Okay, raise your hand.
Who out there is wracking your brain trying to figure out how to bring in more money at the end of the day?
There are a lot of people (including me!) telling you that it’s always best to diversify and find ways (other than sitting face-to-face with clients) to make money in your private practice.
You believe it. You even think it’s a great idea. But for some reason, you’re stuck. It’s not working for you.
What are you missing?
I have an idea (five of them, actually) about how you might figure this out…
You are not alone
Before I offer up some ideas, I want you to know that as private practitioners we all obsess about how to bring in more money to our practices. It’s just what we do.
However, we often shrug our shoulders and walk away, or bang our heads against the wall because we don’t know how to do it.
And not knowing how to do it can be the difference between “having a private practice” and “running a sustainable, thriving business”.
You can “have a private practice” and not be able to make ends meet. There are a number of permutations that can add up to that mess.
One solution is to make money even when you’re not in the therapy room.
Having niche products or services to offer your target market is a great way to drop more money to your bottom line — often with less of a time commitment on your part.
The secret is figuring out which niche products and services will sell in your market (your “ideal customer”). Now that will require some thought.
I’ve gathered 5 of the most successful strategies for doing that kind of thinking.
5 Ways to “Think About” What Niche Products and Services Will Work in Your Market
1. Think about what your ideal customer goes to bed worrying about
You’ve got to have an explicit picture of who your “ideal customer” really is. Give her a name. Write a detailed biography for her. When you take the time to do that you’ll find out a lot about the person for whom you are creating niche products and services.
So… what causes her angst? What makes her feel desperate? What does she go to bed worrying about?
Once you get a handle on those things, you’ll be able to find niche products or services that will really help her with the deepest emotions she has. You’ll give her an outlet or solution that will be incredibly meaningful, because she will be emotionally invested in it.
2. Think about what your ideal customer desperately needs but can’t seem to find
Sometimes your ideal customer will need something very specific, but she has not been able to find it. Or if she has found it elsewhere, it did not catch her eye or perhaps it did and it did not satisfy her.
If you really tap into her urgent needs and you can find a compelling way to show her that your can satisfy those needs now, chances are she will take you up on it.
3. Think about the negative emotions your ideal customer feels, and what you might be able to offer to ease her pain
We are in the business of helping others ease their pain. One of life’s greatest motivators is our need to avoid pain. We will do almost anything to avoid pain (even our perceived or imagined pain).
Put those things together, and combine it with a niche product or service that helps your ideal customer avoid pain and you’ve got yourself a winner!
4. Think about what benefits you ideal customer is looking for and make those the basis of what you decide to offer
When we offer people something we tend to talk about the features of what we are offering:
This chocolate cake is rich, creamy, and it only has 100 calories per serving.
Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but how compelling are those features to your ideal customer? I wonder how many more pieces of cake you’d sell if, instead, your offer sounded like this:
This cake will satisfy your craving for chocolate, and help you to control your weight.
See the difference? Your customers will too.
5. Think about what your ideal customer really wants
If you want people to buy something from you, you have to offer them what they really want. People want to be happy. We want our lives to be improved without a lot of hassle or effort.
Blogger, Chris Guillebeau wrote a great post about the parable that essentially states: Give a man fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. The take home message from the post was — Give the man the fish!
People will tell you that they want to learn, but the research shows that they buy what they WANT!
Offer something your readers really want, when they want it, the way they want it.
Couple that with an effective way to let folks know about what you have to offer (we’ll save that for another blog post), and you’ll hear a lot more “ching, ching” dropping to the bottom line.