Having a niche is one of the most common pieces of advice I hear in business today. But is it really that important?
I’d argue that it is.
I’ve heard Donald Miller say countless times, “If you confuse you lose.”
And I’ve seen in my own business how clarity brings growth.
I’ve been transparent here on how I struggled to find my niche. Now that I finally settled on who I serve, I want to help you figure this out for yourself.
I’m helping health and wellness experts with content marketing on emails, websites and social media. I have no doubt that I’ll continue to narrow this down.
Here’s what worked for me to find my niche:
- Talk to friends and family: Everyone close to me had to listen to me go on about finding my niche for over a year now. I made lists, and I went back and forth on pros and cons. Do this with friends, family and mentors. Most importantly, talk through it with yourself.
- Set a deadline: You can always change your niche later, so it might help you to have a deadline on picking something. For me it was that I joined Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy. It’s a big investment of money, and a bigger investment of time to create a group course.
- Recognize what’s not working: I saw firsthand that it’s hard to build an audience and an email list without a niche. And you certainly can’t have a course without an audience. All the content I was creating was leading to plenty of 1:1 work. But, to sell a course, I needed faster growth.
The clock was ticking for me to figure this out.
Just to give you a laugh, here’s what happened in my final, wavering days:
I talked to someone in my course accountability pod. She is a perfect niche tied up with a bow. Her horse business marketing website is all about how she’ll take care of the marketing so horse businesses owners can stay out in the barn! It’s got horses all over! And her About Me page is a cute picture of her as a kid with a pony! As if that weren’t all perfect enough, she also has a meaningful mission to one day help trafficked children with horse therapy!
I was so jealous!!!
My new friend humored me with a long conversation. I can imagine doing the same thing with one of my passions, I told her.
See my problem? So many passions, so little time.
Or I could rely on one of the many industries I’ve done in the past.
Non-profit marketing? School marketing? Insurance?
How about construction marketing?
Ooh! I know! Early childhood marketing.
And of course, there was healthcare marketing, which I’ve done the longest.
I wanted this perfect combination of something that interests me. Motivates me. And makes me feel like I’m making a difference in this world. Can you relate?
What happened when I finally figured out my niche
Finally, something clicked: health and wellness experts.
Here’s why health care all of a sudden felt right when it hadn’t before: I finally settled on how I can find meaning in this space.
Here’s what’s driving me now.
I want to work with health and wellness experts, who know they need content marketing to reach more people, but they don’t know how to start. They have the knowledge to counter all the online misinformation about health, but they don’t have the time, tools and confidence to grow their audience.
Meanwhile, younger people have mastered marketing because they’ve grown up in the digital age. And these younger people are able to create content in a way that’s engaging. That’s who’s getting found and recognized as experts. Real experts–the ones you actually want to manage your care–are still creating social media content like it’s 2010.
And all of a sudden, we’re in a pandemic where their knowledge and commitment to data-driven research and truth matters more than ever. This matters for all of us.
Here’s the space where I feel like I could make a difference.
What’s happened since I’ve settled down with health care as my niche
It’s only been a few weeks, but I’ve started to change my content on my website. I created a marketing quiz to help healthcare experts figure out what kind of authentic marketing is right for them.
And all of a sudden, my audience and email list is finally starting to grow. I’ve even hooked up with the founder of doctorsonsocialmedia.com, writing blogs on her website. I reached out to some of my current and former clients and ask them what they think about my course. And I’m talking about my course only for health care experts.
My email list is growing, and people are interested in what I have to offer. They agree with my idea and they think it could work. I’ve got momentum, and I’m feeling more confident.
I want the same for you.
Tips for figuring out your niche
Here’s how I’m working to figure out exactly who I should be serving. You can ask yourself these questions too if you’re also trying to find your niche.
What do you enjoy? I narrowed down my services to what I like best, which is digital content. Forget print marketing. I don’t like creating loads of versions.
What parts of your job are you particularly good at doing? Next, I narrowed down to the parts of digital content marketing I’m best at doing, which is writing and coaching. I’ve been writing since I was in college when I was a journalism major. In my first job at a newspaper, I had to submit 5-7 feature articles each week. I started a food blog just so that I could spend more time writing.
I’ll still do other parts of digital content marketing for clients, like social media, but only if they also want me to write blogs and content.
I also love coaching. I’ve always been a friend who offers advice, and I spend a lot of time coaching my clients as well.
What are you passionate about? Your audience can tell when you’re passionate about your topic. You can become an expert at anything you do long enough and hard enough, but without passion, you won’t hold a candle to the other woman who shows genuine enthusiasm for the topic.
For me, I’m passionate about healthy living, running, being outdoors, living sustainably and healthy cooking. I’m fairly certain that means my niche is somewhere in the healthy, sustainable living department.
What do you relate to? My first freelance client was in pediatric healthcare. I still work for Kids First Pediatric Partners, and I enjoy creating all of their content. I’m a mom of four, who is passionate about healthy living. I am their target market so I understand their target market. I also am particularly interested in research-based health information, so writing about this never feels like a chore.
Knowing all of this, I went ahead and focused on finding clients in health, wellness and lifestyle.
How can you narrow it down even more? Marketing for service providers is totally different than marketing products. In some ways, it’s harder. Remember our cat yogi coupon? You can’t exactly offer a coupon for your therapy session. I’ve always worked with service providers, so that is what I’m continuing to do.
Here are questions you can ask your clients and people who turn to you for business advice:
I’m still searching, and I have a lot to still figure out. So, I’m reaching out to service providers who have come to me with marketing questions and asking them questions about their struggles.
I’m scheduling 15 minute calls with all sorts of people who have worked with me or reached out for a proposal. Some of them are just friends who I know I could help.
- What are you biggest struggles in ________________?
- What questions do you have about ________________?
- What is one thing you wish you could figure out about ________________?
- What’s something about ________________ you had to learn on your own that you wish someone could have just told you?
- What would make ________________ easier for you?
Hearing what people need, in their words, helps you know the exact way you’re meant to help people.
And this, my friends, is something all of us can only figure out with time.
If you are a service provider in the health, wellness and lifestyle space and you’re willing to chat about your marketing struggles, I’d love to connect. I promise to offer any marketing tips you need in exchange for your time. Click here to schedule with me