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Helpful Questions and Tips on Niche Marketing
My clients and students are surprised and delighted to discover that a refined niche marketing strategy not only attracts significantly more business but also provides richer opportunities for self expression. To help you discern your own market niche, try using "where" and "who" questions like the following: "Where" Questions Where do you consistently find kindred spirits? Where are you most credible? Where is there the greatest need coupled with the greatest appreciation for your work? Where do the people who need your work most often have breakdowns that would cause them to hire you? "Who" Questions Who is naturally drawn to you and to your work? To whom are the things that seem obvious to you a revelation? Who is traveling a path that you have successfully walked yourself? Whose language do you speak? Whose concerns can you reliably anticipate and address? Whom is it easy for you to serve? Knowing and working from your strengths are essential parts of developing your niche marketing strategy There are probably several ways in which your strengths can add value in the marketplace. Therefore, developing a niche is a process of exploring several possibilities and gradually refining them. You might think about developing a market niche as akin to planting a garden. You start by planting lots of seeds rather close together. As these germinate, you keep the strongest sprouts and remove the others.
As your garden grows, you will continue to thin and prune until only the strongest and healthiest plants remain. Along the way you give away or compost the seedlings and trimmings; nothing is lost. As you refine your niche marketing strategy, you'll grow in integrity and confidence. With time, you'll know with certainty which customers are right for you, and you'll attract more of them. Are You Afraid of Using Niche Marketing Because it May Turn Away Business? As you refine your market niche, you may experience some anxiety that focusing on your niche will deprive you of needed business.
What do you do if someone outside of your niche wants to hire you? Talk to them. See how well you fit. There is nothing about a focused niche that says you cannot work with a variety of clients. The point of a niche is not to confine you, but to create the healthiest ecosystem for your business. Focusing your market niche is like focusing a great searchlight that can be seen for miles around. Your searchlight may attract people from beyond your niche precisely because you have defined that niche. While you always have the option of working with anyone who is attracted by your focused niche, do beware of trying to be all things to all people. Not only are you likely to fail at this, but you run an increased risk of coming across as inauthentic and insincere. The cost of not applying a niche marketing strategy is not being recognized for the offer that you are and not having a fulcrum from which to leverage that offer for increased effectiveness, service, and prosperity. The longer you persist in marketing to everyone and anyone who could conceivably hire you, the more certain it is that you will burn out, leaving yourself and your clients or customers dissatisfied.
In order to make a compelling declaration of what you are up to, you must be willing to say "no" to those clients, projects, and possibilities that are not well within the scope of your passion and your expertise. It is important to look to the market to see what your prospective customers and clients want. But look with a keen eye for how the needs and desires of the market match your strengths, talents, and passions. Say "no" to the opportunities that are a poor match, so that your vision and resources can be focused on the projects and relationships that are most likely to succeed.
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