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In this Post: With all the pressure these days to niche, I wanted to give you permission NOT to niche your massage practice.
Niching is all the rage right now. On a daily basis, I see Facebook ads, pins, and courses all dedicated to helping people find and target their ideal niche.
I also see loads of people freak out about how to determine what their niche should be. All of this creates a lot of mental pressure. Pressure I believe to be unnecessary!
While there are a lot of benefits to narrowing your focus in this way, it is not the only way to build a successful massage practice!
Just because this method has been successful for some, doesn’t mean that we all need to pigeon hole ourselves into narrowing in this way.
To be fair, there are some awesome benefits to building your practice with a specific target market in mind. However, I want to give you permission to NOT niche down! This approach just may not be for you!
Permission Not To Niche Your Massage Practice
Niching May Not Be For You If:
You are new to the massage industry –
When you are first beginning to practice massage, you may not be clear on who your ideal client is. You are still figuring out the type of work and people you enjoy working with. It’s okay to experiment with a lot of different markets and modalities before you get too committed to one area!
When I was in school, I was convinced I wanted to work primarily on athletes. So, when I graduated, I set out to build a practice of CrossFit enthusiasts young and old. I would drag my tent to every bike race, running event, and triathlon I could find to get my hands on my ideal client. Or at least who I thought was my ideal client.
But then I realized that athletes are sweaty. They often don’t tip very well. It seems that there is a bit of a sense of entitlement. Like, I just ran a marathon, duh I deserve a massage!
I didn’t like it. I wanted to work with clients who were super appreciative of the work I provided. Ones who didn’t get on my table reeking of body odor. And ones who remembered to tip.
Plus, it was a lot of hard work promoting myself at these events, lugging all my supplies back and forth!
So, I stopped targeting this audience. I actually did the opposite of niching. I broaded my focus. I got comfortable seeing anyone. I learned through hands-on practice which type of clients I enjoyed seeing.
Then, a few years later, I started to narrow my focus once again. But this time, I wasn’t focused on Zeus.
It was awesome to see how rewarding it was to niche at the appropriate time, with the appropriate market.
If you live in a small town –
When you live in a small town, it is also hard to niche. There simply isn’t as big of a pool of people to choose from when marketing your services. Anyone who has ever lived in a small town can attest to this. Now, that’s not to say it is impossible to have a niche in a small town. It’s just going to be a little harder.
If you live in a small town and still like the idea of niching, maybe consider picking a couple of different markets to target.
You like variety –
Maybe the idea of doing the same type of massage to the same kind of client day in and day out bores you! I can totally understand that!
My first few months in practice, I worked at a spa at the base of a ski area. Every day was like groundhogs day. People would come in who had skied hard all day and wanted a therapeutic massage to flush out their legs. Their feet hurt from being in ski boots, and their shoulders were tight from their daily desk job. Boy, was it monotonous to give that massage over and over and over again!
If you are the type of person who bores from routine, but you like the idea of niching, just like those who live in a small town, consider picking a couple of markets.
In the end, remember that you don’t have to jump on the niching bandwagon! Now or ever.
While I super enjoy prenatal massage and would consider it a niche I serve, it IS NOT the only type of work I do. I would get FAR too bored doing the same kind of massage on the same kind of person every day. So, I niche, but I also don’t niche. Give yourself the permission to do the same.
Niching is just one way to gain traction towards building the massage practice of your dreams. If this approach resonates with you, then, by all means, set out to define your market. But, if it doesn’t, that’s okay too! Just look at how good Meredith Grey does as head of “general.” Give yourself permission not to niche your massage practice.
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 005: COVID-19 and The Massage Industry
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 004: Networking Tips and Tools for Massage Therapists
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 003: To Niche or Not to Niche Your Massage Practice
- A Village of ResourcesPodcast Episode 002: Work/Life Balance for Massage Therapists with Kids