Conflicted business owner: My predicament: what if I choose to help YYYYYY and someone who's not a YYYYYY needs me but they don’t hire me because they think I can only work with YYYYYYYY (when in fact I could work with them too)? Then what??? You see, I'm worried that I'll lose business. Help!
If you have been learning how to market your business, you’ve probably come across some version of this kind question about niching.
Before we go any further, I want to clarify what you and I will be talking about when we talk about niching: choosing a group of people to help with some specific problems for now.
Let’s move beyond some of these things that have been said so much…
“If you market to everybody, you are marketing to nobody”.
“The riches are in the niches”.
The concept in itself is clear and the logical reasons behind it are also clear: if you choose a group of people to help with specific problems they are looking for a solution to, you will be more successful when you want to connect with them.
As business owners, we get it intellectually and the fear of leaving out all the rest of the people we could be helping and therefore missing out on opportunities and money is still there.
Here is the thing… We are missing the point: the real fear should be turning off the people in the group we have chosen to work with and who are ready to hire us because they don’t trust that we can help them.
Let’s say that we are in the mood for great pizza. We find ourselves in a neighborhood we are not familiar with. We have the choice of “Italian Pizza by Mama Donna” or a place that serves pizza, Chinese food and burgers.
We’ve never heard of any of them before. Which one gives us more confidence that they know good pizza?
We are ready to buy. We’re not going to nickel and dime anybody. We’re pretty much ready to pay the price they name.
This is the fear we should have: someone that is the perfect client ready to hire us choosing someone else because we decide to have too many types of cuisines on our menu so that we don’t leave anybody out.
Let’s take it up a notch: let’s say that we need to make reservations at a French restaurant for a group of CEO's who enjoy the finest French cuisine. Price is not our concern. We just need to find “the place” that will impress even the most demanding audience. Are we really going to book an international restaurant with a bland menu or the finest French place we can find?
Having said that, I strongly believe that a place of fear is not the best place to make decisions from so let’s see what other options we have.
SECRET #1 - Don’t Make It A Permanent Decision
Particularly when you’re starting out and especially if you have a lot of talents, you don’t need to make a permanent decision.
Just deciding to help a group of people with a problem they’re looking to solve is enough for your next project. This will even allow you to test and see if you enjoy doing that work.
A word of caution, though. Make pizza long enough until your pizza place rocks before you open your next restaurant. (Stay with a project long enough. If you change your focus every single week, it will be very difficult to make anything work. See the project through completion before you add your next project).
SECRET #2 – You Can Take Anyone You Want As A Client
The part of choosing a group of people to connect with is about you and your marketing activities: simply it helps you decide where to invest your resources. If you want to connect with chiropractors you won’t get tickets to go to an event for dentists.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to say “no” to a person who doesn’t belong to the group you have chosen or who has a different problem from what you are marketing around, unless you do want to say “no”.
SECRET # 3 – Don’t Make It About The Perfect Niche
Make it about helping people with your contribution starting from where you are now with what you know now.
When I started my first business, I thought the C-level executives of large companies were the people I wanted to work with and I did. Accidentally, I discovered that the professionals and experts were the people I enjoyed working with the most.
“The grass is always greener where you water it” – Ana Rosenberg
Till next time… remember your awesomeness is portable. You can take it with you anywhere.