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Finding A Niche In The Fitness Industry: A Success Story

Scott Keppel

Scott Keppel

When it comes to deciding whether or not to niche, there are great arguments to both sides.  As someone who has a few niches, I feel it’s important to create a niche – but not to focus on it so much that you can’t help the mass.

My niches are with women who compete in pageants, are pre/post natal, and post breast cancer.  These haven’t always been my niches, but they are now.  This is why I feel it’s crucial to keep your eyes open to what’s coming and continue to work with the best base that allows you to run your business.

Had I always focused on my old niches (weight loss, sport specific and competitors), I would be where the masses are. I wouldn’t have become one of the leading fitness and nutrition coaches for women competing in pageants, pre/post natal and post breast cancer customers.

So let’s dive in. Here’s some of the best advice I can give on how to niche, and what to look out for:

Find What You’re Exceptional At – Refer the Rest

It’s better to do a few things exceptionally great rather than several things at a mediocre level. If you want to be an expert in every field … you’ll end up as a Jack of all Trades and a King of none.

For these reasons, I suggest you find what you’re best at and focus on that (or those items). Then delegate or eliminate everything else.

If you’re not the best and youth training, don’t take on these clients –  delegate them to someone else who specializes in youth training.   Set up a referral program with that specialist and figure out a commission structure for referring that client so you get paid for the referral.

Companies with formalized referral programs experience 86% more revenue growth over the past 2 years when compared to the rest – B2C

This will allow you to still make a profit  and the client will be with the best coach for his/her fitness goals.

Find Your “Why”

I ended up focusing on pageant women because of a young lady named Kimberly. She was getting ready to compete for Miss USA and her trainer at the time was negative and put her cookie cutter programs.

So the fact that I develop plans specific to Kimberly (and I believe in motivating, educating and empowering clients) made us a perfect fit for one another in 2007. I’ve been training women for pageants since then.

Then I got certified in pre/post natal training when my wife was pregnant with our first.  I wanted to make sure she had a healthy pregnancy so I decided to get my cert in pre/post natal and I now have been able to help dozens of women both throughout and after their pregnancy.

And once my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer (the 1st time), I chose to get certified in post breast cancer. Now I’ve been able to help dozens of women while they deal with the struggles of having breast cancer.

These 3 situations are what made me so passionate about developing my niches. They are my “why.”

Decide if Niching Is Best For You

Having a niche is important –  but equally important is being passionate about your niche.

Reading all of this, you may think “Wow!  I want to have  a niche, there’s no downside.”  Sorry to burst your bubble … but there’s a downside to most things.  Here are a few I face:

  1. You may focus so much on one type of client, you miss all the other clients that are in need of your services.  ➡️ But keep in mind, over 60% of our population is either over weight and/or obese.
  2. If you don’t continue to get new clients in your niche, you’ll eventually train yourself out.  Examples of this with my own personal niches are:  pageant contestants eventually age out or can no longer compete in a particular organization because they compete nationally.  With pre/post natal customers … they eventually have their baby and are then their baby gets older and the woman is no longer “post.”
  3. Niching may make other clients feel like they don’t belong.  They may say things like:  “Well, I’m not getting ready for a pageant so Scott can’t help” or “I am not a woman so Scott probably doesn’t know how to train me.”

But regardless of these downsides, I wouldn’t trade my niches for anything. I’ve been able to specialize in what I’m passionate about, and help more people seeking those exact needs because of it. It all comes down to what you want to focus on, the potential sacrifices that will happen, and where you’re happiest.

In closing, it’s important to know what you ‘re best at, pursue it, and continue to learn in other areas so you can have your niche but be diverse as well.