Defining your client – also known as a niching down or specializing – can be hugely beneficial to your yoga business, but it can also feel like an enormous step to take in a somewhat unknown direction, and as small business owners we like to mitigate risk as much as we can.
In this article, we’re going to talk a little about how niches work – how to identify yours, why it can be essential for your clients, and how to take that brave step toward it. And it is a brave step, but it doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all; it’s also ok to try a niche on for a while and see how it feels. So let’s dive deeper and consider how to define your best client.
There are many potential specialisms within any field and when you work within a specialism or niche, you can offer a more focused, informed and personalized experience for clients, enabling them to experience the benefits of your services in a way that is more accessible and appeals directly to them.
We know that when clients are presenting from certain demographics (pre/postnatally, aging bodies, people with differing physical abilities) a ‘regular’ class is not always where they need to be. As yoga practitioners, understanding the contraindications is a huge responsibility that can be facilitated by working within a specialism.
Consider our friends in the medical profession – would we consult a foot doctor for an eye issue or a gynaecologist for a brain scan? In other professions, specialisms are so transparently beneficial and that applies to yoga too. By working within a niche we can be more knowledgable and have the ability to meet that client where they are at. It also puts your business on the radar for new clients seeking that specialism, so it makes good business sense too.
How to Define Your Client
Perhaps your niche is something that you naturally gravitate towards, something that has always been missing from your life and your practice but you have not fully committed to yet. Or maybe you need to look a little harder; often your specialism is right in front of you and sometimes other people – friends, clients – might spot it before you do. Do you get a ton of compliments on a certain class that you teach? Which part of your profession brings you the most joy? Often, this is where you find your niche.
A great example of a niche hiding in plain sight is Yoga for First Responders. In a highly stressful and dangerous job with heavy mental health impacts, these workers can benefit greatly from yoga but it can be especially difficult for first responders to feel safe and shut down mentally in a ‘regular’ class. However, a specialized class that uses familiar terminology in a safe environment can eliminate some of those obstacles, allowing these students to experience the benefits of yoga in a much more accessible way.
Advantages of Defining Your Client:
- It’s an opportunity to specialize and dig deeper into a topic that interests you.
- It highlights your growth as a business and as a person to your clients and community.
- As you develop and build your reputation, colleagues and clients will find it easy to recommend you.
- Niching down involves getting to know what you want, as well as learning what your clients want.
- Marketing is much easier with a defined target audience.
- It opens up opportunities to collaborate with other teachers and professionals.
- You will become an expert in your topic and will be able to serve a demographic that benefit from it.
- You will be practising something that lights you up.
- You can ‘try a niche on’ and see how you like it.
- It can feel scary to change what you currently offer.
- You may find you want to take more training in your specialism first.
- You could potentially lose some current clients if you change what you are offering.
- You will need to do extra training, potentially.
- You might need to revised your business and marketing plan in line with your new offering.
The advantages, as we point out above, outweigh the disadvantages and we here at OfferingTree would say ‘What have you got to lose?”.
If you need inspiration on what your niche might be, just take a look around in your business, listen to what your clients are saying, what do they enjoy and how can you serve that need of theirs? Ask the questions of them and bring all of your observations together.
Our friend Shannon Crow of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast is a huge fan of specializing in your yoga business and has a lot of advice to share – hop on over to her podcast if you want to listen to her tips on how to step into your niche. Most importantly think about what you enjoy, because moving into a specialism that doesn’t feel great for you is not destined to work in the long term.
Your OfferingTree website gives you the versatility to adjust your offerings with the click of a few buttons – our ‘Pages’ feature enables you to have an offering ready to go, whenever you want to click (or un-click) the ‘publish’ button. We are here for your questions and to give you a tour of the site, just email us at email@example.com and we will hook you up.