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Life after Endeavour, Part One: How to find your niche

Written by Dannielle Illingworth | Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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As a young student of Naturopathy at Endeavour, I was completely consumed by my passion for natural health and wellbeing. I soaked up every lesson, read every book I could find, and focused all of my attention on the people I could help.

So much so, that I almost entirely forgot that one day I would be out in the real world, not only as a naturopath but also as a business owner! Over this five-part series, I’m going to be sharing my biggest lessons as a naturopath and business owner, both from my studies at Endeavour and from my real-life experience since graduating.

I’ve always been a dreamer and planning my future as a naturopath was no different. I remember writing a business plan as part of my studies at Endeavour and coming up with all sorts of extravagant ideas. I wanted to help as many people as possible, and I thought the way to do that was by working with any client who wanted to work with me.

I spent my first year out of College helping clients with weight loss, eczema, acne, mental health, headaches, fertility, menopause, and everything in between. I attended every seminar and workshop that I could find and spent my evenings trying to cram all the new information into my brain. I have to say, I ended that year feeling completely exhausted. I realised that trying to know everything and treat everyone wasn’t working - and so, I found a niche.

A niche is really just a focus area or a specialty. Something that you have a special interest in and dedicate your research time to, as a clinician. Deciding on my niche allowed me to focus all of my energy and time on being the best naturopath for that particular thing. It also meant that I knew what new clients were coming to see me for, and that gave me a lot of confidence as a new naturopath.

To decide on a niche can feel like a really scary thing - it feels like you’re cutting off a bunch of people who need your help but are ‘outside’ of your niche. I get it! I struggled with it for a while too. But here is what I’ve found over the years when it comes to narrowing down your client base:

  • When you niche, it helps prospective clients know if you are the right practitioner for them or not. This actually helps you attract more clients because they see you as someone who specialises in exactly what they need.
  • You will still work with other health conditions and complaints. Your clients are human beings with complex systems, and as naturopaths, we always work with the entire system.
  • When you focus on one particular area, you become very confident in your skills as a clinician. No one can possibly know everything about everything, so choosing to narrow down your focus means you can really master that one condition or area of health.
  • Your clients will generally have better outcomes as a result of treatment when you have decided to specialise in exactly what they need. They will also have more confidence in you as a practitioner, and we all know the value that the practitioner-client relationship holds.
  • Your niche can shift and evolve as you do. It is not set in stone, and you have the freedom to change, expand or shift your niche as you wish.

Think about buying shampoo: are you more likely to buy one that says ‘suits all hair types', or one that says ‘specially designed for dry, frizzy hair’? You’re going to choose the one that speaks to exactly what you need.

That’s what niching does. It allows you to speak directly to your prospective client's needs so that when they come across your website or business card, they know that you’re the practitioner they need.

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Dannielle Illingworth

Dannielle Illingworth is a kinesiologist, naturopath + author. Whether it’s in business, relationships, weight loss, career, health, or just general happiness – Danni helps her clients identify and let go of any fears, limiting beliefs + memories that are holding them back from what they truly desire. You can find out more at her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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