Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, chances are you’ve heard about needing to find your niche. In general, most business owners and marketing teams know a bit about their ideal audience, and often their ideal customer. The problem is, if it’s your ideal customer, it may also be someone else’s ideal customer. The more competition there is, the more a very specific niche will help set you and your business / offer apart.
If we’ve hung out before, you know that I like to break big tasks into smaller steps, and we’re about to do that with defining your niche. Before we get there, though, let’s get very clear on what we’re trying to define here.
What is a niche market? It’s a very (!!) specific subset of an audience that can gain the most benefit from your product or service. Niche marketing can feel counter-intuitive as an influencer because it’s about attracting fewer people; when you’re measuring yourself by followers and likes, this can feel like a scary detour. Remember, though, a handful of loyal, primed, focused customers is much more valuable than thousands of followers who may not want or need what you’re offering.
When you “niche down” or focus on your unique, ideal audience, you put yourself in a better position to serve their needs, which will naturally lead to a better client experience and more satisfied customers. If you’re trying to be all things to all people, you may reach people outside your area of expertise, and you won’t be able to serve them as well.
So how do you find and define your niche? Here are 4 easy steps.
1 – Think about your ideal client. Really think – how old is she? Is she an employee or a business owner? Works from home, in an office, unemployed? Stay-at-home parent, or employed and juggling home schooling? Just starting out? Likes to travel? Drinks coffee or tea? Under- or over-weight? Bored with life or looking for something more? Single, cares or doesn’t care, coupled? Wants to write a novel? Lives in a shoe?
Think of as many specifics as you can and jot them down. A little side note here – often, our offerings are based on our own experiences and what we’ve learned and want to share with others. Don’t be surprised if you have a lot in common with your ideal client.
2 – What is the problem you can solve for your ideal client, or what value can you bring? Your ideal client has or is looking for ? How does this issue make her feel? How would she rather feel instead, or how do you want her to feel after she uses your product or service?
3 – In working with your client, what outcome can you provide? What’s the transformation that you’re offering? (Transformation may feel like a dramatic and possibly overused term, but it sells – why do you think DIY and home improvement shows continue to be some of our favorites? People love a before and after!)
4 – How will your client FEEL after they’ve received the benefit of your product or service? “Jane went from frazzled and stressed to confident and calm after completing Kristen’s 30-Day STARt program,” for example. 😉
Now put it all together, replacing the words in italics below:
Your product or service works with your ideal client description to help them by providing your specific value or result. After using your product or service, you (the ideal client) will go from feeling before, unsatisfied feeling to transformation!! desired feeling.
Let’s look at an example. Think about something as simple as shampoo – let’s say I have created an all-natural shampoo that smooths coarse, frizzy hair for women over 35.
First of all, get very specific about your ideal client. Women, perhaps over a certain age, who are hormonal because they have had kids, whose hair texture has changed since having kids, or who are starting to notice gray hairs which are wiry and weird compared to their normal hair texture.
Now – the specific need – taming unruly crazy hormonally-changed or first gray hairs.
How does my product help? It smooths the texture of coarse hair using all-natural, organic ingredients in a tested combination to bring maximum control and shine.
Outcome – beautiful, glossy hair!
Niche or value statement:
“Kooky-to-Smooth shampoo helps women over 30 tame coarse or unruly hair caused by first signs of gray, or due to hormonal changes. After using K-to-S, your hair will go from frizzy and unmanage-able to smooth and shiny, and you’ll feel like yourself again!”
I hope that helps you get clear and specific so you can speak directly to your target clients! If you need help, you’re welcome to contact me.
xo, Kristen B.