Niche Versus Specialty – Do You Know The Difference?


2 Difference Between Health and WellnessWant to know one of the biggest mistakes that most Wellness Professionals and Coaches make? They assume they have an established niche when they actually have a specialty.

Most holistic practitioners and coaches know they’re supposed to have a niche. You’ve probably heard that having a niche program will make your marketing clearer and encourage more clients to come to you for support.

It’s true.

But even as a Wellness Coach, the meaning of niche versus specialty can be a little confusing. More often than not, practitioners and coaches think they have an established niche that they believe is clear to their potential clients when actually, they don’t. What they have is a specialty.

So what’s the difference between a specialty and a niche?

A specialty is the style or type of work that you offer. So for example, if you’re a yoga teacher that specifically teaches Hatha yoga, Hatha Yoga is your specialty. Or if you’re a massage therapist who focuses on sports massage, then using techniques to enhance physical activity is your specialty. If you’re a coach that focuses on health and wellness, then holistic wellness is your specialty within coaching.

Specialties describe the particular type of work you do to support clients. Having a specialty is important and can help you define your niche. But let’s be clear, a specialty is not the same as a niche.

A niche is not a style or type of work or even a type of person.  Instead, it’s a problem that you solve for a certain group of people.

A niche answers two questions:

  1. What is the problem you help solve as a Wellness Coach?
  2. Who has the problem that you help solve?

When you first hear this, you might think you solve many problems and that it can help many people who have that problem. The truth is, you’re right! Most Wellness Professionals, Coaches, and healers can help solve a variety of issues for a lot of people. Those of us in the wellness profession deal with holistic wellness, meaning we treat the whole person and every aspect of a client’s life that contributes to a particular problem. The holistic wellness definition is defined by addressing all the factors that contribute to a problem. So, if that’s the case, how can we narrow our work down to a particular niche?

When it comes to marketing, you have to be specific. What matters in marketing is drilling down and being very clear about the BIGGEST problem you solve and marketing right to the people who have the BIGGEST desire to have it solved. While your approach as a Wellness Professional might be holistic wellness, meaning you’ll tackle the problem from a number of different angles, you still need to market to the specific problem and client with a niche program.

Let’s look at some examples of a wellness niche for those same professionals that already have a specialty:

So if you’re a Hatha Yoga teacher your niche might be:

Helping Baby Boomer women to get rid of joint pain and increase flexibility to allow them to do more of what they love. The problem = decreasing pain and increasing freedom of movement. The client = Baby Boomer women.

And if you’re a Wellness Coach your niche might be:

Helping new mothers lose those last 10 pounds of baby weight to allow them to have more energy and look and feel amazing. The problem = losing the last bit of baby weight. The client = new mothers.

And if you’re a Stone Massage Therapist your niche might be:

Helping athletes end muscle tension to allow them to perform at their very best in their sport. The problem = decreasing muscle tension for better performance. The client = athletes.

As you can see, having both a specialty and a niche enables you to go deeper for your clients. Developing a niche program helps you get to the heart of how you’ll help your clients and helps clients identify whether your wellness niche is right for them.

This is about making you stand out in the wellness field and helping you with your niche program’s unique holistic wellness definition. You need to be clear about what you do and how you approach helping clients so that the people who need to work with you can find you. Defining your wellness niche allows you to approach client problems clearly and use your understanding of holistic wellness to help them on a deeper level.

Are you ready to establish your wellness niche program? My assignment for you is this:

  1. If you don’t know what your specialty is, you need to define it. For example, if you’re a life coach, what area of life is your specialty? Is it health, it is relationships, is it finances? Within your specialty, what will your holistic wellness definition be for your clients?
  2. If you don’t have a niche yet, you want to get clear by answering those two questions I mentioned above: What’s the biggest problem you solve as a Wellness Professional and who do you solve it for?
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About the Author

Suzanne Monroe

Suzanne Monroe is the author of Live Well Dream Big: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Your Best Self and Living Life on Your Own Terms. She has also written and published The Holistic Cookbook & Lifestyle Guide: 12 Weeks to a Healthier, Happier You, the co-author of 101 Ways to Improve Your Health and the host of the Live Well Dream Big Podcast. Suzanne was inspired to create the IAWP Wellness Coach Training & Certification Program in collaboration with other leading health experts in order to inspire people to create meaningful careers and spread the message of wellness.

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