Why I Hated Narrowing My “Niche” & How I Finally Found It
“You have to find a niche to make your business work.”
I heard the advice and adamantly stated, “this does not apply to me, I am going to build my business without a niche.”
And I did. Ha!
But I burned out. Oh.
You can learn two lessons from this and avoid the pain and exhaustion that I paid to get this valuable realization.
1. Picking a niche is easier than anyone ever told me.
2. The biggest obstacle to this isn’t a business process, it is a PSYCHOLOGICAL one
First Lesson: Picking a Niche Is Easy…
>If you know the secret.
And the secret is that your niche is one person.
Think about it. Anything you ever communicate is always to one person. Even in a room full of 1,000 people, you are still heard by one person at a time. As a professional speaker, I learned that if I say:
“How many of you would like to have more success in your life.”
It is going to get a mediocre response.
But if I say:
“Are you ready to have more success in your life?”
And I look at one person and mean what I say, I will get 90%+ response.
Because I spoke to one person. Everyone in the room heard, “are you ready.” When they heard, “How many of you,” they think, he must be talking to someone else.
Apply Speaking To One Person To Your Business
You can rock this process in an upcoming free webinar. Here is a short version to get you flowing. Ready to have fun? OK, write down the following headings:
Relationship To Me:
Then make up a very specific person. (Yes, this can be based on one ideal client you have already worked with, an amalgamation of your ideal clients or a completely fabricated identity, as long as it is based in real world possibility).
Name: Janis Erickson
Problems: Can’t lose weight, has body image issues, measures self-worth by appearance
Pain: Frustration with diet books, health issues from diet pills, joint pain, heart-burn, fear of aging
Attributes: Works full time, makes $65K a year + benefits, married, husband works full time, household income over $150K, vacation in exotic locations, loves wine, reads Martha Stewart Magazine,
Relationship To Me: Pays me on time and in full, appreciates my depth of knowledge, loves being listened to, calls me her “secret to success,” refers me to her friends
By taking the time to really craft your IDEAL client, you create your niche. We just created a niche market. Then we apply this to an elevator pitch formula:
I help women in their 50’s to drop the drudgery of diets and burden of one-size-fits all plans so they can free their mind from the obsession with food and enjoy a healthy, energized and youthful second half of life.
Ooohh that sounds really good, but, but, but…
I hear your complaints… but I want to help everyone! I can’t limit myself like this.
OK, you don’t have to. You can still help anyone. But your marketing needs to be geared towards someone. You are speaking to one person. Market your practice to a niche and be open to helping people, which leads natural to valuable insight number two.
Lesson Two: The Biggest Obstacle Is Psychological
If defining a niche is easy, why didn’t I do it?
I let pride and insecurity get in the way of intelligent and rational thinking.
My pride didn’t let me take the advice from my coach. My insecurity kept me hanging on to “I can work with everybody” mindset.
As a result, I did work with everybody. Not only that, I did everything. I had a big practice with five paid interns, a contract assistant, and an office manager. We did clinical metabolic-type testing, cooking classes, hosted events, led retreats in Costa Rica and we published books. I also spoke all over the Colorado Front Range, wrote articles for magazines and journals and consulted for Fortune 100 companies.
And I almost had a complete breakdown in my life because of it.
Fear of not being enough was fueling all of it.
I hate to admit it. Not because I am ashamed. No way. I am grateful for the lessons I learned.
I hate to admit it because it is kind of sobering. It bursts the fantasy bubble.
I don’t want to deflate your dreams, but I do want you to embrace the paradox of successful business. You need both of these.
1. Faith that you can succeed no matter what. Unshakeable confidence.
2. A fearless look at the brutal facts. Unstoppable courage.
Your business needs a functioning niche-based marketing plan that can reliably attract clients and income. And you need to believe in your success despite what anyone else thinks.