Who is your ideal client?
This is always one of the first questions I ask when I start to work with new clients.
In most cases the answer is something along the lines of "my service is for anyone" or "I don't want to narrow my target market".
Picking an ideal client or a niche may feel like a counter intuitive thing to do when you want to market and grow your health services business. Perhaps it feels like by declaring that you target a certain type of client you are closing the door on other opportunities.
The thing is that by being intentional about who you want to attract, you actually become more effective in your marketing.
So what does it mean to market to an ideal client?
Imagine you are a keen golfer but you're plagued by back pain. You want to get back out on the course as soon as possible. You go online and start to explore physiotherapists. You find plenty who cater for sports injuries but one of them stands out because she specialises in working with golf enthusiasts who suffer from back pain.
I bet you would want to find out more about the one whose expertise precisely addresses your pain point, literally.
Given the choice between a "one size fits all" or an expert solution that's a perfect match for them, most people would choose the last.
Niche marketing does not mean you have to limit your services
Does this mean that this physiotherapist works exclusively with golfers who suffer from back pain? Definitely not. She's hasn't limited who she works with, she has just been very intentional in attracting a specific type of client.
The fact that this physio has a specific solution for "people who are just like me" makes her a very credible option. It takes away doubt. Especially if her website features some testimonials from golfers whom she's helped get back to playing golf after a back injury. It would seem like a sound bet to book an appointment.
Some other wellness niche examples
A nutritionist: "I help first time marathoners, achieve their goals and get more out of their training by providing personalised marathon nutrition plans"
A fitness coach: "I help the 50 & beyond woman transform and find body confidence through guided fitness and wellness practises".
A midwife: "I help first time mothers to successfully and painlessly breastfeed their babies"
If you like the way these professionals position themselves, I have written previously how you can easily and clearly explain what it is you.
Get results faster
By deciding to focus on a specific type of client, you will fast track your marketing efforts and will see results much faster than by being a generalist and spreading yourself across a variety of audiences.
The benefits of marketing to your ideal customer don't stop there. Here are six more reasons why you might consider trying the strategy for yourself.
- Minimised competition
- Higher conversion rates
- Better word of mouth marketing
- Improved know, like and trust factor
- Better return on your marketing budget
- Positions you as the expert
How to get started
Marketing to a specific niche doesn't mean you have to overhaul your entire business. You can start small. Maybe even repackage a service you already offer but target it more specifically to your ideal client.
In identifying your ideal client you can begin by reviewing your existing client list and identify the ones you really enjoy working with. It may be clients who:
- You know benefit specifically from a service/services you offer
- Clients who are more likely to recommend you to their community (eg. golfers, runners, new mums...).
- Clients who book in for more a series of appointments
- Clients who you simply enjoy working with
- People who are already in your network or community
Very often your ideal client is someone who is a lot like you and has a need that you have successfully solved.
Finding and focusing on a niche makes sense for busy practitioners because it helps focus your efforts and optimises your resources.
If you are keen to give this a go, remember that nothing is set in concrete you can always change direction. It is however worth giving things a bit of time to develop some traction. I would suggest you pick an ideal client type and create an offer specifically for them. Then, begin to promote it and give it 6 to 8 months to fully focus on it so it has the opportunity to gain some traction and generate word of mouth.
Why not prepare a cup of your favourite brew and take 10 minutes out of your day to write down some ideas? I would love to hear what you come up with.