Starting a business
How to pick a niche for your business
19 November 2020
Picking a niche is a process that a lot of businesses will go through, at any stage of the business’s life. But it’s not always a straightforward process. Today I’ll share my experience with niching with you, as well as the advice I’ve come across that might help you out.
When I first started out, I chose to keep my services broad, which basically meant if I didn’t offer something in particular, I’d try to figure it out. Longer-term this route will not work but it does bring in the money.
After hearing “you need to niche”, “the money is in the niches” and “niching makes you more appealing” constantly, I felt this pressure to pick a niche. So, I pursued this ambition to niche and spent considerable energy trying to figure out what industry to focus on.
To begin with, I saw a strong case study by another company focusing on the hospitality industry and decided to jump on that train. It didn’t work. And it felt like finding a niche took over my life for the most part of my first year in business.
What I actually did in the first 12 months
As I mentioned before, I wasted a ton of time and energy on this topic.
In the early days, I decided to niche to the hospitality industry. I started by creating a data research piece around hospitality to get some credibility, which was even featured by Instagram themselves. However, considering how much time and money that went into it, it never really took off.
The only thing that did work when it came to niching was attending niche-specific marketing events. I attended one hospitality whiskey tasting event and after one meeting, I had a new client. The client was worth around £15,000 – £18,000 to me over the year or so we worked together. That’s not bad considering that one event cost less than £50, one coffee meeting and a few emails and calls.
After testing conversations, speaking to other industry experts, and most importantly taking into account my existing clients, I began to settle on the fact that my niche was not a particular industry, it was in fact the problem I was solving. The clear sign was the fact that all of my customers were sitting in totally random industries but needed similar help.
So, I paid attention to what our customers valued and what I felt we were good at, and that essentially became my niche.
Things to remember about picking a niche
Here’s some of the advice that I’ve come across in my time when picking and pursuing a niche that might help you out…
You need to learn your industry inside out
Learn a particular industry inside and out and see what unique challenges they have. You can use these to find out how you can solve those problems with your product/service.
It’s best to stick to a particular sector
When it comes to creating content, you should choose and target a particular sector. Creating content around this area will mean that only those people resonate with what you’re saying, and you shape your content around their specific needs.
Choosing a niche allows you to charge more
This is one of the most well-known benefits of choosing a niche, and for good reason. Honing down on your niche makes you and your product or service more appealing because you are specialising. By establishing yourself as an authority on your given subject or target audience, you can charge a premium for this specialised service.
What I would do differently
Looking back I think I would’ve continued to stay broad and pretty much accept money as long as I believed I could’ve done the work. Unless you’re quitting with a stash of cash, niching too early may not be wise.
Also, I now realise that niching doesn’t necessarily mean focusing on a specific industry. I’ve been able to work across multiple industries and focus on a particular problem. I hope this helps you to think about your niche and find the answer that feels right for you.
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