The fear is real. Niching down can be scary.
There are so many types of fears that come into play here, but the one that I hear the most is “I’m afraid that I’ll leave money on the table.”
Essentially that you are missing out on projects that you can do, that are willing to pay you.
I’m going to get real with you here for a minute.
While FOMO is a valid fear, and most of all a valid statement, it’s an excuse.
Let me ask you a question, why are you niching down?
Time to get uncomfortable
What ever that reason is, that’s your focus. It’s that “why” that brought you to this conversation in the first place.
“What got you here, won’t get you there.”
You’ve heard this before from Marshall Goldsmith, right?
It’s the idea that sometimes you need to be a bit uncomfortable and out of your comfort zone to achieve the results you want.
This fear of niching down aligns with a similar fear of gambling.
It’s easy to stay being a generalist because that feels safe because you’ve been able to build a business around it. But you are at a point where you are starting to think about your value, whether that’s your rate or time or both.
Niching Down isn't gambling
While niching down can feel like you are betting it all on one-hand, in reality it’s betting on a hand where you know what everyone else is holding.
If you are solving a problem, have a track record of success at solving that problem, and have social proof of that reliability from past clients, that’s your winning hand.
A lead with that problem, who identifies with those past clients, and sees that you understand their problem fully will always choose you above someone else who may have had a generalized and limited experience with that problem.
Let me illustrate this with a simple example.
When you have a cold, you goto a general practitioner right? What you are looking for is that quick fix, the medicine that will get you feeling better and back on your feet.
But it’s also why Walk-In clinics exist. So that if your GP isn’t available, you can feel better by going to a walk-in clinic and they’ll be happy to pick up your payment.
On the other hand, let’s say you need to brain surgery. Are you going to use a walk-in clinic? I didn’t think so.
You are going to do research, find someone with a track record of success and then choose the best.
Now that brain surgeon went through medical school just like your GP, but took it a step further, went down the road of niching down.
Are they leaving money on the table?
Yup, for sure they are.
Because of niching down, they’ve become an expert at solving a problem. They can then charge a premium for their services. They can spend an hour with a patient, have a consultation, know exactly how to speak to the patient that will result in tens of thousands of dollars with them, then someone who has a co-pay of $50.
That’s a lot of co-pays they are giving up.
When niching down, you leaving money on the table.
However you are able to focus on a number of things.
- The customer, how they speak about their problem
- Remain on the pulse of new strategies and techniques
- Delivering on high-ticket solutions for clients rather than the commoditized services.
The fear of FOMO when niching down is an excuse of being outside your comfort zone. It’s when you get outside your comfort zone that you can achieve the results you want.
If this dose of reality still doesn’t sit well with you, tomorrow I’m going to share with you game plan that will allow you to stay being a generalist but test the waters of niching down.
Specialize and Find your niche
More episodes in this topic:
What's the best way to pivot if you are serving a new niche?
How did you specialize your business?
Why should I niche or specialize?
How do I choose the niche?
How to say “no”?
How do I find out if the niche has value?
How to do research and land that first client?
How to you manage your existing clients when you start specializing?
Should I niche down to a specific industry in my local area?
Is my niche too narrow?
Aren’t I leaving money on the table?
What sort of freelance work is available for an individual web developer?
How to start out as a freelance translator?
What do I need to do to ramp up my freelance business after having been in the game for a few years?
How do I go from one-off projects to retainers for all future projects? And is it a good idea?
Can I do web, software development and digital marketing as a freelancer at the same time?
When niching down, should I target the type of work or the type of customer?
How to get over the fear of niching down?
How to stay being a generalist but test the waters to specialize your business?
What is a Niche?
How do you go about breaking into a niche (Part 1)?
How do you go about breaking into a niche (Part 2)?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach