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To niche or not to niche… that is the question!
Many people feel differently about this but there is a very high agreement that whatever you do with your business, you MUST niche when it comes to promoting it. What do I mean by that? Let me elaborate…
You see, in today’s busy world, there are just SO many businesses doing very similar things that it starts to get difficult to find a reason to choose one business over another, unless one of those businesses stands out as being more obviously suitable for my needs or wants.
More and more we are seeing businesses, large and small, getting their message across very specifically, with a clear identity of their Perfect Client in mind. I’ll give you some recent advert examples that I’ve noticed do a great job in being specific with their message:
Ship My Pants – Kmart
This advert is hilarious and took the web by storm, spreading like wildfire across the social networks. It’s message? That Kmart deliver. That’s it. Short and sweet and delivered in an unforgettable way.
Goldiblox & Rube – Princess Machine
A brilliant advert targeting girls who want to play with toys that aren’t traditionally ‘girly’. They aren’t trying to appeal to anyone else. Engineering toys for girls in a fantastic, imaginative way.
And one of my favourites… Booking.com’s advert
This is a great example of targeting quite a few people but in a specific way for each type. It gives examples of quite a few different holidays and then says (quite brilliantly) “Find the one thing that you, and only you, find awesome!”. This is going to attract people who don’t take themselves too seriously and want to know that they can find what they want when they’re looking for a holiday, even if it’s a bit different. I’m guessing this advert has done wonders for their website hits this year. It’s certainly brightened up my day when I’ve seen it – I think it’s the ice cube throwing and plush carpet rubbing that has me giggling the most…
Slimfast have a whole heap of people that use their products. They could say that they help you lose weight… but that wouldn’t be speaking to anyone specifically. With this one, it clearly is aimed at women who want to look great on their wedding day (doesn’t everyone!?) and it cleverly kicks the reader good and hard, right in their pain point.
Dallas Farmers Market
This advert is promoting a farmers market. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen quite a few farmers market adverts and they don’t look like this. Usually they’re a black and white affair, printed on a sheet of floppy printer paper and often printed at home. This one however, is high quality and not only is it that, it’s also really specific because the only thing it is focusing on is the fact that people can buy ‘fresh and tasty’ food there. No long lists of every type of stall on display. Just plain and simple and of course a play on a well known fast food brand. If you like fresh food then this advert will speak to you. If you like McDonalds then you might even notice it too and be reminded that fresh is best!
You can see some more print advert examples here
http://www.designer-daily.com/50-brilliant-creative-advertisements-for-your-inspiration-3169 and here http://webneel.com/webneel/blog/25-creative-and-brilliant-advertisement-design-examples-your-inspiration
One of the biggest reactions I see when I speak to clients about niching is fear:
- Fear of limiting the business by being specific.
- Fear of putting off lots of potential clients by focusing on just one thing.
- Fear of choosing what to focus on – “there’s just so many people I can help!”
The thing is that this fear is a bit crazy, yet so many feel it and it acts as a road block. Yet, when you break through that block and you begin to find your focus and start putting out targeted promotions, you suddenly experience a revelation “Why did I not do this sooner!?”.
You see, when you are specific in who you target, you have an opportunity to really connect with them. When you really connect with them, you give them a reason to buy from you and to keep coming back. When a client knows that A) you know what you’re doing when it comes to their needs and you really can help them and B) you care about making sure they have a good experience then they will feel much more positively about your brand and they begin to become brand ambassadors, spreading the word for you.
More and more we are seeing a need to be an expert in a single field. After all, how can you be an expert in many areas? You just wouldn’t be able to keep up with it all. Even a large business will have different people within it that are experts in their own areas.
Even Google has changed the way it provides search results. It knows that when you are looking for something that you want to be given relevant search results about people and businesses that are experts at what they do.
If you’re searching for a nutritionist, you want a good one. How do you know they’re good? By seeing a clear display of their knowledge online for starters.
- Do they have a clear, easy to use website?
- Do they write interesting and useful blogs?
- Do they share relevant and useful/interesting information on their social media?
If you can answer yes to the above, then the likelihood is that they are pretty good at what they do and worth a call. Google works in the same way. It’s techy spiders crawl through the net looking for demonstrations that you are an expert in your field. If you are approaching your business with a splatter gun effect and have no real plan or direction as to who you’re helping (because you’re trying to help everyone!) then you’re not going to be seen as an expert when compared to someone who focuses on that specific subject.
Does niching mean that you can only sell ONE thing!?
No, of course not. Holiday companies have thousands of different types of client and yet even they focus on specific groups when they’re marketing. They don’t have one brochure for everyone. They split them into; holidays for families, cruises, UK breaks etc. So each one speaks to a specific type of client. When they advertise they target specific groups of people; older couples wanting a relaxing and interesting cruise, young families wanting a fun family destination, seasoned travellers looking for far flung experience holidays and so on (see the Booking.com advert above).
It’s not about limiting yourself. It’s not about choosing one product and only selling that. It’s about being clever with your branding and your marketing and understanding who you want to connect with and how you want to come across to those people.
You might have 1 Perfect Client in mind, I know I do for Brand Kitchen. Or you might have many. For The Holistic Directory I have 2 Perfect Clients and they are very different so we have to think carefully about what each one wants and how we can connect with them individually.
- How many Perfect Clients do you have?
- Have you worked out clearly who they are?
- Do you target your marketing and promotion specifically to them?
If not, then you seriously need to consider doing this NOW.
I can pretty much guarantee that at some point the fear will kick in, when it does, just tell it gently that you’ll deal with it later and keep on ploughing forward. You will be SO glad you did as life and marketing becomes SO much clearer when you have a specific person in mind when you work on your print and copy.
Once you have your Perfect Client in your mind you can start to have lots of fun with your branding and your marketing.
If you would like to have a Perfect Client profile(s) but you’re not sure where to start then this online workshop is a fantastic way to get clarity, on paper and in your mind.
If you want a sounding board to run your ideas past or a guiding hand to help you find your focus then a 121 Strategy Session might be just what you need.