THE MARKET: How to “Niche” Yourself

Recently when I was in New York, I met with a friend who is a branding expert.

I know, that label might sound too broad, too vague, and even a little too corporate. So, how does she brand herself successfully?

She has lots of choices…because…

Today, all the rules have changed.

It’s not good enough to have a fancy title, like Managing Director, or even a descriptive one like Career Coach or even Branding Expert.

In today’s world of disintermediation, where the Internet is creating micro-markets of people around the world, it’s time for “niche-ing.” You have to know your niche and fill it. Who is your target market? Who do you serve?

How do you find your niche?  I’ll give you three ways to think about and find it.

First of all, be counterintuitive.

What that means is think about going against your initial instincts here. You probably think that you want to brand yourself broadly so that you will appeal to the widest group of people out there. More people, bigger market, right?

WRONG!

The best way to craft your niche is to be as narrow as possible. You know, as in, “I serve women who make raw food to feed their three-legged dog.” OK, I’m being a little silly here, but it makes my point. You cannot be too narrow in today’s world. So, I want you to think about getting more specific about your target market or niche.

Here are three ways you can think about creating your niche:

1) Niche around a skill. (I can’t believe that I turned a noun into a verb! Sorry English majors…)
Here’s an example: let’s say you are a great writer, a copywriter. You could create a niche around providing your clients with your expertise based on your skillset. You could help them with writing websites, sales pages and email letters.

2) Niche around your gift.
My friend who inspired this story has an uncanny ability to laser in on her client’s message. She could create a niche around helping her clients to see and articulate their unique message and branding. It’s intuitive, her gift.

3) Niche around your story.
One of my mentors, Suzanne Evans, has a program she calls “Make Your Mess Your Message.” The idea is that you can build a business out of your own personal journey. In this case, my friend could help mid-career women leaving corporate American to find their message and build their business. Why? Because that’s what she’s done.

It’s all about the niche. Use today’s world of social media and free publishing platforms to get your message out into the world and watch who is attracted to you. That’s how it works! 

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