Will declaring your niche lose you loads of business?

I had a client express deep concern that if they “claimed” a niche and declared that this was who they worked with, it would cut out a huge proportion of the market completely, narrowing down the chances of finding clients. This surely meant less income and less possibilities as clients just walked right past you. Why the heck would you want to do that?! You could feel the fear at the prospect of niching. It was palpable. This was most definitely not a time to be turning work away, or getting picky. If you’ve just taken the leap-of-faith and left the full-time job to pursue a solopreneur career. Income streams need to be established. Fast! Bills needed paying.

The thing is, no one chooses the generalist. Imagine for a moment you are suffering with an annoying aliment. Let’s say a really persistent sore throat. Now, you have the option of either going to see your local GP or, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Given the choice, which would you be drawn too? Which would have you think:

“They’ll know EXACTLY what’s going on, be able to pin-point the problem immediately, save my time, effort and and a whole load of hassle”The ENT specialist right? The niche practitioner wins.

You are the champion. When you niche to a specific demographic, addressing a tight range of people and problems, you become the champion for this group. Their perception of you will be one of the expert, the specialist. No longer the generalist jack-of-all-trades.

You speak their language and metaphorically, call them by name. You fight their corner and they will love you for it. Being consistent in this buys belief which in turn translates into paying clients. Win!

1. Own it for two months.

“Own” a niche for two whole months.Who is it that most appeals to you right now in this moment? Is it male tech-entrepreneurs, struggling with confidence issues around company expansion? Or, is it female portrait photographers, looking for a portfolio website? Yes. Get that specific. You hear how these sound super-specialist? But don’t panic, think of this as “niche version 1.0.” You are just choosing something for two months, this isn’t set in stone for the rest of your days.

2. Ask five friends.

Contact five friends and colleagues and ask what they are most likely to come to you for help with.You’ll notice a common theme, and it may even surprise you, for example: “I’d come to you when I want objective help with getting clarity on a financial issue “. Use this to focus and inform your niche choice. This is one of the powerful qualities you are naturally putting out into the world and when you own it, it builds peoples trust.

3. Picture this.

Envisage an ideal client for you right now. Take a large piece of paper and write down, 25 things about them and their life.Things you might want to include:

  • What job do they do?
  • Where do they live? Why there?
  • What brands do they love?
  • Where do they shop?
  • Do they cycle?
  • Drive? What car if so?
  • What do they earn?
  • What’s their age?

Doing this will build a personality profile that you can tangibly target. A niche demographic you can point your mouse/networking/phone calls at. Again, don’t get hung up about this needing to be “THE one” Have fun with it! The truth is building a truly authentic brand takes time and experience. Taking steps like these above get you moving and alieviate the “stuckness” of niche-phobia.

3 Responses to “Will declaring your niche lose you loads of business?”

  1. Leila says:

    Nope I am totally Not niche phobic. A useful post though which makes a great argument as to why we all need to be as distinctive and specific as we are in showing more of Who we are – in order for people to make a choice about whether or not they buy our products or services.

    I find it toally liberating to know that there is an audience for whoever we are – boring but skilled in the ways of organisation, querky and skilled in the ways of ‘being, or even a life coach who hates the word coach and ooo life…

    Whatever it is..there’s a way to embrace it and yup market the f*** out of it! ;)

    That said I have also been considering the points of views and judgements I have locked in place that may mean I am actually resisting making lots of money from people that I have identified as somehow different from me! Less points of views about people=more possibilities to be of service as well as make money and thrive. Hmmmm…This is a different discussion though.

    Talkin too much here!

    Lovely post Phil – food for thought!

    Many thanks for sharing,


  2. Great blog post Phil and what a contemporary comparison : )

    Good point actually, you don’t want paracetamol for everything, do ya? The other thing I saw in there: why meddle with it at home for long when you can see the doctor?

    It’s so valuable to guidance in this, especially as a ‘fresher’. Working with you has really got me thinking what my brand is about and how I can develop it.

    Congratulations also on your new Ezine! Neat and crisp, l like it! (especially the 2012 bit ; ) Wish you a lot of response.

    Leila, interesting thoughts – thank you, too : ).


  3. Jan Sagdahl says:

    Great blog post Phil.
    I really love your perspective on this subject.
    Made me think of som people who by-passed me in their career, they were in a hurry. I’ve met some of them grounded and willing to stop and communicate.
    It’s interesting what focus does to us human beings.
    And how do i know if I’ll trust a well trained and well equiped doctor, with diplomas filling the walls?
    It’s when he look me in the eyes and asks -what brings you here?

    I love that you share this Phil.

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