OK, so I’m setting the record straight about niching once & for all.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard that niching down is the first & most crucial step when you're starting a business.
Because without a niche, you end up trying to be all things to all people. This isn't ideal because your message gets confused and people don't understand exactly what you do. And confused people don't buy. So although narrowing your potential client base might seem counter intuitive, it actually helps you stand out more easily because your audience knows you help specific people with a specific problem.
Now this is all completely, 100% TRUE. What is categorically NOT TRUE is that unless you have your niche 100% figured out, you can't start getting paying clients.
Yes, knowing your niche helps massively and if you're 100% sure of it, that's brilliant. But for the 99% of us who aren't completely sure (or worse, have no idea), this does NOT mean you can't start your business yet. In fact, the worst thing you can do is obsess over it so much that you paralyse yourself with indecision and end up completely stuck.
I know this because I felt exactly the same when I first started my business. Having worked in marketing for 15 years, I knew how important niching was. I had a couple of ideas for it, but because I wasn't 100% sold on it, I shyed away from getting clients because I thought I needed to make that big decision before I could put myself 'out there'.
But what I didn't realise at the time is that it's perfectly OK if your niche changes over time. In fact it most probably will. In fact, the best advice I ever got from my mentor was to just start. Start with the barebones of a niche idea. Start working with people & your true niche will find you. So I did exactly that....
First I started out helping women with their careers, because that was what people always came to me for. It was fine, but it didn't light me up.
Then I moved into helping women who wanted to change career. I could feel myself getting warmer, but it wasn't quite the one.
Then a woman asked me to help her start a business & leave her corporate job 'just like I had' and BAM. It hit me like a truck. I bloody LOVED helping her. Our work together lit me up like a friggin Christmas tree.
And that's when I realised THIS was my niche. THIS was what I was put on this earth to do. To help women like me start their dream businesses & find freedom from the corporate grind. Over time, session by session, client by client, my niche became abundantly clear. The magic was in me the whole time, but I'd never have realised it if I hadn't started working with people & using that as a process of elimination.
So, whatever your inkling of a niche is, just start. And if you don't have an inkling yet, don't you fret my beauty… here are 3 steps to help you narrow it down.
How to find your niche (and then get even more specific)
1. Identify your target market
This is broadest description of the people you want to target, eg: women, men, entrepreneurs, Mums, etc. It's relatively straight forward as its the broadest description. For example, I knew quite early on after all the free coaching that I’d done, that I wanted to work with women. If you’re not at that stage yet, or even if you don't have a preference, its OK to write ‘people’!
2. Define your niche
Your niche is actually the segment of your target market that you specifically want to serve. So your target audience will then get broken down further into segments, eg: if you chose women, you would then niche down further, eg. married women, single women, corporate women, women business owners, women over 50, etc. You can then niche down even further too, eg married women over 50, single women under 30, etc.
Use these questions to help:
Who do you think will resonate with you the most?
Who do you resonate with the most?
Who do you really, really want to help?
What similar journey have you been through yourself?
What struggle(s) have you overcome so that you can help someone else who’s currently experiencing the same things you once did?
3. Define your ideal client
This final stage helps you identify the exact characteristics, struggles and desired of the person within your chosen niche that you would LOVE to work with. This is super important because it's when you really clearly define your ideal client that your marketing becomes super powerful.
Use these questions to help:
What are their demographics, eg income, geographic location, occupation, etc?
What are the problems they have that you can solve?
What keeps them awake at night?
How do they feel about that?
How does that show up for them?
What’s their desired outcome?
What’s their heart’s desire / goal?
How will that make them feel?
What will it give them?
Hopefully that's helped you get moving on your way to picking a niche, so you can get started creating an offer to help you get your first paying clients.
But if you want help doing this faster, with the added benefit of someone who can spot your niche a mile off, then my 121 coaching is for you. Together we'll not only nail your niche, but also co-create an irresistible introductory offer to get you those paying clients and on your way to quitting the rat race for good.
So if you're ready to start building that business and finding that freedom and flexibility you're dreaming of, then let's talk.
Business Coach & Side Hustle Queen
Hi, I'm Lauren. I burnt out from the corporate world, hit rock bottom and used the experience to create my dream life. I now help passionate and ambitious women start and grow businesses. I'm living proof that you can - and deserve to - have it all.