There’s absolutely no way you can become successful with your business or make decent money from your passion unless you define your niche.
But you know that already, right?
You’ve probably done the rounds of online marketing gurus, read more than your fair share of ‘Marketing for Dummies’ and perhaps treated yourself to a YouTube video or two which dived deeper into the topic.
But like most newish entrepreneurs (and with that I mean those who have only been in business for less than five years and are still learning the ropes) it can all feel a bit confusing.
Very confusing, in fact. So confusing that it makes you want to sidestep the whole niche stuff and just get on with what you love to do.
But hang on right there! This is important stuff.
Stick around and I’ll guide you through everything you need to know to define your niche, help you get down and do it, and then remind you to get yourself a cuppa at the end. (Well, I am British, aren’t I??)
What is a niche?
A niche (pronounced /niːʃ/ in British English and /nɪtʃ/ in American English) is a narrow group of people who already love and need whatever you have on offer.
Your solution solves their problem. It makes them want to pull out their wallets and throw money at you, just so they can have this wonderful coaching experience/class/service that your small business provides.
Depending on what you’re offering this might be things like aromatherapy massages, life coaching services, online holistic weight-loss programmes, yoga classes and so on.
Sounds perfect, right?
That’s because it is. Your only tasks are a) to define what your niche actually is (more on that below) and b) to develop the right products and services to solve their most pressing problems.
Then you’ve got this small business stuff cracked!
Why is finding a business niche so important?
Many of us resist defining a niche and because we’re scared.
We think that by defining a niche, we’re excluding potential customers and in effect, we’re saying ‘no’ to potential income. And to be honest, when you’re still building your business and working to increase your income, every penny/cent counts, right?
But the opposite is true.
Working out exactly whose problems you can solve will help you find solutions faster. It will help you refine your business and improve your products and services. It will help you save time that you can’t afford to waste getting it right, and most importantly, it will help you start earning an income from your passion faster.
Here are some of the other benefits.
#1. You’ll build trust with your audience
When you focus on your niche, you’ll be able to listen more carefully to your audience’s problems, speak in their language, build a relationship with that person and start to build trust.
Even if they’re not ready for help and support when you first connect, they will think of you first if or when that eventually happens because they ‘know’ you, you already have that relationship.
This is the same reason why people tend to stick with the same hairdresser for year after year.
You’ve already shared stories, you’ve built a relationship and you know you can trust that person not to leave you looking like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards! (Hopefully!)
Besides, if you’re a conscious and caring entrepreneur who isn’t into all that cut-throat selling stuff, defining your niche and building a strong relationship with your community is where you can really shine.
#2. You’ll create online and offline products and services that really make a difference (and actually sell!)
As I’ve mentioned many times already, you can use your new knowledge of your niche to develop useful and effective online programmes, fitness classes, and coaching products and services that make a difference to your community’s lives AND they will actually buy!
You’ll do this without ever feeling like a sleazy salesperson and more like you’re simply living out your life’s mission to help others.
Otherwise, you could waste hours creating a course, online programme, service or package that you think would work and throw away thousands of pounds in the process.
Because, if it’s not what they want, it won’t sell. Even if it’s absolutely amazing. Even if you’ve poured your heart and soul into the project.
This is really important and it’s a mistake I see time and time again with my wellness entrepreneur clients.
RESEARCH YOUR NICHE AND ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS before you develop your offerings.
Nail your niche and you’ll save yourself from wasting a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
#3: You’ll position yourself as an expert in your niche
Defining your niche helps you to stand out.
It’s highly unlikely that there are other people in this world who are running a business focused on the same niche as you are, especially if you’ve got very specific about what you’re offering.
For example, let’s say that you’re a physiotherapist and you’ve decided that you want to help postnatal mothers to get back in shape after childbirth, regain control of the pelvic floor and enjoy a healthy sex life.
You’ve created all your marketing materials around this topic alone because you’re focused and determined that this is who you want to help.
Therefore, when a woman struggling with any of these specific issues and she heads to Google, Facebook or Instagram, your name will be the one to come to mind, not the name of that generic clinic they saw listed in the Yellow Pages or on Google.
Likewise, if you’ve decided to narrow your life coaching practice and focus towards 30-something mothers with children under five who want to get back into the workplace but lack confidence, your name will spring to mind when someone needs help and support in this area, not a generalist who can help you lose weight, stop smoking, succeed in interviews and so on.
YOU will be the expert they turn to. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous feeling?
So, how do you find your wellness business niche?
Luckily, it’s not too hard to find your niche, if you’re willing to take some time, think carefully and stick to your findings. Here’s exactly how you can do that.
#1. Brainstorm your client
Start by having a think about who you think would most benefit from your services.
Who would you like your niche market to be? What do they like to do? Where do they like to hang out? What do they spend their money on? Where do they buy their groceries?
Allow your thoughts to flow with this exercise and scribble down anything that comes to mind. Bear in mind that we’re just thinking here- what you write doesn’t force you to commit to anything at this stage.
(If you’ve been in your industry for a while, this might be an easy thing to do and you can create quite a nice idea of who this ‘ideal client’ might be.)
#2. Who would you most like to help?
Next, switch your attention back to yourself and think about who you’d most like to serve with your business.
Are there any groups of people you’d feel passionate about helping? Are there any causes that you feel passionate about and for whom you’d love to make a difference?
Again, write it all down and make sure you’re not censoring yourself. It’s all just ideas at this stage so feel free to include the crazy, scary stuff too.
#3. What are your strengths?
It’s not just about your client. This entrepreneurship business is about you too! So, think about what really drives you to wake up in the morning and what you’re good at.
- Do you have any skills, education, or experience that your audience would really benefit from?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What do you hate?
- What drives you crazy about your industry?
- What do you wish people would know or do?
#4. What is the story of your healing journey?
Many wellness and lifestyle entrepreneurs started their businesses because they managed to overcome certain health problems or issues in their lives and realised that they could help others do the same. It’s probably the same for you.
So, what is your story? Why did you start your business? What struggles did you overcome on the path towards healing?
(Once you’ve done this, keep your story somewhere safe- it will come in handy when it comes to writing your sales pages, blogs, newsletter and website later!)
#5. Who are your current clients and audience?
If you have an existing business, you already have a wealth of information at your fingertips that you can draw on to help narrow your niche and strengthen your business. So now is the time to ask them everything you can about their problems and the solutions that they’re looking for.
Ask them questions such as:
- What made you come to me for help?
- What are the 3-5 biggest problems you’re facing right now?
- If I could wave my magic wand over your life, what would it look like?
- Is there anything I could offer you that I don’t already offer?
Reaching out to your audience and asking these kinds of questions might seem daunting or scary but there are many ways you can do it.
Firstly, you might already have clients who you feel more comfortable asking so go ahead and do that. You could also send out a quick email to your mailing list (you do have one, don’t you??) or pop a short message on social media and ask if they would mind answering a few quick questions.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give them a call- often people will be more receptive on the phone especially if they know you’re not trying to sell them something. They’re also far more likely to want to help as talking is much easier than writing things down.
#6: Narrow down your niche
By doing all this research, you should have a nice list of potential niches that you could explore and problems you could solve. Now you simply need to pick one. Sounds easy, right? It can be.
Choose one niche that you can stick to for at least six months and then promise yourself to commit wholeheartedly to it.
Remember that you don’t need to stick to this niche forever and that your niche will naturally shift over time as you understand your target market even better, wellness and coaching trends shift, and your audience needs change too.
Bear in mind that your target market needs to have the money necessary to pay for your services- it’s no good developing a product or service that they can’t afford.
#7: Write it down!
There’s just one last step here before you can let out a sigh of relief and go grab yourself a cuppa. You need to fill in the following sentence then pin it somewhere prominent so you can stick to your niche. Here goes:
“I help [your ideal client] who are suffering with [problem/struggle/challenge] to [your solution] so they can [the benefit to them].”
For example, yours might look like this if you’re a women’s health coach:
“I help perimenopausal women who are suffering from a low sex drive to rebalance their hormones so they can enjoy a healthy sex life with their partner”.
The sentence above is also great to use as a ‘blurb’ for those moments when you meet someone and they ask what you do, but you don’t know how to put it into words. Just memorise this blurb and you’ll sound even more like an expert in your niche and feel confident about what you do.
#8: Test your niche
Whenever you write a blog post, a newsletter, you post something to social media or you communicate with your clients, remember your chosen niche.
Bear this ideal client in mind when you market your services and you’ll notice how much better your message communicates with this audience and helps solve their problems.
Make sure the words that you use are easy for this specific group of people to understand so you can further build trust, solve problems and earn a living from living your passion.
There you have it- everything you need to know about defining your niche, then an easy step-by-step plan that will help you go from clueless to enlightened about finding your niche and making it work for you.
Now I want to hear from you! What do you find hardest about defining your niche? Let me know in the comments below.
AUTHOR: CHARLOTTE WITTS
Charlotte Witts is a writer, editor and entrepreneur who help female wellness entrepreneurs to find their voice, share their message with the world and make a difference. Hire her here or follow her on Facebook.