In this article I am going to look at the concept of niche marketing and how important it is in the world of the modern fitness professional. I regularly talk to personal trainers and aspiring ones in my role as a presenter and educator, when you ask the question what is your niche the common reply I get is 'personal training'! Now nothing against the generalists out there, but personal training is not a niche. In the modern crowded world of personal training, that unfortunately will not make you stand out, and standing out is what it is all about.
So lets look at niches and how to make them work for you in a little bit more detail.
Why is it important to have a niche?
As I said before there is nothing wrong with being a generalist and some may argue by being too specific you may miss out on clients that do not fall into you specific niche. Generalists may have a wider pool of leads to draw from but there is something in the old phrase 'jack of all trades, master of none'. Having a specific skill set that you can focus in on is very important! There are a wide range of niches that as a personal trainer you can target, it is best to look at your specific skill set, network of contacts, and most importantly your passion/interests. This will help you draw up a list of possible niches for you to target, from this you can then decide which would be the most profitable.
What are the benefits to your clients?
A client likes to feel that they are in the best hands for their personal situation. For example if they want weight loss they like to know that the trainer they have come to is the best one for the job. In these circumstances being a generalist will generally not inspire confidence. The client would be more confident in a trainer with a higher level of goal specific experience, possible more relevant qualifications, a system/product range designed specifically for the clients goal, and relevant testimonials.
What are the benefits to you as a Personal Trainer?
As a personal trainer having a clearly defined niche allows you to grow and develop into an expert in your field. This can help with the convention of leads to paying clients. But really comes into its own as a marketing tool, your niche is effectively your USP (unique selling point)! Within the printed and on-line media it is relatively easy to be classed as an expert once you have a clearly defined niche. This then normally leads to increased media exposure and therefore more leads! And we all know what more leads turn into..... More sales!
Besides this, having a niche allows you to focus your energy into one specific area. Developing great products and services that perfectly fit the needs and demands of your specific market.
What niche should you choose?
It is very difficult to decide what your niche should be, and it is a decision that should not be rushed. First question I am often asked is if you can have more than one niche, my answer is yes but.... you must have a focus. If you end up having 3 or more niches you are again becoming more and more generalist. To help you get the ball rolling in deciding what your niche should be follow the following action points.
- Make a list of possible niches that you could work with, consider you experience, qualifications, network of contacts and passion.
- Narrow this list down to two or three for further investigation.
- Do some further research into the size, profitability and ease of entry into the niches on your short list.
- Decide on a primary niche to focus on.