You need to niche down if you want to grow your business.
I know you’ve heard this before. Do you know why it’s important though?
Here’s a mythbuster for you: finding your niche doesn’t limit you. Something that’s come up a lot in brand strategy sessions with my clients is the thought: I don’t want to exclude anyone. At first it seems like broadcasting to a larger audience promises better chances of something clicking, but avoiding direction means your (blurred) message will get stuck as white noise among the masses. If you don’t have a specialty, what will you be known for?
I didn’t grow my business this far by being a Jill-of-all-trades.
Choosing a niche helps you intentionally connect with your ideal clients. It guides you to your strengths and eliminates what isn’t necessary.
Before anything else, you need to accept the following two statements as true:
Choosing a niche doesn’t limit you. It will help you gain traction.
Finding your niche doesn’t mean just choosing an industry. It’s so much more than that.
As a freelancer, service-based business, or blogger in the saturated digital creative market, knowing your niche will help set you apart from the competition. How do you find your niche? It’s about getting clear on what makes you unique and finding the people or businesses that connect with that. It’s a reflective, experimental process and the result is a fluid decision that may shift over time.
When choosing a niche for your business, you need to consider your personal values, your business values, who you love working with, the types of projects you enjoy most, etc.
Where do you begin? Don’t worry! I can help. Here’s a small portion of the reflection exercise my clients and students work through when we develop their brand strategy.
Use the following reflection questions to begin choosing a niche for your services:
What are your core values? Do you want your clients to hold similar ones?
What are your strongest skills? How do your services reflect these?
Who would most benefit from your skills?
What is your brand personality? Why does your ideal client gravitate towards your business?
What size of business do you like to work with? What is their annual profit and how large is their team?
Where is your ideal client geographically located?
What level of involvement do you like to have with clients? Done-for-you from the comfort of your home, or do you like to dive in with their team?
After taking a close look at your business and its services, you need to research your industry in general. Are there any gaps within the market that you have the tools to fill? Can you solve a problem no one else has yet? What are your competitors doing well and where have they missed the mark?
Disclaimer: Looking to competitors is only helpful when done so through an analytical lens. Do not fall into the comparison trap and do not simply copy what they’re doing. You want to find the differences between you and them because this is how you will start to stand out in a saturated industry.
If you’re lost when it comes to determining your niche or identifying what makes your business unique within the market, a good place to start is with your ideal customer. People respond well to questions about themselves and their own needs. When in doubt, just ask! Then listen closely.
Message research is a large component of all businesses, especially when it comes to marketing. It’s also a technique that I teach inside my signature program, Client Attraction Academy. Message research includes interviewing and strategic listening to later use these findings in your marketing messages to attract ideal clients.
If executed well, all this reflection and research will lay the foundation for you to effectively steer your business in the direction of a successful niche.
I mentioned above that a niche is so much more than just the industry of the clients you love to work with. You can niche based on the types of people… what are their personalities like? You can niche on the services you offer and results you provide. And of course, you can choose a specific industry or type of industry.
Working through questions like the ones above on your own will offer clarity for the services you provide and the main mission of your business.
Let’s look at my services as an example: I’ve narrowed my offerings to fall under two umbrellas. The processes and deliverables differ, but the methods and goals remain the same. My 1:1 or done-for-you clients are established businesses ready to refine their brand messaging. I do everything for them in terms of brand strategy, copywriting, content marketing, etc. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I guide micro service-based businesses and freelancers getting started DIYing their brand positioning through digital courses and products. Similarly, they’re ready to refine their big dreams into attainable goals (and the strategy to get there). While different, they’re closely aligned.
As for industry, I typically attract more creative types and leaders: Photographers, designers, speakers, etc. However, I also tend to attract a certain type of personality… People who like to have fun, are relaxed but professional, and want to work with someone who gets them. And finally, I’m known for the quality of my above services. It all comes together to help me position myself strategically within the marketing realm.
Not sure where to start? First examine your skill set. Then consider where you’d like to be in 5 years. Do you want a large business or just something that pays the bills and makes you happy? Do you want to be able to step away from client work or do you love being plugged in? Here’s a few creative niche ideas if you have an online business or want to start soon.
Brand designer for eCommerce shops
Website designer for wellness brands
Content writer for food and agriculture brands
Social media manager for restaurants and food businesses
Website copywriter for creative businesses
Social media manager for yoga brands
Elopement photographer for free-spirited couples
Social media content creator for bloggers
Virtual assistant for wedding photographers
Launch copywriter for creative businesses
You get the idea! There are so many ways you can niche down and position yourself within the market.
I truly hope this helps you. It’s a lot to digest, but this blog post just covers the tip of the iceberg when it comes to positioning your brand in a saturated market. I dive into the nitty gritty details with my brand strategy clients. Need a little guidance to get started? Take the FREE 4 Steps to Profit course to learn how to sell the true value of your services to your dream clients. ENROLL HERE!
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