TO NICHE — OR NOT TO NICHE?
So, to the first question. Do you need a niche?
The answer is YES! Niching is 100% the way to go. Here’s why.
“If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no-one.” Marie Forleo
In a world with millions of consultants or coaches, why should someone buy from you? It’s YOU — your unique skills, knowledge, personality and values. What makes you best positioned to help them.
The narrower your niche, the more clients you’ll attract. Because it’s easier to speak to the pain-points and desires of one person. You’ll always attract people outside your target market — but a niche makes it clear how you can help them.
Worried you won’t attract enough clients? Or is the fear of turning people away stopping you from niching? Turning (the wrong) people away actually creates more space to work with the right ones.
On a practical level, how many clients do you need to meet your revenue and profit goals? And how many ongoing clients do you have capacity to work with? Remember — there’s over 7 billion people on the planet and you can’t work with them all!
Now you know the advantages, follow these steps to nail down your niche.
STEP #1 — GO WITH YOUR PASSIONS
What do you love to do?
Say you’re a marketing consultant doing branding, copywriting, design and SEO. Why not focus on the one area you most enjoy? Or a health coach drawn to one area of wellness such as weight loss, nutrition or women’s hormonal health.
Always start with your purpose and what drives you. What causes are important to you? And what do you value?
As Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” By choosing an aligned niche, you’ll naturally attract the right clients.
Think about the clients you love to work with. What do they have in common? What problems are you passionate about solving for them?
There’s no point doing something you don’t enjoy. Even if you’ve got a lot of experience or can make good money out of it. Going with what you love is essential in the long-term to build a sustainable business!
STEP #2 — ZERO IN ON YOUR STRENGTHS
Next, ask yourself. What makes me unique? Consider your unique strengths, industry knowledge, skills and background.
What challenges have you experienced and overcome? And what results have you helped others achieve?
Selecting a niche around your strengths is vital. By focusing on the problems you’re in a unique position to solve, you stand out from the competition.
STEP #3 — PINPOINT WHERE THE PROFITS ARE
Passions and strengths are important. But for long-term business success, you also need people who are willing and able to pay for your services.
Willing — as in, prepared to invest in themselves. As well as seeing the value of the services you provide. And able — as in, being able to afford your services.
This is why understanding someone’s challenges and aspirations is critical. Because if their pain or desired result is big enough, they will pay for a solution.
Also, be smart about the target market you choose. As an example, a senior executive may be in a better financial position to invest than a full-time student. Although this is a generalisation, it’s a point to consider when picking your niche.
So how do you know if people are willing to pay? By using customer research to test and validate your business ideas! This will give you market insights to help determine your niche.
STEP #4 — FOCUS ON PSYCHOGRAPHICS
The final step is to get clear on your ideal client. Your target client is who you want to serve. Your niche is how you serve them.
Client avatar exercises are often recommended to identify your target clients. They involve creating a ‘profile’ of a person who represents your ideal client. By outlining their name, age, occupation, location, hair colour.
Even the name of their dog or first-born child!
These exercises can be helpful. But focusing on the psychographics — over the demographics — is much more powerful. This is about understanding what your audience values, what drives them.
Who are your favourite clients? What are their deepest fears, dreams and goals? How about their shared attitudes, interests, personality traits, opinions and lifestyles?
Identifying who you want to work with helps you niche — and attract the right clients.
There are many advantages to having a niche which is why I’m such a big advocate. But there’s one caveat. Don’t stress about getting it right from the start.
I know entrepreneurs who spend years fixating over finding the right niche. Pressuring themselves to get it perfect.
My advice is to start somewhere, knowing it will evolve over time. Begin broader if you need to — and narrow your niche down later.
These tips have helped my clients and I nail our niche and attract more of the right, aligned clients. I hope they support you too!