So let me run the definition of niche for you again:
MW Definition 2: a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted.
“Activity for which a person or thing is best fitted.” What is your brand best fitted to do?
Well, it’s probably going to be centered around the primary practitioner’s core competencies. If you’re a video editor, your brand is likely best fitted to do something related to editing videos. That’s your activity. Now, think, what problem do you solve?
You may think you edit any kind of video for any kind of person, but you probably don’t. There’s probably a particular budget you want people to have, a particular level of footage quality you expect to work with, a specific outcome you want, etc. So you don’t just edit video—that’s not the problem you solve.
Maybe the problem you solve is: directors have a ton of footage from a variety of shooting locations and lighting conditions and have a variety of audio and soundbites that all need to feel like a part of a cohesive story. You put those raw materials together for them to help their vision be represented and communicated professionally.
If that’s what you do, you might say “duh…that’s what most editors are doing.” No, not necessarily.
Some editors are only working on music videos where all of the footage was shot in one location.
Some editors work on family videos like sweet 16s and weddings
Some editors work on corporate training videos
Some editors only edit the projects they’ve shot themselves
Those are all different specialties and “specificities“. 🙂
If getting this specific is hard for you, think about the rest of your background. What other skills do you have that make you good at your job?
If you’re really consistent and have a serious commitment to detail, that first description of the editor who can take all these non-matching clips, and make a smooth story out of them, might resonate with you.
If you’re a family person and you’re the kind of storyteller who knows how to share the details that make someone feel like “they were there”, then editing family events, or behind the scenes events, might be the right kind of work for you.
That’s how you determine what you’re best fitted to do. Not just by your activity of editing videos, or whatever it is you do, but by realizing what else you’re good at and how valuable that extra talent is to the person who wants your activity.
If anyone ever asks “what sets you apart from the other people who do what you do?” this is what they’re asking about.
What’s the special something extra you bring to the table that makes you a better choice to work with.
“Better choice” is relative, right?
It is. Relative to the person who values that something extra.
Many people like to take this opportunity to tell me they’re very “detail oriented”. Sure, everyone might appreciate the result of someone being detail oriented, but the type of detail they appreciate you paying attention to is going to vary.
You need to know who you really want to work with so that you can use your something extra to win those people over. Saying you’re detail oriented isn’t special. All of your competitors are probably saying that about themselves if they think that’s what people want to hear.
Remember in the other episode, when I said people think their problems are really unique?
Show that you understand your customer by letting them know that the kinds of details they need someone to focus on are the kinds of details you pay attention to.
This helps people identify your brand as the solution to that unique problem they have. This will show them that you get them.
When you’re niching down, ask yourself these questions:
- Why do people need my activity?
- What problem do I solve?
- What makes me so good at this?
If you’re also struggling with narrowing down your target audience, doing this niche down exercise is also going to help with that.