When you are starting out and looking for your first customers or clients you may think casting the net wide and far is the best way to achieve success. Not limiting yourself or your audience can sound great in theory but it could actually be harmful to your marketing strategy and relations with your clients.
Niching down early can help you stay focused, build quicker and enhance your marketing and PR strategies. Read on to understand why.
Choosing a niche early helps shape your business
Before you even start telling people about your business and you, you need to figure out what exactly your business does and part of this is knowing who your business helps, who is your customer?
If you cannot define your customer, choose one. Tailoring your product or service to a niche audience will help you do this.
Think about who you would like to help or the kinds of products you would like to be known for. Do you have any expertise working with specific types of clients, or any extra knowledge creating a certain genre of product? This information can help you find your niche and create a unique space for your business.
Once you have a niche, your branding, marketing strategy and even PR campaigns can be more specific and direct and actually help you reach an audience that may be your future customers and clients.
A niche can set you apart
You will have heard it before: there are no new ideas! Whatever your business does, it is unlikely you will be the first to do it. It is important to set yourself apart from others, having a niche, whether that be a niche customer, a niche brand style, or a niche way of working, can be part of what makes what you do unique and attract customers who want a service or a product they cannot get anywhere else.
It can help you become a thought-leader
It also highlights your capabilities, if you are confident enough to focus on one type of customer, one sector or one style of product, it instils confidence in your customer and clientele too. Say you make beauty products and your niche is that the products are designed specifically to help older women with skin pigmentation. By putting yourself in that niche you can become part of the conversations around health and beauty for your chosen demographic. As you have focused your product you will pick up a lot more information and knowledge about your niche along the way. This means it is likely you have more information to give on the subject compared to other beauty brand founders whose products may be designed for everyone and thus nobody at the same time. Having this niche means you will be seen as having extra knowledge about specific subjects and may be able to pitch stories to journalists, or even pitch yourself as a host to industry specific events. These are both things that are added PR campaigns for your business.
The power of equipping yourself with a niche area of knowledge means that you can present yourself as an expert.
You will be seen as more trustworthy or a ‘safer bet’
There is a strange power in limiting the work you do, or the products you create, especially when it comes to competitiveness. If you are a freelancer who provides a service then sticking to your niche means that you will have case studies and examples that relate more to your clients and eventually a portfolio that potential clients can see themselves and their project in. You will also have testimonials that prove you have worked effectively with similar projects in the past. All of this instils confidence and trust in your potential clientele, and gives you a fighting chance of getting work, compared to freelancers or businesses who may not have as much experience in that niche.
Similarly, for product based businesses working in a niche, doing so aids your USP. If we refer back to the beauty brand, a customer comparing a product that is quite general to one from a brand that serves older women specifically will have more trust in the latter if they are of that demographic.
It helps you keep your messaging consistent
Having a niche means knowing exactly where you operate and who your business is for. This makes marketing strategy, and even PR campaigns, much easier to construct. Because you have already done the hard work of identifying your audience and having prepared for your niche you should be pretty knowledgeable about what makes them tick or inspires them.
This is super helpful for social media too, where having an engaged audience is increasingly more important than having a large one. Knowing exactly who your audience is means that your messaging can be clearer and you are able to demonstrate EXACTLY why your product or service can help them. For those without a niche it can often be difficult to present united communication to their audience, and thus result in lower click through rates and conversions.
How to find your niche
Below are some tips that may help you discover your niche:
- Are there any similarities in projects you have done in the past?
- Is there anyone in particular whose experience you resonate with the most?
- Do you wish to help a specific demographic or person?
- Can you align yourself with a certain industry?
- Would your service or product be improved by being more specialised?
- Do you have any specialised knowledge or interests?