27 Feb 5 Keys To Define Your Niche
This post is the second post in my Personal Brand Series.
#2: Master your craft, DEFINE YOUR NICHE, and let people KNOW what it is.
“Becoming known for one thing is not hard… It is saying NO to all of the other distractions that is the hard part.”
Too many entrepreneurs and small business owners start out believing they can or should be all things to all people. They believe they are “leaving business on the table” when they focus on a target market. However, businesses owners taking on this EVERYTHING attitude risk many issues including burnout, exhaustion, confusion, and failure. By defining a specific niche (a well-defined segment of a larger market), both the business owner and their customers know exactly what to expect.
Because it is difficult to be all things to all people, business owners must craft niches to suit their business needs and resources. Creating your niche will give your business the greatest chance of success, but where do you start?
Simply put—> DEFINE IT.
Here are 5 key ways to get you on the path to defining your niche:
1. DEFINE YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER
Get focused… this is who you are going to work with every day. What type of lifestyle does your target audience live? How old are they? What are they passionate about doing, solving, or being? Rather than choosing a broad category, narrow your target customer down, think about things like gender, geographical location, married or single?, hobbies, employer or occupation, etc. When you define your ideal customer you are also defining the language you use, pinpointing the platforms you use to engage and promote on, and allowing yourself to focus in and learn all you can about that specific demographic.
BONUS: All of these help in strengthening your brand as “THE Go To” in the niche.
2. PICK AN INDUSTRY TO SERVE
Ask yourself a few questions to help you choose:
What industries do you know? What industries do you love? What industries do you have influence in? Is there one industry that is the answer to all three questions? If so, start there! Remember, it is important to have a passion for what you do. As an entrepreneur, you get to choose – so choose wisely. You might know a ton about the wine industry and you may have influence in it, but if you don’t get up every single day with an electric attitude to make, taste, and sell more wine… Well, you get the idea!
3. SPECIALIZE IN A SPECIFIC SERVICE OR PRODUCT
Many small businesses make a big mistake here, and try to offer every type of service or product they can for their market. Remember, the concept is being known for a specialty. For instance, saying “I sell real estate in Seattle” is just too broad. “I sell bungalows (or condos or multi-unit buildings) in the Capitol Hill area” is specific. When you state your specialty, people are able to catalogue it and can refer you business much easier.
4. LOOK FOR AN IGNORED OR FORGOTTEN AUDIENCE
There are always groups of people who have specific conditions or needs that automatically make it difficult to find service providers. Maybe a “generalization” has caused your competitors to label a specific generation “not interesting yet”… When this group of people find out THEY are your specialty, you will have secured clients for life. If you market well and provide them a platform to share the story of your business, they will also help you build your business with referrals.
5. BE IN THE KNOW
There are many ways to find out trends in your niche of choice. Get rolling with these:
- Google or Bing IT! If you want to start selling personal training services, do a quick online search to find out how many others are in this space, in your area. This quick snapshot will teach you a lot about the industry you are interested in, how others are marketing themselves, and possibly even show a gap in the space.
- Set up a RSS Feed to keep up on top industry blogs and bloggers.
- Work the hashtag searches… and LISTEN on social media platforms! Over a billion people are on Facebook alone, so social can no longer be ignored. It provides insight into what your target demographics wants and loves – for FREE. Join a G+ Community or LinkedIn Group… set up listening lists on Twitter… If your business matches the Instagram platform/demographic – make sure you are searching for top hashtags around your niche – and use them!
Last, but not least:
FORMULATE YOUR NICHE STATEMENT
(ooohhhh… you know how I love formulas!)
In a nutshell, a niche statement formula looks like this: niche + problem + solution + sizzle = success.
Start by writing down these four elements:
1: Your niche (I work with _ _ _ _ _ _ _ )
2: Their problem (who want/need to _ _ _ _ _ _ _)
3: Your solution (If you are ready to or it is time to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ )
4: Your sizzle – how you want people to feel before, during, and after they work with you.
Here is an example:
“I work with entrepreneurs and small businesses who want to leverage social media to achieve their goals; (niche) those who know they need a strategy and have no idea where to begin (problem). If you are looking to build your business, find a new job, or build your sphere of influence (solution), I can help you clarify your story, define what social media platforms would be best for you to share it on, identify your target niche, and achieve your goals (promise).”
Are you ready to set your business up for success?
Work through these 5 keys, they will help you get clarity.
Create your niche statement with the formula to help you share your unique selling position.
Go out boldly, get your target niche’s attention, and ROCK your vision!
What will YOU do first?
Next up in the series: Know your competitors, so you can define your differentiators and tout them.
This post is part of the d11 Personal Branding Blog Series… Several of the tips get a “deep dive”! If you haven’t read #1 on Pursuing Your Purpose, check it out here.
Why a personal branding series? Simply put, I believe embracing, building, and sharing your personal brand and story is important for everyone to consider. It assists in business when you are an entrepreneur looking to expand your business, an intrapreneur seeking a promotion or new role, or out there looking for your next big opportunity! It also comes into play when you are looking for love, have a desire to expand your connections, and even when you want to volunteer. New clients, potential employers, non-profits, and future spouses are looking you up and down – on the internet. They want to learn more about YOU… who you are, what you love, how you spend time, etc. What is your online storytelling other about you?
It is my heart’s desire that this series helps create clarity along your personal branding journey.