What is your message and who is it for?
Business is hard. It can be hard to start, grow, and maintain your business. This is a complaint or a problem that my clients and mentees often express to me. So as a business coach my goal is to find ways to address these problems to better empower businesswomen and men.
Why will no-one pay for my products or services?
Customers and income are some of the most important factors to your business. Without money coming in you cannot really call yourself a business. It becomes hard to justify spending money on marketing, training, and mentoring if there are no returns on investment.
So what is the solution?
The first step to ensuring that people are finding your business is to look at your niche and the audience you are targeting.
Too often marketers and entrepreneurs are targeting the wrong audience. Worse still, many don’t even know who they should be targeting. They instead opt for a mass marketing and a quantity over quality mentality.
Not only is mass marketing not feasible for small businesses but you will never be able to find that community of people who truly love and resonate with your business.
The importance of a targeted and specific niche
A well thought out and specific niche is critical for your business.
There are multiple benefits to having a targeted niche:
- You can concentrate your energy in one area.
- There is an opportunity to become a leader or expert in that one area.
- More potential for committed clients or customers.
If you are creating social media posts in a random manner, then you are negating the effectiveness of social media. When you create social media content with one template, and then change it, people won’t know what to expect from you.
Similarly, if you sell one product targeted at new mothers, then another for men’s health, you run the risk of alienating clients from both areas.
Being specific is good. You want people to look at your brand, or landing page, and know what they will get. You want to create expectation from potential customers and then follow through with that. Make a promise and then fulfill it.
If you would like to know more about the importance of having a niche for your business, I have written another article that goes over the basics.
How can I find my niche?
Look for where there is demand.
Demand and targeting demand can be a fine balancing act. We are told to always go against the grain, because surely that’s where we can find our niche. We are told that markets are always flooded with the same products. Yet you don’t won’t to target a niche where there is nobody. Sometimes a market truly doesn’t exist for a product, or maybe you are decades too soon or late.
Therefore, it’s always good to see what is in demand and what is popular. However, look at if these things align with your own personality and skills. See if there is a way you can do a unique spin on something within this sphere.
That is, in essence, what a niche is. Finding a group of people who share similar traits and personalities, but targeting an even more specific section of that same community.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine if your idea is unique or unpopular. There isn’t anything wrong with demand, because you are quite likely to find a niche for you there.
Listen more, talk less.
You need to look for people who you think need your product. However, once you have found a potential group don’t simply push your products on them. You still have a lot of work to do.
Listen to them. Ask the right questions. Try and actually understand what it is that they need. What is their problem and can you truly solve it? There is no use spending time and money on social media content if you are unsure if people will interact with it or if they need it.
Being the unicorn within your niche
While unicorns do not exist in our reality, it never stopped both heroes from history as well as fiction trying to find these magical creatures. You need to become the magic unicorn of your niche. That super special person with nearly impossible powers, who others seek out for help.
There are three “what’s” that you need to look out for when trying to define your niche.
What is already being offered? What does my audience want? and What can I do?
As mentioned before, don’t be afraid to look around at what others are doing in your industry. Have a look at what people consider to be the “normal” service offered. Who are the experts and what do they provide?
Then look at what your audience wants. What do the people you want to attract actually need? How do we find this out? You can join discussions on social media, chatrooms like Reddit, or forum sites like Quora. These all give a good indication as to what questions people are asking and what their problems are.
Lastly, what do you do and what services do you offer? What is the thing you are most passionate as well as skilled in?
There is a sweet spot where all these three factors align. That’s why it’s possible for every marketer to have a slightly different niche based on both the demands of the market as well as their own personal skills.
One final phrase that fits in this general discussion is; “niche-ing down”.
What does this mean?
A big issue when it comes to entrepreneurs is their brand is often too general. Maybe they want to appeal to a mass market. Or maybe they are too afraid to position themselves as an expert in one field only.
However, not having a specific and targeted niche can hurt your brand and therefore your business.
My advice is to specify or “niche-down” your brand at least three times.
If you are operating in the fitness industry, ask yourself; who is your avatar or ideal client?
You may say; “I want to target only women, in the fitness industry.” This cuts your audience in around about half. But we’re not done, we still have to cut our audience down two more times. The next level you might be specifically targeting, is “mothers”. Again, we have moved from something large and general, to a smaller subgroup. And this time, the mothers subgroup gives us some information about potential habits, problems, and lifestyle. We need to do this one more time, let’s say now you’re only interested in “mothers with older children”. This might indicate a certain level of freedom in both time and money; since maybe their children have moved out already.
Just like that we have gone from a potential market of tens of millions to maybe thousands or tens of thousands. This is still more than enough to sustain your business. But the niche is now small enough you can create targeted marketing and services to address the specific niche of your audience. It’s much easier to find your ideal customer or avatar.
Being a leader in your niche
As you continue to define and work within your niche you have the opportunity to become a leader in that specific field. This is vital for your brand and for establishing trust.
People are more likely to buy your coaching and training services if you can show results. If you can prove to your potential customers that working with you, they will achieve what they want to be.
Similarly, if you sell products, you also need to ask what problem your product is solving? Will people be who or what they want to be, by using your products? Can you show results to prove you are a leader and that your brand can be trusted?
Here are some ways you can grow to be a leader within your niche:
- Learn from experts who are already present in your field.
- Participate in discussion with your niche’s community.
- Identify skills and qualities that are valued in this niche and develop them.
- Create content that gives a unique opinion and shows expert knowledge.
- Use your own personal journey as proof of what you have learned.
If you are feeling sick, you go to a general doctor. They might prescribe you with some medicine and tell you how to look after yourself better. However, what if you have a problem that a general doctor cannot solve? Something that requires specific training or detail? That’s when you go to a specialist doctor. Be it an ophthalmologist, endodontist, or other, they all have the additional training and industry based experience to solve our detailed issues. That’s also why they charge a much higher price. However we are willing to put both our money and trust in their hands because we are lead to believe they will have the solutions and the answers.
Let’s take this same analogy and apply it to our business;
- We need to choose a niche, or area of expertise.
- We need to become the best, or a leader in that niche.
- This proven leadership makes it easier for us to build trust with potential customers.
- More trust leads to more engagement; appointments, free-trials, interactions, or visits to website.
- More engagement, and with the right people, give us the opportunity for more purchases and therefore sales.
So, if you are finding that your sales just aren’t hitting with your market. Take a step back. Have you defined your niche well enough? Is it something people want? Is it specific or general? Are you building trust with your customers?
Answer these questions and you will find solutions to your business problems and solidify your brand.
Are you ready to become the expert in your niche?
Dr Raja Yasmin is the founder of the EQBIZ Academy. She has both real life experience running businesses as well as 20 years of teaching experience. Now Dr Raja Yasmin is ready to help women become empowered through business. If you would like to receive a free marketing resource for your business, sign up here.