To niche or not to niche?
Honestly, it’s a question that we all struggle with at some point.
For many business owners; especially coaches, consultants or service providers, there is a real fear of niching.
It’s common to hear concerns like:
“If I niche I might put off potential clients and miss out on paid work.”
“I’m not enough of an expert in just one thing to put all my eggs in one basket.”
“What if there’s no demand for what I do in the niche I choose.”
These are all valid reasons to question the need to niche down in your business.
But, what if you get it right and choose the perfect niche? What if you find your place in the world, start to work with the people that need you, that value you and are willing to pay you what you’re worth?
Think of it this way:
You’re a well-being coach who is looking for a copywriter to create content for your blog.
Would you choose to work with the general copywriter who writes for anyone? Or would you choose the copywriter who specialises in writing great content for well-being businesses?
I’m pretty sure you’d go for the latter.
When you start out you’ll work with anyone and everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I did it too!
But there comes a point where you want to take things to the next level. You want to specialise in one area and be known for it.
When you do this, it opens up a world of opportunities and brings so many benefits.
The Benefits of Finding Your Niche
You’ll be surprised how focusing on one thing or one audience can benefit you.
Here are 5 reasons to find your niche:
1. Know What to Write
Finding a niche would help you communicate a clear consistent message on your website and social channels, and create useful and engaging content for your audience.
You can speak directly to one person, explain how your solution helps solve their specific problems or add tons of ‘very specific’ value.
2. Work With People You Love
Take joy in who you work with. Work with the people who like you, who have the same values and beliefs that you do.
You don’t have to work with those frustrating clients; the ones who demand so much but pay very little and clearly don’t value your knowledge or expertise.
3. Understand Your Dream Clients
Truly connect with your dream clients. Show them that you ‘get them’.
When you understand and relate to them, you can help them with your own experiences as well as your knowledge.
4. Narrow Your Audience
With a narrow target audience, you can focus your marketing efforts. You’ll know where your people hang out and how to adapt your content to appeal to them.
You’ll be able to reach them in the right place, at the right time, with the right content.
5. Become an Expert
When you find your niche, you can become an expert in that area.
I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying “jack of all trades, master of none”, well we can’t be everything to everyone – You can try, but you likely won’t stand out in anyone’s mind!
So why wouldn’t you choose the people you want to serve and dedicate yourself to helping them in the best way you can?
Ways You Can Niche Your Personal Brand
1. Niche by Industry or Social Group
You may choose to niche to a specific sector or industry. Like the earlier example, a virtual assistant or copywriter may choose to only work with well-being businesses.
You could also niche to a specific social group; a nutritionist may choose to focus on nutrition for vegans.
My niche is Personal Branding for Introverts, so I work with those who find it challenging to be visible in an extrovert way.
2. Niche by Service or Offering
You can niche to a specific service or offering. Perhaps you’re Social Media Manager but choose to focus solely on Pinterest? Or maybe you’re a Video Producer and decide only to help film and edit How-To Videos?
3. Niche by Your Values & Your Purpose
Look at what you value and the reason why you do what you do. When you figure out what you stand for and value, you can find others that feel the same.
When niching my own business, I took the time to work out my values.
One of my core values is Authenticity, so I choose to work with those who want to be authentic in their business, so I have a big focus on Being Yourself and is also a struggle for introverts.
Do You Need to Niche?
There are varying opinions on this.
For me, finding my niche gave me direction.
I feel more confident and clear about who I’m talking to, what to write, and how I want my business to evolve.
You could help many different people in many different areas, but when you get specific and become a specialist rather than a generalist, you feel much more focused.
But do you need to pick one industry or sector, or one service or offering?
My friends Andrew and Pete have a different perspective.
Firstly, they think many business owners get too hung up on niching.
“Worrying about it is just going to hold you back and rushing into a forced niche isn’t going to work either, it needs to come naturally.”
I wholeheartedly believe this.
In their video Finding Your Niche | Why You DON’T Have to Have One to Be Successful, they explain how you don’t necessarily need a niche. You just need a business focus and a differentiator.
The differentiator being something that makes you stand out and the business focus being the one thing you’re known for.
How to Find Your Personal Brand Niche
So now we know some of the ways you can niche and if you need to, how do you decided on a niche; differentiator and focus?
1. Look at Your Dream Clients
Look at who you enjoy working with the most. Are they from the same industry or social group? Do you have similar beliefs and values as you? Is there anything that links them together?
2. Look at Your Passions
You can often find ways to narrow your services or offerings by looking at your passions. Think about the following questions:
1. What subject could you read 100 books about without getting bored?
2. What could you do for five years straight without getting paid?
For example, if you’re a life coach and you’re passionate about budgeting and saving money, then you could coach people to get out of debt and start saving up.
3. Look at Your Hobbies & Interests
Another way to niche your business is to look at your hobbies and interests.
Say you’re a mindset coach, but you’re also an avid hiker and spend a lot of your spare time on walking and hiking peaks. Then why not provide a mindset coaching as you walk? It would make you different!
4. Look at Your Superpowers
Your superpowers are the core skills that bring you joy and that others have recognised in you.
So make two lists and write down:
- the things people have said you’re good at (in their words)
- the projects that bring you joy, satisfaction and fulfilment
- The skills that show up are twice are your superpowers!
Perhaps you’re a Social Media Manager, but clients have noticed how you just get the analytics and you love working with numbers and data.
If so, then maybe you can niche as the Social Data Expert and help small business owners understand their numbers.
5. Look at Your Past Experiences
The final way to help choose your niche, is to look at your past experiences.
Perhaps you’re a Content Strategist working with smaller businesses, but a few years ago you were an Expatriate living in Dubai. Then you could niche down to focus on Expat businesses, because why not? You’re the perfect person to help plan and create their content!
How to Test Your Niche
If you’ve discovered a niche for your business, that’s great! But how do you know it’s a viable niche? Can you and will you get clients?
At this point, you need to do some market research.
Find out where your ideal clients hang out; this could be a Facebook group, Instagram, Twitter etc, or it could be at networking events.
Start talking to the people you want to serve and find out if what you can offer will benefit them and is something they really want and need.
Here are a few questions to help you assess your niche:
- Are there enough potential clients?
- Do they want what you can offer?
- Is your service, knowledge or advice of value to them?
- Are they willing to pay your prices?
- Are there several channels or mediums that you can use to reach them?
- Can you clearly define the social media channels they use?
- Are there enough people searching for your specific niche offering? (Check Google Keyword Planner for search volumes!)
- Are others offering something similar to you?
- Would you have a lot of competition in this niche?
- Can you be an expert in this niche?
- So there you have it. All the ways you can niche your personal brand business and start connecting with those dream clients.
Have you been struggling to find your niche? Leave a comment below.