How to Choose Your Niche

Feb 09, 2022

You've probably heard plenty of advice about how important it is to choose a niche, but you've probably heard less about how to choose your niche in the first place. 

You know you need to choose a niche, but how do you even begin to narrow down the possibilities? In this episode I talk about how to choose your niche, including...

  • Where to look for niche ideas to get the ball rolling
  • How your career and life experience can point you to the right niche 
  • How to choose a niche that's specific, but not limiting\

In today's episode, we are talking specifically about niches and how to choose your niche. Chances are that you need to niche down, but the question is how do you choose your niche to begin with? There are a lot of different approaches to finding and choosing your niche, so instead of walking you through the entire process today, I'm going to give you some of my top tips to help you jumpstart that process. 

Before we dive into that, there are a couple things that I want to mention that are really important to know going into this process. The first is that when you choose a niche, it is not necessarily your niche for the rest of your life or for the duration of your business. In fact, it's actually really easy to shift your niche down the road, if you decide to do that, and you should probably just accept that at some point, your niche is going to shift. It might shift slightly, or it might shift dramatically, but nonetheless, it will eventually shift. 

The second thing to note is that at the end of the day, the decision of how your niche is going to be moving forward is really not the type of decision that should take you weeks or months of agonizing before you decide. The reason I say that is obviously tied to the fact that you can always change your niche, but it's also related to the fact that it is better to choose a niche and start moving forward and taking action than to waste those weeks or months trying to figure out the perfect niche. Then, once you've decided that you have found the perfect, perfect niche, you've maybe wasted several weeks or months, not really doing anything to push your business forward. The sooner you choose your niche, and the sooner you start taking action and moving your business forward, the sooner you will know if you chose the right niche, and the sooner you will know how your niche might need to shift or evolve. 

With that, I want to go ahead and share with you, like I said, some of my top tips to help you jumpstart the process of figuring out your niche, and this is going to be really specifically around brainstorming what potential niches you could move forward with. The first thing I recommend is to sit down with a piece of paper and brainstorm all of the niches that you are in, what niches and communities you are already in. These are the ones that are perhaps the lowest hanging fruit, because they're going to be the easiest for you to access. 

It's also important to note that one of the reasons this works so well is that oftentimes, specifically for coaches and consultants, we are a more evolved or progressed version of our ideal client, which means that we have probably dealt with a lot of the issues that our ideal clients are dealing with right now. If you start to look and pay attention to what niches and communities you are already in, you're almost automatically going to get closer to identifying the niches and communities that your ideal clients are in. 

The second is to then brainstorm the niches and communities you've worked with the most, not just in your overall career so far, but in your life. Maybe that's volunteer work or something else, but what are the niches that you've worked directly with before? For example, maybe you were an HR manager for years at a big corporation, then maybe your niche has something to do with HR—maybe it is coaching executives on how to form their HR department. Maybe it is coaching HR managers. There are a lot of different ways you can take that, but once you have identified the niches that you have already worked with, that's when you can start going down that rabbit hole of exploring all the different ways that you could potentially serve that niche or even an adjacent niche. 

The third tip is—once you have really done that brainstorm, and maybe you picked out one or two potential niches to explore further—you want to keep digging deeper, to get even more specific. Depending on how much you know about my own story and background—and if you don't know a whole lot, you can go back and listen to previous episodes, because I talk a lot about my own journey in those episodes—you might know that when I started my business, I didn't really know who my ideal client or niche was. In fact, I didn't have a niche to start, so I really only knew that I wanted to do marketing for small businesses. That was a really, really good starting point for me, and that starting point came as a product of that kind of initial brainstorming that I just recommended you do. 

However, it's really important to get even more specific. I knew I wanted to do small business marketing, but I really resisted getting more specific and niching down even further. I talked a lot more about that specific piece of things in Episode 23 of this podcast, but I want to talk about how I did end up getting more specific, because ultimately, that's what you're going to want to do as well. I went from small business marketing, and as I tried to get more specific, as I started working with clients, I realized that my niche was more around client attraction coaching. It was still marketing, and it was still small businesses, but I started to get more specific on how I was helping those small businesses, so that was helping small businesses attract new clients, and the mode that I was doing that in was through coaching. 

Eventually, I had to get even more specific, because even though I was helping small businesses with client attraction, I was still really not specific on what types of businesses I was actually helping. Therefore, the next evolution of my niche, or the next way I got more specific, was to hone in on what those types of small businesses were. I then narrowed that down to high-impact coaches, because something I was really keenly aware of at that point was that there were coaches who were really starting their business for the quick cash grab or trying to make a lot of money, but really didn't care as much about the impact that they were having on their clients, so drilling down and focusing on those high-impact coaches became that next level of specificity. 

You can start to see how I went from this vague, small-business marketing niche to client attraction coaching for high-impact coaches. Ultimately, that is way, way more specific than small business marketing. With those three tips in mind, I really recommend doing that brainstorming, getting more specific, and then trying one and moving on, or continuing to evolve if that just doesn't feel right, because ultimately, you really don't want to force a niche because in the long term, that's not going to work out as well. If the big concern or question that comes up at this point, though, is some resistance to niching down or worrying that niching down is going to result in limiting the number of people you can help, I really, really recommend going back and listening to Episode 23 of this show where I dive into niches in greater depth.

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