Niche Doesn’t Mean Small, it Means Focused: Find Yours, Define It, Nail It

Working with Aaron Ross on the Predictable Revenue team, we get to listen in on some cool workshops— this was one we all enjoyed.

What is a niche?

There’s often a misunderstanding (and misuse) of the word niche. A niche (or niche market) is a segment within your target audience where you strategically direct the most marketing (and time). Having a niche is like being the big fish in a small pond—it’s much easier to be successful in a small pond compared to a large one. Once you find your niche, you’ll compete more effectively within your industry.

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Why having a niche important

Whether you’re SaaS, software, a consultant, a services company or in the media, you’ll always have competition, and the ‘noise’ keeps getting louder. What’s the reason to hire you or buy your product/service over someone else’s? Your niche helps focus your value, messaging and differentiating factors, so it’s easier for customers to understand and get excited about your stuff.

Focusing on a specific area or product type within your industry separates you from the rest of the competition.  Focus also means that you don’t waste time and resources on prospects or segments that aren’t a fit with your company. Rather than being all things to all people, a niche allows you to focus on the one thing you do really well.

Have you “Nailed your Niche”?

Once you understand the basics of a niche, discover and establish yours. Clues that tell if you’ve pin-pointed your niche:

  • If you have grown by word-of-mouth but struggle with lead generation and outbound prospecting, you haven’t nailed your niche.

  • If your solution is offering ”nice-to-have” products or services to prospects instead of “need-to-have” products or services you haven’t nailed your niche.

  • If your marketing sales strategies aren’t seeing results, you haven’t nailed your niche.

It’s better to pick a focused market that’s “too small”, but where you can find and win deals, than it is to stick to defining your target market so broadly that you get lost in it. Like explained here.

If you can relate to any of the above, you may need to re-evaluate your focus and consider a different route. Oftentimes, nailing your niche can come from asking yourself a series of questions. Take time to consider your assets, your business goals, and what you and your team do well. Go back to the basics—discover what you do and who you do it for. After a bit of exploration, you’ll be closer to your niche.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.29.03 AM

The “Arc of Attention”

Prospects are not your family. Your family may give you three hours of their time, but this is obviously not the case when you’re sending a cold email. You only have a few seconds to make an impression and get a prospect’s attention. The ‘Arc of Attention’ becomes much smaller; be clear and simple about how you can help them.

If you’re able to quickly and clearly outline how your business solves a prospect’s pain, you can build trust and move them along the Arc of Attention so that they invest more time with you. Can you capture a potential client’s attention in a short period of time? If you’re describing too much (venturing outside your niche), you’ll be less effective in communicating your message and lose attention. Nailing your niche is critical to your scaling your business. As Aaron says, ” when you’re talking to everyone, no one can hear you.”

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