Do you want to become the ONLY choice in the minds (and wallets!) of your ideal clients? So, when it’s time to buy, they ONLY think of Y-O-U? Because YOU are synonymous with ______ (insert your thing)?
Of course you do! 🤓
This precious singularity can feel like some out-of-reach utopia… especially if you’re operating in a crowded market. It can seem like something reserved for big brands (with big budgets). Or like something that some entrepreneurs just “luck into.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can enjoy this “synonymous with…” status, too. And cultivating it isn’t actually rocket science.
The secret to it? It’s niche-ing.
(Wait! Don’t peace out on me – even if you’re NOT into niche-ing. I promise, you’re going to want to hear what comes next…)
In this article, I’m reviewing these five specific ways that you can niche your services or products. By choosing one of these paths – or by combining a few – you can become the obvious… the best… and THE ONLY solution that comes to mind 🧠 when it’s time for your ideal customer to buy!
So, even if you’ve resisted the advice to “niche” before… read on, because I think you might look at it differently after hearing what I have to say on the matter!
🎥 As per usual, if you prefer to watch the video on this topic, it’s comin’ at you below! If you want to dive deeper, the article follows.
First, a Question: Do you have to choose a niche?
I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the years – and in my experience, the idea of choosing and defining a niche feels totally natural to some of them… Like having a favorite pie flavor or vacation spot.
Yet for others, the thought of narrowing to a niche sends them running for the hills – or into a tizzy of “No! I don’t want to!”
And I get it. I consider myself to be somewhat multi-passionate. I don’t want to limit myself – in terms of who I work with or how I can help. I do *not* relish the idea of putting myself into a box. So, I fully acknowledge and understand that – for many people – choosing a niche goes against the grain – and just plain feels unaligned.
But, here’s the thing: Choosing a niche just means getting clear and specific about the who, the what, the why, and/or* the how.
*See how I used “and/or”…? This will pay off later, so take note, Genius!
Meredith Hill, CEO of The Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs is credited with one of the best marketing quotes of our era (in my humble opinion 😉):
“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”
And I do believe she was correct… If you try to cast such a wide net that you can’t be specific, your messaging will just become “default language” – and is easily ignored. Like white noise. Or store-brand vanilla ice cream.
Conversely, when you can show your person that you truly “get” her lived experience… her pains, her needs and her desires… the trust and connection that are forged in that moment is momentous. And, being specific is the only way to do that.
So there’s no way around it… Specificity sells.
But, luckily (especially for you #AntiNichers!) … There’s more than one way to define a niche. 💣
In fact, there are five.
And one of them might just work for you… to position your brand as the singular choice in your market. (And, it miiiiiiight just help you do that withOUT making you feel fenced in!)
Ready? Let’s examine them.
1. Define your niche by serving a specific type of client or customer.
The first way that you can niche your brand is to focus on a very specific person to serve. (Remember, there are four more… you don’t have to choose this one! Chillax, multi-passionates! 😉)
If this IS your chosen niching technique, here are some questions to help you narrow things down.
What gender does your client or customer identify as?
What is her relationship or family status?
If she works, what is her profession?
Where does she live?
What kind of lifestyle does he live?
What is his day-to-day like?
What does he spend a lot of time doing?
Here are some examples of customer-based niches you could serve: (Just examples, of course! The possibilities are infinite.)
- Stay-at-home moms of pre-teenagers
- Single women in their 20’s who work a 9-to-5
- Married men who live in cities and work 60+ hours per week
- Single men living in very rural areas of the U.S.
- Female brand designers who work from home and have kids
- Female physicians who work in hospitals
- Men in their 30’s or 40’s who lifts weights and eats a vegan diet
- Women in their 40’s or 50’s who own Etsy shops
You may also want to consider what kind of budget your person has.
What is his or her household income?
How much expendable income does she have?
If you’re in a B2B arena, are you serving advanced entrepreneurs or startups? Businesses that are making seven figures, or billion dollar-plus businesses? Or businesses that are established but at a lower revenue level?
This nicheing technique is all about being specific and clear about who your products or services are for. Often different clients have widely differing needs. Using this method makes it easy to speak directly to your person… to ensure your messaging resonates and your person understands she is in the right place.
You may love the idea of niching using this customer-centric method. Or, maybe reading this made you break out into hives. 🤣 Either way, read on, Genius – ‘cause I have four more effective techniques.
Pin this article to reference later! 📌
Pin this article to reference later! 📌
2. Define your niche by owning an outcome.
The second way to niche down your brand is to own an outcome.
The question at the core of this technique is this:
What is the transformation that you’re providing through your product or service?
Here are some examples of this technique in action (Results in bold!):
A yoga instructor focuses on relieving back pain.
A business coach helps new bloggers make $1,000 per month with their blogs.
An online course teaches you to cook delicious vegan meals at home.
An accountability program helps people lose 20 pounds.
A virtual assistant helps reclaim 10 hours per week to spend with your kids.
You can decide to either:
a) niche down by the process or product as well – and simply offer one thing; or
b) offer a variety of processes or products – that all help achieve that specific outcome that you own.
For example, the yoga instructor who helps relieve back pain? He could offer a suite of services and products that include:
- private yoga sessions
- group classes
- ergonomic assessments of your workspace; and
- ergonomic products for your office…
… all to support the outcome that he owns – the result his clients desire.
And that business coach who helps bloggers make $1,000 per month with their blogs? She could offer:
- Private and group coaching around content strategy
- Digital product templates bloggers can customize and sell
- A course on Pinterest marketing to increase blog traffic…
… all to support the outcome that she owns – to help bloggers make money with their blogs.
So, the focus here is on the outcome the customer desires – and you can become known as the person who helps achieve that specific outcome.
3. Define your niche by putting forward a unique point of view.
This third technique for niching down? It’s very rarely talked about! (Ready for 🤯?)
You can intentionally attract the right clients – and repel the wrong clients – simply by instilling personality and a unique point of view into your brand.
This technique is especially powerful if you’re operating in a crowded market. It will help you stand out and be memorable – even in a space that seems saturated. Humans want to buy from people who they connect with – whose messages and opinions resonate with them. If your strong opinion stops them in their tracks and makes them think,
“Ohmigosh. THAT is the person or product that feels right – because I sooooooo agree with that…”
… then you are golden! 😉
So – picking up what I’m putting down here?
Examples always help…
The wedding venue on a working farm? Their messaging conveys that authentic moments with family are best experienced barefoot in the grass – not in a function hall. The right brides and grooms hear that – and know they’ve found the perfect spot (…even though there are a thousand venues out there.)
The hand-made hygiene product seller? The one with the facial piercings who uses her platform to be super-vocal about climate change? She’ll only purchase materials that are manufactured sustainably – and the right customers will feel great about buying from her (…even though they could just buy what’s at CVS.)
The health coach that always has a glass of expensive French wine in her hand – and insists women can indulge and still lose weight? The right women will flock to her method. (…even when there are hundreds of weight loss coaches out there.)
The more you show your brand personality and lean into your best self, the less “competition” you have. So, define it and flaunt it, Genius!
Of course, my favorite way to define and leverage your unique personality are the brand archetypes.
The wedding venue above? They’re using the Innocent and Girl/Guy Next Door brand archetypes. 🌷
The sustainable hygiene product seller is the Maverick. 👩🏽🎤
That health coach with the pricey wine is the Royal – with some Lover in there, too. 👑 👄
(Psssst… want to learn what *your* Brand Archetypes are? Take my Brand Personality Quiz here. It’s fast, fun, and eye-opening!)
So… even if there are 10,000 different business coaches… or newborn photographers… or online math tutors… (or _______________ insert your thing!) you can be the obvious and only choice for the *right* customers – by leaning into your unique personality and sharing strong opinions.
4. Define your niche by fusing two themes or techniques.
The fourth way you can define a niche for your brand is to twist together two ideas or techniques. And, there are sort of two ways to do this. (Oh the irony! Two ways to twist together two ideas = unlimited possibility! 🤓)
First, you can combine two of the techniques above to get even more specific in your messaging. One way to do this: You could find the intersection of #1 above (a specific person) and #2 above (a specific outcome). This example thing seems to be working – so I’m going to keep going with it. Here goes… 😉
“This course is for single women in their 20’s who work a 9-to-5. You’ll learn how to travel more and see more of the world – without sacrificing financial security!”
“I help busy female physicians lose 15+ pounds and feel more energetic.”
“I help single men living in very rural areas of the U.S. to confidently date online and find their ideal partners.”
Second, you can weave together two seemingly unrelated concepts to position your work or product in a singular way.
I personally love this technique – and I use it myself. So, let’s look at my brand as an example.
I call myself “the psychology-driven brand strategist.” In my work, I take truths from neuro-science, behavioral psychology, human decision making, and more – and I incorporate them into my brand strategy work for entrepreneurs*. So, psychology meets branding.
(*Did you just notice technique #1 creep in there as well? 🤓 Yep! You can also twist three ideas in there – and achieve even more specificity and singularity!)
Layering these strategies to get crystal clear and specific can have a huge positive impact on your business. When you can hone in on *exactly* who, what, and how, the right people know you’re the *ONLY* one for them.
Okay, on to our last technique…
5. Define your niche by leaning into your innate advantages.
When you are uniquely equipped to get a specific result for your client or customer – based on who you are and the experiences you’ve had – there’s real magic in that. And you’d be wise to leverage it!
Maybe you’re a business coach now – but you used to be a TV reporter. You’re great at teaching people about how to speak to camera – so that becomes the niche you work in.
Or you were a lawyer for 20+ years, but left your firm to become a full-time graphic and web designer. Combining these two bodies of knowledge to sell legal templates for designers and websites? Brilliant!
One more, because I’m example-happy! 😀 (and this one’s a real example!)…
A friend of a friend was an elementary school teacher. His wife took a job that required them to relocate regularly, so he pivoted to an online business and became a Pinterest marketing strategist. After about a year of serving all types of clients, he ended up niching down to work with Teachers Pay Teachers sellers. (TPT is an e-commerce site for teachers who share and sell lesson plans and resources.) His first-hand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges teachers face? They serve him – and his clients – so well! And clearly, he is quite singular in his market.
So, there you have it… I’ve shared five distinct ways to define your niche and become the singular choice in your market.
(Hopefully, even the multi-passionates and the “anti-nichers” have had a few ah-ha moments. And maybe next time you’re asked what your niche is, you’ll feel less in need of a brown paper bag to breathe into! 🤣)
So, let me ask Y-O-U: Which one of these techniques are you using now? Which one(s) would you like to incorporate? I’d love to hear your answers, so head on over to my free community of brand building entrepreneurs – the In Demand Brand Facebook group – and tag me in a post describing your niche.
(If you’re not already a member, you’re totally invited! Request to join here. My team will approve you within 48 hours – max!)