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14 Feb 2022

Are you confusing your NICHE with your IDEAL CLIENT?

We are told we need a NICHE. Then we are told we need an IDEAL CLIENT. But what do the two terms even mean? Are you mixing up your niche with your ideal client?
 When I’m talking to therapists, I often find they’ve confused the two things.
They tell me they have an ideal client, but when they describe their ideal client, often they are actually describing a niche.
So let’s look at the difference. It’s subtle, and sometimes you’ll see some overlap. But here’s how I think of the two concepts:
YOUR NICHE – “What do you want to be known for?”
A niche is the area of expertise in which you specialize. When you decide your niche, you decide, “what do I want to be known for”
For massage therapists, a niche usually consists of what I call ” the 3Ps”: 
Your niche can be a PROBLEM you solve, a PART of the body you specialise in working on, a kind of PERSON you specialise in working with – or a combination of these.
so, for example your niche could be: “sciatica” (problem), “Pregnant women” (person) or “neck & jaw” (part of body).
See here for more info on how to choose a niche
A niche gives you expert status. Clients, (particularly those who are willing to pay the most money), want an expert. When you know your niche it makes it easier to choose CPD courses, because you choose ones that hone your skills to suit your niche.
Having a niche means you don’t need to worry about competition, if you work with “everyone” then you’re in competition with every other therapist in your area.
In contrast, imagine that you only work with “runners with knee pain”. You can collaborate, network, and befriend the other therapists in your area, who work with other people, or problems. When they meet someone in your niche, they’ll naturally refer the person to you. And vice versa.
YOUR IDEAL CLIENT – “Who are you speaking to?”
When you define your ideal client, you break your niche down even further and define the exact characteristics of the person within the niche that you would love to work with.
An ideal client is a fictional representation of your business’s best clients.
You define your ideal client purely to help you with your marketing. You get to know your ideal client in depth, so that your marketing message and all your marketing communications can be specifically formed and designed with them in mind.
An ideal client is one, specific (imaginary OR real) person.. When you define them, you are getting to know what motivates and inspires them, what are their challenges and desires. What do they want from your services.
When you define your Ideal client, you are asking yourself “Who is the ONE person I am speaking to in my marketing?
see here for more info on how to define your ideal client
When you know exactly who your ideal client is, their personality traits, their exact struggles and their exact desires, then you’ll know what to say on your website and in your social media to entice them to book a treatment with you.
Have you defined your niche market yet? How about your ideal client? If you’d like some help,  Book a free call, where we can look at how I can help you get super clear on your niche AND your ideal client – taking your therapy business to the next level in the process.

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