There are three things that every nutrition professional absolutely must have:
- A hardcore love for leafy greens.
- The ability to chat about the raunchiest BMs without cringing.
- A profitable niche.
The first two are pretty easy to master, and if you don’t have those yet… well, we can’t help you.
But the third can be a bit tricky, and today we’re going to share some tips for how you can find your very own, very profitable, niche.
Meghan Walker is a Naturopathic Doctor, Host of the Entrepology Podcast and the Chief Cheerleader at Clinician Business Labs. She is a passionate promoter of practitioners committed to impacting lives.
We asked Meghan to share with us why niching down is the most important thing wellness professionals must do to succeed. Here are her tips:
1. Compare Yourself to a Chef
If you’re providing nutritional counselling to your clients, odds are you already love food and cooking so this comparison should come pretty easily to you.
Think of dining out. How do you decide where to eat?
“Consumers, even hungry ones, don’t want to purchase from a chef who lists everything they could possibly cook. Consumers want to eat from a chef who has mastered a particular genre. Why is your practice any different?”
Meghan knows that practitioners have a hard time viewing the world through the lens of a consumer. With eclectic backgrounds, education, and a desire to help as many people as possible, the fear of excluding any potential client is scary.
You know you have fallen into this trap if you have a long list of conditions you can help people with on your website. When it comes to this mistake, we can actually learn a lot from chefs:
“Even though a chef might have a talent for cooking more than what is available on their menus, restaurants tend to market themselves in one of two ways. They either choose a niche type of food such as pizza or a targeted experience such as raw or tapas.
Despite a chef’s adaptable ability to conjure both mouth-watering pizzas and delicious Thai, no one wants to go to a restaurant that purports to focus on both.”
So what should you do?
Meghan urges you to take down that long list from your website. Instead, pick a specific category that you love to work with and are really great at solving. Autoimmune disease, digestive disorders, fertility, etc. The first step to choosing a profitable niche is to declare the cuisine of your restaurant.
2. Get Really, Really Specific
Now that you have chosen your “cuisine” you can set your menu.
Japanese food spans from ramen to sushi, to matcha-flavoured desserts, but the most successful restaurants are those that focus on just one.
“For those of you who want variety in who you work with, you need to start to narrow and widen your offering as you increase your base. This is the opposite of what most struggling practitioners are willing to do, but it is commonplace for those who have built a strong practice and reputation quickly.”
Meghan insists that success leaves clues. Perhaps you want to focus on autoimmune disease. Try narrowing it down to autoimmune thyroid conditions to start with. Create distinct marketing campaigns and programs that will speak to that type of client.
That’s not to say you can never work with gut disorders or high-performance athletes, but until you have a steady stream of clients coming your way, you must stay focused.
“Focusing on a core population and delivering a transformative solution is not the only way to practice, but it is usually the fastest way to create traffic and impact. When the patient flow begins to come your way, you can add to your offering.”
If you can become known as the practitioner to work with for Hashimoto’s disease your practice will grow faster and bigger than if you keep trying to help everyone. Consumers don’t relate to lists, they relate to how the condition on the list makes them feel. They want a transformation and they want it delivered by the ‘best’ person for any given condition.
The more exclusive you are, the more likely it is that your perfect clients will actually see you as the expert in their condition and choose you.
3. Speak to Your Customers, Not Your Colleagues
Your ideal client might not know that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease, or what ‘autoimmune disease’ even means. They might not know that their exhaustion, hair loss, and weight gain is actually caused by their disease.
Meghan stresses the importance of crafting marketing messages that touch on the ‘pain points’ of your ideal client and propose a methodology that will transform their lives.
What is a ‘pain point’?
They’re the problems your client's experience, described in their own words, not in your medical terminology. You need to identify these in your marketing to speak directly to your clients.
“Consumers don’t want you to treat their kids’ asthma, they want you to help them play a full game of soccer. They aren’t interested in whether you can treat IBS, they just want to get through a workday without being embarrassed about running to the washroom. Stop marketing through a list of conditions and start marketing to what the list is preventing people from doing.”
4. Deliver a Life-Changing Client Experience
Once you have chosen your niche, crafted your marketing message, and started attracting ideal clients, you need to be able to deliver 110% on all your promises.
“Unlike a commodity, typically sold by a business that provides variety at cheap prices (think Walmart), health consumers are looking for the exact opposite; focus and premium care.”
If you deliver premium care and if you transform your client’s lives, they will keep coming back and they will bring their friends and family members too.
Your client experience covers everything from how easy it was for them to find you, book an appointment, and pay you, to the protocols you create, the look and feel of the resources you provide them, and the results of working with you.
“Be good at what you do, deliver a powerful transformation and focus your attention on one solid group looking for your solution. The rest will flourish before your eyes.”