Ep. 250 Do you really have to niche?

Do you really have to niche

In this week’s episode, Anna walks you through the what and the why of defining your market positioning.

Are you feeling scattered in your business, not quite sure where to focus?

Especially when you’re starting out, you don’t yet know what’s working, and so you’re trying all these different things, not quite ready to go all in and bet on that one horse.

In this week’s episode, we look at…

  • Why narrowing your niche is so powerful, and necessary, to build the business you’re aspiring to
  • The resistance we all experience when confronted with this advice to niche down
  • What ‘niching’ really means and the different ways we can do it

Have a listen and, if you want to clear up this uncertainty and get more clarity and conviction on your market positioning, then head on over to onestepoutside.com/niche to secure your spot in our 90-minute niching workshop.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

Nail Your Niche Workshop – In this 90-minute virtual session, we’ll lead you through the process of finding your niche, avoiding common pitfalls, and validating your choices onestepoutside.com/niche

Have to niche

Hello, hello and welcome back we are in August, although I’m recording this in July still and hopefully you’re off work maybe with family and letting my words wash over you, as you’re out doing something amazing. Or perhaps you’re still working, and your business as usual, which ever the case, I hope this episode provides value for you now next year, my daughter will have started school. So next year, I’ll be off in theory the whole summer with both kids actually. And so any tips if you are a parent who has been juggling young kids over the summers, then please let me know because we haven’t entered the school phase yet. But for now, at least, I had some time off in July, I’m having more time off later this month. But it’s not that I have sort of nine weeks of, of kids to take care of so very eager to hear your advice. And in the meantime, I’m I’m of course working on tweaking my business model to make sure that I can really front load my year and as ever be present with the kids while also managing my business and achieve my ambitions and so on, which is what it’s all about for me. So today we’re talking about a really important topic. And this is sort of a broader topic for the month really, but it’s about niching or niche.

As I say in America, I believe the Australians share my way of saying it niche. Wherever you are in the world. Let me know how you pronounce it. But we’re talking about niching, that dreaded word right that to get more focus to know what it is you do for whom, you know, What’s your specialty, I am the and the reason why we need that generally is because we need to write it on my website, we talked about website headline last month, I believe, and write it in your bio. We need to tell people when we meet them, and so on. So it’s a really important topic. And in fact, I might as well take the opportunity now to tell you that I’m running a workshop on this very topic this week. So go to one step outside.com. Forward slash niche, once about site.com forward slash nice news. I hope a lot of you around still I did ask in my community and most people said business as usual, they try to make it work. And if not, you’ll be able to get the recording.

And because I think it’s an important topic that people will want to refer back to but that’s a live workshop later in the week, if you’re listening to this live at the beginning of August 2023, I should say. So once about Seidel comm forward slash niche, we’re looking at how to choose your niche, how to narrow your niche, how to get confident in your niche, and even how to change pivot your niche. So whether you’re just starting out, or you’re further along, and you’re still a little bit unsure, you’re making some changes, you just haven’t quite nailed that I do did it, then this is the place for you. And let’s face it, we can all get better at this me included.

So first of all, of course, what is a niche?

I like to think of it this way. And this is what I come up with for today’s episode at least that a niche can actually be multiple things. Maybe we think of it in certain ways. But maybe that limits us right. But I think the niche can be as we used to call it in my corporate Procter and Gamble days, the who, what or the how do your niche could be the who, and often will be maybe a particular industry, I work in FMCG or again CPG for the Americans among you consumer goods. So I used to work at Procter and Gamble. So my target could be, you know, corporate organizations or professionals within those organizations. And by the way, one question is, of course, b2b or b2c. whole other topic and in fact, to have a podcast episode on that, ideally, you’d be doing both, I believe longer term. And but still, that’s part of the discussion, right? You’re niching into Who are you serving? So the industry, the type of client you’re serving?

The second one is the what do your expertise you can actually be a an expert in a particular area, and you’re such an expert, that you could go to lots of different industries and provide that expertise, right.

So that’s another way of niching. And I believe you can actually niche with the how, and I think a lot of us do that perhaps misguidedly, that we graduate as coaches and go on to coach and that’s what we focus on. We forget about the who and the what we forget about the industry, forget about the message, the expertise, and we’re just very locked into. I’m a coach, I’m a coach, I deliver coaching and we get very up on our high horses I have in the past as well, in terms of pure coaching versus mentoring versus training, etc. Coaching, facilitating coaching and facilitating in theory, you can help anyone, right? So that could be Look, I’m a facilitator, and I’ll come in and I’ll facilitate discussions in your company and I could do that in any company. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an effective niche right. So I hope you can see that you can have a niche in a particular industry or clients targets you can niche in your expertise or you can niche in the how the methodology and the kind of the the job title in a way of what you do right and then you can come into different industries have different topics that you’re covering, perhaps. So of course you can nation one of easy condition all of them if you wanted to, but that might make you too specific. I would hazard a guess if I can call it a guest that most of us have Always erring on the side of being too general rather than to be too specific. So most likely you need to niche down rather than broaden up, it’s very rare that you’re gonna choose something so specific that, that you’re too specific, but they go.

So why choose a niche, I hope it’s clear because you’re listening to this episode. But niching actually something that people don’t talk about maybe is that you can hone your expertise, right?

It’s because if I work with a particular type of client, or if I work in a particular area, or if I have a particular methodology, then I can really work on becoming a better coach or facilitator, and a deeper expert and thinker and thought leader on my particular message and topic and area of expertise. And I can really stay in touch with the industry, trends and developments. And I’ll be working with clients in a particular industry. And so I’ll really have my finger on the pulse. And I’ll be sort of a go to person for that. And I can keep focusing on that rather than having to kind of stay on top of all these different topics, right. So it’s actually a bit of a weight off your shoulders as well. But you can become better at your craft, your marketing obviously will become more effective, and you can become known and easy to recommend. So niching down helps you to speak specifically to an audience, right, you can target them more effectively in your sales and marketing. You can also differentiate yourself from competitors, you can focus your efforts, and this is the big win for me, it means less work for us, right? Focus your content strategy, focus your messaging, focus in marketing, it means you can optimize for search, you can really get super clear on where you should be spending your time and so on. And again, you can become the go to expert person, I can say you have to work with this person, they are the expert in this, or they’re really the person you should talk to when you’re in this industry. You know, it’s the example I always think of as the web designer or web designer could design a website for anyone. But if you tell me you’re a web designer, for dentist, and I’m a dentist, obviously I’d rather go to you, assuming you’re good, then go to someone else who says they can design for anyone, right?

Because you’ve really understood what a dentist needs on their websites, and so on. So again, we’re going to cover the how of the niching in the workshop. So one step aside.com forward slash niche if you want to join us for a nominal fee. And we’ll look at how to choose and how to narrow and so on. But I want to look at some objections, because maybe I’m hearing you over the radio waves, say, Ah, I just don’t know if that’s you, obviously, join the workshop. But it’s also okay, that you don’t know for a couple of reasons, you can absolutely be a bit more generalist a bit more open and curious. And in particular, be pragmatic and accept what comes along, right. Because you will learn from what you like, you don’t like what resonates with people, what doesn’t resonate. So you can you can really be relatively open. And, you know, have conversations with people be quite consultative coachee and understand what problems people have. And then based on that, you can begin to narrow down as you go, right? We want the clarity on the niche before we start, but it’s just not possible. As much as I love theory and strategy.

There’s only so much we can do sitting behind our computers. And actually, we need to get out in the world and talk to people.

So there is an element of kind of being broad and having conversations and just reaching out. And that works in particular if you’re not kind of urgently needing money, or if you’re very flexible about just doing any kind of work that you can get. And you’re not too fast, right? And so if you don’t know yet, you can begin as a generalist and be a bit patient and curious all I would recommend that you can just choose one, go with it, and learn from it. Right, one of the questions I had in the community was okay, how do I change and pivot. And the truth is, if you have a well established business in a particular niche, then you can absolutely choose to pivot and proactively start building your expertise, building your brand building or exposure in a different area. In the meantime, behind the scenes, you can still continue to deliver the work in the niche that you’re known for. Right. And in fact, maybe you want to keep both going longer term anyway.

But there’s nothing to stop you to keep doing that work. In the meantime, you’ll start posting content, and start positioning yourself in a different way that takes time to build up.

And let’s be honest, most people won’t even notice. We’re so self obsessed. And we think everybody’s going to oh my gosh, I can’t believe that Anna isn’t focused on this anymore, but nobody else cares as much as me. So unless you’re a die hard fan, if I started doing something slightly different, you probably wouldn’t go Oh, my goodness. And as I said, in my case, you know, I’m gonna go back to a corporate job and teach people and that they should never start a business and so on. To be honest, even that message I think is perfectly understandable because I will have had the expertise in expert, you know, experience of running my own business helping others do it and maybe I conclude that that’s not the right thing for people and I’ll become an expert in helping people stay in their jobs. So you can absolutely pivot your content, even if you’re successful. Keep delivering behind the scenes and then go off in your new direction and that gathers Steam over time. Most of us they were more asking this question probably don’t even have the successful business in the first place. In which case, of course, you can pivot because even fewer people care, even less of a hoopla will happen when you change because there was nothing going on anyway, right? So I think we’re a bit precious about oh, my goodness, but I said I was going to be this type of consultant. And then who cares? Honestly, and I don’t want to diminish this because I know you care. And I care. But people don’t care. I’m sorry. So you can choose one, go with it for the next month for the next 90 days, learn from it, and then choose another right. The second objection I hear is, I don’t want to exclude anyone and I feel you. But this is really a fallacy, right?

We feel like oh, my gosh, but I need to both from a scarcity mindset that I need to accept any work that comes along, and I shouldn’t turn people away at this stage fine. Again, behind the scenes, maybe but in the front end, you want to be more specific, right. And the irony is, you’ll actually attract more people by being more specific. And in the meantime, you know, if I say I work with women, who are this age, blah, blah, blah, I will still get and I do get and I haven’t said that. But I mean, if I would still get men who are older or younger, or other people coming and say, Hey, I know you said you weren’t good dentist, but I love the web design you’ve done would you also work for a psychiatrist or a coach or physiotherapist or whatever, right? And of course, you could then choose to say yes or no. So the truth is, if you speak to one person in a really compelling way, if you speak to their pain points, and you resonate with me, so often, you’re likely attract more people, rather than fewer, if that makes sense, even though it’s counterintuitive.

And then finally, you know, and I feel you 100% On this one, oh, I’m so multi-passionate, I’ve got so many different interests and ideas and projects.

And so and that’s fine. I really believe that you can have this kind of portfolio career, you can have multiple businesses, if you want to call that but rather than multiple kind of income streams, you can have multiple niches, you might even call them within your portfolio career, you know, so I might work with different industries, via the same expertise, or different expertise with the same industry because I can then broaden and say one, but the fact is still, you can’t do all of it all the time, when you’re starting out. So still go with one try for three months, 90 days, then you can go to the next one, go to the next one. Obviously, if it works, and you love it, then I’d probably suggest you keep going. If it doesn’t work, or you don’t like it, then no probs sweep it aside and go to the next one. Right. So hopefully that has swept aside some of your objections about niching down and again, we’ve got the live workshop coming up and you’ll be able to watch the recording as well, later on. So once decided comm forward slash niche. And to be honest, I think I might leave it there because I don’t want to confuse you too much.

I want to leave you with the hunger to get more specific. And I believe in this more and more because I even had the recent experience of of outbound messaging. And when I tweaked my message a little bit to something really specific, I just my shoulders relaxed, it was so clear, I got a way better response because rather than going Oh, hello, I, I work in leadership, and I help people be leaders. Oh, well being, you know, great. But what am I supposed to latch on to those. So you know, we’ve already got someone in wellbeing already got a leadership routine, whatever, right. Whereas if you go in and say, This is my expertise, this is what I do for your type of industry, your type of people that’s in b2b or with consumers. If you’re on Instagram, and you’re sharing stories and examples and case studies and problems, I get people and you know who you are, who comes to me and said, Oh my gosh, you are literally in my mind. You’re exactly voicing what I’m feeling experiencing. And it’s because I’m working with you. I’m understanding exactly what your pain points are. And then I’m extrapolating. And of course, there are others who then that will resonate with, right, so having that clarity is so so powerful. And even if it feels like oh, I want to stay broad and so on, I promise you, it’ll feel so amazing. If you make a decision, any decision. And then you can reassess later on, right? So really think about, okay, do you want to niche and your expertise, and this is the topic and I’m so passionate about this? And I’m happy to bring that to different industries, or no, I really love this industry. And that’s where I have all my connections. And that’s at least where I’m going to start. And but I’m going to be relatively open to the kind of solution I can provide to them. You know, really think about what dimension I guess on which dimension you want to start niching and challenge some of those assumptions. Maybe you have others. Maybe you resonate with those, you know, I just don’t know, I don’t want to exclude anyone or I’ve got so many ideas, and I can’t possibly pigeonhole myself. Maybe you have other objections? If so, please bring them but bring them to the workshop or you can message me on your favorite social channel. I feel like I’ve spoken very quickly today. So I apologize and I hope you can use the slow down half speed on the podcast. Hope you’ve done that. If I babble too quickly, obviously I’m passionate about this topic. So that’s niching the sort of what and the why of niching and again in the workshop we’ll be covering really the how so how to choose your niche how to narrow your niche how to get competent your niche how to change your niche really excited about this one I love the live workshops and of course if you have missed it don’t worry you can still watch the recording so one step aside.com Was that niche and I look forward to seeing you there bye for now

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