Whether you’re just starting in the industry or you’ve been on your game for a while, finding your niche is a really important part of business growth.
What is a niche?
That’s a good place to start. A niche, by definition, is a specialised segment of the broader market that offers a particular kind of product or service. Niches can serve as a way to differentiate your business from competitors and meet unserved needs.
The fitness industry is in a constant state of growth and while there are a lot of opportunities for personal trainers, there is also a chance you can get lost in the crowd. Finding your niche can come with time and experience but, with the industry moving towards digital, it’s a good time to review and plan for change.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how you, as a personal trainer, coach, or nutritionist can find your niche in the expansive fitness industry and make it profitable.
Step One: Identify your interests and passions
This sounds simple and you may be tempted to skip this step. You know your passion of course - it’s fitness. But at this stage, it is important to look at what part of fitness really gets you up out of bed in the morning.
Is it bodybuilding? Healthy eating? Functional movement? Nutrition and weight loss/gain? Postpartum exercise? The list goes on.
It may be easier to answer this question when you’ve had a few years of experience in the industry, but choosing a specific area to focus on will make it much simpler to market yourself and find a focused pool of potential clients.
The most important thing to remember here is that you need to choose a part of the industry that you love. This isn’t about cutting out potential customers or batting interested clients away, it’s about opening doors to new opportunities that will help you thrive as a business owner.
Step Two: Look at what problems you can solve
Now is the time to knuckle down and work out your niche. Simply choosing to work with bodybuilding clients - for example - is not niche enough, it’s actually a pretty saturated market.
Look at the common problems within your area of interest and how you can solve them. This is going to be the key to honing in on your brand message and marketing yourself effectively.
For example, if you’re interested in working with clients who are recovering from an injury, but you have specialist knowledge in joint injuries specifically, this could be your niche.
Another example would be a weight loss PT. How many other PT’s in your local area market the same thing? Instead of putting yourself out there as a weight loss specialist, try marketing yourself for the kinds of exercises you focus on, healthy eating, or the mental aspects of weight loss.
Showcasing your expertise in your online marketing will set you apart from your competitors and help with word of mouth marketing. Clients will stop referring to you as just a PT and may feel more inclined to share your details with friends and colleagues who have similar goals.
Some questions you can ask yourself when considering your niche might be:
- What is my competition doing in this space? (See next step)
- Am I looking to stay local or go national?
- What problems do my clients often come to me for?
- Do I have specific knowledge or training in this area that could help reach client goals?
- Do I already have a network of prospects to build case studies with?
Step Three: Research your competition in that area
In any industry, you should always keep an eye on who your competitors are and what they’re doing to stay ahead of your game. If you find that there are too many competitors in your market that are already established, your niche may be too broad.
You want to make sure that there is growth potential in the niche you choose. If there are many well-established competitors already in that area, chances are it will be harder to dominate. Of course, that shouldn’t put you off going for it if you know you have the passion and the knowledge to succeed.
When looking at the niche you want to go after, we suggest you have a look at competitors in and around the space to determine whether or not you have something that stands out. You may want to work with a marketing agency to complete some keyword and content research - a business growth exercise that’s great to do at least every six months - to get an idea of where you could fill in gaps in the market.
Step Four: Look at profitability
Of course, this whole exercise aims to help you make your business profitable for the long term. Choosing a niche now and building on it will see you become a subject-matter expert in your local area or nationwide if you’re prepared to put the groundwork in. It could open doors to more than training - such as speaking opportunities, online classes, creating communities.
Choosing a profitable niche, nine times out of ten, will look like:
- A focused area of the industry where your competitors aren’t already dominating
- An audience of people who have time and disposable income for fitness coaching
- A real need for your specific service / a problem you can solve
Trying to please the whole market may be profitable for a while, but it won’t have the effect you’re looking for long-term. To get your name remembered and passed on you may want to consider honing in on your niche now.
Focusing in on a niche will future proof your fitness business for years to come.
At FitMedia Co, we work to help personal trainers and specialist gyms market themselves more effectively, you could say that’s our niche. Whether that’s refreshing your brand, getting your website up to scratch, or creating a space for you to sell your coaching services online, that’s what we’re good at!
If you need help in honing down your niche or creating a strong brand message, we’d love to hear from you. We’ll start with a free of charge, no-obligation discovery call to pinpoint your needs and let you know how we can help.