The word ‘niche’ has taught me that jargon doesn’t have to look like a multi-hyphenated keyboard smash. In fact, it can be as simple as five letters and one syllable, and still cause just as much confusion.
But the concept is useful.
When people ask about your #niche, they’re asking about your area of focus. What area of the market do you serve? The trouble with the word ‘niche’ is that it sounds suffocating. It sounds like you’re cramming yourself into the little limiting corner of your hometown, when you could be out there serving the whole world.
It’s the reason that many people resist choosing a niche – because they don’t want to play small. But what if I told you that occupying a niche actually does the complete opposite – it helps you grow big.
How does that work?
Having a niche can help your business to grow many times larger than if you choose not to target a specific market. Why?
Because you become THE specialist in that area. Consider this – you’re looking to improve your gut health and you’ve come across two business owners. One person identifies themselves as a nutritionist for all-round good health, while the second identifies themselves as a gut health nutritionist. Who are you going to pick?
The gut health nutritionist wins every time because they have positioned themselves as the expert in that area of health. They have niched down to specifically work with those people going through gut health issues and it works hugely in their favour as they grow their business. In contrast, the general nutritionist may have good gut health knowledge too, but they are not perceived as the go-to.
Yes, it means that the gut health nutritionist will repel certain people. If you’re looking for thyroid support, you’re unlikely to choose them, but this is absolutely fine. The overall effect of niching is much more positive than negative.
The more specific your niche, the better and the more impactful your copywriting too.
You can’t be a business for everyone. If you are trying to cover multiple markets, your copywriting will be general, high-level and lack the detail you need to create powerful emotional connections with your ideal clients. That’s the reason I don’t recommend more than two types of ideal clients. Because you cannot craft effective copywriting that connects with everyone.
When you have a niche, crafting your messaging is simpler because rather than trying to create impact across your breadth of expertise, you’re focusing on a particular area (like gut health) and improving your engagement and position as an expert through depth of knowledge and understanding instead.
Moreover, your SEO keyword density will also be much stronger because you can include many variations of a key word or phrase and rank higher than if you drop a few different keywords to capture a greater area of expertise. Greater density = better SEO = higher ranking.
So now you know why a business niche is a good idea, how do you identify the best niche for your business?
These are 3 questions to ask yourself, when you’re considering your target market and where you want to focus your business:
1. What’s their demographic?
Perhaps you want to niche your business according to a particular age group, for example, skincare support for those over 40, or fitness for teenagers. Or perhaps you want to serve a certain community of people, or even those who are at a particular stage of their business e.g. brand new start-ups or high-net worth individuals.
There are lots of ways you can go with this, so if you think your niche might be based on demographic, it’s worth making a list of all the possible ways you could go and then choosing one that you feel most strongly aligns with you and your business.
2. What’s their life stage?
This one can be closely related to demographic, but it is a much more emotional, rather than data-driven way of considering your niche. Could your target market be retired, going through perimenopause or puberty. Other ideas that are less attached to age include periods of illness, getting married/ divorced or feeling flat and burnt out after years in an unforgiving corporate role.
3. What are their motivations?
How can your business help other people? All potential clients have a problem and they are looking for someone to help them solve it. Think about how your products and services help people and then work backwards to understand the group of people who have those same motivations. For example, if you have a coaching service that helps people to manage their anxiety better, then your market is people who are motivated to take control of their anxiety so they can get their life back on track. This is still a huge market, so within this you might be interested in working with a certain demographic. Perhaps it’s working mothers or the BIPOC community.
Make sure that when you pick your niche, you’re happy with your choice and the thought of working with your potential clients really lights you up. Having a niche can transform your business but only if you’re excited to work with them too.