If you’ve followed me for a while, you will definitely have heard me talk about the importance of niching. Online entrepreneurs have a huge advantage over offline ones, in that they have a enormous market of over 3 BILLION people they can attract as clients. But, as you probably know from personal experience, we are now also suffering information overload. From Facebook newsfeed, to 24/7 news, to trillions of Google results - we can access almost anything we need to know at the touch of a button. Advertisers know this, and they are all vying for our attention.
Just being a health coach (or a sales consultant, or a yoga teacher, etc) - will not get you clients. The marketplace is too crowded for generic people. You’ve got to position yourself to catch your audience’s attention. We niche to be able to do this.
So firstly - what is a niche? A niche is a way to single out only a small section of the market. We want to focus on a smaller sub-section of all the people out there who could benefit from our services. You want to target your audience right down to a group of people who all have a certain shared experience.
Why is this important? Well, people like to be understood. If you can show that you really understand the person whose newsfeed you are popping up on, they will automatically be attracted to your post. Contrast that with a generic ad that is written to try to please everyone - their eyes will just slide right by. We see so many thousands of ads each day that our brain knows to just ignore the noise. When was the last time you actually remembered the ads you saw in the right hand banner of any website?
When you niche, suddenly your marketing becomes powerful. You get noticed. People see your work. You also become known as a go-to person in a certain area or for a certain group of people - like a yoga teacher for new mums, or a health coach for athletes.
How Niched Should You Go?
For 99% of cases I hear, I’d say: "further than you already are"! “Women aged 20-40" is NOT a niche! 😉
The reason we niche is so we can get into the heads of our audience. You want to know how they think and feel. When your niche is too wide, this is just impossible as there are too many interests and different experiences at play.
Think about the difference between a 20 year old single mother living in the inner city, working 2 jobs and struggling with paying her bills. Then, imagine a 40 year old woman, married but child free, no need for a job as her husband is an executive. When she’s not in their 5 bedroom house outside London, she’s flying to meet him after his business trips across the globe. Both women fall into the “20-40 year old women” bracket - but both have such vastly different life experience, time management requirements, financial constraints and lifestyle expectations. No matter the service you offered them, it would have to be so different in the way it was designed and delivered to appeal to each.
Instead of focusing on basic demographics, like age, gender or location, you need to create a group of people with a shared experience: for example, people who have gone through divorce; people who have experienced a certain health problem; or people who want to learn a skill for a certain, shared, reason.
They should all be similar enough in shared experience that you can understand what's in their minds. If you send a blast email to your list, every person should feel it was written directly to them. When you hit that sweet spot, you’ve found your niche.
An ideal niche to choose is people like you either are now, or have been in the past. Go back through your life over the last 10 years or so. When have your struggled with something? Who were you at that time?
- Maybe you were a student struggling to focus when studying
- Maybe you put on weight when you started your first graduate job
- Maybe you were struggling with your first child’s behaviour
- Maybe you experienced a significant health shock
All of these life experiences can help you focus your niche. When you have lived through what your clients are struggling with, you are able to understand their situation much better, and you will be able to capture their attention and show them that you understand much more easily.
If you’re worried about your own ability level - choose a niche who are a few steps behind you in their knowledge of your business area. For example, if you have consistently made $X through your business, you could help people start a similar business, or grow their existing business to $X.
If you are struggling with finding a solid business idea and a tight niche, you may like my programme Find Your Freedom Business Idea. Over 6 modules, I explain how you can create an online information or service based business idea using your existing skills, talents or life experience, and how you can structure your business model to earn at least $5,000 a month consistently through your online Freedom business.