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Is Niching Necessary?

Is Niching Necessary?

You’ve probably heard some version of this before:

In order to build a successful practice, you’ve got to pick a niche.

You’ve got to choose a well-defined, target audience who has a particular problem or aspiration.

But is it true?

To answer that question, let’s do a little thought experiment.

Imagine that you visit your doctor for a routine check up and she shockingly informs you that you’re on your way to developing Type II diabetes if you don’t make some serious changes to your diet and lifestyle right now.

You’re surprised because you’re only 15 pounds overweight and you certainly don’t think of yourself as unhealthy, but there it is.

After wallowing in self pity for a day, you decide to take charge and do something about it. So you start looking for a local nutritionist to support you in making the right changes.

You hop on your computer and Google “diabetes nutritionist YOURTOWN”. A bunch of nutritionists’ websites pop up and you begin going through them, one by one.

All of the websites have pretty pictures of colorful fruits and vegetables, and all of them advertise that they support a variety of conditions, which includes diabetes and pre-diabetes among many others.

But one of the sites really stands out. The practitioner says she is focused exclusively on preventing and managing diabetes, and there are a dozen testimonials from people just like you who have moved from “frightened” to “in control”, raving about their positive experiences with her.

Who do you call?

Of course, it’s a no-brainer.

You go with the diabetes expert – not the jack-of-all-trades who does a little bit of everything. You want the best, and the best is the person who focuses exclusively on your particular health concern.

The conclusion?

You should definitely niche.

It’s the fastest way to get found and gain fame. When you become widely known for doing one thing well, you become the go-to person for that issue.

If you’re still not convinced, pay attention and look around at what other successful wellness practitioners are doing.

You’ll notice that one is focused on weight loss, another on allergies, and another on blood sugar control. This one over here specializes in women’s hormones and that one over there specializes in gluten-free diets. You’ll quickly see that it’s true.

I experienced this most dramatically when I consulted for a well-known nutrition and fitness expert. She was focused on weight loss but her business continued to struggle until she narrowed her focus even further, on one particular aspect of weight loss. Shortly after that, things blew up for her – in a good way.

With a tighter focus, success comes faster and easier.

It’s counterintuitive, but I’ve seen it work over and over again.

Now, this isn’t to say that you’re restricted to practicing in only one topic area for the rest of your life. You can always expand and branch out later, but to gain traction initially, you’ll find that the narrower your niche, the sooner you’ll make progress.

I’d like to know, what has your experience with niching been?

What has worked for you and what hasn’t?

Please share your comments below.

Comments

  1. Hi Julia,
    Thanks for your great advice. However, there are so many great nutrition topics, how does one narrow it down?
    Others have asked me, “what are you passionate about? or what truly are you interested in?”
    For the last 2 years, I’ve been trying to figure it out.
    Please help.

    • Hi Donna, great question. I totally get how hard it can be to choose, especially when you’re interested in a lot of topics. From a business perspective, you want to choose an area where people are actively looking for solutions. Are they in pain, emotional or physical? Are they struggling with a health issue that they are VERY motivated to solve? If you can find a topic where there is pain + urgency, then you’re golden.

      But that’s only part of the picture, because as others have said, you also want to be genuinely interested in the topic. It doesn’t have to an overwhelming passion (it helps if it is, but it’s not necessary) – just something that gets your gears going.

      Also, think about the type of client you’d like to work with and how their emotions and situation will affect you. For example, one of my clients was supporting cancer patients, but then realized that it was too emotionally draining for her. So she shifted to middle-aged men and women who are struggling with Metabolic Syndrome because those seemed to be the people who were attracted to her anyway, it was less emotionally intense for her, and she felt truly gratified when she helped them lose weight and lower their risk factors.

      Finally, is there a particular issue that folks seem to be asking you about, including friends and family? Perhaps if you pay close attention to what is naturally coming your way, it will become clear.

      And if it’s still not totally clear, I suggest writing down your top 2 or 3 choices and just picking one! You niche may change (or expand) over time, but you’ve got to begin with something.

      • Thanks so much Julia! You’ve given me several ideas to think about. You are right, just pick one (decisions have always been hard for me). Thanks again and I look forward to your class this week. Donna Kelley

      • GREAT insights Julia. I love how you break things down. Every thought that I had you answered! Hollie

  2. Mary Sheila says:

    Thanks Julia, that is just what I need to hear! And just what I need to do! Thanks

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