.
Why Your Niche Matters
Although targeting a niche means there are fewer potential clients in your market, there are several key advantages.
You can hone in your marketing efforts much more effectively by focusing on unique needs and preferences for niches that are often overlooked by mass marketing techniques. The benefits for your business could include a lower spend per conversion, and a shift in your brand image through word of mouth (you could become known as the “practitioner for x” in your area.
Your business will benefit from less competition, as you no longer have to compete directly against mainstream wellness practitioners in your area. These other businesses turn from direct competitors into indirect competitors. You will be able to differentiate your service on more than just price, because now it is something else entirely.
Your clients will be loyal. As long as you prioritize strong customer service and tailor your services to their needs, they will have a greater chance of sticking with you in the long run.
So how can you find the niche that will help you unlock these game-changing benefits for your business? Let’s talk about it.
How to Find Your Niche
Finding your niche is a never-ending exercise.
It is a constant exploration of yourself, your business, and your customers that informs how you practice your craft.
You cannot get stuck into thinking that your niche will never change once you have found it. Customers are constantly in a state of evolution.
Technology and work culture changes our bodies in many ways. People's preferences and values change too, even though this change is gradual.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine your niche. Then set an alarm to ask yourself again in a year’s time, and see if your answers have changed at all.
- Who do you see yourself helping?
- What problem do you want to solve?
- What do you know best about your craft?
Let’s go into greater depth about each of these questions.
Who Do You Want To Help: Your Target Audience
You have likely already thought about this question, as it is an integral part of your business plan.
For practitioners who are looking to start out solo after working under another organization, you will already have a good idea of what customers you have “hit it off” with before.
The challenging part is going deeper, refining your target market through deeper analysis of what their problems and desires are.
First, ask the following demographic and psychographic questions about your target clients.
- What do they do for work, and how much do they earn?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they see themselves in life?
- What are their attitudes and values?
- What interests or hobbies do they have?
As an example, let’s say you are starting a bodywork practice.
After answering these questions, you report that your target customers are medium to high-earners in the Denver area, who are career-focused and prioritize providing for their families.
They also enjoy physical activities like yoga, cycling, and skiing.
Now, it's time to go deeper.
Solving Problems: Understanding Your Target Audience
Your business will succeed by solving other people’s problems.
To do this, you will need to intimately understand your target client’s pain points.
This goes beyond demographics and psychographics, it’s the kind of thing you learn when having conversations with your clients before and after sessions, and giving them space to be vulnerable about why they are seeking your service in the first place.
In our bodywork practice example, this could look like clients who are:
- Overwhelmed by career-related stress, yet feeling that throwing themselves into physical activity isn’t offering them relief.
- Struggling to find the source of chronic pain that never seems to go away
- Dissuaded by the high cost and commitment of therapy – it’s just not for them
Not all of your clients need to be experiencing ALL of the pain points you find, but a little bit of overlap goes a long way.
What You Know Best: Meeting Their Needs
Now, think about what really makes you tick.
What do you know best about your craft? What certifications or specializations do you have that make you uniquely qualified to solve people’s problems?
Think beyond your training in your current practice too. Many people enter wellness fields after a career shift, and past jobs and experiences shouldn’t be left in the dust – they can often leave you with valuable skills and perspectives.
Your interests are also important. What can you talk about for hours? What books do you read, or podcasts do you listen to in your spare time?
Our bodyworker takes a look back at their previous work as a volunteer for a local women’s organization, and a passion for learning about how trauma manifests in the body.
Although they used to practice through a holistic bodywork and Thai massage business, they found that they connected with many of their clients when discussing shared experiences of releasing tension through a combination of physical and emotional therapies.
Their niche is becoming clearer: this practitioner can utilize their understanding of trauma-focused bodywork practices to target a segment that may have never considered this treatment before – but doing so could enable them to spend more time enjoying their hobbies.
Serving Your Niche: Building Your Advantage
By following these steps, you are on the path towards finding your niche in your wellness practice.
In an upcoming blog, we will discuss the next step: determining how you stand out from other practitioners in your area.
Keep an eye on the Symmetry Collective blog for more insights on building your wellness business, and exploring the benefits of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs/