When you’re studying health, you learn about all the amazing ways that you can support someone. Modalities like myotherapy, nutrition and naturopathy can benefit people of all ages, genders and lifestyles. Why would you not want to tell people that you can help them with anything? And do health practitioners need to niche? I’m here to answer this for you, from the perspective of someone who has been a client and is now a marketing professional.
Do Health Practitioners Need To Niche?
In short, yes. Gone are the days where you could be the practitioner that helps everyone with everything. There are just too many others out there with the same qualifications as you.
To be honest, clients are not looking for someone who can help with EVERYTHING. As someone who sees many health practitioners for a complex condition, I don’t want a jack-of-all-trades who knows a little bit about everything. For me to hand over my hard-earned money, I want someone who has worked with my condition, or at least with conditions that have similar symptoms or side effects.
Niching your content
The same goes for the content you create for your business. Put yourself in a client’s shoes. Say that you’re a 34 year old woman who is struggling to fall pregnant, and you’re looking for some support. You Google local practitioners, and two come to the top of the list.
The first one has an article about infertility, and potential causes. You continue looking through their blogs, and find nothing else that is relevant. Instead, you find articles about sports nutrition, about gut health basics, immune conditions and cancer. All of the articles are linked to a general booking page.
The second one has multiple articles that get your attention. There is one about genetics contributing to infertility. There are articles about foods and supplements that affect fertility. You even find one about male fertility issues, which you forward to your partner. At the bottom of each article, there is a call-to-action link that takes you to a fertility package designed for couples.
Which practitioner are you more likely to see?
You guessed it – #2 is the practitioner you’re more likely to consider the expert for your issues, and the one you’re more likely to book with. Health practitioners need to niche their business because it makes it easy for the right clients to book with them.
The benefits of niching your business
Choosing a niche can actually make your business easier to run and more profitable. Some of the benefits I’ve experienced (or seen with my clients) include:
- Having a more consistent message across your content
- Making it easier to brainstorm content topics
- Being known as the person that helps with ‘that thing’, which leads to more word of mouth referrals
- Making it easier to network with complementary practitioners within your niche
- Fewer issues around ‘competition’ (in fact, I believe niching makes the concept of competition vanish altogether!)
- The ability to target your marketing efforts towards where your niche client is found
How far do you need to niche down?
Do health practitioners need to niche? Yes. Does that mean you need to get super-duper specific with that niche? It really depends on the area you’re working in. It can be a balancing act between finding people who fit that niche but also not being too general.
For example, as a nutritionist, I work with two rare connective tissue diseases. One has a prevalence of 233 per million in Australia, and the other is around 1 in 5000-10,000, depending on the type. I write content about them on occasion, and these articles get a lot of hits. But most of the paying clients I’ve seen come because of the workshops I run, or through word of mouth. If I was to solely rely on these two conditions for my business, I’d probably struggle to pay the bills.
So in terms of content, I write for a niche of people who struggle with chronic conditions and are looking for their personalised approach to nutrition and wellness. This is the balance for my biz in terms of being specific within a niche.
When it comes to niching, I suggest you choose at least one of two things – the person’s overall lifestyle and/or their health concern. This could be mums (lifestyle) with low energy (health concern), or entrepreneurs (lifestyle) who want to optimise productivity (health concern). That way, you know who you’re talking to and what you’re offering to help with – which makes content creation easy-peasy.
A niche doesn’t mean turning away clients
I think this is often the root fear when health practitioners tell me all the reasons that they haven’t decided on a niche yet. Picking a niche does not mean that everyone outside that niche is not welcome in your clinic. If someone comes along and you want to work with them, you are welcome to do so!
But it does mean that you have the option to refer clients on if their case isn’t your cup of tea. If you’re an athlete or bodybuilder who wants a strict training meal plan, I’m going to send you onto someone who digs that sort of stuff – cos I’m not the practitioner that gets excited over macro splits. It’s much easier to pass on clients that aren’t your area of expertise if you’re clear about what IS your area of expertise from the very start.
As a health practitioner, a niche is a way of increasing your chance of seeing ideal clients. You get to advertise to those ideal clients and attract them by sharing content that is relevant to their concerns. How awesome is that!
Not sure what your niche is?
You don’t need to go at it alone. Let’s work together to get your niche crystal-clear, so you can create content to suit their needs! Book a 1:1 content support session here.