In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose your niche and review some ideas for niching down into your space so that you can confidently speak about your business and who your company is meant to serve.
I’m going to talk about three different ways to define your niche. You can choose which of these ways will work out best for you. Some people are hesitant to narrow their audience because they want to reach as many people as possible. I want to insist that (counterintuitively enough) being very specific about who you serve will allow you to help more people.
When you define who you serve, you’re giving people something to grab onto, something with which to identify. When you choose a niche, even people outside that audience will be more likely to work with you because you make sense and speak with clarity.
Now, again, your chosen audience will inform every single piece of marketing you create. It’ll be a part of every sentence you write in marketing your business. So you must know who your audience is. You clearly understand what kind of person they are.
It’s also important to stick with that same audience at least long enough to discover that something isn’t working, and you might need to change who you define your audience as. Okay, let’s talk about three ways to define your niche.
The three ways I’m going to talk about are:
1. By demographic
2. By challenge or “pain point.”
3. By what I’m going to call the “phase of life.”
1. Audience by Common Demographic Traits
The first way to define your audience is demographics. In some cases, this is the most straightforward. You can choose the type of person with whom you’re willing to work. Examples of this could be older women from 55 to the mid-70s. Or this could be young men from 13 to 18. Alternatively, this could be even more specific, like male teachers in primary school teaching roles. So we can get very specific based on things like gender, age, location in the country, or profession, those kinds of things.
Now, people are sometimes opposed to creating an audience based on demographics because they think, Hey, you know, everyone can experience what I’m offering and benefit from it! That may be true. Demographics might not be the primary way you choose your niche. Still, I would strongly suggest choosing a demographic profile, even if it’s secondary as part of your audience, and going after it. Why? Because then you are speaking to a specific type of person.
I would go so far as to pick someone among your acquaintances or your circle of friends as the kind of archetype for that person, someone who strongly defines this demographic for you. For example, if your demographic is women ages 55 to mid-70s, then I might choose my aunt in this age range. Then, I will speak to that person (my aunt) each time I write a piece of marketing content for my business.
So again, even if demographics aren’t the primary way you want to niche. I strongly recommend committing to a demographic because, yes, you could speak to everyone, but you’re not going to learn as much you’re not going to be successful if you try to do that.
2. Audience by Common Challenge or Pain Point
The second way to define a particular audience is by pain point or challenge.
An example would be that if you’re a medium, you could create an audience based on the challenge of getting answers from pets who have passed on where the owner needs closure. So the challenge or pain point is that the pet has passed on, and the owner feels like they need questions answered.
Focusing on the challenge or pain point in this way is particularly fruitful because it automatically frames the following marketing questions:
- How do I address this issue,
- How do I solve this problem?
- How is my way of solving the situation better than what’s out there?
- What are the benefits of working with me?
So this is very important, and I suggest you spend some time thinking about this for your business.
3. Audience by Common Phase of Life
The third way we can claim a target audience is by “phase of life.” This category can be a bit broad but tends to echo demographics. An example of this category would be new parents or people working on a second career or who have just quit their day job.
Again, this is a slightly broader way of going about things. It’s wider than defining your demographic by a specific issue, but it is still speaking to a phase of life and a set of problems, concerns, roles, and joys. So that’s another way to talk to your audience when you’re thinking about your niche.
Use each of these elements to help you define your audience. Remember, you aren’t ruling anyone out. Instead, you’re simply getting focused so that you can speak with confidence, be clear about what you do, and attract new clients.