This is Not Your Typical “Find a Niche” Blog Post…

I was super hesitant to even write this post, because feel like as soon as someone says the word “niche”, people just tune out.

The word “Niche” has become a buzzword that almost prompts a gag reflex for most people these days…

I know that’s the case because I was one of those people for a long time (and still am to some extent).

There’s just so many people regurgitating lame advice on this topic. I mean, every week, I see a new pseudo-guru preaching, “you must carve out a niche”, or some silly saying like “the riches are in the niches” while they speak in broad generalities themselves. They’re total hypocrites. (Gag!)

Everyone’s telling you that you must “find your niche”. By now, everyone “knows” they need to find a niche, but very few people are actually doing it correctly.

I knew what a niche was, and heard everyone talk about how important it was, but didn’t FULLY understand it for my first two years as an entrepreneur. And man those first two years were a struggle! It wasn’t until about 2012 when I decided to plant my flag in the Author, Speaker, Influencer, Personal Brand space.

I remember I was terrified when I made that decision.

I mean it’s scary deciding that you’re only going to bring on clients/customers who fit a very narrow customer description, and say “no” to everyone else!

That fear and uncertainty is the EXACT proof why too few people truly understand WHY they must create a niche for their online business and personal brand, and why even fewer are actually doing it well.

For example, real estate agents and financial advisors are awful at this.
They try to appeal to everyone, because anyone could have money to invest and could be their client.

Yes, that is true, anyone can be your client, but if you don’t give people a reason to seek you out for your specialized expertise, you will constantly be on the grind for new clients and struggling to distance yourself from the crowd.

How would it feel if customers and clients were chasing you, rather than you chasing them?

Guess how you make that a reality?

Yep, you guessed it… choosing a niche and build a personal brand.

What is a Niche & How Do I Choose a Niche Correctly?

A niche is just a fancy word for focusing your products, services, and marketing messaging on a smaller subset a broader market or industry.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.” That is the perfect summary of why you must focus on a niche to build a successful business.

We could write a whole book on how to choose a niche, but at the end of the day it comes down to answering a couple different questions.

  • Who do you enjoy working with the most?
  • Who can you drive the best results for?
  • Where can you make the most income?
  • Is there a specific market within an Industry that is underserved?
  • How can you become the go-to person for that underserved market?

Too many people do not answer ALL of those questions above.

They typically stop after the very first question, and think that they’ve found their niche.

For example, maybe a financial expert really enjoys working with entrepreneurs, so their answer to “Who do you enjoy working with the most” would be entrepreneurs.  They think their “niche” is being a financial expert for entrepreneurs.  Nope… not quite… This as far as most people go though!

Most people try to create a “niche” in an industry or category that still seems big enough to get a lot of clients, but that’s totally going against everything a niche stands for.  A niche is not meant to address a broad industry. A niche must focus on a laser targeted segment, a small piece of a larger industry.

Going back to our example, the category of “Entrepreneurs” is FAR too broad to actually be a niche.

Everyone thinks they’re an “entrepreneur” these days…(don’t even get me started on that tangent!) There’s far TOO many kinds of entrepreneurs, across all sorts of industries, all who have different goals and who face different sets of challenges. Targeting “entrepreneurs” is way too general.

Going back to what we said earlier, If you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.

A much better approach is to figure out which submarket within the category of “entrepreneurs” generates the best answers to the remaining questions, for you:

  • Who can you drive the best results for?
  • Where can you make the most income?
  • Is there a specific market within an Industry that is underserved?
  • How can I become the go-to person for that underserved market?

People want to follow someone that they feel understands who they are as a person, and understands the nuances of both their goals, and their current challenges.

A niche isn’t necessarily just a one sentence phrase or 5 second pitch soundbite. It’s a profile of who your audience is, and I really mean WHO they are…

You need to now the people in your niche inside and out.

  • What do they think about?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What do they believe?
  • What are the day-to-day struggles of their life?
  • Which armpit do they put deodorant on first in the morning?
    (Ok maybe not that far… just making sure you’re paying attention.)

The point being, the more you know who you are serving, the more effective your content will be, and the easier it will be to gain traction. Here’s and example:

Which example do you think has a stronger appeal?

A: I help entrepreneurs create a financial plan to secure their future.

B: I help “Mom-preneurs” in the health & wellness space create a financial plan and guide them through the unique financial challenges of building a business and building wealth for their family, all while having fun along the way. I help women create financial security so they can live a live they love.

If you’re a “Mom-preneur” who are you going to be more excited to talk to about your finances?

Obviously “B” is far more attractive, because it hits on several different levels of interests and similarities. If you are a “mom-preneur” you know that financial expert “B” is going to understand you better than some “financial guru” fresh off of Wall Street.

Option B, will be able to provide more relevant information, and add extra value to your life outside of just financial tips because you believe they’ll understand you more – and they probably will!

Take some time to think about how you can create a crossover of interests to make your niche as appealing as possible to people who you love working with. This is your super-magnet that will attract your desired customers to you.

There are few other things to consider when solidifying your niche market.

One of those critical steps is conducting some basic competitive research.

Competitive Research Is Essential to Your Success Finding a Niche

It’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others, but at the same time you MUST identify your competition and figure out where there’s a void in the market, or an area that is either drastically underserved, or possibly not being served at all.

The last thing you want to do is choose a niche that has a TON of competition and a lot of noise already… unless you have a VERY clear way of differentiating yourself and a unique ability to cut through the noise.

That being said, if there is absolutely NO competition, or no one serving a particular industry, that could be a red-flag too. It could be a sign that there isn’t enough of a market there to sustain a profitable business.

The best place to plant your flag is in an area that has one or two prominent experts. That way there’s not so much noise for you to cut through, and it should be pretty easy to differentiate what you do in order to appeal to a subset of the market.

Answer questions like:

  • How are you going to be different?
  • What products or services can you offer that others aren’t offering?
  • How are you going to be memorable?
  • How are you going appeal to people so that they come knocking on your door to do business with you?
  • What can you offer that NONE of your competitors would be able to offer?

Also, if there are one or two big players in your space, you can use that as your competitive advantage as you are starting out.

Big players in most industries cannot provide the same high-touch customer experience that you can. When you’re small, it’s important to be scrappy and resourceful and go the extra mile. We have a philosophy that we instill in all of our clients, “Do things that don’t scale”.

In a world of marketing automation craze, and mailbox money pipe dreams, sometimes all you need to do to differentiate yourself is to have the willingness to hop on the phone with a customer. Be personable, be helpful, and help get people results. It can really be that simple.

For example, when you’re starting out, you have the ability to personally respond to every email that comes in. The Tony Robbins, Marie Forleos and Dave Ramseys of the world, don’t have the luxury to provide that level of attention to each of their followers. Starting small is your competitive advantage.

Determining Your Niche Makes EVERYTHING Easier!

Taking the time to determine where you’re going to plant your flag can be a grueling process. It’s not easy by any means. But, once you figure out your niche, it makes everything easier.

When you determine your niche, not only does it add clarity to your messaging and content, but it makes it ten times easier to identify marketing channels, and focus your marketing efforts.

It’s much easier to figure out what topics to write about, podcasts to be a guest on, and conferences to speak at when you have a focused niche.

When you don’t have a focused niche, you’ll be exerting energy in a million different directions, and feel like you’re spinning your wheels.

The Big Fish, Small Pond Launch Pad

It’s much, much harder to become known and gain traction as a small fish in a big ocean.

It’s much, much better to focus on becoming a big fish in a small pond first.

Once you gain traction in your small pond (your niche market), you can make a move to a big lake, and then the ocean.

You should be able to generate $500,000 – $1,000,000 per year, in a small pond. For some people, that’s enough money to where you’ll never need to leave your small pond.  For others, your small pond is the launch pad for your next stage of growth.

Start with a very specific niche within a larger market, and gradually expand to other niches over several years.

The perfect example of this is how Brendon Burchard became Brendon Burchard.

Today, Brendon is widely known in the personal development industry with his flagship live event, High Performance Academy.

He recently launched his new book the High Performance Habits, he has the #1 Personal Development YouTube Channel with well over 70 million+ views, and his podcast has been the #1 Personal Development Podcast on iTunes.

But… He didn’t start there.

He started teaching corporate sponsorship strategies to entrepreneurs and nonprofits.

Super narrow focus, right?

Well, he started teaching sponsorships because he had results in that area. He had put on an event called College Success Bootcamp and generated multiple six-figures in sponsorships.

Once he started teaching how he did it, he quickly became known as “The Sponsorship Guy” and from there he gradually expanded into complementing topics: how to become an expert, marketing, business strategy, success, and personal growth/motivation – one at a time.

Brendon started with a specific niche and organically grew into a leading expert of a very broad industry (personal development) over the course of 6-8 years.

That’s how he built his empire.

That’s how others built theirs.

That’s how you’ll build yours, too!

Get started in an area of your industry that is underserved or ignored.

Specialized expertise is always more valuable than general expertise.

Specialize, gain traction, build momentum and dominate your space.


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