“I’ll take two, please”
As she pull two crisp, €50 notes from her purse and put them on the counter.
“I’ll take two, please”
‘Of course’ Mary says, adding “Can I gift wrap these?”
“No, I’ll take care of that myself, I have special paper and ribbon.“
Mary offers the receipt and Ms. “I’ll take two, please” drives away in her new 3-series BMW. The afterglow of another happy customer fresh in Mary’s mind.
“I’ll take two, please”
It was not always this easy.
A few years back Mary believed “I’ll sell one of these to everyone and be a millionaire”
But, everyone didn’t and the millions didn’t flow.
Not until Mary focused on a small group of people, a niche audience, did her fortunes turn around.
Yes, niching your audience is scary. You ignore almost everyone and only court a few.
Yet, niching is exactly what you gotta do to attract the Ms. “I’ll take two, please”. And niching is what you gotta do to stand out from the crowd.
Stand out from the crowd?
Let us unpack this and see how and why you gotta niche to win big:
What is a Niche?
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. A small market segment. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. wikipedia
The value in niching is people will a) flock to you as the expert in your field (skill niching) and/or b) people will seek you out like you’re the chosen one (audience niching).
In marketing parlance a niche is a section of an audience. Then tailor the product for that subsection of the wider audience. Marketers love to segment an audience into meaningfully groups — age, location, education, income, or view point — thereby allowing one group to be served.
Or a person can niche their skill set. Think bone doctor vs a general practitioner. Or fine wood furniture maker vs. general carpenter.
Marketing analytics, or conversion rate optimization, or search engine optimization, Facebook Ads, are niche skills.
In the culinary arts niche skill are making sauces, or pastry, or bread making.
Niching is scary! Yet, you can’t be everything to everyone
Opposite Of Niche is a Commodity
A commodity is a good or service which is interchangeable. The only discernible difference is price.
Pulling this idea string along, if your ‘product’ (or service) is not different, people will bucket you with all the products or providers. And choose a product or service on price.
When you niche an audience or skills three pieces of magic happen.
- Stop being a commodity
- You attract more ideal clients, and
- Your competition shrinks
Also when you niche or become a specialists you charge higher prices, get found easier and become an expert.
Let us start with:
Niching On An Audience
The real problem isn’t finding people who will buy, but, to ignore the 98.6% who will never buy from you.
Start by painting a picture in your head of an ideal client, your perfect customer, the Ms. “I’ll take two, please”.
Define everything about her. What does she like? And dislike? Yes, include demographics — her age, her location, if she’s single or married?
Include her beliefs.
Political, and religion beliefs. Is she a vegetarian? Does she drink red or white or is she a non-drinker? Drive a BMW, or Ford? Love ManU or Liverpool? Rugby or GAA? Apple or Samsung? Yoga, triathlete or neither?
Yes, be granular defining her. Because she is that particular about you.
100% agree the ‘painting a picture’ of your ideal customer is odd. Yet, defining your ideal customer help you repels the 98.6% of everyone who will never buy from you. And help you attract the few who are important to your business.
And that’s the point.
98.6% of everyone who will never buy from you. So why waste resources convincing them to buy?
If this sound familiar it is. What you are doing is creating a marketing persona for your ideal client.
Tell The ‘Everybody Else’ You Are Not For Them
Do this in 2 ways:
1st : Align your branding to attract Ms. “I’ll take two, please”.
Do this with colours, words, and images on your website, your Facebook page. Everywhere Ms. “I’ll take two, please” will see and visit.
And like magic when ‘everybody else’ arrives they’ll say ‘hey this is not for me’ and leave.
This works because “I’ll take two, please” women identifies with your branding and other don’t.
2ndly, state your intent explicitly. Say you cater for the “I’ll take two, please” on the front page of your blog/website.
“This site caters for the single professional vegetarian woman. Who drinks red wine, drives a 3-series BMW, iPhone user, a Liverpool football supporter. Gives to charities, volunteers for old age people, supports WWF, and PETA.
The up-shot of all this? You excluding a bigger group who will never buy from you.
Maybe you are asking the “I’ll Take Two, Please niche is to small for me to build a business upon”. Well yes and no.
Yes, this niche, by itself, is small. But, because of cohort audiences you attract many many others.
Other Will Aspire to ‘Ms. I’ll Take Two’
Yes, by definition — your Ms. “I’ll Take Two, Please” audience is small, even tiny. By focusing all your efforts on her, you will attract girls, ladies, and woman who identify and aspire to be like Ms. “I’ll take two, please”.
If your ideal customer is at the top stone of a pyramid, then every other stone is different audiences, each separated by an age or the cars they drive or sports team they support.
When you add all these cohorts audiences together, they become a large audience which you can build a business upon.
But, this only works if you first plant your flag in the sand and say “I serve Ms. I’ll Take Two Please.”
And because girls, ladies, and woman identify and aspire you build your business.
You can also build a business on a niche skill.
Inch Wide and a Mile Deep
Specializing Wins; Generalist Wither and Die.
To win customers you must solve a problem for someone. A specific problem.
People have specific problems. Irritable bowel, eczema, wonky tire on a car, dodgy electrical outlet, broken electrical shower, no sales from Facebook.
A specialist is memorable. A generalist is not. Experts always wins over generalists.
We take our car to a transmission specialist when it doesn’t change gears. We go to a exotic allergy specialist when our hay fever tablets stop working.
Specialists Skills Has Cohort Skills
Yet, writing on the web, by itself, does not a successful business make.
You need more than one skill.
Skills about WordPress, audience building, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, podcasting, video making, finding images, copyright laws, etc.
If Jon, or Jeff or Henneke speak on social media marketing we all should listen.
Are they ‘go-to’ experts on social media marketing? Far from it. Still, their working knowledge is better than most self claimed experts.
And by association this working knowledge gives them a level of authority on social media marketing.
These skills are cohort skills. Cohort skill supplement your core expertise.
So, have your staked your “One Inch Wide And A Mile Deep” Clam?
Now is the time.
Examples of Audience Niching
1) Adam Connell over at Blogging Wizard.com “give people advice and resources to grow a blog and take it to the next level.”
2) Leo Babutta over at Zen Habits is in the wellness space. He aims to help people simplify their life. Slow down and enjoy your cup of tea.
3) Gary Korisko over at rebootauthentic.com is attracts people who want to become influencial.
Examples of Specialists Skills
1) Jon Loomer at Jon Loomer.com is the Facebook ads expert.
2) Mari Smith at MariSmith.com is a Facebook Marketing Expert. Facebook is a niche compared to all social networks. And Mari is very well known.
3) Brian Dean has a blog and business at Backlinko – his skill niche is ‘Seo Training and Link Building Strategies’.
4) Ardee Diesel is a skill specialists. They specialize in repairing common rail diesel injector systems.
5) Skill Specialists BladeSharpening.ie They sharpen cutting blades.
Over to you: “I’ll take two, please”
Niching on an audience ignores 95.2% of everyone and is a deep gulp moment. Yet this gut churning moment is smaller than the leap you took in launching your business.
So why do so many of yous struggle with narrowing your target audience?
Over to you. Let me know how you felt when you made your leap.