I’m a big proponent of niche services, niche products, and niche marketing. Niches just make sense – once you get it.
(We pronounce it NITCH, but you can say NEESH too. Come at me.)
What Is Niche Marketing?
Niche marketing is the process of targeting a small, well-defined group of potential customers with products or services that are specifically designed to meet their needs. Their very specific, niche needs.
By focusing on a small, well-defined niche, you can save time and money on marketing, build stronger relationships with your customers, and create a unique selling proposition that will help you attract and retain customers. Particularly the customers you want to work with most.
While not every industry lends itself to a niche or niche marketing, many service businesses – and particularly knowledge businesses – are a perfect fit.
An accountant or tax expert who works with dairy farmers only.
A financial advisor who works only with tattoo shop owners.
A social media marketer who helps knitters that sell on Etsy.
A retail store that sells only products for left-handed people.
A builder who specializes in energy-efficient home-building.
“That’s crazy!” you say, “How will you find enough customers when there are so few dairy farmers/tattoo shop owners/left-handers?”
It’s true that focusing on a small niche will narrow your field of eligible, prospective customers (your Total Addressable Market, or TAM), but your marketing messaging becomes magnitudes more powerful, and for your customers, the decision should be that much easier.
Because you’re so specialized, you know their needs better than anyone. You know their problems, their concerns, and their fears – and most importantly, you know how to solve them efficiently.
Why would a dairy farmer work with any accountant when they could work with an accountant who knows dairy farmers?
Why would a tattoo shop owner who needs help with their finances work with any financial advisor when they could work with a financial advisor who only helps tattoo shop owners?
Your niche’s problems will be unique, and your ability to solve them unique as well. That’s part of the power of niche marketing.
Niche Marketing Benefits
- Increased brand awareness
- Increased traffic to your website
- Increased sales
- Increased customer loyalty
- Better product and service fit for your customers
- Increased profitability
Tips for Picking Your Niche
If you’re looking for a way to grow your business and really speak to your customers with marketing material, niche marketing is a great strategy. By focusing on a specific niche, you can increase your chances of success while narrowing your marketing to the highly specific problems that your customers face.
Here are a few tips for picking a niche for your business:
- Understand your skillset. If you’re just starting your career, it’s probably too early to pick a niche. But if you’ve been in the business for a decade, take a moment to reflect on the customers you enjoy most, the problems you feel most comfortable resolving, and the customers who you know love the product or service you offer.
- Choose a niche that you’re passionate about. It’s important to choose a niche that you’re passionate about. This will make it more enjoyable to market, easier to come up with unique angles for your business, and more efficient to provide products or services for your target audience.
- Do your research. Before you pick a niche, it’s important to do your research and understand the market. This includes understanding the size of the market, the needs of the target audience, and the competition. Niches can be really small, but there is such thing as too small.
Targeting Your Niche
Once you’ve picked a niche market and some basic messaging, you need to figure out how to target your audience. Here are some basics:
- Creating content for your website (like on a blog) that’s relevant, entertaining, and educational for your niche audience
- Using social media to connect with your audience by sharing tips, trips, or info specific to your niche. My number one tip for social media and content creation: try to “add value” one way or another!
- Attending industry events or connecting with industry groups related to your niche. If you’re an accountant for dairy farmers, head to a dairy farming event! Go to your local farm show!
- Ask for referrals. Your niche customers should be your greatest advocates if you’re doing great work. Ask them for introductions to their niche friends, when appropriate.
The key is to create content and marketing messages that speak directly to your audience. This will help you build relationships with your audience and drive sales in the long-run.
While it can be scary, narrowing to a niche is at the bleeding edge of marketing and business evolution.
Just think about it.