It’s counter-intuitive, perhaps, but tightening your focus, narrowing your target and getting clear about your niche can help you grow MUCH faster and healthier as a speaker, author, coach or consultant.
Why? Because if what you’re selling is YOU, then right off the bat we’re dealing with a situation where there’s scarcity, which means that there is limited YOU to go around. Without a strong value proposition in a niche, then most likely you face lots of competition, which puts downward pressure on your prices.
And if you’re competing on price, then you’re in a situation where you need VOLUME in order to make decent money. Relying on volume is one sure way to a) not be very profitable, and b) quickly become exhausted.
The most profitable brands and businesses that do NOT want to offer mass market, volume products or services, are the ones who can hone in on a niche and sell to them at a higher price…
So once you’re clear about who you are and what you’re up to from an IDENTITY perspective, the next thing to determine is what NICHE you’re going after. Having a strong niche (i.e., specializing in something) will not only raise your value to the end user, it will also help you generate referrals because it’s a LOT easier to be “top-of-mind” for something specific than for something general.
Here are some examples:
- The difference between a general practitioner (general) and a spine surgeon (niche).
- The difference between jeans (general) and designer jeans that make you’re backside look awesome.
- The difference between a massage therapist (general) and a specialist in chronic neck pain (niche).
- The difference between an esthetician (general) and a specialist in teenage acne (niche).
In all of the above cases, the specialist (assuming they are truly excellent) will be able to CHARGE more (because the stakes are higher and the need more specific) and they will get a lot more word-of-mouth, referral business (because it is FAR easier to be top-of-mind for something specific than for something general).
How do you choose a niche?
Here are some ways:
- Analyze your existing book of business to identify any niche audiences for whom your service has high value.
- Ask your existing clients why they come back to you.
- Ask friends and family what they have you “top-of-mind” for.
- Do some homework on any referrals you’ve gotten or get, to find out how they were referred to you (what did the referrer say about you?)
For example, most massage therapists never specialize and end up competing on price because there are a LOT of people who can provide massages. But only a small percentage specialize in any one thing – but as anyone with chronic, severe neck pain can tell you: they would pay more for someone who could get them better results – it’s worth the extra investment.
On the execution or operational side, having a specialty also allows you to go narrow and deep and really hone your craft so you’re delivering at the highest level – another surefire way to develop a loyal clientele and lots of great referrals. Not to mention, it feels really good to get GREAT results!