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To Niche or Not to Niche

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

The mere mention of the word niche will have many a new business owner running for the hills.

It’s easy to see why so many of us resist it.

We don’t want to rule things out. We want variety in our offering. We want to serve as many people as possible. We worry that a smaller audience will mean we’ll make less money. We’ll find it impossible to choose a niche. We might choose the wrong niche. The list goes on…...

But if you’ve tried attracting clients without a niche then you’ve probably struggled. It’s likely your messaging was vague, easily lost and you ended up not engaging with anyone.

Targeting a larger, broader audience is difficult (not impossible), it would require a much bigger investment of both time and money. That’s why the advice to small and new businesses has been fairly consistent over the years – define your niche from the offset.

So, what is a niche?

Niching refers to the market you’re targeting, your audience or your ideal client depending on your strategy. It might combine demographics, life stage or interest groups, for example, professional women becoming parents for the first time.

To define your niche, you need to understand who your ideal client is, the problem you’re solving, what results and benefits they’ll gain and how you’ll help them. If you can answer these questions, then you'll be a step closer to really understanding the clients you want to serve which means you can create deeper connections with them. Knowing and understanding your ideal client allows your marketing to be more effective which will result in more clients.

Niching taps into the fundamental way people buy. We naturally buy from people who are specifically focused on our needs. If you were the only person in the country offering your services, then you’d probably not need to niche. But just think about how many people are offering the same service as you.

Let’s Imagine you’re looking for a photographer to take photos at your wedding. We don’t type into google ‘photographers’ we type ‘wedding photographers in London’ or maybe ‘natural wedding photographers London’. We are looking for an expert, someone who has experience in delivering a specific service to meet our needs or solve our problems. If I was a 40-year-old female lawyer who hated my job, but I had no idea what I wanted to do next, which career coach would I hire:

Career Coach 1: “I help people find work they enjoy”

Career Coach 2: “I help midlife, professional women redesign their careers.”

I’d call number 2 because their message is connecting with me, I have more trust that they will be able to help me with my problem. A specialist can be found more easily, you have stand out in the market, they tend to be better at what they do which often means they can also charge more.

Try thinking of niching as a way to market your business in the early stages, it helps to open new doors, and engage successfully with potential clients. Most of our fears around niching are unfounded and the benefits far outweigh our concerns. If you’re struggling with he whole concept, the good news is niching is not permanent. Just look at Facebook, it started as a platform to connect college students in the US, and look at the breadth of audience now.

Niching doesn’t mean we can’t do more than one thing. Many of us have portfolio careers, me included. But if you do choose to service more than one group you may need to market them separately as the audiences are likely to be different, the problems you’re solving will vary therefore your messaging needs to be different.

There are various ways to approach niching and the good news is you don’t have to be 100% clear from the beginning. But having some idea of your niche will make your marketing easier and more effective. You will attract more clients because you’ll be clearer on the problem you solve and the benefits you can deliver.

Finding your niche is a process and not one you’re going to solve with a quick online quiz so it may take some time. Once you have an idea about your niche it’s essential to validate it to ensure you have a viable business proposition before investing too much time and money in your business.

If you need help on finding and validating your niche then get in touch HERE to discuss ways we could work together.

Would you like a copy of my free guide, "5 ways to get your first clients?" Click HERE to receive a copy.

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