There’s an intense discussion going on in a forum I belong to, about whether you need a niche or not.
Do you? Or is it just a lot of nonsense? Why is a niche important?
That’s right. More money. If you specialize you get more money.
In marketing, we call it a unique selling proposition – it’s a fancy bunch of words for whatever it is that makes you stand out (Hint: printing business cards for any small business is not a niche).
The reason that many people recommend finding a niche is that it’s much easier to market yourself that way. Trying to be all things to all people will doom you to failure.
There’s a nail salon near my home that also offers video transfer services. Would you trust your memories to a nail salon?
Think Like a Fisherman
Say you’re a fisherman and you specialize in tuna.
If you want tuna, you figure out where tuna congregate. Let’s see, tuna. Well they’re fish, so that eliminates land masses. You need water.
Now, what kind of water? Not ponds, or lakes, or rivers.
Oceans! Which part of the ocean? Cold water? Warm water? Close to shore? Far from shore? Etc.
You narrow down your target, instead of spraying and praying and hoping to hit something.
You Can’t Catch Fish with Strawberries
Then you think, OK I know where the tuna live, where’s the best spot to hang out to find them? What do they want to eat? What kind of tackle do I need to catch them? What can I do that will attract tuna to my bait?
So, You’re Not Really a Fisherman
A few more practical examples.
Say you’re a wedding planner. That’s not a niche, but what if you specialized in interfaith weddings – and the special issues that arise when different beliefs come together? You could make a name for yourself, and probably charge more money too.
Or, the Virtual Assistant for video producers. If you focus on video, you can go hang out at video industry events, read video industry magazines, and fix yourself in people’s minds as the “go to” person for the video industry. If you know who you’re talking to, and what problems they have, it’s going to be much easier to solve them.
See how it works?
What strategies do you use to attract your own “tuna”? Share them in the comments.