I help big dreamers like you develop the foundations needed for a thriving business, so you can use your business to follow your passion and live the life you want.
What would it mean for you if you had a constant and steady flow of the right kinds of clients coming into your business? Even more, what if these clients came to you, seeking you out for your expertise and specialty?
Depending on where you are in your journey, this might sound like an absurd pipe dream. On the contrary, it is possible to develop a brand reputation that attracts the right clients like a magnet and, even better, causes them to seek you out instead of vice versa.
Creating a magnetic brand hinges on one thing: a well-defined niche. You can’t be known for something without defining what that “something” is. To define a clear niche for your business means that you can describe with detail and clarity WHO you help and WHAT you do for them.
You might be wondering: “I’ve heard all of this before. I have a niche, but I still don’t have clients beating down my door. What am I doing wrong?”
If you feel your niche hasn’t had the magnetic effect you expected, there are a few possible explanations.
You can’t market your business effectively – and turn it into an ideal client magnet – without a clear niche. Below are five signs that your niche is well-defined.
When I started my business three years ago, I dreaded talking about my work with new people. I tripped and stumbled over all of my words and would often leave the listener more confused than they were when I started talking. Granted, it’s always hard to talk about your work to people who aren’t in your world; but my main problem was that I didn’t have a clear niche. As I clarified my ideal client and my signature service over the next few months and years, talking to people about my work became much easier.
If it takes you 10 minutes to answer the question, “what do you do,” then you need to work on your niche. You should be able to answer concisely in a way that a teenager would be able to understand. And don’t be afraid to keep it simple, using the framework “I help X with Y.”
If your niche isn’t attracting your ideal client, you might be using language that is too vague. The description of your ideal client should use tangible, concrete identifiers, not emotions, metaphors or abstractions. Your niche should ideally be based on external factors that are objective (e.g. busy finance professionals) instead of invisible, internal factors that are subjective (e.g. mindful parents).
When someone has a problem, they don’t want to work with a generalist; they want the person with expertise in solving their specific problem. Your niche should convey that you are the go-to person for your ideal client in their situation. When someone visits your website, social media profile, or even talks to you in person, they should have an immediate gut-level reaction of, “I need that!”
Notice how your ideal clients respond when you talk to them about what you do. Do they raise their eyebrows, lean forward, and respond with interest? Do they have a visible “aha” moment? If so, that’s a strong clue that you’ve landed on your niche.
Your niche should not only attract the right clients, it should repel the wrong clients. It should be immediately clear to the wrong clients that what you do isn’t what they need.
This is the part of defining a niche that scares people the most. People want the “attraction” aspect of defining a niche but they don’t want to risk turning prospective clients away. But, you can’t have a brand that attracts without also repelling. You know you have a solid niche when you can comfortably and confidently say these words to people who want to hire you: that’s not what I do.
The holy grail of defining a niche is when your family, friends, and followers refer you clients who are the right fit. You know you have done your job when other people understand your niche as well as you do.
When your friends and family send you referrals, are you excited to work with them? Or, do you find yourself in the awkward position of telling that person (and your friend) that you can’t help them? If you often experience the latter, you either haven’t defined your niche or haven’t adequately communicated it.
Get my Monday morning email, The Pep Talk. I’ve been told it’s like a “love letter to your business brain,” and I have to agree.