The chances are, if you've clicked through to this post, then you already know what a 'niche' is, in business terms. However, just in case you're unsure, here's the low-down...
Your 'niche' is the term that is commonly used to describe the specific area of expertise that your business focuses on. You'll have a general business category - such as photography or coaching, but the savvy business owner knows that in order to appeal to more people, they (perhaps counter-intuitively) need to get MORE specific on what they do and who they serve.
So a photographer might decide to focus on weddings and a coach, on relationships.
Simple enough right?
You see, when you're just getting started with your business, you need to find ways to stand out and to increase your visibility. It is therefore even MORE important that your focus is as SPECIFIC as possible. As you start to build your brand and your following, you'll find it easier to generalise a bit more (just a bit mind you!) but for now, you need to get SUPER FOCUSED on who you're here to serve and how.
So let's check back in with our wedding photographer and relationship coach. How might they stand out more - or 'niche down' as it's commonly (and rather yukkily, in my opinion!) referred to?
Perhaps our photographer particularly loves shooting outdoors. They could therefore focus on couples who are getting married outside and who want more 'natural' looking shots....
Our relationship coach might really excel when it comes to parent-child relationships and so they just focus on this for now....
All making sense? Excellent!
So How On Earth Do I Find MY Niche?
Simple! Just remember these four letters - PASP.
Catchy right? 😉
No, I'm not losing it. Here's what they stand for....
Building a business takes work. A lot of it. So rule number one is, you better make sure that you're doing something you love!
This is SO important. If you don't love what you do, you won't have the passion and determination to see it through the rough patches and bad days.
Your customers will see it a mile off and your sales and brand will suffer.
Plus, why on earth would you want to create a business doing something you're not passionate about?? You may as will stick to corporate...
Time to be really honest with yourself here. You may have something that you're super passionate about, but do you have the ability or expertise to actually make money from it?
Now, I say be honest - but don't do yourself down! No false modesty here!
I'm not talking about the types of business skills that you can learn and pick up along the way, I'm talking about those specific to your business area. You may adore photography but if you have no skill in it then it probably won't make a great business...
Think - do people often ask for your help in this area or seek out your advice? If so, then you're probably good to go!
Try saying that three times quickly... 😉
So, this goes back to what I mentioned earlier on. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to attract your ideal clients (and to know who they are in the first place).
Your instinct will tell you to go broad - to try to appeal to everyone. You need to fight that instinct! There is no faster path to appealing to no one at all. Let's take our wedding photographer as an example....
Had she set up her business with the aim of appealing to all, she would have advertised herself as just a photographer (after all, that way, she might get some portrait or pet work...).
BUT, what happens when a couple come looking for a wedding photographer to shoot their beautiful marriage on the beach?
These people are our photographer's dream clients!
But all they can see, is that she's a photographer. She hasn't mentioned her passion for weddings or her skill for outdoor shooting....
So her ideal couple move on to someone else....
Pretty sad stuff right?? Don't let that happen to you!
The fourth and final consideration when you're choosing your niche is will it make money? This is a business we're talking about after all!
Do some research. Find out if there are other similar businesses out there and if they are successful. Find some ideal clients and ask if your idea would appeal to them and if they would pay for your product or service.
Better to be disappointed now before you've put in any real work than to find out that your business doesn't have legs, six months down the line!
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