If you’ve been around the online business space for more than 2 seconds, you’ve probably seen every business coach and their marketing consultant telling you, “YOU NEED A NICHE!!!”
Sometimes this is described as a target market, target audience, ideal client, soulmate client, dream client, ideal client avatar.. and probably 50 more I am not thinking of.
So you might be wondering “what the heck is a niche and why do I need one?!”
So a niche/target audience/ICA/etc is the idea of narrowing your focus to help one type of person with one type of problem. Your niche could be stay-at-home-moms with 3 kids who need help losing the last 10 pounds, or cupcake bakers looking for additional streams of income, or people who play video games to post on YouTube (p.s. my kids are obsessed with these channels) who want to go on tour….
You get it. A narrow group. A specific problem. (and more specifically, a problem they are willing to pay to fix! Very important!)
The next step is that you need to have a really amazing solution for their problem. You have the strategy to help that mom lose those last 10 pounds while her kids are eating mac & cheese in front of her. Or a very cool new product the bakery can sell. Or a step-by-step guide for youtube stars to plan and execute a successful tour.
Don’t let the semi-silly examples make you think this isn’t important because in this huge thing called the internet, you absolutely have to get attention to be successful.
So while I know you think you can help everyone with your product or service – you have to narrow down. In all the shouting online, you have to stand out to the people who read what you put out there and feel like you are talking to THEM.
And they only feel that if you are not also trying to talk to everyone else by being super vague and generic.
To recap. Niche = be really specific. Why = to actually reach people in the crowded and noisy party that is the internet.
And now you might be thinking “there’s NO way I can narrow it down!”
I was SO with you. My brain panicked at the thought of leaving some people out. Here’s what I learned: when you have a narrow focus, you actually reach MORE people.
It’s so counterintuitive, but it happened to me and it happens to all of my clients. The more specific they get, the more clients they get. If you were THE person in the world helping zookeepers build profitable YouTube channels, you’d probably get the business of all the zookeepers who wanted to pay someone to help them build a YouTube channel.
It makes you look like you actually know what you’re talking about. And it speaks to that target audience in a way that makes them know you are the only one for them.
Example: When I narrowed my niche, I picked moms with service-based online businesses. News flash: many of my clients have NO kids and don’t even have kids anywhere near their radar. Some of my clients sell products instead of services. That’s ok. I don’t discriminate. But before I had that niche, I barely had any clients.
Here is how I suggest choosing your niche:
- Give yourself a deadline to make a decision. I gave myself a week.
- Then, chill out about making a choice and explore ALL the potentials. Write down a giant list of all your ideas of groups you might want to work with and what problems you could solve for them that they are motivated to pay to solve.
- Take a look at your list and brainstorm where you would find these people, what you would offer them, and all the details of what this business and marketing strategy would really look like.
- Pick one.
There are a ton of ways to do it out there – this is what I used. I picked moms with online businesses because I knew they would be so easy to find and so easy to talk to. I could easily get into their head to know what they wanted and needed.
Just because I am my niche doesn’t mean you have to be – doing a little market research will give you GREAT insight. Even though I’m in my own niche, I still did market research to find out what my ideal client was looking for, struggling with, etc. and exactly what words they used to describe all of it.