How important is discovering your niche?
Well, if you don’t find a niche, then it may cost you your business.
I know that might sound kind of harsh, but I only say it because I experienced it myself with Kate’s Copy.
Yep – true story of how my business failed because I didn’t niche down.
Discovering your niche
What the heck happened to Kate’s Copy?
I’ve already shared with you how I came up with the idea to start Kate’s Copy, along with who my avatar for Kate’s Copy was (Hi Josh!) – all good, right?
Yep, it was definitely all good – until I skipped over finding my niche.
I wanted to help Josh so darn bad with his brick and mortar business and enhancing his online presence that I never stopped to realize there was absolutely NO REASON for Josh to want to come to ME for help.
(If you’re wondering who Josh is and why I want to help him so bad, head back to the last post on Finding your perfect customer.)
3 Reasons why Josh didn’t want my help
Reason 1: I didn’t give Josh a clear solution
I wasn’t offering Josh a clear solution to his problem. While his main goal (and what he really wanted) was to grow his business so he could bring in enough revenue to be financially free, I was trying to sell him on hiring me to enhance his online presence through – like – 3 different services.
This wasn’t giving Josh a clear solution to his problem, rather it was telling him that I didn’t have what he wanted.
Reason 2: Josh was confused
My website wasn’t clear about what I had to offer, so as Josh was searching for ways to grow his business, I was over here offering SEO help, social media, and website optimization through copywriting. (Doh!)
If Josh did happen to ever land on my website (by some miraculous slap of luck), he’d be confused as to what I had to offer and then promptly leave to find what he was looking for somewhere else.
Reason 3: I didn’t present myself as an expert
I was scared to offer people just 1 thing because I thought I’d be missing out on a whole other audience by doing that. Have you ever felt this way when looking to niche? – like you’ll be missing out on a huge amount of customers and potential revenue if you don’t offer a bunch of things to a bunch of people?
Turns out, it’s just the opposite: I was missing out on having ANY audience as a result of offering too many things to too many different groups of people.
Josh is serious about overcoming his biggest struggle: in fact, his brick and mortar business AND his family depend on it. You think he wants to hire someone who is presenting themselves as “good at a lot of things” instead of GREAT at ONE thing?
How did John niche EOFire?
I’m glad you asked, because niching doesn’t always have to mean you’re getting more specific within your actual industry or category – it could mean niching from a different point of view.
Here’s what I mean:
After John came up with his idea to start a Business Podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs, and he defined his avatar, Jimmy, he thought back to the very reason why he came up with the idea to launch EOFire in the first place: because he himself (John) ran out of podcasts to listen to on his drives to and from work.
…Real quick, “Hi Jimmy!” (Click on Jimmy to watch the video we created about our avatar – THAT’S how well we know him.)
Okay, back to John running out of podcasts to listen to…
A Business Podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs isn’t necessarily a niche.
It’s not like John was only going to interview entrepreneurs in the coaching space, or in the personal development space.
But he DID niche in coming up with the ONLY 7-day a week interview-based podcast that was sharing the journey of today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs. He also uses the same exact format for every single episode – something you didn’t see much of at the time.
THAT is EOFire’s niche.
Now let’s turn this over to you so you can piece this together for your roadmap:
3 Ways you can niche your business
When you niche, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to speak directly to someone (your avatar) and offer him or her specific content that will help him or her in a specific area. Remember: it’s tailored – not generalized.
1. Dig deeper
Given your current business idea and what you’ll offer, how can you dig deeper within your industry specifically in order to get wayyyyy narrower in your focus?
Not: “Enhance your online presence”, but: Optimize your website
Not: “Become a gardener”, but: Learn how to grow herbs
2. Turn to your avatar
See, I told you they’d be around every step of the way! So go ahead, ask them… Given your avatar’s biggest pain points, what’s the #1 thing they want and need? Helloooo niche!
3. The 3 levels exercise
This is my personal favorite: Niche yourself 3 levels, and chances are you’ll have niched till it hurts :)
The 3 levels exercise forces you to continue getting more and more specific with each round. Start out with what you have right now for your niche, and then niche another level, and then niche another level.
This is actually how I landed my first client for Kate’s Copy: by using The 3 levels exercise.
Check it out:
- Niche level 1: Help brick and mortar businesses enhance their online presence.
- Niche level 2: Help brick and mortar business optimize their website through copywriting.
- Niche level 3: Help business owners with eBook editing so they can publish their first book online.
What!? I know… crazy, right?
The day I started offering eBook-editing services through Kate’s Copy is the day I landed my first client… and then another, and then another.
Kate’s Copy went 6 months with zero prospects or clients, all because I didn’t niche. Once I niched, I was in business (literally!)
And for John – when he was first starting out with EOFire – he attracted an audience that was filled with hundreds of his avatars because he was providing a specific solution to a specific problem: inspiration delivered straight to your ear buds with advice on how to become a successful entrepreneur 7-days a week.
Starting a business that offers multiple things to multiple people sounds like a great idea on the surface. I mean, you’re giving yourself more opportunities to get sales and gain exposure, right?
When you try to talk to everyone, you end up talking to no one.
Sweet! Now that you have a viable business idea, you know who your perfect customer is (your avatar), AND you’ve niched, it’s time to dive into a topic that single-handedly allowed John to launch EOFire with a bang!