Not niching? You may be leaving money on the table!
May I ask you a question?
“Who’s your ideal client?”
It’s the same response I receive when speaking with other women entrepreneurs who say: “The world is my oyster.”
Unfortunately, the “world-is-my-oyster” approach is one that can cause frustration, confusion and an ongoing struggle to create a steady stream of prospects and ultimately getting new clients.
How do I know?
I’ve been there in my career coaching/consulting practice for more years than I care to remember, and feeling frustrated, confused and exhausted is NOT a happy place to be – believe me!
Thankfully I invested in a coach/mentor who encouraged me to make a number of changes in my business, one of which made a significant impact to my results. And that change was to find a niche and to build my reputation as the ‘go-to’ person in that field.
I had enjoyed working with senior executives, so decided to work specifically with senior level executives who were involved in sales and business development.
It was one of the best decisions I made in my business – I never looked back.
Once I started to focus my attention on that specific niche it wasn’t long before I started getting referrals. People continued to contact me to ask how they could hire me; I increased my fees; and most important of all, I no longer felt frustrated or exhausted.
Fast forward to today in my business coaching practice, because I’ve recognised the importance of niching I spent time in defining my ideal client and know exactly who she is.
She’s aged 25 to 55, is running her own coaching or consulting business. While she’s passionate about her work and is committed to helping other people she is frustrated and confused because she feels like she’s the world’s best-kept secret.
No-one knows about her, and despite all the marketing she’s doing in her business, she’s just not getting any clients. And, when she does have a prospect contact her, she ends up discounting her services just to get the prospect to say ‘yes’. So not only is she frustrated and exhausted, she’s also feeling undervalued and underpaid.
For some people (and maybe even you – if you’re really honest with yourself) the thought of niching sounds counter intuitive.
Why would you limit the number of clients you can work with? Wouldn’t it be better to market to a wider audience and therefore position yourself for many more opportunities?
Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I learned this the hard way.
So, if like me (those many years ago) you’re still struggling with the whole concept of niching, here are five benefits that I experienced in my business once I got over my fear and hesitation and finally decided to niche.
Once I defined my niche and started working with a specific group of clients, it wasn’t long before my clients started talking about their successes to their colleagues, friends and family.
Other people learned about the pay rises, the promotions and the dream jobs my clients were securing through working with me, and I soon developed a reputation as a specialist in my field.
Niching Benefit 2: Repurpose your marketing material
While word-of-mouth and referrals continued to bring me new clients, I still needed to market my business. However, rather than having to start from scratch each time I wrote a sales page or article etc, I could repurpose my marketing material. Because I was targeting the same ‘ideal client’ – she would instantly connect with my message.
I would often take sections of an article and create a number of posts that was shared on Facebook and Twitter. A paragraph could be turned into a mini audio lesson. Sections of my existing sales packages could be altered slightly and used when launching other products/programs.
Rewording and changing the structure of an existing document is far easier than trying to create something from scratch. No longer was I sitting staring a blank page for hours unable to create something I was happy with. Now, I could repurpose and leverage what I had already created. Easy!
Niching Benefit 3: Attract higher-level better quality clients
As more and more people learned about the successes my clients were achieving – other people who were struggling in the job market or who were unhappy in their jobs also wanted to experience the same successes, and hire me as their coach/mentor.
By remaining focused and working with a specific niche and building a reputation as a specialist in that market, I continued to attract high-level clients who were serious about their careers and who were willing to take the necessary steps to help them achieve that.
Niching Benefit 4: Get paid what you’re worth
Once I began to be seen as a specialist in my field, no longer would I receive phone calls from prospects who would compare me to the government sponsored job search centre or local secretarial service provider who charged $25 to type up a resume.
I was a specialist in my field and now had several certifications/qualifications and had won numerous awards, and was continuing to help my clients achieve results they had only dreamed about. Because of that, people could see my fees as an investment in their future career and were willing to pay me what I was worth.
Niching Benefit 5: Grow your business much faster
Happy clients + referrals + leveraged marketing to attract a steady flow of ideal clients + increased fees = more income and profits.
This speaks for itself.
I don’t know about you – but those are 5 pretty powerful reasons to start niching your business if you haven’t already done so.
Of course, if you’re not concerned about building your credibility, visibility, hireabilty and profitability, then keep doing what you’re doing.
However, if your goal is to become known as a specialist in your field; to get paid what you’re worth for the amazing support you offer your clients; and to have a steady stream of ideal clients take notice of what you’re doing and continue to step into your programs and you haven’t yet determined a niche – I highly recommend you do.
Aim small to grow big!
You’ll be glad you did AND wonder why you didn’t do it years ago! [I know I certainly did in my career coaching practice].
HAVE YOUR SAY:
So what do you think? If you haven’t yet defined a niche, have I inspired you to start defining a niche? As a woman in business who is your ideal client? Go on and share. It’s always great to hear from you.