Why choose a niche?
To understand the impact your niche can have on your business, it’s helpful to think of a dartboard. The bullseye in the centre is your ideal customer: that person or organisation whose needs perfectly align with your skills and strengths. Your ideal outcome is to hit that demographic right in the centre.
Beyond that perfect score, there’s also a range of good outcomes where some aspect of your skillset matches with some aspect of your customer’s needs. These are the other rings on the dartboard. Hit one of these, and you’re happy – and the closer you get to the bullseye, the happier you are. But you’re always aiming at that bullseye. If you stand just anywhere and throw darts at random without even looking at the board, how are you even going to score?
Far from limiting your possibilities, choosing the right niche actually increases your impact. Lots of businesses claim to offer “general consulting services” that can tackle any issue. But when someone sets out to hire a consultant, they already have a problem in mind. What they’re looking for is that one specific expert who can solve their problem better than anyone else in the world. And they’re willing to pay for that expertise.
Knowing your niche also helps you build a much more personalised customer experience. Your website, FAQs and automated chat will be far more effective if they’re targeted towards one particular topic.
When it comes to marketing, clear and specific messaging helps you create compelling digital assets and targeted advertising to level up your lead generation efforts. You can only create that compelling message once you’ve defined your niche.
Setting your target
When you set out to define your niche, the first step is to look at what you already do well. Ask yourself:
- Which customers do I provide the most value to in my day-to-day working life? Which do I most enjoy working with?
- What are their chief characteristics? What areas do they work in, and what kind of issue do they usually have?
- What outcome can I confidently deliver to these customers?
Once you’ve worked through these questions, you’ll want to run two lead generation campaigns. One will validate your assumptions about what your niche is, and the other will target your outcome to the niche you’ve identified. You can do this yourself using our lead generation planning templates, which supply all the information you need. If you’re short on time, our products can also help you out.
But what if…?
When you start on a process like this, it’s normal for obstacles to arise. Let’s have a look at the three main ones.
But all my customers are unique! I can’t easily describe them.
When you have a very diverse customer base, it can be hard to see what your best clients have in common. But it’s highly likely that there are underlying similarities that will help you to zero in on your niche.
If the usual demographic factors – sector, size, location – aren't useful, you may have to think laterally. Focus on the problems these clients face, or the type of services they offer: services, manufacturing, tangible products or something else. It’s also helpful to look at how you relate to them. How did you position yourself when they reached out for help? What skills of yours did they particularly appreciate?
Don’t worry too much about the precise details. After all, your niche isn’t the only thing you can do – it's just the bullseye on your dartboard.
But I tried to identify my niche once already. It didn’t work.
Niching is an art as much as a science, and it often requires a few attempts to get right. Here at LexisClick, we spent more than three years testing and refining our niche. Finally, things started to fall into place. And now we run a workshop that helps our customers find their own niche in under three hours (or your money back!).
If your previous attempts haven’t worked out, it’s likely you didn’t properly test your niche in the market. This means you couldn’t validate or disprove your assumptions. This feels like a failure, but it’s just an unfinished process. The key is to keep going and complete all the stages.
But the market is so crowded. I don’t see how there can be a niche for me.
If you’re working in a crowded market, that’s an even stronger reason to find your niche. This will set your business apart from the rest, giving you a competitive advantage.
Overwhelmed? Don’t think of your niche as a whole demographic of customers you have to win over. Think of it as a group of people who are just trying to get a specific outcome. Finding a niche means you can provide better service to a smaller constituency. Once you’ve perfected that process, then you can scale your business outwards to widen your target market.
What to do next
Our lead gen planning templates help you define, test and refine your niche yourself. You can also book a place on a free group lead gen strategy call and get some personal advice from our own consultants. If you’re looking for hands-on help, our paid solutions are an effective way to discover and test your niche.
Choosing a niche helps you serve customers better, and adds value back into your business. It’s no easy feat – many people give up after a few tries. But with the right guidance, you can power through and find that bullseye.