Choosing a niche to work in helps you focus your offerings and get found faster by the niche audience. You’re able to laser focus your messaging and target your content which means you are more likely to resonate with them and sell faster or more effectively.
Those businesses that don’t work in a niche likely spread themselves too thin. A bigger audience requires a bigger budget. And choosing a niche now doesn’t mean that you are forever choosing to remain there. It’s just a starting position so you can grow your business and get a handle on your offerings. As your business grows, so will your audience (target market). This occurs a lot in young, small business. You are not alone in starting wide as it’s common to simply not know what you want to focus on or be nervous about limiting your options. However, this is actually a faster way to grow your business!
As an existing business, when you sit down to look at possible niches, you can start by asking yourself (your business) a few key questions:
- Who are my top (key) clients (accounts)?
- What do these clients have in common?
TIP: If you are starting out fresh and don’t have any clients, try asking the following questions instead. What problems can I solve? What are my interests/what am I passionate about? Who do want to do business with?
It’s important here to begin building out a persona or avatar for your ideal customer. Add to the profile as you answer the questions. More around Persona building here [LINK]
Who are your top clients?
A better question may be which are the clients you want more work from. We all have clients that are a joy to work with and those that you’d rather they were a little more this or a little less that. Take closer look at the work you’ve done and how you’ve felt about it.
What type of work was it?
What was the pay?
What % of your annual revenue comes from this type of work?
What do these clients have in common?
Looking at these clients a bit closer will begin to reveal any similarities. It’s these commonalities that you focus on in order to cast a wider net in your marketing.
Find their pain points:
- Listen in on discussions e.g. Facebook or LinkedIn groups, Quora
- Google search and keyword search (uncovers common search terms)
- Literally ask them (if you have any as existing contacts)
TIP: If you’ve found a search term generating low search results but high search volume, this is an opportunity!
Is the niche profitable?
Looking at possible competitors is a good idea here. A lack of offers could indicate an inability to monetize on this offer. Sometimes it’s also an issue of price point. So take what you find with a grain of salt.
Other questions to ask would be if the niche can afford what you want to sell. If your target market is stay-at-home parents then there may be budgetary issues you need to gain more insight around. If your target is Start-Ups, this audience is extremely budget conscience so you may want to look for those that have additional funding support e.g. grants, angel investor, etc.
How do you know your audience will pay for what you’re offering? Get direct feedback about what they’re interested in.
TIP: Building a list for your own distribution allows you to see the impact of any effort you make.
Once you’ve found a possible niche, ask yourself these next questions to try and narrow it down even further:
Is your niche industry specific, role specific, geographically specific?
Would I work with a targeted role or team member?
Does this niche work on a common schedule? E.g. agriculture, education, etc.
The last (some would argue the first) question to ask yourself is, ‘Am I excited to work in this niche?’ This is important because your passion will see you through a lot of hurdles and keep you motivated and interested in the work. Choosing a niche doesn’t mean that you turn away work outside of that scope, but it does mean that you will begin to actively seek out work of that type (with that audience) going forward. This is where your marketing efforts will go. This will guide your messaging for offers and landing pages.
Once you’ve chosen a niche to build your business around you need to look at how to adapt your business so that audience finds you and wants what you’re offering.
Need help with this? Book a call with WindWater Marketing.