A niche, is simply a combination of a specialty and target audience. It's a combination of your expertise, your specialty with a target market combined. Not one without the other, both at the same time.
Example, let's say a coach who specialize in hiring. Hiring is a skill, but they target everybody including sales people, educators, developers, designers, etc. When you have a specialty, there's a target audience. As a HR, one can work with anybody. Verses, if you are H1-B recruiter, or Attrition mananger. That sends a very different message. The advantage over others, everyone has a target audience, but they don't offer a single core expertise/focus.
Why Niche Consulting matters?
Let's go into assuming that you are starting from scratch. How do you choose and select your niche and your target market? If you have already chosen your niche, let's go a little bit deeper and understand your target market. How well you understand who are "actually" buying from you? There's riches vs niches. The amount of money you make is in direct proportion of how well you understand your market.
Pick a niche on day one, exactly who you want to serve. Most advisors recommend not focusing on a specific niche, but letting a niche find you. Often there is a well perceived notion that targeting a niche market will hurt your business - "Are you being like too narrow?" Maybe you will limit the type of clients that you pursue, while limiting your income.
Choosing a niche doesn't mean choosing one forever. If you have no clue, and don't even understand what a niche is - It simply means focusing on something you're best at, and have the greatest passion for. And how does that apply to you, and how do you take direct action?
People like to buy from a specialist, not a generalist. Make your mark. Being a more in the beginning as a generalist, you might work with all types of businesses. And then get niched/pivot into the one particular market.
Here's a conversation that we usually have seen reoccur at many business conferences "What do you? "Oh I'm into managing people" "So, okay. So what do you do? "I help people become more successful." "Okay, what area? ”Any area. "I help people with their finance, "I help people with their careers, "I help people with their appraisals, "I help people quit smoking. " If their relationship is sure, I hope them overcome that. "If they have confidence issue, "I help them boost more confidence." The problem with that is we are not focused on what we do really? It's so wide, and so broad. Many don't get it, what the person even does as a Human Resources. And here's the thing. When you do this kind of marketing, and elevator pitch it makes no sense what you specialize! People want to buy from a specialist, not a generalist.
Most entrepreneurs can do anything, cause they just want the money. And problem is, when you go into a market with that attitude, it hurts your reputation. Imagine when people talk about what you do. "Well, so exactly what does she do? "Well, she does a little bit of everything. "A little bit of this, a little bit of that. "Oh, okay exactly what's her specialty? "I don't know. "Then what's her, like what kind of clients she works with? "All kinds of clients." Imagine how lack of awareness about your niche will hurt your reputation?
In marketing & digital marketing, the same thing. "Oh can you build a website? "Sure, I can build websites. "Okay, can you do a sales funnel? "Yes, we can do funnels, no problem. "Do you do email marketing? "Oh we can do email marketing, no problem. "What about like Facebook? "Well Facebook, yep no problem. "What about Google AdWords? "Yep Google AdWords, no problem too, we can do that. Prospects in the end think you're a jack of all trades, and master of none! "What about like washing my dishes? "Yep I can wash the dishes no problem." That's the back-draft of not selling your niche! Nobody buys from a generalist.
Here's a good pitch - A consultant who targets startups, says, "I work with high-tech AI startups". What do you do for them? "I work for XYZ startup. Well, I do a consulting in product management, and handle SaaS Markets for Asia-Pacific and Japan". When you have a specialty, and a target audience, and combine the two, then you have a niche. What are you selling? Do you have a specialty? Do you have a target audience? Are you combining the two?
Here's few thought-provoking questions to help you narrow down a niche! Ask yourself these questions.
- If you could do something all day long, what would it be?
- What do you enjoy, what's your passion, what do you enjoy to do?
- What are some of your past career areas or interests?
- What do you enjoy doing in the past?
- What obstacles have you successfully overcome?
- What have you learned from that?
- Would help other people?
- What of your life experiences could benefit others?
- Who, specifically could benefit from them?
- What's your unique story? Do you have a story of that's very unique to you?
- What makes you different form everyone else?
- What's the biggest benefit clients would get from you?
- What would make your life absolutely perfect right now?
- What kind of clients you want to work with?
Not understanding your client.
It takes time to build a niche in a new market, and fear of the unknown is how people lose their shirt. In every single business, there are many trade secrets that people see on a surface level, but a lot of different insights within the business that people don't know what makes that business work. Just because somebody has already built a moat, and making decent money, does not mean you can't build one.
As an entrepreneur your job is to figure that out before you go bankrupt. Most people run out of money before they figure out their niches. You want to choose your niche as soon as you start your consulting business. You don't want to waste any valuable time, day one. Determine what your expertise and specialty is, and what target audience would be willing and able, to pay you to solve their problems.
Are you selling for the right market?
It's no good if got a specialty, and you're selling to target market who's not willing and able to pay you. How many people you try to sell, want your service, but they can't afford it? It's happens all the time, and as a seller, consider your potential clients, even before starting out the first step.
Study a niche to find out what some of the biggest challenges your target audience experiences. What solutions are already being offered to them and how it can reach them easily? Now, what solutions are being offered? Talk about knowing your competition. Well who are your biggest competitors? Who are they buying from? And what's the pricing your biggest competitor has adopted? Do you know what they're doing? Do you know their offer? Remember, there is no necessity for selling iced-cola to an eskimo!
Specialize by profession.
Everyone experiences probably the same thing in their career. It doesn't mean that this a niche that you might stick with rest of your life. But it will be nice you'd say, "This is where I'm going to make my mark." "Let me dominate this particular industry and be the best consultant in this industry." It's good starting point to find your niche.”
Identifying a niche within a profession and owning it through promotion and personal brand development. You can always switch & pivot your niche. Specialize by your profession, just a segment in the market. How do you need to understand how the specific business works? And if so, how do you do that the most efficient way? The edge is when you pick up an industry, do gather information.
Go nuts, read the publications, magazines, attend the trade shows, learn their language, network, talk to a ton of them, make a lot of notes and importantly write. Data, will get as much intelligence about the market. You profit by how well you understand your market.
Keep hustling folks.