In today’s climate, when customers are having to make tough choices on where to shop with their COVID-19-affected bank balances, it is important you find and utilise your business niche to gain a more competitive advantage, because you want your business to be the one they choose to spend their money at. In this month’s blog (below), we explain what a niche is, and how you can find and utilise yours, to gain not only a competitive advantage, but also to achieve greater success all-round.
‘Niche’ Rhymes with ‘Quiche’
In business, a niche (say ‘neesh’) is a group or segment of a larger market that your business serves specifically. Your niche states the specific audience you will target, and defines the area of expertise in which you will specialise. This then helps you to define your ideal customer, and therefore, your target market, which allows you to focus your marketing content to attract the right customers, and grow your audience.
Finding a niche can increase your market share by focusing on getting a high level of engagement from a smaller group of customers, which helps you to build trust, confidence, and resonate powerfully with those who view your content. How? Because by knowing your niche, you can easier define and describe your product(s) and/or service(s) to your audience, through using the right terms and key words which show your audience you truly do know your stuff, and are speaking to them in their language.
Your business can’t do or sell everything, nor can you compete with everyone.
That’s why finding your niche is so critical to your business success.
The number one reason why you should find, and utilise, your niche is to give yourself a competitive advantage. Instead of trying to become number one at everything, or leader of a mainstream market when you’re the small fish among the big corporation sharks, find your niche and gain market share by focusing on getting a high amount of engagement from a smaller pool of customers.
Think about it this way: are your customers getting the same old information that they get from any business in your market? If you don’t know your niche, the answer is most likely, yes. If you find your niche, you can tailor your information to be more specialised, and speak your customer’s language. For example, say you sell soap. What’s the difference between your soap and the rest? Maybe yours is vegan-friendly – THIS could be your niche – and when you advertise that, you gain the customers you want, and your customers find what they need, which is not just your soap, but a business that speaks their language.
It’s not just finding one thing that makes you ‘different’, though. To specialise, you must love what your doing and/or selling, and be able to show this to your audience. How? Read on.
How to Find Your Niche
First, you’ll want to sit down and think about what your interests, hobbies, and passions are. Why? Because without you loving what you’re doing and/or selling, why should your customers love it, too? Also, think about your skills, training, work experience, and problems you can solve using all of these. It is these personal skills, talents, and knowledge, that will make all the difference in excelling within your niche.
While you consider these things, keep in mind that you’re trying to find what makes you, or, at the very least, gives you the foundations to become, an expert or specialist in your field, so you can give your customers what other businesses like yours, can’t. Having a link through your personal interests, hobbies, and passions to your business also helps you to stay motivated, and gives you personal insight into your ideal customer.
Next comes the business stuff. You’ll first want to decide on a general market area, then narrow that down by looking for an unfulfilled need, a problem not yet ‘fixed’ by that general market that your product or service can resolve, or a way in which your product or service fills a unique need within the market. What can your product do, or your service provide, that makes you different from the rest?
Then, consider your ideal customer. Brainstorm by creating multiple customer personas that represent the kinds of people you envision as being your ideal customer, asking yourself things like:
Now, you should be able to determine how you stand out from the rest within your market, and what your target market (ideal customer group) is. This means you can start to develop marketing content to aggressively market to this group, which will help you to determine whether your niche is viable. If so, you can continue to create specialised marketing content, specific to your audience, and advertising your unique difference(s) from your competitors, rapidly growing your customer base and your market presence.
Seem like a lot of work, for possibly no gain if you fail to find your niche viable? See what you could gain by finding and utilising your niche, below.
Finding and utilising your niche will allow you to gain so much more than just your ideal customers, or making sales. It will also:
Having a niche is sometimes seen as being a negative, as your customer base will, at least to begin with, likely drop. However, having a smaller customer base has its benefits.
When you are marketing to, and engaging with, fewer people, you can focus on the quality of those engagement and on nurturing your customer relationships. You can personalise your marketing, your follow ups become more diligent, and your thank you’s more frequent. You can get to know your customers on a deeper personal level, possibly leading to special or custom service requests, which you can accommodate.
All of this allows you to better serve your customers and enhance your relationships with them, solidifying their loyalty to you, leading to the growth of your audience from their referrals and/or testimonials.
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