To niche or not to niche, that’s the question!
There are a lot of resources out there there that will help narrow down and hone in your “ideal client” avatar and an equal number of resources urging you to niche down in your business.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to niching down in business. Some say this, others say that, and it can be confusing to know which is the best choice for YOU. This blog will help you answer the question of, “To niche or not to niche?” for your own business and what stage you’re at.
Let’s define what a niche (pronounced nitch) really is besides being a pretty good starting word for your next game of Worlde.
A niche is a specialized segment of the market for a product or service. It’s a small, specialized section of the population that the product or service specifically interests or serves.
Another definition of it is being a comfortable position in life or employment. I kind of like the combo of those two!
When you niche down in your business, you’re creating a product or service designed for a certain type of individual. And in doing so, you often get REALLY comfortable marketing to, creating for, and working with that market segment. Likewise, they get really comfortable with YOU because they’re able to easily identify themselves as your ideal client and customer.
3 Benefits to Niching Down
#1 KNOW THY AUDIENCE
When you focus on a niche market, you can tailor your products, services, messaging, branding, and every aspect of your business to meet their specific needs and preferences. With a smaller, well-defined audience you can speak right to them and really begin to deeply understand their unique struggles and challenges.
Niching down can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty because the experience has been crafted with THEM in mind every step of the way.
One of my niches happens to be Interior Designers and those in related home trade industries. After working with dozens upon dozens in this niche, I have a very deep understanding of what they need and struggle with when it comes to their website copy, blogs, and Welcome Packets for onboarding, and I have tailored a process that works to help them achieve their goals.
I like to think that in a way, I have a lot in common with interior designers, only I handle the words, not the wallpaper. They can step into a space and see its potential and vision, and then bring it to life! And I do the same with their messaging and copy. We both have a strong appreciation for PROCESS and collaboration and it ends up being a very fulfilling, synergistic partnership for both of us.
#2 LESS COMPETITION
In a niche market, you might face less competition than if you market to anyone and everyone. This makes it easier to establish your brand and become an expert and authority amongst your niche AND furthermore, it makes my job of optimizing your copy for search engines (SEO) more rewarding in many cases!
For example, knowing another of my niches is coaches/consultants has helped me create a page SPECIFICALLY for them and use a keyword related to that industry: Copywriting for Coaches
Rather than competing with everyone else for the generic keywords “copywriter” or even “copywriter for small business owners”, I’m reducing my competition with a defined niche.
It works the same way throughout our business. AND it can also work to increase your referrals. If everyone comes to know YOU as “the” copywriter for coaches, you become the one people send their coach, consultant, and strategist friends to when they’re looking for a copywriter for their new website.
Specializing in a niche can position you as the expert or authority and you become the go-to for clients, speaking engagements, podcast interviews, publications, and more!
#3 PREMIUM PRICING
In many cases, niching down can give you an opportunity to charge premium pricing for specialized products or services. Customers may pay more for solutions tailored to meet their specific needs. And if you’re the only one offering it, you become a hotter demand aka more exclusive cost.
3 Benefits to Not Niching Down
#1 MULTIPLE REVENUE STREAMS
Not niching down allows you to serve a wider range of customers as well as offer more products and services (ie. you could do photography and copywriting and reach the needs of more people). You can increase your revenue streams in this way, and in some cases increase your income. It also can help you adapt more to change when the need arises to pivot or customer’s needs and preferences change.
#2 LESS RISKY
Not niching is the “safe” way to go indeed! Relying on a single niche can be risky, especially if something changes or your niche market experiences a downturn. When you decide not to niche, you can be more resilient as you have a larger pool to work with in serving.
#3 LARGER MARKET SHARE
This is a no-brainer, but when you don’t niche, you obviously get to open up and appeal to a broader audience. This gives you a larger market share, and access to more people looking for a variety of products and services you offer. In some cases, this can lead to fast growth!
My Thoughts on the Matter (in case you wondered)
At the end of the day, I believe the decision is yours to make. I don’t think there’s a right way or a wrong way just like I don’t think an apple is better than a pear. It’s simply a matter of personal preference and your goals for your business.
Sometimes the decision to niche vs. not niche can only be made after you’ve been in business a little while.
Personally, that’s been my journey. I started out kissing A LOT of frogs to determine what my niche is (and isn’t). I’m talking about writing for everything and everyone: from writing about self-driving cars to sandblasting to sex toys! #wellrounded
It was after many painful experiences and learning about what I like and don’t like, who I speak most naturally to, who I tend to attract, and how we worth together (I’m all about collaboration with my clients), I learned my niches:
Will I work outside those niches? SURE! For me, it’s more about the PERSON behind the business than the type of business.
Some other things for you to consider:
- A niche can be a specific type of person (ideal client avatar eg.)
- A niche can be attributes of a person
- A niche can be a socioeconomic status
- A niche can be a problem
- A niche can be a solution
- A niche can be a symptom
- A niche can be a type of service
- A niche can be the way in which you offer the service
- A niche can be a price point
- A location can define the niche
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? There are many ways to niche and to define a niche for yourself. You can also have an ideal client (someone who makes your DREAM client) without having a defined niche. You can have several niches!
Here’s what I’d ask of you no matter whether you choose to niche or not to niche. If nothing else, do these three things in your content and messaging so it lands with the people you love working with and want to keep on attracting:
Speak to one person at a time. One problem at a time, one symptom at a time, one solution at a time. Use examples, stories, and specificities. The clearer you can be in speaking to ONE person at a time, the better.
Try it next time you create a piece of content and let me know how it goes!
P.S. If you want support in navigating whether or not to define a niche for YOUR business and how to speak to your ideal client (even if you don’t settle on a niche), I’d LOVE to invite you to join me in my upcoming Marketing Momentum Lab! We kick off Monday, September 25th and spend six weeks diving into YOUR marketing so you can take action and get momentum in what matters most for you. Learn more and join us!