• Claire Shelley

Does niching make you feel uncomfortable?

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Image by Sharon Mccutcheon, Unsplash

Does niching make you feel uncomfortable? You are not alone.

In the early days as a start-up, you want to spread the word far and wide about what you do and start to build your business. You want to attract as many potential clients as possible and the temptation is to try and appeal to everyone.

You will see lots of advice online from business coaches and marketing experts about the importance of choosing a niche, initially it might not feel like the right thing to do.

You might worry that by focusing on a particular service, product or industry it could pigeonhole you to working in just one area, put off potential clients from outside your niche or limit your pool of prospective clients and ultimately the growth of your business.

I understand why you feel this way because I've gone through it too. When I first set out I wanted to keep all of my options open and attract as much business as I could, I certainly didn't want to put people off!

So what are the benefits of having a niche?

If people think that you help everyone then they will think you can't possibly understand their specific problem as you are too general.

Having a niche is about identifying the needs of a particular group of people, so that you can provide a product or a service that will help them.

Having a niche means that you're an expert in your area. When you focus on one service or product, you are able to offer in-depth knowledge and experience around that specialism, which wouldn’t be possible in a business with a wider focus.

Your aim is to become the go-to person for that solution.

Having a niche will make it easier for potential clients to find you, as your business will be built around keywords that relate to the specialist activity which they need help with. Search engines use keywords to find relevant material, so when more keywords appear on a website, it gives it a better chance to be found.

How having a niche helps with marketing your business

When you are very focused on an area, it ensures that when you come to developing your marketing strategy that it meets the needs of your customers.

In addition, when you are being specific about who you are talking to (your ideal client), writing copy for your website and other online content becomes easier. You can write in a way that truly resonates with your audience.

In a saturated online world it pays to know your audience, you know what they are struggling with and your service or product offers them the solution they have been looking for. Your words will cut through the noise because you are speaking directly to them.

It will also be easier to identify where to find your prospects as you will have a focused area or industry in which to search.

Narrow your focus

When I set up my business I didn’t specialise, because I was worried about not getting any clients, I didn’t want to cut down my options. But it soon became clear that people were searching me out because of my background and experience within learning and development.

So instead of my ideal client being any small business owner, I focused my efforts on only working with training facilitators and course creators, offering a tailored digital marketing service for webinars, workshops and training programmes.

Since then I’ve niched even further. I know that I like to work with organised people and the stage of their business is also important because it determines the type of service I will need to provide.

Having a niche allows you to build a targeted audience. Talking directly to your prospects on social media and solving their problems, will lead to working with your ideal clients and doing the work that lights you up! Instead of accepting any work that comes along just because you can do it.

It's okay that some visitors will be put off, not everyone is a good fit, so being upfront about who you'd like to work with saves you time.

Here's another advantage!

Having a niche can reduce the number of competitors you have. e.g. there are thousands of training professionals, but less who will specialise in communication skills and even fewer who specialise in communication skills for tutors within the education sector.

By having a niche, your clients will love that you have a good understanding of what is going on in their industry. All of your clients are likely to face similar problems, which means you will be able to quickly and easily provide solutions, as you will have seen them before. You may even be able to foresee potential solutions before your client realises they need them.

Your niche might not be clear right away, but with more experience and insight, you can become specific about the service or product which you provide. In my experience, your niche is likely to develop and become more refined with time.

Be good at one thing, not average at everything.

I would love to know your thoughts on this; hello@claireshelley.co.uk

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