Choosing a niche is typically met with resistance. Fear begins to arise around boxing yourself in, turning off someone who could actually use your services or offending potential clients who don’t resonate with your targeted marketing. It is a common misconception that creating a niche also boxes you in. What if choosing a niche could actually inspire growth in your business? I’m here to share with you that it can – if you approach it in the right way.
Here are the steps to choosing a niche that can inspire growth:
- Discover your passion – this is the topic you want to teach your audience about the most. Even if you’re selling products, you still need to educate your audience. So, what are you most passionate about? There may be a few topics and that’s ok. Just brainstorm for now.
- Narrow down who you truly want to work with. Just because you can work with anyone (a common answer amongst new business owners) doesn’t mean you will enjoy doing that. We all have personality types we don’t enjoy working with or problems we don’t wish to solve. To narrow this down, think of your top 5 favorite clients (or even just people). What do they have in common from a personality standpoint? What problems are they trying to solve that you want to jump right in and help with?
- Find your niche – what is the core industry that you want to contribute to? (i.e. personal development, finance, healthcare, agriculture, etc) This niche should encompass both the passions you identified in number 1 and the type of people you want to work with.
- Create a micro-niche (also known as a vertical market). Here is where the magic happens. Within your core industry from number 3, where are those ideal clients you’ve identified and what is the biggest problem they face? Write down the common issues they are experiencing.
Examples of Micro-Niching:
You see examples all around you of business, franchises and non-profits who have settled into their niche and then narrowed down into even more specific markets. Here are just a few examples:
- Segway found a niche within the transportation industry. Then, they created micro-niches within public safety and tour companies. They were able to corner the market on personal transportation for faster mobility around the city for two direct markets that benefited. You can bet the marketing to those two markets was clear, concise and to the point.
- Survivor is a popular reality tv show. What started as a survival of the fittest competition in various exotic locations became an array of micro-niches: heroes vs villians, millenials vs gen X, etc. Masterchef is another great example of this with their adult and kids seasons.
- Jeep provides luxury vehicles for comfort as well as rugged vehicles for more adventurous types. Many car companies market to different demographics with various classes of automobiles in their brands.
The beauty of this approach to creating a niche is that you can expand and yet always stay on brand. Your core message will always encompass the difference you want to make within your main niche. However, your products and services can get more specific to directly serve your micro-niches.
Thinking of marketing in this way allows you to narrow down the focus of your content for your specific audiences so you can get even more laser focused on who they are and what they need. Your marketing then has that “it” factor where a potential client reads your content and says, “YES! That’s it! They’re talking to me. They get it. That’s exactly what I’m feeling and what I need.”
A Word of Caution on Choosing a Niche:
One thing you may encounter is a fear of moving forward because you want your niche to be perfect. You feel like you have to get it right before you can market and then once you do, you can’t change it. Having a business is a beautiful thing because you can steer the direction of your business. I encourage you to test a niche. Send out a survey to your audience and get real-time feedback on what they want before you commit. Business does involve trial and error. As you move forward, pay attention to whether your marketing is resonating. If it does, fantastic! You can master that niche and then expand into a new micro-niche with a similar offering when you feel ready. If it isn’t resonating with you personally or with your audience, then it’s time to course correct.
Permission to Move Forward:
Your niche doesn’t have to perfect out of the gate. You don’t have to be fearful of excluding people. Your goal here is to start small, test the market and then expand. Getting specific up front on the group of people you want to help will create a LOT more clients for you early on. Expanding slowly into new markets will be easier with a much clearer focus as you move forward by introducing micro-niches. Trying to capture everyone out of the gate will slow you down. Your message will get lost and you will be frustrated with your lack of steady clients.
The beauty of micro-niching is that you can narrow your focus while still growing your business and yet always stay on brand.
I challenge you to embrace the four steps above. Where do you see opportunities for growth by creating products or services for your micro-niches?
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