Can You Change Your Niche?Apr 07, 2022
Spoiler Alert: The "Niche Police" don't exist! If you change your niche, no one is going to come after you asking why you changed your niche. Which means that you can change your niche!
BUT if you are considering changing your niche, whether it's getting more specific on your existing niche or changing to an entirely different one, there are some important considerations you'll want to keep in mind.
In this episode, I talk about the four main questions you need to ask yourself when shifting your niche, including what you're sacrificing with the change, what you're gaining, how your current niche relates to your existing one, and how the change affects your lead generation and client attraction process.
In today's episode, we are going to be answering the question “Can you change your niche?” The short answer is yes, so if that's all you needed, you can go ahead and hop off and go on your merry way. But if you'd like the longer answer, if you would like to dive a little bit more in depth to that question, well, that's what we're going to be doing right now. Like I said, the short answer is yes, of course you can change your niche. If you are considering an initial niche, so you've not yet niched down, this can actually be a really big relief to hear because it means that when you choose your niche, you're not locked into it forever. There is no such thing as the niche police. No one is going to come after you saying, “Hey, you said your niche was this, but it looks like you changed it. What’s going on here?” That's not going to happen.
If you are considering changing your niche, or you are just thinking you might in the future, there are four specific questions I want to pose to you, or at least help you start thinking about. These are four questions that, if you're changing your niche, you do want to make sure you have answers to.
The first question is “If you change your niche, what are you sacrificing? What are you losing?” For instance, what assets have you built in your business with this existing niche that you would be losing or sacrificing? An example of an asset that you might have to sacrifice depending on the new niche that you're shifting to is your audience. If you've built an audience, whether that's a Facebook group or an email list, are you sacrificing that audience by shifting your niche? And if you are, if you are sacrificing it, you do have to start, not from scratch, but pretty close to it to rebuild your audience. Is that sacrifice worth it?
If just because you have to start over with building your audience doesn't mean it's not worth it, if that niche shift, in a larger sense, is the right move for you, the second question to ask is “In shifting your niche and changing your niche, what are you gaining? What is the advantage of shifting your niche? What does it make easier for you, if anything?” It's really important to not just be clear on what you're sacrificing, but why you're changing your niche in the first place. The answer to this could really be anything. It could be that it's going to make the marketing process simpler, or it's that you just feel like you are more aligned with this new niche. There are a lot of different reasons, but it's important to get clear on what that is for you.
The third question to ask is “How does your current niche relate to your new niche? What is the relationship there?” For example, if you're shifting your niche, the new niche could be a more specific version of your existing niche. For example, I have always worked with coaches and consultants, but several years ago, I really niched down into focusing my marketing towards LGBT coaches and consultants. There's a little bit of a difference there, but when I shifted into that new niche, it was a more focused version of the niche that I was already in. It could also be the reverse. Say my current niche is LGBT coaches and consultants, and I'm actually shifting my niche to just coaches and consultants in general. Well, that new niche—coaches and consultants in general—is a zoomed-out version of my current niche.
It can go either way, but you want to be really clear on what that relationship is. And if it's just a totally different niche, if you're not zooming in or out, what is the relationship between your new niche and your current niche? For example, if you're serving entrepreneurs in one aspect of their business or in one aspect of their life, it's easier to shift to serving entrepreneurs in another aspect and another area of their business or their life.
Or, say you are working with entrepreneurs on their work-life balance, and you want to shift to working with entrepreneurs on simply their business processes. Those are two different offers in two different niches, but there is a relationship there between the two; the core audience of entrepreneurs is staying the same. The reason you want to get clear on that is that, generally, it's easier to shift to serving, say, entrepreneurs in another area than it is to shift to an entirely different area of teaching people, say, how to bake a cake. Totally, totally different things. Maybe it is that dramatic of a shift, but whether it is or not, you still want to be really clear on what that relationship is.
The fourth question that you want to ask yourself is “Okay, you're going to change your niche from X niche to Y niche, you know what the shift is, you know what you're sacrificing, you know what you're gaining, and you know the relationship between your old niche and your new niche. How does that change affect your client-attraction process?” While there are aspects of a client-attraction process, or a marketing strategy, or whatever you want to call it, that will remain the same. No matter what, key principles, for example, are going to tend to remain the same. But some of the finer details, the tactics, the nitty gritty, the places where you're actually implementing it, some of those things will change alongside your niche.
You need to be aware of how changing your niche affects your entire approach to marketing and selling your offer to this new niche. Maybe you don't have the answer to that question right off the top of your head. Maybe you just don't know exactly what that change is going to look like in the marketing process. That's totally, totally okay because you don't necessarily have to know that off the top of your head, but as you're in the process of shifting your niche, of changing your niche, you want to be aware that there is going to be a change.
So, if you take the exact same client-attraction process you're using with the old niche and apply it to the new one, you can get started. That's great. But if it doesn't seem to be working, that's where you want to revisit this question and say, “Okay, I've just made this major change in my business. I've totally changed who I'm focusing on as my ideal client. I need to look at this client-attraction process through that lens and see what tweaks and adjustments I can make because what I was doing before for this old niche that might have been working suddenly is not.” If it's suddenly not working, then it is almost 100% certain that it relates back to the client-attraction process and some changes that need to happen for that specific niche.
In conclusion, answering your question “Can you change your niche?” the answer is yes.
The answer is absolutely yes. People do it all the time. I have done it. And when you do that, you need to ask yourself these four questions: “In shifting your niche, what are you sacrificing?” “What are you gaining?” “How does your new niche relate to your current niche?” and, “How does changing your niche change or affect your client-attraction process?”
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