The greatest fear businesses have about choosing a niche is a fear that they’ll narrow their market too much and have less business. Actually, the opposite is true. Businesses with a focused market niche get more business with less effort because their marketing speaks in real terms to real people.
As long as the niche you choose is large enough to support your business, you’ll make a much more convincing case for your services, and with much less effort and marketing expense. The more your target market will recognize the benefits you offer, and the more ideal, qualified business you’ll attract.
When you target unfocused groups like “retirees,” “women,” or “business owners,” you’ll never be able to fully get your mind (or your pocketbook) around a convincing marketing message. When you handle all clients, you never develop excellence in any particular area.
Moreover, in the increasingly commoditized marketplace, it’s harder to get noticed and taken seriously when you market yourself as a generalist. As a generalist, you’ll have to work hard to stand out from the crowd.
Determine your niche by exploring subsections of a broader category. A “retiree” niche can break down into something more specific such as: “retired business owners,” “retired widows,” “retirees who live abroad,” or “gay and lesbian retirees.”
When you break down a broad category into subsections, and choose an area where you can focus, you can…
--Deliver better products and services as you accumulate niche expertise
--Develop a special reputation within the group, and within that group’s referral network (niche clients always know/affiliate with others like themselves)
--Immerse yourself in your niche members' world. You can read what they read, join groups they belong to, to not only deepen your understanding of your niche but to become an insider and trusted advisor.
--Cultivate symbiotic relationships with related professionals. As a niche advisor, you can target and network with other businesses that can add value to your clients and customers and become valuable strategic partners and referral sources.
--You’ll get Slightly Famous. Niche marketing sets the stage to secure a dedicated following among members of your niche that leads to word of mouth and referrals.
Will declaring a niche mean you’ll turn away business? Sure. But it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. The business you DO attract will fit your predetermined success criteria.