Have you heard the advice to choose a specific target market but you can’t seem to niche down? In this episode Michelle shares useful ways to target your marketing and how, in very practical terms, to tap into a group of people that YOU are best suited to serve. Get Michelle’s free target market guide at http://healthcoachpower.com/targetmarket
Subscribe to these episodes on YouTube, or:
Apple Podcasts – https://apple.co/2sOjwVA
Stitcher – http://bit.ly/2K3UaN6
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2Y0Eu1r
Google Podcasts – https://bit.ly/3E1yMAq
How to Niche Down
Whether you’re just starting your health coach business or trying to grow and get more clients, you’ve probably heard that you should pick a target market and niche down. But have you been able to put this advice into practice in your business?
Sometimes it makes sense on paper, but when you try to apply it to your own business, it’s suddenly confusing again. What does it actually look like to niche down?
You’re probably starting too broad
You know you’re too broad when you’re speaking to your target market but it feels meaningless. It feels vague. It feels like no one is listening.
So you’re thinking too broad. This is sometimes hard to see when you’re new, so I’m going to help you learn how to niche down in your business. You can download a free resource at healthcoachpower.com/targetmarket. It’s a five step guide to nailing your target market, and it covers the ins and outs of what a target market is and why you need one in your health coach business. Go grab that, it will help!
Now, let’s niche down.
What it looks like to “get specific”
When you first start the process, you might pick a target market like this: suburban women, ages 48-55, who have always looked after everyone else first and now find themselves out of shape, overweight, pre-arthritic, and struggling to make healthy choices. This might sound specific to you, but let’s look closer. Suburban women come in all shapes and sizes, and many, many of them fit that description. What city does she live in? What are her values? What does she do for fun? What does she see as her number one problem – the thing she’d give anything to fix? What is so important to her that she’s going to spend money on it? She’s probably not asking everyone she knows how to fix being “pre-arthritic!” And that stuff about helping everyone else first? It’s so common it’s almost a given, and that makes it pretty useless when you’re trying to identify a narrower target market.
So how can you get more specific? You need to identify a specific person and identify the particular problem that person would give anything to solve.
Define what makes you unique
Health coaches tend to be humble when we think and talk about ourselves, but everyone has unique things about them. Figuring these out is key to finding your niche. What experiences have you had that other people have not had? How were you raised? Where have you lived? What circumstances have you been through in your life? What kind of work have you done? What groups have you been a part of? What makes you, you? Don’t worry about being humble. You’re not bragging. You’re taking an honest look at who you are and what you bring to the table.
Who do you connect with?
Here are some examples about me: I’m a health coach, but I used to work in advertising. I work well with other women who work advertising because I know what it’s like for them. I also used to compete in dance competitions, and I connect easily with other people with a competitive background. I drive a Prius and listen to NPR, and I find that I mesh well with other socially and environmentally conscious people. I’m divorced, and I really click with other divorced women because we immediately feel a sense of trust. This doesn’t mean you can only work with people who are just like you! But it is a way to start to niche down and find the clients you’ll do your best work with.
Let’s go back to our suburban women ages 48-55. Now, imagine she drives a Prius– don’t you already have a clearer picture of who she is? She has a certain belief system and she’s willing to pay a little more to support it. You’re getting there.
Figuring out who you are is a great way to start defining a niche that you’ll thrive in. Find other people similar to you in some capacity. You’ll find that it’s easy to build rapport and trust. You’ll find that you’re doing things you’re good at and things you love.
Help them solve a problem
You also need to get specific about what problem you can help them solve. Something general– a little overweight, a little tired, a little joint pain– isn’t enough for most people to decide to hire a health coach. Pick a specific problem, and here’s the key: it has to be a problem they know about and care about. What problem are they actively trying to solve?
Maybe it’s a medical diagnosis. Do you help suburban women with chronic Lyme disease? That’s specific.
Or maybe it’s a symptom. In this case, it’s important to use the words your target market uses. It’s “bloating” or “eczema”, not “poor gut health.” It’s “belly fat” or “hot flashes,” not “hormone imbalance.” No one is walking around desperately trying to solve their poor gut health! Talk about the problem they’re struggling with as they see it.
Make sure it’s a big problem
Here’s another common mistake: you pick a problem your target market is aware of, but it’s not a big enough problem for them to hire you to help them solve it. Maybe you’d like to help people stick to healthy habits. For most people that would be nice, but it’s not a big pain point in their life. Why do they care about healthy habits? Is there an underlying need you’re going to address? Figure out what that is, and target it.
Can you help people with chronic back pain get active again? Can you help people who haven’t slept through the night in years finally feel rested? These are examples of big problems. They know it’s a problem and they’re willing to spend money to solve it.
Can you reach them?
You niched down. You defined a specific person. You identified a very specific, important problem to solve. But before you dig in, you need to make sure it’s a viable market.
Start by considering if this is a group of people you can reach. If you want to work with Spanish-speaking women, you better speak Spanish. If you want to work with new moms but don’t have any connections to pregnancy and birth services, you might have a hard time finding them when they’re in that postpartum haze. So make sure they’re accessible to you.
Will they hire you?
The last part is to make sure they’re willing and able to work with you. Are you hoping to work with people who are caring for their kids and aging parents at the same time while juggling a high-powered career? You might have a hard time finding people willing to put in the time for health coaching. Hoping to work with single parents making minimum wage? They might not be putting their money towards health coaching right now. Make sure the target market you have in mind is ready, willing, and able to work with you!
Nail your target market
Now that you’ve got an idea how to find a niche that you’ll love, you might want to dig in on really understanding your target market. I’ve got more help for you! You can download the free five-step guide at healthcoachpower.com/targetmarket.
Well hello there health coaches. You know what, in the past two-ish weeks I've been having lots and lots of conversations about niching down and what that's all about choosing a specific target market. In other words. So the reason I've been having so many of these conversations is because our fast track group is in their second week now. And this is so important to nail down, like right from the start. It's the first thing that we do. So whether you're part of fast track or not, I wanna make sure that you're on this. And today I'm gonna share a, a draft that one of our fast trackers came up with and talk about it as an example of how to niche down better. Um, maybe even know when, uh, you're too broad when you're, you're speaking your target market and it's just like meaningless. This is sometimes hard to see when you're new, so I'm gonna use my eyes to help you see it.
And, um, and you can be able to say, you know, I'm not specific enough. Let me use some of Michelle's tips for how to get more specific, how to actually niche down, because it sounds good. Sometimes it makes sense up here, but in practice it's like, ah, how do I do this though? So, if you're here live, please say, hello in the comments. Let me know if you have any questions as you go along. If you have a target market that you would like to discuss, put it in the comments now, and that will allow us to do a little troubleshooting right here right now. That's why I do these things live. You know, also if you need help walking through this process, maybe you've never even considered a target market before. Maybe it always just sounds like a bunch of hogwash. I can help you nail your target market.
In five simple steps, you can download a free resource at healthcoachpower.com/targetmarket. I had the whole... Like today, we're gonna just talk about how to niche down is more specifically, but the whole idea of target markets is covered inside of this free download. Do it. Get that. It's gonna be very helpful. I hated the way that target markets were described and explained when I was in school to become a health coach. So I resisted picking one for a very long time. Anybody else
So here's the biggest problem that I see coaches running into. Um, I'm gonna illustrate it with an actual example because I think it makes more sense that way, you know, when you can really see what's being written, what coaches are saying, and then we can kind of pull it apart and, and, and speak about all the different issues. So here's something that one of our fast trackers wrote and, um, we'll use that as the example, she said, I want to work with suburban women ages 48 to 55, who have always looked after everyone else first and now find themselves out of shape, overweight, pre arthritic, and often with food sensitivities, they struggle to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. All right. So right from the get go. What I wanna tell you is there are like a gabillion suburban women ages 48 to 55, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
I mean, my goodness today, there are elections happening for our school board in this town. So, just in my specific town, which is already very specific, you should see the controversy going on online, vote for this vote for that. You know, people who stand for these values are gonna vote for these folks and people who stand for these other values are gonna vote for the, I mean, people are split. So even if you were a specific as to say suburban women ages 48 to 55 in a particular town, there's still so many different personality types and value systems, right? So we need to be way more specific when we say things like, um, let's say a woman 48 to 55 who lives in my specific town, who is a liberal, okay. Now that cuts out like a whole category of people. Now we know a lot better. What kind of woman we're talking to or vice versa if we said, and she's a conservative Christian, okay. Then there's, that's a totally different type of person.
But when we say something like a woman, age 48 to 55, who's always looked after everyone else first and now finds themselves out of shape, overweight, whatever. That's kinda all of them, isn't it? Like most of them, like most women ages, 48 to 55 living in any suburban setting probably have been looking after... Mostly any woman on earth has been looking after everyone else first and putting herself second. Yeah. Would you agree with that? So, when we have a, a detail like that, it's a bit useless. It's just sort of a given. So, we don't even have to say it. There's no reason to even talk about that because it doesn't help us target her. It doesn't help us speak to her differently than we would another type of 48 to 55 year old woman. Do you know what I mean?
Whereas if we said she's a liberal or she's a conservative, now we know very different topics, very different take on all the issues, very different value systems. Right? And that would be more helpful. So I'm just using that example because the school board thing is happening today in my town. And it's, it's act... It's, it's very telling like the way people are writing about it and speaking about it, um, what type of person they are. So, anywhay that would be one way of defining this target market a bit better. We're gonna go on here. She said, they're finding themselves out of shape, overweight, pre-arthritic, and often with food sensitivities. And they struggle to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. But she also noted in speaking with these women because we do an interviewing exercise inside the program.
So anyway, she actually has spoken to a number of women who fit within this, you know, somewhat broad category. And she found out that none of them were spending money or currently doing anything where they're spending money to solve these problems. So they feel like they're outta shape and they're overweight and they are pre-arthritic, whatever that means. They have some type of joint pain and they have food sensitivities and they struggle to make healthy choices, but no one's spending money on any of that. And that's super telling. So again, you can share with me in the comments who you feel that you are targeting, or you think you might like to target with your health coaching business, but a very important question to ask yourself, but also ask them if you can find yourself in a, in a conversation, are they spending money on this problem already?
Because when I have a problem, I don't know about you, but like I need my deck stained, and this is not a project I'm going to take on myself. Thank you very much. It needs to be pressure washed and sanded and stained. And it's a beautiful Cedar deck and I want it to look gorgeous anyway, that's my problem. And I am actively, I'm not just complaining about it.
Everyone's gonna say, yes, I have, you know, yeah. I'm a little overweight or yeah, I have this issue. Yeah. I might have some joint pain, but if they're not spending money on it, they don't actually care that much.
So, anyway, in this case, in our example, these women, a little too broad, little too vague, not really sure who they are. They have a several different health issues going on and clearly they don't care that much. Uhoh okay. So one way to niche down is getting more specific about the type of person. Also, getting more specific about a big problem, a problem. So big they're already spending money to try and solve it. So how can this particular fast tracker that we're talking about today? Niche down. One thing that, you know, I, I suggested was we wanna choose a certain type of woman, not just all suburban women between this certain age group, and you probably need to do the same thing with your target market. So for example, think what makes you unique? And I gotta tell you, I could be talking to Kamala Harris and she would be like, I don't know. Nothing really makes me very unique. And this is what every health coach tells me. They just kind of shrug. And they're like, uh, very humble. All of us. I could be... Like I said, we're talking to Kamala Harris and she'd say that, and I'd be like, hello, you were the first vice president, woman, vice president of the United States, like what the first person of color and like what
So, if I was in a personal conversation with you, I get, cuz I've done this before with so many health coaches in like 30 minutes, I could probably figure out or help you figure out what is unique about you. But since today, we're not in a conversation like that. You're gonna have to do some of this legwork for yourself. What makes you unique? What experiences have you had that other people have not had?
This means that you're gonna resonate with certain folks who have been through the same thing. You can think about how you were raised, where you've lived, circumstances that you've gone through. Here are some examples I'm gonna use myself as an example, as like a mirror that for you to look in and then you can see yourself in it. So for me, right, I'm a health coach, but I used to work in advertising and you got, you know, I do very well. I've had lots of clients who work in advertising and do very well working with women in advertising because I get it. I get what that culture's like from the inside. You know, I've been there. I, they trust me because they know that I understand, right. So I have an in with advertising because I spent years of my life working there. What about you?
Where have you worked? What groups have you been a part of that, you know, very intimately from the inside. You get it better than somebody else. Here's another one I used to competitively dance. Did you guys know that?
How does that make you different? How does that prime you to be good at certain things or to love certain things? Consider this. Okay. Here's another one. I'm a person who drives a Prius. I do. I'm on my third Prius.
But if we say suburban women ages 48 to 55, who drive a Prius. Now you have a picture of who that woman is, right? Like you have an idea. I mean, I catch sh*t all the time. People making fun of my Prius.
And after that process, I could talk to a divorced woman for hours and we'd be best friends. What have you gone through? What major life changes have you gone through? What really crappy experiences have you had someone else has had that same crappy experience? Hey
Maybe you speak Chinese. Like, I don't know, but what makes you, you? And those are extremely good indicators of how you can niche down. So, so far, just with those examples, I would love to hear if this is sparking anything for you, are you like, oh yeah, there is that thing about me. Oh yeah, that's right. I am the president of the, oh gosh, you know, breastfeeding moms of America association or you're you run a La Leche league meeting, right? Like maybe that's something that's very unique about you. We all have these things. So if you're like, mm, not me. I'm not special at all. I don't believe you. I don't, because I've had this conversation with way too many health coaches. You wouldn't have become a health coach. If there wasn't something unique and special about you. I know this, okay. Figure out who you are, great way too, niche down.
Find other people similar to you in some capacity next, be more specific about what problem you help solve. So we could be quite broad in who we work with. Like we say, we're targeting suburban women and that's very vague, but what if we say we're targeting suburban women and they have this very specific, big problem to solve, right? It's not like they're a little overweight or they have some joint pain or they have a little bit of trouble with this, that, and the other thing, what if it was suburban women with chronic Lyme? Um, trying to think of something else that's super specific. Um, that's all that's coming to my head right now. Well, suburban women with psoriasis, you know, like they're there, they exist, but it's, that's certainly not everybody. It's not like how 90% probably of suburban women would say, yeah, I'd like to lose a little bit of weight.
Right? So a very specific problem is a way to niche down and the problem can be a diagnosis. Like what I was just mentioning. It can be a health problem. It doesn't have to be, maybe their big problem has to do with something about their lifestyle. Um, has to do something about their family. You know, maybe it's a, a woman who has six children or more, you know, maybe you do your best work when you work with the women who have like large families, they've gone through childbirth. Many times their bodies are so depleted. They have so much chaos in their house. I don't know
Like sometimes I see people and maybe the way they're carrying weight or their face is very red. I'm like, oh boy, this person is at risk for heart disease. Sad, but true. That's me looking at them and through my eyes, that's what I think their problem is. But are they aware of it? Is this something that they know about and that they want to solve and they're actively trying to solve? Chances are no. Right? So we wanna pick a problem that they are already aware of. I'm gonna give you some examples. What if you say, I help whatever people, suburban women, whoever they are, who have poor gut health? No,
I'm seeking help with my poor gut health. No, probably not. They probably know they're bloated or they probably know that they have an autoimmune disease or that they have eczema or any of the other number of issues that come out of poor gut health. But you wanna target that, that thing they know about not their gut health, right? Cause that is, that is not the way they're thinking about their problem. They are not aware of that. Therefore, if you were to message around that, offer a webinar, offer a workshop around gut health. They're not going to come.
And they have heard about this whole idea of improving their gut health. That's who you're gonna get. Not the people who actually really need the help. Okay. So that's a big, no, here's another one. Um, I help people who have hormone imbalance. No,
It's not a big problem. That is not the big problem. If someone told me that their big problem was that they have trouble sticking to healthy habits, I would say, well, who cares? Why do you need healthy habits? What would healthy habits help you achieve? How would your life be better if you had healthy habits? Is it because with healthy habits, you'd be able to lose those 50 pounds? Is it because with healthy habits you would be able to stay off gluten and then your eczema clear up, like, what are we actually trying to solve for healthy habits alone? Eh, that's not the problem. There's no emotion there. Nobody's gonna pay you several thousand dollars to help them have healthier habits, but they will pay for you to help them solve a big problem. Capish all right. How about this one? When we wanna pick a big problem that somebody is aware about and wants to solve?
How about somebody who has prediabetes? That could be a yes or a no. Yes. If they care big problem, they get the ed. They're kind of shocked. I know women like this and they really wanna do something about it. But then whole segment of the population gets a diagnosis, kind of doesn't care, kind of just lets it roll off their back. They're gonna pop a pill or whatever to handle their blood sugar. And that's all they wanna hear about it. So that could be a yes or it could be a no depends. How about this one? Chronic back pain. I help people with chronic back pain. Now that's a specific problem is a person aware of the problem. You bet. It's probably driving them crazy. Do they wanna solve it? Yes. I don't know anybody who has chronic back pain who doesn't want it to go away very badly.
So that would get like a 100% stamp of approval. If you can help a certain type of person with chronic back pain. How about if you help people who haven't been able to sleep through the night in years finally get a good night's sleep. Is that a big problem? Mm-hmm
It's a five step guide to nailing your target market. The last step of this is super important. You niche down, okay. You picked a group, maybe they're very specific. Maybe they have a very specific problem to solve. That's cool. Is it viable? Meaning are they ready, willing and able, are they accessible to you? And this is a silly example, but I think it drives the point home. If I say that I work with Spanish speaking women to overcome, I don't know, you know, Hashimoto's disease or something. That's all fine and good. But are Spanish speaking women with Hashimotos disease accessible to me? Not really because I don't speak Spanish seems so obvious. Right?
Okay. But you know what women are doing during that phase? I know what I was doing during that phase of my life. I was not connecting with any health coaches. I mean, I was just like covered in breast milk and mostly crying and just trying to sleep when I could. And in that total survival mode, it would've been very hard for a health coach to reach me during that phase. But let's say that you're a doula or you're a midwife or you're a lactation consultant already. So you do have access to this group of women. Then they may be accessible to you. But if you're just hoping to find this woman like listening to a podcast or stumbling on your website in that phase of her life, probably not gonna happen. So we wanna make sure it's a viable target market. We have access to them and they are somebody who has not just the money that they're spending to solve their problem, but they have the time to dedicate to it.
Because if someone is like that new mom and that, you know, your baby's just a few days old or whatever, a few weeks old, does she have time to dedicate to improving her health? Maybe not. I definitely needed to wait until my babies were like three months old, six months old before I could really start investing in myself again.
What about somebody who is acting as a caretaker for both their own family and children and also their parents, that sandwich generation. And depending on the intensity of what's going on in the family, that caregiver may very much need a health coach. They don't have the time for it right now. They're gonna be ready perhaps in a couple years when they're no longer caring for everyone. So we wanna make sure that we choose a target market. It's specific. We have access to them and they are ready, willing, and able to get to work with us. That was a lot. Was that helpful? I hope so.
I hope you'll go get that five step guide so you can walk through this for yourself. I have a lot of troubleshooting inside the guide for different issues that may come up along the way. Again. That's at healthcoachpower.com/targetmarket. It has been a pleasure being here at all of you today. I'll see you in the Facebook group. All right. Have a good one, everyone.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.