I talk a lot about what a niche is and I think that there is a lot of misunderstanding around that as well that I would like to help clear up here.
There are a lot of folks who think that a niche has to be an industry.
So for example, as a web designer he only work with lawyers. Or as a web developer, she only works with doctors.
And because you don’t want to work within those niches that you can not have a niche.
Which is simply not the case.
So let’s define it.
What is a niche?
I define a niche as a targeted audience that you can clearly define who it is that immediately the person reading your site or hearing you talk will immediately say whether that’s them or not.
Of course if you talking about a specific industry or location or technology, it makes your job easier. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a niche in professional female business owners who are based just located outside the Boston metropolitan area. (and yes, that’s a niche someone has defined for their business).
The key is to define it so clearly that there is no question of what it is.
The biggest problem when defining a niche
In my experience with freelancers looking to niche down, they often say things like “my niche is small business owners who use WordPress and want to growth their businesses and not spend their days running a website” or something to that effect.
And while that’s great, but I would challenge that is not a niche since WordPress is about 30% of the web and every small business wants to grow.
It’s just not specific enough.
It’s fine to have the industry or technology as a part of the criteria in defining a niche, but it’s not enough to narrow the focus.
How to define your niche
It has to be about them, not you.
What I mean by that is when you are working through what your niche is, you have to think about the individual and what they are looking to achieve.
What is it that they do each and every day and ultimately what are they trying to accomplish with their business and life to be quite honest.
The reason for this is simple. This is how they are going to define themselves.
So if you say something like “We help technically savvy businesses increase sales.”
Well who isn’t going to identify themselves as savvy? As we both know, not everyone is technically savvy and your definition of savvy is different than theirs.
You want to get at the heart of defining your niche by how your niche defines themselves.
If you think you are specific, then I challenge you to spend even more time getting specific, because you are not done.
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