In American English, the word ‘niche’ is pronounced as ‘nitch’. I think using that pronunciation is a great way to be reminded that your products and services need to satisfy an itch!
We normally buy benefits and not features. For our businesses to be successful we need to make sure the benefits match that need, want or hurt. In other words, they ‘scratch that itch’.
As an example, if I had a headache from doing my accounts I’m not really looking for a bookkeeper to sort my bills or an acupuncturist to stick needles in me. What I’m paying them to do is to get rid of the pain in my head and take away the stress!
Following my last blog, I thought I’d explore the next step which is identifying your Market. You do this by defining your customer profile or avatar so that you can create a niche to focus on. This will help you turn your marketing and social media campaigns into paying customers/clients.
Why a niche?
The marketplace is jam-packed with competition in virtually every industry and sector. The more narrowly you define your target market, the more new and qualified customers you will attract into your business and the less your marketing efforts will cost!
If you say your target customer is “everybody” or “whoever’s willing to pay” then the likely result will be no customers. It would cost a small fortune to cast your net that wide.
You’ll also find it hard to build a relationship if you’re always talking about what you do and not about what your prospect wants.
At this time of year, many women want to lose weight but is that really what it’s about? Or do they want to feel more confident or sexy, and look better in their clothes? Get back into that dress they love or fit into some of that wardrobe full of different sizes as they have “nothing to wear”?
Working out a target niche
Choose a niche that interests you and is easy to contact or you’ll quickly get bored and frustrated. The more genuinely interested and enthusiastic you are about your niche the more you’ll understand what causes grief and pain to customers. As a result, you’ll be able to solve those problems.
Niches can be geographic or customer-centric and they can cover almost anything:
- a professional group – accountants, doctors, dentists, florists
- live in the UK or a county, Suffolk, or a town, Bury St Edmunds
- a particular type of music or sport
- loves cats or dogs (or horses!)
- collects stamps, railway timetables
- hates the internet.
Just watch BBC’s “Not the Nine O’Clock News”. You’ll be amazed at how many niches and diverse publications they manage to find! The possibilities are endless but as I said before you need to make sure you can contact your chosen niche.
A great example of this is a friend of mine, photographer Penny Morgan. Quite coincidentally, Penny has just written a blog on why she’s selected Equestrian photography as her niche. Read her blog here. You’ll see her passion and enthusiasm for horses definitely shine through.
She’s also done the background work and invested the time to develop a portfolio to showcase her work. I was lucky enough to be asked by Penny if I’d like photos of my horse, Winston, aka Maestoso Ritmus II. This is one of the photos from that session, which had to be taken indoors as the weather was horrible.
You can move into multiple niches but it’s best to tackle them one at a time. That way you can work out how to dominate the niche you’ve selected before you move on.
Benefits of choosing a niche
- You understand your customer’s individual needs and motivations
- You speak their language
- News of your brand travels far more quickly
- You can establish yourself as an expert in your field, the person to go to.
You’ll find you can communicate more effectively and with a real level of clarity. Your goal is a personalised conversation with a prospect. Remember it’s about them and not you – a bit like that first date!
Give it a try. You will be surprised at how your business will grow. Have fun scratching that itch!