In my previous post on niche I spoke about how by choosing a niche you get to be more of you and attract the types of clients that want to work with you. There is obviously more to that than just showing up as you. One part of being successful in a niche depends on how well you know the needs and ambitions of your clients in that niche and how well your business is focused on them. Establishing yourself as an expert in a particular area is a lot easier than trying to be all things to all people.
What does it take to be successful in a niche?
1) Research your clients continuously. Being on top of your client’s needs and how they talk about their problems, helps you understand what you need to offer and how you need to offer your services or products. You might be carrying a product line that does not make you any money, even though you think it’s a great product. It might be the right product for your customers, but the way you have been promoting it, does not speak your client’s language. Research will enable you to understand what needs does this product line fill and what would be the right situation to talk about it.
2) Network and advertise in circles where you ideal clients are. There is no point in showing up to events where you meet small business owners primarily if your clients work in large towers. Find venues and people who can put you in front of your potential clients and then show your competence.
3) Build your business around serving the needs of your niche. Find partners who work with your ideal clients so you can serve them better by offering a more comprehensive service. Go to conferences to learn more about the topics that your clients are interested in, volunteer at events where they are. Leave out all services and products that your clients are not interested in and focus on improving the ones that they are. Hummingbirds are a good example of focusing on their niche – their beaks and bodies are developed to be able to extract nectar from the flowers that they pollinate in return.
4) Keep evolving. You can argue that by focusing on a niche, you might be out of job one day when there are not enough clients in a niche. There are many examples of companies who have gone bankrupt by not realizing that the trends are shifting and there are not enough customers for their products any more. You can avoid that by analyzing your business and staying on top of trends that affect your clientele (see points 1) and 2)). Start focusing on new types of clients early on when you know that the current business in not viable for a long time.