[349] How to find the right niche for your business

You may think niching down is a bad idea because specialising in a very specific topic, service and/or type of client will mean you’ll lose out on business.

Actually the opposite is true.

Focusing on a tight niche will help you earn more money and attract better opportunities in your business.

But how do you find the right niche for your business?

That’s exactly what I cover in this podcast episode.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Why it’s important to have a niche

  • People love working with specialists not generalists (which means you can charge more for what you do – plus it’s easier to get referrals)
  • It’s much easier to create content (and stick to a regular content schedule)
  • It’s easier to explain to people what you do (and, crucially, how you can help)
  • It’s easier to build authority – which means you’re far more likely to attract other opportunities e.g. speaking gigs, podcast interviews, press interviews, publishing deals

For example, the speakers at my upcoming live event Build Your Audience Live are all experts in one specific aspect of social media/marketing e.g. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook ads, Pinterest, YouTube marketing.

They have all been publishing content consistently on that platform and/or on that topic – for some years. Which means they have built tons of credibility.

So the reason they’re getting booked to speak and do guest blogs/podcast interviews (and not just by me) is that they have been brave enough to focus on that specific thing.

Read: how I chose the speakers for Build Your Audience Live.

It all starts with content. When I talk to people who are struggling to get clients, they don’t have a clear niche or specialism.  So they find it difficult to think of content ideas and are struggling to stick to a consistent content schedule. When they do publish content, they’re so afraid of turning anyone off, they stick to bland, general themes (often jumping from topic to topic). In their efforts to appeal to everyone, they end up appealing to no one. Which is why they’re finding it difficult to attract their ideal clients online.

Proof that niching down pays

You only need to look through my back catalogue of podcast interviews to see the power of niching.

In episode 329 Facebook ads experts Liz Melville shares how her business blew up when she got brave enough to niche down on Facebook ads for people who run online courses (she previously helped with all aspects of Facebook).

Then there is the live video confidence expert Ian Anderson Gray (episode 346). Ian is accomplished in many aspects of social media marketing, choosing to specialise in one thing – live video confidence – has helped him land speaking gigs at some of the most prestigious social media events in the world, including Social Media Marketing World. There are other live video experts out there, but combining his unique skills (Ian is also a professional musician singer) means he stands out a mile.

Callie Willows and her partner Mike Morrison run The Membersite Academy – a membership site exclusively for people who want to build and grow membership sites. With around 2000 active members they are not only making a fantastic income, they are widely considered to be the world’s leading authority on the topic of membership sites. In our interview in episode 334 Callie shares how it was only when they got the courage to focus exclusively on their membership site (they don’t even do any coaching or consultancy) their business really started to take off.

Another recent guest who is owning a niche is LinkedIn expert Sam Rathling, who I interviewed in episode 332. She now only offers two ways to work with her – her LinkedIn lead generation service LinkedInbound or her monthly two-day masterclasses. Sam also consults with large companies and speaks all over the world on the topic of LinkedIn.

In episode 331 podcasting expert John Lee Dumas talks about concepts of going “inch wide and mile deep” and this is definitely worth a listen if you’re afraid of niching.  Launching a daily podcast interview – something no one else was doing at the time – has helped him build a multi million pound business. John is proof that having a small niche is the best way to build a large audience.

And it’s not only my podcast guests who are benefiting from niching. My clients are too.

Facebook ad expert Laura Moore’s business really started to take off when she moved from being a general social media specialist to focusing exclusively on Facebook/Instagram ads.

Jessie Wilson previously specialised in market research, but after publishing a best-selling book that helps children learn their times tables, she’s turning something that started as a passion project into a profitable niche.

VA Catherine Gladwyn specialises in helping others become virtual assistants – and her earnings have gone up by x% as a result.

Being brave enough to specialise in communications for public sector organisations  has helped Helen Reynolds generate a big spike in her income .

Sarah Mulcare is just starting out in her business, but I have no doubt that choosing to specialise exclusively in building Facebook messenger bots for businesses is a smart move.

Why your niche should choose you (not the other way round)

Clients often talking to me about ‘choosing’ a niche, but I believe you should let your niche choose you.

Here’s why.

You may like helping people with a particular topic and/or working in a particular way, but it doesn’t mean people will pay you for it.

And when you’re humble enough to listen to what people are asking you to help them with – rather than imposing your ideas of what they need help – that’s where the magic is (and the money).

If you’re a coach, consultant or expert, this might mean you have to teach something that isn’t your ideal topic – at least at first. In all honesty, I didn’t want to teach people how to get press coverage (my first business niche) but I knew there were people out there who needed my help and were willing to pay me for it. So I just got on and did it.

When I’m working with clients who aren’t making enough money, it’s often because they are resisting this. They are insisting on sticking with a topic/niche that no one is interested in – because they are interested in it. My advice is to drop the ego and start focusing on serving people who actually need your help.

In the early stages of your business, it’s often necessary to work with different types of clients so you can start to recognise the patterns in what people are struggling with. When you notice people keep asking for help with a particular thing, that’s generally a sign of a potential niche.

Another reason you might be afraid to niche in your business

If you’re afraid to niche in your business, this may be because you’re afraid you’ll attract fewer clients. I hope the examples I’ve given have challenged your thinking on this.

However, you may also fear this means you’re stuck with the same specialism forever. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. Since I started my online business in 2014, I’ve actually moved through three niches: press and PR, marketing and now building online audiences. I personally wouldn’t advise changing this often, but it is possible and you definitely don’t have to be stuck with the same niche forever.

Ultimately, you should be aiming to get to the point where people can say this about you:

He/she is the person you go to if you need help with ________ [fill in the gap – it shouldn’t be more than a few words). And remember, it is possible (and important) to niche within your niche.

For example.

‘She’s the person you go to if you sell online courses and need help with Facebook ads.’ (Liz Melville)

‘She’s the person you go to if you’re a small business owner who needs help with Facebook ads.’ (Laura Moore)

‘He’s the person you go to if you need help building out funnels for your Facebook ads.’ (Gavin Bell)

Three different Facebook ads specialists, three different specialisms.

Podcast Shownotes

  • Why you should niche down in your business (4:00)
  • Examples of previous podcast guests who are dominating a niche   (13:55)
  • Why many business owners are afraid of niching  (22:49)
  • How to deal with your fear of getting stuck in a specific niche (28:43)
  • Examples of my clients who are dominating a niche (and reaping the benefits) (29:00)
  • Why you shouldn’t choose your niche – your clients should (34:19)

Build Your Audience Programme

What’s Working On Facebook Right Now (podcast)

How to look and feel more confident on live video (podcast) 

How to build a large audience without paid advertising (podcast) 

How to make sales on LinkedIn (podcast)

How to really build an online audience (podcast)



Social Media Engagement Playbook

LinkedIn Content Strategy Playbook

Build Your Audience Live Event

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