Solo-business owners seem to have such a struggle around the whole idea of niche marketing. Of all the concepts I teach my clients, this is the one that is the most challenging for people. In theory, people get it, but in practice, it tends to throw them into full on fear-based reaction.
What exactly is niche marketing and what does this term mean?
It’s about developing products or services that are directly fulfilling the needs and wants of a specific and narrow group.
Marketing experts say that the narrower the niche, the stronger your business will be, as long as you choose a niche that is accurate and reflects an authentic need.
I find that women, especially, have a resistance to this approach. Some of the deeper issues that emerge for people include:
• Wanting to help everyone and not wanting to leave anyone out.
• Thinking that by choosing to build their business on a narrow niche, they will make less money.
• Wanting to focus on their service and products instead of smart business strategies.
• Fear of their own empowerment and success.
• Discomfort with making a lot of money.
Many of the issues above are actually thinking errors. Thinking errors are viewpoints based on inaccurate factual data.
The idea that you will leave people out by focusing on a niche is actually incorrect and in fact it is the opposite.
I know someone who offers fitness training for women age 50-80, who are either disabled or recovering from an accident or surgery. This is an excellent niche because woman in that category have special needs and want to work with someone they trust will understand their exact situation. They have many emotional concerns that accompany their desire for physical help, and they will be less likely to hire someone who seems like a generalist or works with everyone. They don’t want to end up in a class with young fit people or men.
If this entrepreneur refused to name her specialty and her focus, not only would she not attract the specific women she wants to work with, but she would be unlikely to attract any other group as well. Men are looking for someone who specializes in men; young athletes are looking for someone who helps young people who are athletic and so on. Without focusing on her niche and naming it, not only would she not attract her niche but she also wouldn’t attract anyone else. Her business would limp along rather than flourish.
Many new small business owners also sabotage their success by stubbornly refusing to focus. There is a fear of success and it feels safer to stay small. Owning a small business is like taking a full time personal growth workshop. You have to keep peeling off the onionskins and look at the deeper issues that might be holding you back.
Niche marketing is essential because:
1. It is much more profitable to market to a narrower group. It is all about fully understanding the needs and wants of this group and then providing a multitude of products and services to offer value to them and keep them in your pipeline.
2. You will get way more referrals because people will know exactly what your specialty is and who to send to you.
3. Your clients will easily be able to tell their friends about you and refer people to work with you. It will make it easy for them to rave about you being a specialist.
4. You will have a much easier time establishing strategic partners as they will know exactly who to send your way. They will trust your expertise and also see you as the company to connect with around this niche group.
5. People will see you as the expert in your area. People would always prefer to work with an expert so you will more likely get asked to speak to groups, write articles and be a presenter at conferences or trade seminars in your area.
Last year I met a woman who built a multi-million dollar business developing t-shirts and tops for menopausal women. The fabric allowed perspiration to evaporate quickly so it was perfect for women who had night sweats and hot flashes. She was a savvy entrepreneur. If she worried about focusing on a niche, she may have provided a whole clothing line for all age women and men and watered down her message. Instead she stuck with this one product line and her business grew through the roof. Her customers loved that someone had created a business to specifically help them. They felt understood.
Many years ago I also faced all the above fears. I was afraid to name my niche. It was illogical based on all I knew, so I had to look deeper. My niche is solo-business owners who offer excellent services to help people, are highly skilled in their profession and also need to be an expert at running their business. I was resistant for all the reasons above. I didn’t want to leave out retail, or people with employees, executives etc. It’s crazy because those people still call me, but when I finally named my niche, my business began to steadily grow. Yours will too.