Hello, brilliant entrepreneur. It’s Tash Corbin here, and welcome to another episode of the Heart-Centred Business podcast. This is episode number 206, which means that all the relevant show notes and links will be available for you over at tashcorbin.com/206. In today’s episode of the podcast, I’m going to be sharing with you some signs that your niche is too big and how to refine your niche so you can scale your business with ease. Let’s jump in!
It is such a common question that people ask me, especially when they are in startup or wanting to scale their online business:
“Why does my niche have to be so specific and so narrow?”
You’ve probably heard some of those lovely catchphrases before, such as “the riches are in the niches” or one I like to use, “if you want to scale your reach, you need to know your niche.”
These statements are trying to explain why niching is so important and why it’s such an important part of online business in particular, but they don’t give you a lot of detail.
I want you to explain first and foremost why niching is so powerful when you are starting to grow your and scale your business online, and share some signs that your niche is just too big.
Your niche is “whom you serve.”
When I ask people what their niche is, sometimes they’ll talk about being a kinesiologist, or helping people with social media, or being a Facebook specialist.
Those things may be your service, but your niche is the specific group of people you focus on when you are marketing.
It’s important to understand that niching is not about who you could help with your products and services because, for a lot of people, their modality or service or product could help a wide array of people.
Just because you can help everyone doesn’t mean that your marketing should be that broad as well. So your niche is who you focus on when you are marketing your products and services.
The more specific we make this, the more resonant your messaging can be.
If you try and create messaging that speaks to anyone who could benefit from this, then it isn’t resonant for anyone in particular.
A great example of this would be if you are a coach and you offer a one month coaching package that could help anyone who wants to make a life change – including leaving a partner, changing careers, going on a health kick, or starting a business.
With this in mind, let’s compare the difference if you were to craft two ads: The first one says, “Do you want to make a big change in your life? Well, I can help you with transition coaching and here is how it can help you with that.” And then you craft another offer that says, “Are you a woman who wants to change careers, worried you’re just jumping from one bad job to another, and you want to make sure you do your career change wholeheartedly to maximise the results?”
Now you might assume that a woman who is wanting to change careers would see both ads and resonate with both because she fits in the broad category of wanting to change as well as the very specific category of wanting to change careers.
But the specific ad is the one that’s actually going to stop and grab her attention because it’s speaking to a specific experience.
Put yourself in that person’s shoes, seeing these two separate ads that look like they’re from two separate providers. One says I can help you with any change you want to make. And another says, you want to change careers, but you’re worried you’re making the wrong decision.
Which ad would you be most drawn to? It’s the one that’s hyper-specific.
Not only is the one you’re most drawn to, but from a pricing perspective, generalist coaching versus someone who really specialises in people changing their careers, people will pay more to work with the specialist.
This is where niching is so powerful.
By trying to speak to everyone, you deeply resonate with no one.
Clients that you do get tend to see you as a generalist, and therefore it’s more difficult to charge premium prices and be seen as an expert in the market, even if you are the best coach in the whole wide world!
You will not be able to charge as much as someone who’s just starting out as a coach but decides to go really specific.
So you can see that it’s really powerful, not only for your marketing, but also for your business growth and business model, and the way you’re perceived online.
What are some of the signs that maybe your niche is too broad?
1. How you describe your niche.
When you try to describe your niche, do you find yourself putting “slashes” in there? I actually have a ban on slashes when we do niching work in my programs.
It’s a little bit of a joke because people try and find the sneakiest ways to get a slash in there. But if you say, “it’s men or women,” or you say “maybe they’re going through this or they might be going through that,” it’s just not specific, powerful niching.
Even just by paying attention to the way you describe your niche helps you to see whether you’re being specific and clear enough, or are still just a bit unsure and trying to hedge your bets!
2. Can you specify your niche quickly and easily?
You should be able to sum up your niche in five key decisions, and I’m going to give you those five key decisions in this podcast episode.
If you are asked what your niche is and you give a broad sweeping statement like “busy moms,” that’s not a niche!
Or if you end up spending a few minutes trying to explain it, then chances are you aren’t 100% clear, and you don’t have a specific enough niche.
3. You use irrelevant demographics to narrow it down because you’re not willing to narrow down in the most important ways.
A lot of people, when asked to explain their niche, will say things like, “it’s women aged between 35 and 42.” They believe this is the way to get specific for their niche. However, age range isn’t a big influence on the way you market your products and services.
Remember, your niche is whom you focus on when you’re marketing your products and services. If it’s not relevant, then don’t include it as a demographic.
Anther common niching misfire is using descriptions like, “she does yoga every day.” This happens when you make up a picture of this person, and that’s what you see, so you think it’s a niche. If you’re using weird niching descriptors that actually aren’t relevant, then I would say your niche isn’t specific enough.
Instead, I recommend that you niche through three layers.
The first layer is the demographic layer, and within that layer, there are two important decisions you need to make: women or men, and do they work for themselves, someone else, or are not working. None of the other demographic decisions matter unless they’re relevant to your services, so I wouldn’t worry about them.
The second layer of niching is psychographics. This includes their goals and dreams, their personality traits, etc.
And then the third layer is a word that I totally made up, which is sensor graphics – meaning their five senses telling them what their lived experience is.
I’ve also got five key questions or decisions you need to make about your niching that address those three layers in the most critical spaces. I will get to that at the end of this podcast episode!
4. You’re not getting an “oh my goodness yes” from your audience.
You want to create the feeling that you know their situation so well it’s almost like you were peeking in their window last night. Almost like you know them better than they know themselves.
That kind of feeling is totally possible when you have a really specific niche. It helps people feel that you are the expert who is best to help them because you deeply understand exactly what they are experiencing right now.
That is the power of niching.
When I’m working with people, and they tell me they’ve got an issue with their marketing or their offers aren’t selling or they don’t know how to craft offers, or they don’t know how to talk about their work or they’re struggling with their messaging, the first place I go is niche.
If you’re experiencing any issues with your messaging, your offers, the way you market, getting more reach, getting better conversions – start with reviewing your niche! Check that it’s specific enough, because chances are it’s not. And most likely that is what’s causing issues at the other layers of your business.
By the way, you don’t have to tell people what your niche is.
It doesn’t have to be public, it’s just what determines your messaging and your offers. That is where you create resonance.
Talking about a woman who’s aged in her late 30s, and lives in such and such, and has her own business, and blah, blah, blah – this is not what creates the feeling that you understand me.
It’s about actually crafting messaging and offers through the lens of knowing what that specific niche is that you’re speaking to.
So here are the five decisions that you need to make.
Decision number one is gender.
This can be contentious for people because you think you can help both men and women. But remember, your niche is who you focus on when you are marketing. The way you market to men is very different from the way you market to women.
Now, just a little side note here, as I am an intersectional feminist. In relation to gender identity, it doesn’t necessarily need to be “born as a man” or “born as a woman.” So when I am identifying my niche, it’s people who resonate with feeling mostly female, or mostly women, and / or non-binary. That is my descriptor, and I use womxn with an x as a way of clarifying that for myself. I don’t necessarily go out and share that publicly, but that is my descriptor.
You don’t need to go out immediately and say, I work with women or I work with men. I just want you to make the decision when you are marketing. Choose whether you are going to be focused on niching to men or niching to women. And if you niche to women, and a man comes along and wants your help and you want to work with him, you can. But that doesn’t mean you then need to broaden your niche.
Decision number two is job status.
Again, this is critical in your demographics because of how it frames your messaging and your marketing.
The job status decisions relate to whether this person has their own business or works for someone else or is not working. You need to make a decision of one of those three things for niching.
Decision number three is a trait.
This is a long-lasting, permanent personality trait. You want to create a business with marketing and messaging that attracts the kind of people you want to hang out with and that you want to help.
That trait might be extroversion, introversion, people who are hyper generous, or it could be people who are deeply creative. People who are colourful people, or are deeply spiritual, are deep thinkers, or they surround themselves with hundreds of hundreds of people.
Think about the kinds of traits of people you like hanging out with – it doesn’t necessarily need to be related to your business.
For example, if you’re a parenting coach, you could choose a personality trait of raging extrovert – it doesn’t need to be specific to the work that you do. Maybe they sell eco-friendly products, and that makes you really want to hang out with them. It may make them more open to your messaging.
The trait that I chose is people who are really generous, people who give almost to a fault!
I don’t necessarily go out there and put it in my messaging. But when I craft my messaging for offers, or choose the types of podcast episodes to create, or the type of language to use when discussing my products and services, I really want to speak to people in that space – the giving type people.
That means the majority of people who come to work with me are in that space, not because I said you have to be a giver to work with me, but because my messaging really resonates with those types of people.
It also means that it’s a really great space to hang out in when you join my programs. And I absolutely love and adore everyone that I work with. They fit the other decisions that I’ve made, and so it’s really easy for me to help and serve them. But we’re all these beautiful givers, and it’s just this really gorgeous connected community-driven space, and it makes my business a joy.
Decision four is their priority goal you can help them to achieve.
If your ideal client has a number one priority goal they’re trying to achieve, and you can help them achieve that, start focusing on the core thing that’s important to them.
For my ideal clients, they want more clients, right? They want to make more sales.
Yes, their business is more heart-centred and more aligned. But the core of why they want to work with me is because they want their business to be more successful. They want more paying clients, they want to serve more people.
If I were to talk about creating a business with purpose, and sales that don’t feel sleazy, and all those sorts of things, without getting to the point of you making more money and getting more clients, then I’m just speaking around the periphery, and not getting to the core priority. That is the one thing my ideal client is looking for.
Ultimately, you need to get to the core of your ideal client’s priority. If their priority goal is to lose weight and you’re talking about getting more energy, you are speaking at the periphery.
If their priority goal is to make sales online and have a really simple, easy to use website, and you’re talking about user experience and SEO, you’re not getting to the point of what they want.
There’s a difference between your what your ideal client’s goal is, what their top priority goal is, (in their words), and what you can see is what they really need.
Decision number five is establishing why they don’t have it yet.
For my ideal client, they want to be making more sales online. They really, really want to be serving more people. But there are so many things they need to do that it feels like marketing is too hard. See how simple and straightforward that is?
It might be that your ideal client wants to lose weight, but they can’t stick with any plan that they ever pick up. Or your ideal client wants to have a really easy to use website, but they don’t have the budget to pay for a fancy-pants web developer. Or they want to grow their reach on Facebook but think they need a $10,000 a month Facebook ads budget so they’re just waiting till they have the budget. Or it might be that your ideal client wants to feel more aligned with their soul’s purpose.
You can see how the priority goal and why they haven’t achieved it yet are so intertwined.
When you’re talking about the challenge, don’t talk about them “not knowing where to start,” because if you are focused on trying to attract people who haven’t even bothered to google it yet, then you’re going to attract nightmare clients.
Really think about why she is saying she can’t get it. Why is she saying she hasn’t achieved it? Why is she saying she’s not there yet?
Because when you really deeply analyse that conversation and that part of your niching decision, that is where the gold is. That is really where the juicy niching gold lies.
Okay, so here are the five decisions again: gender, job status, personality trait, priority goal, and why they haven’t got it yet.
You can see when you make those five core decisions for your niche, you’re hyper-specific. Imagine how much easier it would be for you to craft resonant messaging and offers that convert when you made those five decisions.
If you are finding yourself in natural resistance, remember – it’s just, for now, it’s not forever. Even just try an experiment for a couple of months. What if for just a couple of months, you completely focused on this specific niche. Just see what happens. Trust me, it is so much easier, and your business grows so much faster.
So if you would like to review that and make some more decisions about your niche to get 100% clear, and learn how to translate that into resonant messaging and offers, I have a super juicy offer for you.
It’s my nail your niche training.
Watch it to see how you can get even more specific with your niche, and translate that into a deeply resonant message.
Want to go even further? You can also grab my fast-track your start-up training.
This is where we bring the niche into the rest of your business plan and marketing strategy. Even when you’ve been in business for a while, if you are still not making those consistent sales, and you’re struggling to articulate what it is you do, or you’re struggling to craft offers that really resonate with people, I want you to go and watch this training.
And if you have any questions or “aha” moments, make sure you come over to the Heart-Centred Soul Driven Entrepreneurs group, and use the #podcastaha. Make sure you let me know you’ve been listening to podcast episode number 206!
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.