I’ve written about having a niche before and I talk about it all of the time. The problem is that personal trainers (and a lot of other service providers) don’t believe you when you say that having a specific niche will actually get you more clients, not less.
Let’s start by defining what is meant by having a niche. The definition of niche (according to Merriam-Webster) is “a specialized market”. This is your target market, the specific population that you want to help. Does that mean that if you choose a market of, let’s say “women”, that it is a niche? Well… yes, but it’s not very narrow. Entrepreneur, podcaster, and author, John Lee Dumas says that you should “niche down until it hurts.” So, “women” is not specific enough to really be effective as a niche. Many business coaches will have their clients create an avatar of their specific target market (niche). Doing that might look something like this:
- Age 65
- Retired professional
- Wants to be able to play with grandchildren and be able to get up and down off the floor easily
I hear you. Too specific, right? You’ll be missing out on a lot of clients that don’t fit that niche, right? Well, I want to point out two things to you. First, when I needed to get my shoulder replaced, I didn’t want some orthopedic surgeon that did shoulder, hips, knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, etc. I wanted the best results possible and wanted someone that did shoulders only and eventually got it done by the top shoulder guy in Boston. Most people feel that way, “I want someone that is a specialist in me and my circumstance.” They don’t want someone that can train anyone. If you market yourself as trainer to everyone, you disappear into a sea of other trainers that train everyone. What happens when you niche down is that when a “Nancy” sees that you specialize in “Nancys” they will choose you over any other trainer. You will become the trainer to all of the “Nancys” in the world (or at least in your neck of the woods).
My second point is that just because your niche is Nancy it doesn’t mean that you can’t train others. All of your marketing and brand focus is on Nancy, but others may still approach you about training because of the good work you’re doing with Nancy and Nancy herself may also want you to train her friends and family members. And yes, you can train them.
The point is that in order to stand out from the crowd you have to have a specialty, a niche.
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”― Seth Godin, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable