Seth Godin once said, “Specific is a kind of bravery.”
In business, it can feel scary to narrow in on a specialization. But the truth is, you just can’t be everything to everyone. If you try to serve the masses, your chance to make an impact dwindles. A brand that is too wide-reaching is bland and boring, but a brand that is specific and laser-focused is unforgettable.
Yet, many entrepreneurs resist the idea of becoming a “specialist” for fear they will miss out on clients and opportunities. But if you’re trying to do too many things at once and trying to attract too many audiences, you’re working against yourself — Your brand is probably causing confusion, and you won’t be remembered as the expert who people want to hire.
We must create that niched-down brand and find our sweet spot in the industry where we can thrive and provide the answer to a particular pain point. Niching down your position in the market is key to long-term success.
If you’re ready to behold the power of the niche, this article will show you how to narrow your focus and let go of fears that hold you back from specializing your business.
What is a Niche?
Think of a niche as a focused sub-group of people who you’re marketing a specific product or service to. Your niche is your specific solution to a specific problem for a specific audience that you are specifically suited to serve.
For example, let’s look at the brand, DryBar.
While the hair and beauty category is vast, and salons can offer a wide variety of services from haircuts to waxing, DryBar decided to only offer blowouts for women. Talk about a tightly defined niche!
DryBar committed to specializing in one, single service and doing it incredibly well instead of doing ALL of the things a salon could offer. As a result, the DryBar brand has dominated the market in their niche, and they can charge premium prices for their services.
Other entrepreneurial examples include social media managers who specialize in Linkedin for C Suite executives, business coaches for women of color who want to make 6-figure salaries, virtual brand photography for introverts, financial consultants who specialize in brick and mortar coffee shops. Get the gist?
Overcome the Niche Resistance
I know you’re probably thinking, “But I’m afraid of missing out on clients, so I market and sell to everyone!”
Or, “I have so many interests and am good at a lot of things, so I need to have lots of offers!”
Yes, it can be hard to let go of potential sales when you’re trying to create a niche, but you must remember, MORE IS NOT A STRONG STRATEGY.
- When you can tap into a smaller market, you will stand out.
- When you specialize, you will be seen as an expert.
- When you are specific, your brand is more easily understood and remembered.
Your Turn to Specialize:
Let’s get personal and think about how YOU can narrow the focus of your own brand. There are many elements to examine as you work to create a specialized niche.
- Is there a particular industry or client avatar you serve best? (Bookkeeping for interior designers? Life coaching for emptynest women over 50?)
- Is there a specific medium or technology you are an expert in? (Brand photography, Facebook ads or Squarespace websites?)
- Is there a specific problem you are a rockstar at solving? (Overcoming imposter syndrome? Writing onboarding email sequences that convert?)
- Is there a signature process or method you can leverage? (Website copy in a day? Certified in StrengthsFinders?)
- Is your specialization a combination of two or more of these elements? (Web design for female entrepreneurs using ShowIt in 7 days?)
Whatever you choose, try to go narrow. Even if it can feel career-limiting and scary to claim a specialization, it is actually a powerful way to rise above the competition, become memorable,
and gain the recognition that will elevate your business to expert status.
Once you’ve settled on a niche:
- Validate it by asking a few members of your audience if they feel your solution meets the needs of the marketplace. Do research to determine if the market is viable and growing for your offerings.
- Make the shift gradual. You don’t need to turn away the non-niche clients immediately. You can do it slowly, but make a plan to commit to your niche.
- Start marketing your business to that specific audience. Tailor your brand and messaging to meet the needs of that particular problem and person so it’s clear what you do and who you serve.
Choosing a specialization isn’t always as simple as spending an afternoon brainstorming. This is a process, so be patient with yourself! You may have to revisit the questions in this article several times before your path becomes clear. Or you may need to seek help from an expert, coach or mentor who can help you gain clarity.
Just remember: Being a Jane-of-All-Trades who works with everyone and sets no boundaries is headed straight for business burn out. Instead, it’s time to next level your brand and find your power niche, so you can become the first and only choice in the market.