You’ve heard about niching down or choosing a niche. You’re either a total fan of this, pretty against this for your brand, or really unsure of what this means.
While many people struggle with committing to a niche, for reasons I’ll get to in a moment, having a clear niche is one of the fastest—if not the fastest—ways to grow your brand. You don’t need a lot of money and even if you have 0 followers, niching down can explode your growth.
Why? Because no matter what you do or sell, there is an alternative for what you do. There may not be clear competition, but there is always an alternative.
A niche helps people quickly identify you as not just the best choice for them, but the only choice for them. This is how you find yourself with Raving Fans and even a cult following. So, if having a niche is so great, why do people struggle with choosing one?
Well, I find that multi-passionate creatives and people who are inexperienced at business resist niching down the most.
They’re usually afraid that committing to a niche will limit their success, and their creativity, because they won’t have enough customers or won’t feel fulfilled by doing just one thing. They don’t see how filling a very, very specific need can help them grow faster than just serving everybody. And if they grow faster, they’ll be able to offer more services, or fill more needs, down the line.
They tend to point at large brands like Coca Cola and mention how brands like that are successful even though their products are for everyone. But that isn’t true. And those people often mistake a company with a brand.
Kinda quick example here: Coca Cola is a company, but it’s also a brand of soda. Coca Cola owns Sprite, which is a different brand, but they don’t have a “Coke lemon-lime” so that they can serve “everyone”. No. They own Sprite, who competes with lemon-lime brands like Sierra Mist and 7up. They didn’t just decide to make another flavor of Coke.
People who don’t think that they can benefit from having a niche need to understand how people think about their own problems. People think that their problems are unique. And, generally, we want to be unique.
At the very same time, we don’t want to feel alone.
Humans often think they’re the only one in the world who is experiencing the challenge they’re experiencing. When we find we’re not alone, we have a strong, positive emotional reaction to the person who helps us feel like we’re a part of a community.
You ever feel an instant connection to someone who just “gets you”? This is why well written websites, blog posts, and other marketing copy make people say, “I felt like you were talking to me, directly!” That’s because we don’t want to be alone. But, we still want to maintain our uniqueness, and we want our very unique problems solved in a very personalized way. This is why we pay more for customized health plans and fitness solutions.
You can go to the gym alone, or you can get a trainer who can help you get the results for the unique way your body works.
Or…you can follow a diet you found on Pinterest, but you might be more interested in a personalized nutrition plan to help you reach your nutrition goals.
Whatever you sell, you want to make a type of person feel like your solution is exactly made for them. No matter what you sell, there’s an alternative. Your “competition” is based on the motives and desires of the person you sell to.
A niche, as defined by MW Definition 2, is a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted. So, your niche is a combination of the activity or item you sell and the way it is best fitted to serve people.
You can be a salsa dance teacher—that can be your activity—but your niche can be salsa dance for fitness, salsa dance for competitive dancing, salsa dance as a form of physical therapy, salsa dance as a form of relationship counseling or development, salsa dance as form of developing confidence or sensuality.
That specificity is what differentiates a niche from an activity. That specificity is also what can turn a potential client into a Raving Fan.
Think about the couple who doesn’t want to sit in a therapists office for counseling, but knows that they need to spend time together in an intimate setting, with outside, light-handed guidance on how to rely on one another again.
Adding a few more romantic songs, maybe a few affirmations, and more sensual steps to your salsa lessons can make that couple feel like you really understand what they need and want, and that you know how to help them get it.
That’s the kind of person, or couple, who’ll thank you for being in business and will tell everyone they know about you. We call those people Raving Fans.
When you have Raving Fans, or a well-developed niche that’s taking you to Raving Fandom, you can change more.
A niche makes you specific and specificity is where the money is.
Think about it, a pair of sneakers can cost you 20 bucks. You can get a pair of Nikes for about 50. But Nike Air Max 90s in Rose Gold will run you about 180.
Being a life coach, is not as specific as specific as being a life coach who coaches millennials through getting their finances in order, while simultaneously coaching them through developing their intimate relationship skills, so that by the time they find the partner of their dreams, they have mature relationship skills that will help their relationships thrive and their finances will be in shape to help them be a fiscally responsible spouse.
Now doesn’t that sound like an incredible service? And doesn’t it make you think, maybe you should go check out that life coach and see if they sell something else that can help you? (If you don’t fall into that original category).
You see, you might not immediately attract everyone in the world who needs life coaching, but you’ll attract more people who are ready to get the results you offer.
This specificity makes you an expert at achieving specific results that other life coaches don’t “specialize” in.
You will attract help from places which can spread your message (and get you in front of more people) that it would have taken you years to get noticed by, if you had continued being general.
You’re likely to be given platforms to speak on because your expertise is so specific.
And the specific results you offer are more valuable than general results, meaning people will pay more for them.
Because experts get paid more.