The Value of Having a Clear Niche

A topic that comes up a lot in the entrepreneurial and small-business space has to do with having a niche. It can be a struggle for business owners to decide what niche to market to, no matter what type of work you love to do.

Many ask: "How do I decide what niche to do if I have multiple interests and can’t figure out which one, if any, has the right clients that would be able to afford me?"

And that's the struggle, right? Us entrepreneurs have so many ideas, so many passions, so many interests and skills and things we want to try. But if our goal is to have a business (and not just an expensive hobby) then we need to get really clear on who are audience is and who we truly enjoy working with.

Here’s the thing about niches… they don’t exclude people, they just help you get super clear on your messaging and attract more of the right people. The ones you enjoy partnering with and who value your expertise, skills, and ideas. Having a specific niche lets you talk directly to those people in your marketing content, helps you narrow down the language you use on your website, and gives clear focus to the trajectory of your business. So powerful!

And working with clients within your specific niche will always result in you doing your BEST, KNOCK-OUT work.

So don’t be scared to niche down. Be empowered!

The value of having a clear niche in your business and why that isn't limiting you, but actually helping to grow your business.

The best thing you can do for your business is narrow down your customer base and narrow down your offerings. But how does having a niche actually grow your business, and not limit you?

Here's an example I heard recently from author Mike Michalowicz that I just loved!

Let's look at doctors. General practitioners focus on broadening the scope of their services, study the ins and outs of all the diseases, illnesses, and issues people can be diagnosed with, and get as many in their community as possible coming in to their offices. But, let's compare that GP to a heart surgeon. A heart surgeon is not focused on broadening their services, but instead they focus on becoming a specialist of the heart. Many of them even pick a specific type of heart surgery, like bypass or aortic repair or pediatric heart surgery.

Guess who makes the most money and who has the largest client base?

There are people who wait for months to be seen by the world's most elite heart surgeon, right?! If your baby had a heart problem you would go anywhere in the world to find the best doctor because their life is on the line!

So, let's apply that back to us. If we narrow our offering and get a clear niche in our industry we become just like the heart surgeon to the customers who view what we do as a make-or-break decision. The life of their business depends on it! The right people will seek you out! You will become known for specializing in that ONE THING and potential customers and clients will wait for months to work with you, or pay you the rates you're really after. You won't have customers price-checking, or comparing you with another service providers to get the best deal. They'll be tripping over themselves to work with you instead.

Doesn't that sound like the kind of business growth you're after?

Become a specialist and people will seek you out. That is the value of having a clear niche!

The best thing you can do for your business is narrow down your customer base and narrow down your offerings. But how does having a niche actually grow your business, and not limit you?  Here's an example I heard recently from author Mike Michalowicz that I just loved!  Let's look at doctors. General practitioners focus on broadening the scope of their services, study the ins and outs of all the diseases, illnesses, and issues people can be diagnosed with, and get as many in their community as possible coming in to their offices. But, let's compare that GP to a heart surgeon. A heart surgeon is not focused on broadening their services, but instead they focus on becoming a specialist of the heart. Many of them even pick a specific type of heart surgery, like bypass or aortic repair or pediatric heart surgery.  Guess who makes the most money and who has the largest client base?  There are people who wait for months to be seen by the world's most elite heart surgeon, right?! If your baby had a heart problem you would go anywhere in the world to find the best doctor because their life is on the line!  So, let's apply that back to us. If we narrow our offering and get a clear niche in our industry we become just like the heart surgeon to the customers who view what we do as a make-or-break decision. The life of their business depends on it! The right people will seek you out! You will become known for specializing in that ONE THING and potential customers and clients will wait for months to work with you, or pay you the rates you're really after. You won't have customers price-checking, or comparing you with another service providers to get the best deal. They'll be tripping over themselves to work with you instead.  Doesn't that sound like the kind of business growth you're after?  Become a specialist and people will seek you out. That is the value of having a clear niche!

Here's another way you can reconcile your multi-passionate, entrepreneurial brain with having a clear niche. Maybe you're a graphic designer and you love to work with nonfiction authors, health providers, companies that work with animals, and other nonprofits. Those have been your favorite types of projects in the past. On the outside that may look like a very diverse audience, giving you no niche or set dream client to work with. But, if you put all of those types of clients under the umbrella of "mental health" and you use that as your platform, it suddenly becomes clear. You will attract authors looking to write a book about a new type of therapy, or a company that trains service animals and partners them with the right people, nonprofits on a mission to demystify mental health. See how that niche suddenly becomes very clear and the right types of clients will be drawn to you?

You'll become known as the designer that "gets it" in the mental health industry, and for people trying to build websites for those types of businesses, picking you will be a no-brainer. And you'll be able to use the right language on your website to cater to and connect with those people. It takes the guess-work out of Instagram captions and will fill your blog post bank with all sorts of ideas. Powerful, right?!


Your Homework:

Stumped on how to find your niche? First, write down three of your favorite past clients, or three people you know that would be a favorite client if you got to work with them!

Ask yourself: What do they have in common? What do they do for a living? What are their values? How old do they tend to be? What hobbies do they enjoy? Where do they spend their time and money? Search to find their over-arching point of connection. Then create your marketing content and services with them in mind. When you do this, the right people will be drawn to you for the right reasons!

So tell me, what's your niche? How are you working to become the "heart surgeon" of your industry? I'd love to hear from you!