Many businesses work within a single theme that has various elements and aspects to it. The problem is that if someone asks you what you do, most people head for the biggest umbrella they can hide under and say something like, “I’m an accountant, (or a lawyer, or a teacher).” This is a conversation-killer. It’s too general for people to really grasp what you do, and it has the added disadvantage that they think they already know all about it.
Another pet peeve of mine is the response to “Who is your target market?” ‘Everyone’ is not anyone’s target – particularly if you’re a service business. You just don’t have the capacity to deal with everyone. So it’s up to you to decide who are your most profitable customers, and who are the ones you like working with. Profile them and look for more like them.
Your niche might be an industry, it might be a demographic, it might be a mindset. The easiest way to find your niche is to ask yourself two questions, “What is the biggest problem that I solve?” and “Who are the greatest sufferers from this?”
You can still work with a variety of clients, but if you work out that the people you enjoy working with most are in a certain industry or demographic then focus on them. You’ll pick up other clients, but you’ll be working with more of the people you love. You’ll also be able to charge higher prices because you’ll be targeting a specific kind of client and people are willing to pay more to work with specialists in their area.
At Life Puzzle, I tend to work with business and corporate clients. I don’t focus too much on solving health problems or personal problems – Teresa mostly works with those problems. So if I’m working with a business client and a health issue comes up, we’ll work on it together but if a person contacted us and their needs were mostly outside of the business arena that person would be encouraged to work with Teresa. Neither of us really focuses on children and the educational aspect of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) so we would refer that need elsewhere.
This says a few things to our clients: – it tells them we’re specialists, and that we’re not so hungry that we take everyone. It also lets me provide targeted information to people when I meet them at networking events.
If I meet you at a networking event and say to you, “Oh, I do Neuro-Linguistic Programming which is the study of how to use the language of the mind to consistently achieve our specific and desired outcomes.” Do you care? Most people don’t.
On the other hand, if I say to you, “Last week I did a 2-hour workshop with a company where I am running an NLP communication program. Each week I go into the office and we apply Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques to their product and service. In this session with them we outlined all the values of the two directors of the business, and it was really funny because one of the directors had profit very low on their values list. The hierarchy and order of values are very important. We realigned the values so both directors were in agreement, and we changed them at the unconscious level, and that week they went out and closed a $200,000 deal.
Guess what? If I talk about the possibility of making a simple change in a couple of hours that makes a $200,000 sale – that’s pretty powerful. People want to know how, why, when, do I find out more about that?
Since I also help people with other problems sometimes I’ll think, “Migraines or self-worth will probably be more interesting to this person.” And I’ll frame it in such a way that they can think, “Oh, my aunty has terrible migraines every other week, I’m going to refer her to Chandell.” The point is, saying something specific is much more effective than making a general statement about what you do.
It’s a question of asking questions to find out about other people, interests and expertise and then using that information to determine what part of your business will be most interesting to them.
Feel free to share some of the questions you ask to learn about the people you meet at networking and business events?
Meta Description: Working in a niche makes earning more easier because being more specific helps people identify with your business.