You may be working, or want to work, as a consultant, coach, trainer or in some other capacity applying your specialist skills to a task, project or client group.
Niche businesses thrive purely by differentiating away from being a commodity by focusing on what they do best. A niche business creates products or services that are different, or smaller, but target the more profitable segments of the market. Ideally creating a business that others can only imitate, but never compete with. You’ll want to monopolize your niche and be able to charge enough to live the lifestyle you need. You also want to be able to charge enough so that you can afford to keep investing in your learning to keep on top of your field and not have to work all the time.
You do want some competitors, or the market may be too small for you to make a living in. If there are not enough competitors you may need to adjust your focus.
Your future depends on keeping your skills and know-how valuable and up to date. That means knowing about and being comfortable with any advanced software or systems that augment your niche. Carol Dweck writes about having a growth mindset – where you excel by putting in the effort and hard-yards to stay relevant. Age or gender is no barrier here.
Your real value is in the creativity and problem-solving you bring to your clients, not always in the doing.
Niches are networked
Niching is people focused and networked. Not like the good old days where you attacked an industry crowd with your business card. Your aim is to be seen as a leader in your field. You do this two ways: Through getting out and about and through your website. That means producing good quality adviceon your website to attract the attention of those who need you. It also means keeping in contact with your peers in the industry, and attending the right conferences so that people know who you are and what you do. That way your industry knows who you are and how to contact you.
Niches don’t compete on price
If you match your competitors, or copy them, even benchmarking against them, stop it. That’s what defines a commodity and there’s no monopoly in a commodity. All you can do is either be the cheapest and try and sell lots more than your competitors.
Niches are different because they stand out
They are designed to be that way. Choosing the client group you want to target and narrowing your focus with what you will do for them. What you do is not for everybody. Then create a meaningful experience for them as your goal – how you do things differently and the outcome they will get. Knowing the problems they face and now you can help them.
Positioning the specialist niche business
This is marketing speak for making it very clear who you work with. Also, very clearly who you don’t work with. You make this very clear in all your communication, especially on your website. You’ve chosent the clients you want to work with. The more you work with them the better practitioner or specialist you become as you get to know their needs, at a deeper level. That leads to become better known and more opportunities for work.
Different, escaping the competitive herd by Youngme Moon
Originals, how non-conformists change the world by Adam Grant
Linchpin, Are you indispensable by Seth Godin
Watch Seth Godin in the Art of Marketing