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When it comes to business, most people think that the more generalized they are, the better. This blog post will discuss how niching down can benefit your business!
The Value in Niching Down Your Brand
Most people believe that by casting a wide net, they will be able to snag more customers and make more money. However, this is not always the case. In fact, specializing in a particular area can help you attract your ideal clientele and increase your revenue.
- A niche market is the same as a niche product
- Niching down will limit growth and isn't profitable
- It's impossible to find a profitable niche that hasn't been saturated
- Reason #1: Develop a stronger offer
- Reason #2: Efficiency = profitability for a niche business
- Reason #3: More focused networking
- Reason #4: Develop a reputation as an expert
- Reason #5: Niche Marketing Messages Become More Impactful
- Reason #6: You'll learn how to troubleshoot problems better than generalists
- Reason #7: Confidence attracts sales
- Reason #8: Increased profitability and Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Reason #9: Niching gives expansion a focus
- 1. Get laser-focused on your WHO
- 2. Look for underserved or trending markets
- 3. Evaluate your competition
Bigger isn’t always better
Where once going after the largest market possible was a winning strategy, it is now niching down that will help you succeed. This shift has occurred because of the internet. It has allowed businesses to target small, specific groups of people with laser precision.
The benefits of niching down
There are several benefits to niching down your business, including:
You will be able to better serve your target market.
It will be easier to differentiate yourself from the competition.
You will become an expert in your field.
It will be easier to attract investors and media attention.
What is niche positioning?
Niche positioning refers to the process of niching down your business to attract a specific type of customer. When you niche down, you focus on a particular group of people that you can serve in a unique way.
For example, let’s say you own a skincare company. If you try to appeal to everyone, your products will be too watered down, and you’ll have a hard time standing out from the competition. However, if you focus on a specific group of people – such as those with sensitive skin – you can develop products that are tailored to their needs. This will make it easier for you to attract and retain customers.
Real-life examples of niche positioning
- Tactical Project Manager (niche market: IT project managers)
- Nomatic (niche market: travelers and digital nomads)
- JK & Co. Wedding Planning (niche market: luxury destination weddings in Australia and abroad, multi-day, mid-week weddings only)
- Rural and Remote First Aid (niche market: Remote area first aid in cattle stations)
- B2B School (niche market: B2B business owners. Formerly called themselves “Not-So-Freaky University”)
The Middle Finger Project (niche market: female business owners)
Bee’s Wrap (niche market: conscious consumers)
Lefty’s (niche market: left-handed people)
Here are some of our own clients who have niched down and seen success as a result:
Bean Ninjas (niche market: bookkeeping for 7-figure+ e-commerce brands)
- Margarita Quihuis (niche market: Boards of companies in Consumer-facing Technology, Healthcare, and Banking & Financial Institutions focused on implementing ESG strategies)
Colleen Keith Sustainable Design Studio (niche market: sustainable web design and branding for businesses making an impact)
- The Growth Hub Global (niche market: real estate companies looking to scale through outsourcing)
Another interesting (non-client) example:
- TLC Mobile Auto Care (niche: all-female mechanics) – I’m mentioning this one because they’ve niched down based on how they deliver their service, not by their target market. (Not to mention they just seem so fun! I actually saw their van drive around our neighbourhood in Inner West Sydney a few times when we were last there)
3 Common Misconceptions About Finding a Profitable Niche
A niche market is the same as a niche product
A niche product and a niche market are not the same thing. A niche product is a specific type of product that appeals to a specific group of people. A niche market is the group of people that you are targeting with your products or services.
For example, let’s say you’re a business systems expert who specializes in helping systemise their operations so they can work less and make more profit. Your target market could be businesses generating $20 million or more in revenue. However, your niche product could be an online course that teaches business owners how to systemize their operations to work less and make more money.
The size of your niche market doesn’t matter – what matters is that you’re able to reach the people who are part of it. Thanks to the internet, you can reach a global audience relatively easily. You no longer have to rely on traditional marketing methods to reach your target market.
For example, let’s say you are a nutritionist who specializes in helping people with Hashimoto’s disease. Even though only a limited number of people suffer from this condition, you can reach many of them with a well-executed digital marketing strategy.
Niching down will limit growth and isn’t profitable
This is simply not true. In fact, businesses that focus on niche markets are often more profitable than those that try to appeal to everyone. This is because charging premium prices is easier when you have a niche market.
Just look at brands like Rolex and Tesla. They both cater to niche markets, and they are both extremely profitable. Rolex serves the niche market of luxury watch buyers, while Tesla serves the niche market of luxury car buyers.
Not all niche markets need to be luxury either. For example, take a look at Bombas. They are a clothing company that donates a matching item of clothing to a homeless shelter or homelessness-related charity for every purchase. They have been able to successfully niche down by appealing to people who want to make a difference with their purchases.
It’s impossible to find a profitable niche that hasn’t been saturated
Not all profitable niches are saturated. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to find an untapped niche market and make a killing. All you need to do is some research and be creative.
For example, let’s say you want to start an online business that sells eco-friendly home goods. You might think that the market is saturated, but if you do some research, you’ll find that there are plenty of opportunities to niche down.
You could focus on selling eco-friendly home goods for people who live in small spaces or on selling eco-friendly home goods for people with pets. There are endless possibilities when it comes to niching down. The key is to find a niche that is profitable and that you are passionate about.
9 Compelling reasons to niche down
Reason #1: Develop a stronger offer
Differentiation is key in any market, so you naturally create a stronger offer when you focus on a niche market. This is because you can focus on the specific pain points of your target market and create a solution that meets their needs.
When you try to appeal to everyone, creating an offer that resonates with your ideal customer is difficult. A niche business on the other hand, has a unique selling proposition built in.
Reason #2: Efficiency = profitability for a niche business
When you focus on a niche market, you can be more efficient with your marketing efforts. This is because you know exactly who you’re targeting, so you can use the right channels to reach them.
You also improve delivery and customer service by focusing on a limited number of products for your niche market.
Reason #3: More focused networking
Networking becomes more effective and efficient when focusing on a niche market. This is because you can connect with other businesses that cater to the same market, which makes it easier to form partnerships.
It’s much easier to seek out industry events, join relevant communities, and connect with your audience when you narrow down from a larger market.
Reason #4: Develop a reputation as an expert
When you focus on a specific market, you have the opportunity to become known as an expert in that field. This is because you can dedicate more time to educating your target market about your products or services.
After providing consistent value, you can quickly establish yourself as your market’s go-to person (or business).
Reason #5: Niche Marketing Messages Become More Impactful
Niching down develops a more differentiated brand. This, in turn, makes marketing messages more impactful.
When you clearly understand your target market and what they want, it’s easier to create persuasive marketing content that speaks to their needs.
Reason #6: You’ll learn how to troubleshoot problems better than generalists
Focusing on a specific niche allows you to dig deeper into each pain point experienced by your target market. You’ll better understand how to solve these problems as you troubleshoot them.
This valuable knowledge can then be used to create even more targeted products and services for your niche market.
The specialist is typically seen as more valuable than the generalist, right?
Reason #7: Confidence attracts sales
Serving a specific audience or small niche of potential customers gives you the confidence to attract bigger sales. This is because you’re no longer selling to anyone who will listen.
You know exactly who your target market is and what they want, so you can confidently sell to them. This newfound confidence will be attractive to potential customers, and it will help you close more sales.
Reason #8: Increased profitability and Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
You can charge premium prices for your products and services when you have a well-defined niche market. This is because people who are part of your target market understand the value of what you’re offering and are willing to pay more for it.
If you’re able to provide an exceptional experience for your target market, they are more likely to become lifelong customers. The longer someone remains a customer, the higher their lifetime value will be.
Reason #9: Niching gives expansion a focus
Small businesses that have niching down as part of their growth strategy can use this focus to expand into new markets.
For example, if you’re a niche clothing store that specializes in selling clothes for tall women, you could expand your business by opening a store that specializes in selling clothes for petite women.
As a second example, if you’re a graphic and web design company specializing in developing websites for small businesses that care about the environment (like our awesome web designer Colleen Keith Design), you could expand your services to include environmental branding. You could also add on consulting to help these businesses become more sustainable.
The key is finding an expansion opportunity closely related to your existing niche to leverage the knowledge, expertise, and network you’ve already developed.
Niche markets provide plenty of opportunities for small businesses to grow and succeed.
Tips for finding your niche target market
Ready to start niching down?
If you’re ready to start niching down, the first thing you need to do is some research. Take a look at your target market and see if there are any opportunities to niche down.
1. Get laser-focused on your WHO
To gain business success, you need to get laser-focused on who your target audience and target customer is.
Be as specific as you can when niching down your target market. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to reach and connect with your ideal customer.
Assuming that you’ve already built a customer base and you’re looking to expand further, you likely have a good understanding of who your target market is. You may still have an opportunity to narrow down or explore pivoting to a more profitable niche.
If you want to get even more specific, here are some questions to ask yourself:
What demographics do my ideal customers fit into? (age, location, gender, income level, etc.)
Who are our best (or longest paying) customers, and do they represent our ideal target market moving forward?
What needs do my products or services address for my target market?
What are the pain points or challenges that my target market experiences?
What are the values and interests of my target market?
What trends in technology or society potentially disrupt our current business model or present an opportunity for us to enter a new market?
If you don’t have an existing customer base, or if you’re just starting out, here are some ways that you can research your target market:
Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to understand what people in your target market are searching for.
Look at demographic data from the Census Bureau to understand the population trends in your target market.
Use Google Analytics to track website visitors and see what interests them most.
Check out relevant forums and online communities to better understand what people in your target market are talking about.
Look at industry reports, such as those from Forrester or Gartner, to learn more about your target market.
Conduct surveys or interviews with people in your target market to get feedback directly from them.
Once you understand your target market, you can start thinking about how to reach them.
2. Look for underserved or trending markets
There are plenty of markets that have yet to be served well. So do some research to find niches that are waiting to be tapped into.
A good place to start is to take a look at what’s currently trending.
According to Simicart’s article titled 10 Best Ecommerce Niches in 2022 for Growing Potentials (Data & Market Insights) these are the niches that are hot at the time of print:
1. Pet products
3. Home office equipment
5. Eco-friendly products
6. Health & Wellness products
7. Educational toys
8. Online course
9. P.O.D products (Print-On-Demand)
10. Beauty products for men
Remember when face masks weren’t even a thing? Then when the pandemic hit, businesses producing and selling face masks saw a surge in demand and profits.
So if you can look at what’s happening in the world and identify potential needs that haven’t been met yet, you may be able to find a profitable niche market to enter.
Pearson recently published a list of seven mega-trends that will influence the job market of 2030:
These present potential niche markets.
On a related note, World Economic Forum also published the Top 10 Jobs of the Future – For 2030 And Beyond. It’s worth a look to get an idea of what skills will be in demand in the future.
Some of the jobs on the list include:
Work from Home Facilitator
Fitness Commitment Counsellor
Smart Home Design Manager
Workplace Environment Architect
These are just a few examples, but you can see how looking at future trends can give you ideas for possible niche markets to enter.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until 2030 to get started. You can always look back at history to find examples of underserved markets.
Examples of other niche markets worth researching:
Personal development and self-care
Personal finance and investing
Travel and tourism
These are just a few examples of niche markets that have yet to be fully served. So if you’re looking for opportunities to niche down, these could be good places to start.
In fact, I have a good friend who has recently transitioned from running an agency to starting a coaching and consulting service. He’s cleverly positioned himself as an expert in community building in the Web 3.0 space. His services a proving to be in high-demand.
To find more underserved markets, here are some things that you can do:
Look for gaps in the market, such as unserved or underserved customer segments.
Look for problems that people in your target market are facing that aren’t being addressed by existing businesses.
Look for opportunities to serve a niche market better than anyone else.
3. Evaluate your competition
Entrepreneurs can assess demand in a specific area by evaluating the level of competition.
A high level of competition indicates that a niche is popular, making it difficult to break into. If many businesses already serve a particular market, it may be wise to consider another niche.
However, even if a niche is popular, there may still be opportunities to serve specific segments of the market that are underserved.
To get started, try searching for your niche on Google and see what comes up. Take a look at the websites of the businesses that come up and see what they’re offering.
You can also use tools like Google Trends, Alexa, or SEMrush to assess the level of competition in a particular niche. These tools can help you understand things like:
How much traffic a website is getting
What keywords they’re ranking for
What their backlink profile looks like
This information can give you a good idea of how difficult it would be to enter a particular market. Keep in mind that even if there’s a lot of competition, there may still be opportunities to serve specific segments of the market that are underserved.
Don’t forget to look at offline competition as well! Just because you don’t see any businesses serving your niche online doesn’t mean there isn’t demand for it.
Where to from here?
So if you’re looking for opportunities to narrow down, this article’s examples should give you a good place to start.
Keep in mind that even if there’s a lot of competition in a particular market, there may still be opportunities to serve specific segments of the market that are underserved.
Don’t forget to look at offline competition as well! Just because you don’t see any businesses serving your niche online doesn’t mean there isn’t demand for it.
Niching Down FAQ
Doesn’t a Broader Niche Mean More Money?
A broader niche may seem like it has more potential customers and, therefore, more money. However, a broader niche is also going to have more competition. And if you’re not careful, you could compete on price rather than quality or value.
It’s much easier to charge premium prices and attract high-paying clients when you have a narrower focus.
Isn’t It Harder to Market to a Smaller Group?
It may seem like it would be harder to market to a smaller group, but it’s actually easier. When you have a narrower focus, you can craft more targeted marketing messages that speak directly to your ideal clients’ needs and pain points. You can also use more targeted marketing channels to reach them.
How Do You Estimate The Size of a Niche Market?
To estimate the size of a niche market, you can use research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, the Census Bureau and Google Analytics. You can also look at industry reports from Forrester or Gartner.
What If I Can’t Find My Niche?
If you’re struggling to find your niche, looking at your hobbies, interests, or values may be helpful.
What are you passionate about?
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
What causes do you care about?
Answering these questions can help you zero in on a niche that’s right for you.
You may also want to consider niching down by location, industry, or type of client.
For example, you could focus on serving small businesses in the healthcare industry or working with high-end retail clients.
Or you could focus on a specific type of project, like web design or social media marketing.
A successful entrepreneur combines their personal passions with an understanding of their target market’s needs to create a profitable business. They can identify a specific need and offer resources, products, or services that fill it.
(Featured image Photo by Jonas Svidras)