Business owners don’t like to say no. They want to accommodate customers by responding “Yes!” “Sure!” “Can do!” “No problem!”
Why? No matter how hard you try, you can’t be all things to all people. There will always be a limited number of skills at which you excel; a select number of superior products or services you can offer. Creating a niche market might mean saying a short-term “No” but you’ll gain that long-term “Yes.”
When you limit what you promise, your brand becomes stronger, you can market more efficiently and ultimately, you become known as the go-to expert in your particular area of expertise. That reputation is invaluable; putting you at the top of the heap, not wallowing in the middle somewhere. You want to be the star, not the utility player.
How do you classify your market niche?
- Be able to clearly describe your offering — the product or service you provide
- List the benefits of your offering and the value conveyed to buyers
- Determine that there is an audience or end user for your offering
- Define the want or need your offering fulfills
- Have at least some experience or examples that demonstrate your expertise
- Differentiate yourself: What’s the BIG IDEA that you offer that no one else does? How can you set yourself apart (besides via pricing) from the competition?
- Determine that customers will pay (fairly) for what you offer
(Get more insight here – Branding Strategy Success: X Marks the Spot)
The two most important reasons around which to craft your particular niche:
- You’re good at it
- You like doing it
(If either of these last two requirements aren’t true, keep looking)
How do you build your market niche?
- Read, listen and learn — you need to know more than the next guy
- Work hard; pursue your market niche relentlessly
- Focus on projects that reinforce the expertise you want to promote
- Say no to projects that fall outside your market niche
- Broadcast your expertise through various marketing channels to substantiate your “expert status”
And then go learn some more and broadcast some more. When you know the most, have attained superior competency and are recognized as that go-to expert, you’ll be able to pass the test.
And what test is that?
The next time someone is asked, “Who would you recommend for _____,” yours is the first name they think of.
Have you found your niche? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding and marketing expert. She works with startups and small- to mid-size businesses and is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.