It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, if you’re in business for yourself, you are competing against lots of bigger businesses to be noticed. It’s even more difficult if you are a ‘generalist’ and target an entire market rather than just a segment of it. While you might think there are more people who would notice you, what actually happens is that your message disappears like a puff of smoke as it blends in with the rest.
So how do you get yourself noticed? How can you build up your client numbers?
The solution is to narrow your focus to one special niche.
So how do you define your niche?
- Decide who you want to work with.
There will be a type of person or business you feel most comfortable with, and that is likely to be the niche you need to target. It might be people in a specific region or a specific industry. It might be people in a clearly defined age range or stage of life, such as first-time parents.
- Narrow it down further.
The narrower the niche, the better. I know; it sounds like you’re limiting your chances of making a sale, but what you’re doing is making it easier to connect with your target. For example, you choose a niche of first-time parents. There are a lot of problems and needs they might have that you can help them with. But within that niche, there are lots of smaller niches. Parents of twins, parents of daughters, parents of sons, adoptive parents, parents living in a certain area, parents living in high rise buildings and so on. Each of these smaller niches will have issues that are only relevant to them.
When your niche is narrow, you will be better able to create a message that resonates with them. You can tap into their needs and speak directly to them, which means you are much more likely to make a sale.
- What are your strengths?
So, you know it’s a good idea to narrow your niche. How can you choose the right one?
Take a good look at what you have to offer your potential clients. What are you really good at? If you have products and services on offer, which segment of your market would be most likely to need them? Could your products and services be refined to suit a specific segment of your market?
There is no point in reinventing the wheel or in trying to become something you’re not. You have a talent, so use it where it is most needed.
- Craft your message.
Now you know exactly who you are speaking to, tap into their hearts and minds so you understand what they are thinking and feeling. Devote some time to this step because it’s where you will find your payoff. By narrowing your market you should be able to speak in their terms, using the words they would use themselves. This will help you build a bond – a trust relationship – where they know you understand their needs. It might take two or three messages before you start to hit the nail on the head, but you will know when it happens. You will have replies, comments on social media, shares and eventually that will translate into sales.
Establishing a niche is good business sense. You can try to be a Jack / Jill of all trades and meet everyone’s needs, which is unlikely to happen, or you can specialise in a niche area and make a difference. Which one will you try?