How do you start to find your business niche when you feel that you could serve everyone? Leave demographics aside and instead follow these 7 steps, to niche The Introvert Way®
“Arghhhhh!!!! Don’t talk to me about niching!!!!” “Or Avatars….”
I’ve heard this so many times from my clients, who are coaches and consultants. But the reason for the pain is because they’ve been trying to “niche” from an intellectual and distant position.
Instead you need to lean in and really connect with your ideal people.
I’ve developed a more effective (and pain free!) way of niching which is perfect for coaches and consultants without having to …
… find a photo of Jane, age 42, with 2 kids, reads The Times, does yoga and drives a 4×4…
Which, to be frank is a completely pointless task when you are trying to get a handle on your people and find them online.
Your secret weapon
A huge advantage coaches have is their ability to process a large amount of knowledge. Reading is a favourite pastime as we are constant learners and seekers of information. This is also your secret weapon in business.
But for you to get focused results you need to step up a gear.
You need to move from just reading and responding into asking questions.
Questions that set the other person off talking. As a coach or consultant, this should be right inside your comfort zone with clients… Now you need to extend it out to more people, your prospects, those that may wish to enlist your services.
“Done that Susanna, didn’t work”
Or have you?
Most marketers go about the whole niche topic in a very boring, bland way that doesn’t excite anyone … or speak to anyone either… like the image below!
Your niche is not a demographic
Your niche is not a set demographic such as age and gender may be needed to program into advertising machines.
Your niche is far better defined around a certain need. When you can define the thing that your person wants and is feeling, then you have your niche.
Remember, at the end of the day you are talking and listening to people who have a complex mix of needs, desires and motivations that get them moving through every day.
But there will be some commonalities that connect all of your people and why they are looking for the solution that you can provide.
What niche should I choose to serve?
Here’s the thing – us coaches are amazing at asking questions then sitting back and letting others talk.
You know that, as you do it every day
But do you harness this ability to grow your business, discover what makes your people tick BEFORE they’ve employed you?
My guess is, if you are anything like I was a few years back, you positively go out of your way to avoid having “surplus” conversations in the day, as if you’re introverted in nature like myself, your energies drain with every conversation you have, and small talk bores you to death.
7 steps to Niche, The Introvert Way®
The pre-work is to set up a Zoom interview with those in your circle who may be needing what you have to offer or ideally have worked with you already in some capacity (this is NOT a sales call, it is an open conversation with people who already “get you”).
Before you go running to hills and say this is NOT the introvert way… stay with me for a minute. Being an introvert does not mean that you cannot talk to people, it does not mean that you are shy (though you may be). What it DOES mean is that you are happy when conversations have a focus, a purpose. No small talk. This Zoom interview has those elements – focus + purpose, and you will be using your very best talent… listening.
At the start of the call, ask permission to record for your private purposes only, as you will want to transcribe this conversation to capture the gems they share. Start by welcoming them and thanking them for their time. Set expectations on how long you expect the call to last and reassure them they know the answers to everything you will ask already.
Begin by asking open questions about what is happening in their life, what struggles are they having and how do these manifest themselves on a daily basis? Or if a previous client, ask them to go back in time to before they worked with you. Then move on and ask them what difference has been made to their lives after working with you.
Listen hard and take notes of the time if something key is said. And also, if it is something you wish to circle back to, but don’t want to interrupt their flow now. When you circle back to the point, say “You mentioned X earlier, can you tell me more about that?”
Gently guide the conversation so you find out more about the benefits they are looking for in your field of expertise, get them to imagine the future they are looking for, how does that manifest itself in the everyday? More holidays? Shorter working week? Afford a certain car? The more specifics you get the more you will understand your people.
Listen again and thank them at the end for sharing where they are at and what they are looking for, let them know they were super helpful, and their insights will make a huge difference to your offer portfolio. If you promised any follow up in the conversation, now is the time to reiterate you will email them with details.
Transcribe the conversation (tools like Happy Scribe, Temi or Rev are great for this). Highlight the key moments and phrases in the document that really stood out as key emotions and benefits they see about your service.
Rinse and repeat with more candidates.
Not sure what to ask when silence comes?
The simplest question to ask of all
To get to the real reason why your people are motivated to need your services, I encourage you to try utilising the simplest question of all. One that your 3-year-old son would ask you endlessly
The “5 Why” exercise is simple and powerful:
- Ask someone why they are looking for something….
- They will respond with their instant pre-formatted response
- So then ask them again – Why is that?
- Now you will get a more thought out response…
- Then again ask why…. This leads to the deeper transformation that they are looking to achieve…
- Keep asking why until you feel you have reached the end of the line. It may take 3 times or five.
These answers will show your business niche to you as you begin to see the thread that connects all your people. Your people have all the answers to all your questions!
From these answers you can begin to build the picture of your perfect client (or avatar in marketing speak) and see what your niche really is.
“Your business niche will often be a state of being, a place of transition often, a yearning for something different.” Susanna Reay
That is how you find your business niche, #theintrovertway
If you struggle to do these exercises on your own and would like an expert sounding board and support to work through finding your business niche and help to see the red thread of connections that runs through or just want some friendly strategic business advice to serve more of your people…Then consider booking a Blue Sky Strategy Session with Susanna Reay and let’s get your business where you want it to be.
Together we go faster, further…