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Target the Niche for Your Mediation Business

When you decide to grow your client base for your mediation business, one of the first steps is to target your niche, so you need to know specifically what that niche is. If you’re unclear what your niche is, ask who, what, when, where, and why questions.

Who?

Your niche market typically is defined by the people you serve. Who are they? Do they work in the same industry? Are they all in the school system? Are they business owners or employees? Are they married couples? Are they mediators who can benefit from your experience and expertise?

What?

What exactly do you do? At the very least, you help parties resolve their disputes and mend their relationships, but try to get more specific than that. Perhaps you specialize in corporate mediation, in a specific industry, or in a certain type of mediation such as family or community mediation or personal injury claims. Maybe you provide mediation training and speak at conferences.

When?

Another way to define what you do is to ask yourself when people typically need your services. Do they usually contact you when they’re dealing with personal injury claims, divorce, labor disputes, or child custody?

Where?

Location is everything in mediation, just as it is in real estate. You may shine in a certain area of your town and be an apparition in another. To find your place, ask the following questions:

Where do you consistently find kindred spirits?

Where are you most credible?

Where is the greatest need coupled with the greatest appreciation for your work?

Where do the people in the greatest need of your services live or work? Are they in small business, communities, schools, corporations, government offices, online, offline?

Why?

When identifying and serving a specific market, the people in that market usually want to know why. Think of it in terms of a mission statement, 50 words or fewer. Knowing your Big Deal Why helps you get outside of yourself and focus on the needs of the people you’re serving and the results you’re committed to producing.

Develop an authentic elevator pitch for each service you provide. Your elevator pitch must accomplish the following:

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the challenges the parties face

  • Express your vision of the ultimate outcome — the parties being empowered to resolve their own disputes

For example, if you’re presenting to a troubled homeowner’s association, you might say, “I help communities like yours preserve your standards while seeking to adapt to the changing needs of the people invested in it.”

This example demonstrates a general understanding of the challenges the parties face — the association must uphold standards while the homeowners themselves have needs that must be met. It also expresses a hope that the community will ultimately develop a system for resolving its differences.

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