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June, 2017

The Riches Are in the Niches

How to Identify and Serve Your Ideal Market

By Bill Davis, DC

When thinking about the target market for your chiropractic practice, it is important to establish your niche, especially if you want to be a cash practice and move away from insurance dependence. A product or service that is for "everyone" is really for "no one."

You might be thinking, if I just focus on a particular niche, won't I be pushing everyone else away? The truth is that the best way to dramatically increase your income, is to have a well-defined, specific niche. The riches are truly in the niches. Gaining 90 percent of a niche market is more possible and more profitable than gaining just 5 percent of the total market. Here's how to do it.

A niche is a tightly defined portion of a subcategory. For example, my company doesn't work with all chiropractors; only upper cervical chiropractors. Our target market is "upper cervical chiropractors." But our niche is the service we offer them: online marketing services to help them increase new patients, improve referrals and retention. This is a tightly defined niche.

The target market is the "who." The niche is the "what you are helping them with." Once you determine your target market, you need to focus on connecting that target market with how you are helping them.

Defining Your Target Market and Niche

target - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark As a chiropractor, you want to focus on defining your target market and niche instead of trying to be all things to all people. When I was in practice, I chose to focus on upper cervical chiropractic (NUCCA technique), and specifically helping women with migraine headaches.

Thus, my target market was women 35-55 years old with migraine headaches in my local community, and my niche was correcting the atlas subluxation complex with the NUCCA technique, which was frequently the cause of their migraines. This focus allowed me to have a successful cash practice in which I was taking care of the people I wanted to take care of and delivering the service I knew they needed.

Along with upper cervical, there are many other niches you could focus on delivering including rehabilitation, nutrition, sports chiropractic, pediatric chiropractic, etc. And there are many different types of conditions that could make up a target market: scoliosis, fibromyalgia, migraines, vertigo, pregnancy, colic, ear infections, ADHD, autism, etc.

Step #1: Who Do You Want to Serve? (Your Target Market)

The key word here is to be specific. The more specific, the better. Let's say you want to work with athletes and you want to deliver sports chiropractic services to them. So, the general patient market is athletes. But there are all different types of athletes: runners, basketball players, baseball players, gymnasts, cyclists, wrestlers, soccer players, etc. The list goes on and on.

Let's say you choose runners. But what kind of runners? Marathon runners? Track athletes? Cross-country runners? High-school sprinters? Olympic middle-distance runners? The more you can focus and specify your target market, the better you're going to be able to deliver to that niche.

OK, so you decide you really want to focus on high-school, college and Olympic sprinters; athletes who run the 100, 200 and 400 meters, specifically. Who are these people?

  • How old are they?
  • What do they care about?
  • What kind of injuries do they suffer?
  • What other health professionals interact with them?
  • Where do they train?
  • What are the competitions they train for?

So, let's say based on these questions and others, you come up with a target market that looks like this:

We serve high-school, college and Olympic sprinters who run the 100, 200 and 400 meter sprints who are 14 to 28 years old and care about running as fast as they possibly can. Typical injuries they suffer include lower extremity injuries including foot, ankle, shin, knee, thigh and hip-type injuries, and also spinal-related issues including lower back, mid-back and neck injuries. Other health professionals who interact with these athletes include athletic trainers, physical therapists, nutritionists, massage therapists and medical doctors who specialize in sports medicine. These athletes frequently train at the high-school and college facilities in the area and are supervised by coaches. They are regularly training for track-meet competitions at their current level.

Step #2: How Are You Going to Serve Them? (Your Niche)

Now that you have a great picture of what your target market looks like, the next step is to determine what you are going to do to serve them.

If you are going to utilize sports chiropractic, then you will want to determine the best approach to help sprinters run faster, as that is their primary goal; while at the same time helping with the common injuries that they face.

So, your particular niche could be helping sprinters run faster, prevent injury and recover from injuries faster utilizing a combination of sports chiropractic and rehabilitation.

You would then want to learn all of the techniques necessary to help you do that including things such as extremity adjusting, postural techniques, kinesiology taping, lower extremity rehabilitation, active release, Graston technique, and other techniques and ancillary therapies that will help you serve your target market most effectively.

This will also help you to focus on whom you should be building relationships with, including athletic trainers, sports medicine physicians, physical therapists who work with athletes, etc.

Last, but not least, the niche you pursue should be directly reflected in your marketing efforts. The images you use on your website, the video testimonials you accumulate and use in your social media, the blogs you write, etc., should all be focused on high-school, college and Olympic sprinters who want to run as fast as they possibly can.

Will you see other athletes and other types of patients? Absolutely. But by focusing on a specific target market and how to serve them with a specific niche, it will allow you to become the go-to doc in your area for your target market and many others.

Dr. Bill Davis is the founder and CEO of Upper Cervical Marketing (

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