The catchphase “find your niche” can give some business-owners and espacially freelancers and artits a headache. It would be an immensly hard task to break everything you do down into a niche, and wave off everything else that’s not contained in that, right? Don’t be fooled. The depth of everything you specialize in is self-expanding and in human terms infinite. In marketing terms when we say find your niche, what we should mean is, figure out your unique set of strenghts, and build your business around communicating and delivering those strenghts to the customer. This is where it gets tough already. Figuring out your strenghts as a person and a business calls for a serious amount of self-reflection. It is much easier to think of a broad goal that you want to reach on any level of the scale – I want to make to make good music, I want to change the world with my product. As fancy as that might sounds, it is so broad and hypothetical – also, when you drill it down, immesurable, that it is practically impossible to reach. Similarly people tend to have a “please-everybody” aditude when it comes to figuring out their services, which makes it impossible for them to compete in an open marketplace with older and bigger competitors.
So is this a curse, or a blessing? Before we talk about how to figure out your niche, let’s look at a few aspect of the subject at hand.
1. People are slowly losing Trust in big companies.
We are generally turned off by the idea of monopolies, but tend to swim along once the execution reaches a certain level of smoothness. But as the big corporations extend their business into all branches and areas, people are inceasingly looking for business with tangible people, relatable stories and the feeling that somebody really cares, because they depend on the customer just as much as the customer depends on them.
2. It’s easier to provide great service to a smaller customer base
Especially when you are running a small business, quality over quantity should be your motto full circle from the choice of your product to the relationship to your customer base.
Investing extra time and effort into the care and service your customers recieve can go a long way, rather than trying to scale as fast as possible leaving things to be desired for your early adopter customers. Your earliest customers will always be your core customers, build on legacy and leave a good impression rather than trying to please everybody and therefore lack in execution.
3. Consumers are willing to pay more for transparency
Privacy and transparency are increasing concerns in this day and age and part of the reason why people are not fully trusting the big players any more. The exploitation of our data has become obvious even among laymen, with personal ads just scratching the surface. This gives business owners the opportunity to choose honesty and transparency as core values to operate by, not out of legislation, but out of your care for the needs and wants of the people.
4. You cannot keep up with the big players
Let it just be said for the record, launching a online-bookstore website in 2020 trying to compete on the general market with a large selection of all genres, your chances are approaching zero. Reason for that being, obviously, you will not be able to capture enough market share from people using Amazon over your site. But what if you made a site that focuses on selling books exclusively writtin in an specific era and location by a select group of authors. To reinforce the image you will now also offer other products from the same area, you will contribute your own expertise and throw in what YOU think is important in the field. Once the mix becomes coherent you now start building a BRAND. You need to start building this brand, or accumulation of related services and products, around what you are passionate about in life. The further you can narrow it down to a niche and give it your own personal touch, while retaining a certain level of “mass-appeal”, the higher your chances of finding highly converting customers.
5. Saving Time – Customers instantly want to know what you’re about
Think about prospecting. Somebody that has never heard of you or your brand gets in touch with it for the first time. What you want, since you don’t run a multi-million-dollar branding campaing, is to get a conversion fast – or at least, a reaction. To do that, you need to provide information even faster. Think of an ad that tells you nothing but show you a brand logo and a stock-photo. I see ads all the time that resemble a mockup rather than trigger an emotional response. What reaction are those posts and ads gonna get? Zero. In essence this is because we are so used to being bombarded with information all day long, we will not be intruiged by some random service by some random person, not intruiged enough to dig and see what it’s about. So you either need to create a strong emotional response, which will motivate people to go the extra mile, or be so straight forward with what you are offering, in your branding and communication, that it boils down to a quick yes or no response when asked “Do you want this product or service?”.