“Niching” at its best is a spiritual practice.
Not bearded dude in an ashram kind of “spiritual,” but cultivating awareness in how we BE in the world kind of spiritual.
Let’s start from the beginning…
I’ve been reading Tad Hargrave’s The Niching Nest. The one thing that really grabbed me:niche is how we define our place in the community. (Apologies to Tad if I just butchered it with a one sentence summary…)
This is brilliant – because when you anchor your message to a group of people, you are automatically ensuring your work’s relevance to a market.
You perceive your clients/ customers/ followers/ audience/ readers to be more than numbers and stats. (May I say, humanity is the next big thing in sales & marketing?)
Often times, in the business and marketing context, “niche” has a conclusive, expectant, and even judgmental tone to it.
It has become a thing you need to check off the list as you progress through some marketing training.
The common perception of “niche” lacks the fluidity and adaptability essential for long-term fulfillment through business.
With the premise of niche being an anchor to our community through our business, let’s reframe our perception of “niching” from some disconnected marketing exercise to a continuation of how you express YOU through business and marketing:
Niche is NOT something you pick from a “niche menu” just because someone says it’s viable or lucrative. Niche is NOT determined by external factors alone.
Niche is rooted in our inner values, convictions and points of view.
When we have the clarity, when we find the belief and conviction that drive us, we createinevitability that fuels aligned action.
“Niche” emerges organically under that inevitability, from within. You cannot squeeze yourself into a “niche” handed to you by others if your internal drive tells you otherwise.
Your niche is the undiluted expression of your value, conviction and vision for your version of the world – made relevant by relating your inner truth to your community and the world.
This highlights the importance of sharing our ideas, conviction and POV. Relevant content – be it written or spoken, distributed via text, audio, video, or live audience – is your magnet to pull those who resonate with your unique approach into your world.
It’s a process of organic self-selection, not one of imposing yourself into a group and shouting with a megaphone regardless of context and relevance (with yellow highlights and big ugly red headlines.)
Here are some resources on creating content that matters (these articles mention “blog posts” but you can apply the principles to any content creation)
- 3 Essential Components for (Blog Posts) that Convert
- 3 Steps to Generating a Never-Ending Flow of Blog Post Ideas
- How to Get Your Clients to Buy Whatever YOU Want to Sell Them (even if you offer “woo-woo” stuff)
- Mindset Secret to Writing Content that Connects & Converts
Niche is about connection and resonance. Niche is about giving a shit.
I find it interesting that with all the research and data, which are essentially a distillation of human behavior, many approach niche in such a clinical and impersonal way that it loses sight of the fundamental element – real living breathing people!
After we establish what matters to ourselves, the next piece of the puzzle is to establish who matter to you, and what matters to them.
If A=B and B=C, then A=C. What matters to those that matter to you, matters to you.
Niche is about finding these people who matter to you, or care about what matters to you, and connect with them on an emotional and personal level.
Connection and Resonance is the new currency of Conversion.
To build that connection and resonance, to create content that connects, we have to own our vulnerability.
It requires empathy – not lip service like “I understand” “I have been there” or “it’s not your fault” – canned phrases that are flooding the marketplace because of some sales page checklists or scripts.
I am talking about total energetic embrace. You don’t have to go through the exact same thing (in fact, you can’t) – everybody’s experience is unique because of the individual’s history and emotional state. To say “I know exactly what you are going through” minimizes the unique experience.
It is about acceptance and showing up – because if you can’t show up for your peeps, how can you expect them to show up for you?
Niche is NOT static. Niche is NOT “set it and forget it.”
Niche is constantly evolving because we are evolving, and the world (in which we define ourselves) is evolving.
“Niche” seems limiting for some because of the common perception of it. They resist defining a niche, which prevents them from taking their work deeper into serving those who truly matter to them (see #2).
For the multi-talented and multi-passionate, being “defined” by a niche can feel constricting, particularly if we approach “niche” as some existing labels.
We often associate “business” with our logical mind, and it’s hard for the logical mind to embrace uncertainty. But we all know that uncertainty is the only constant we can count on.
If you resist taking your niche with you on your evolutionary journey, the misalignment and chasm between YOU and what you *think* your communication and offering *should* look like based on an artificially defined parameter can widen to the point where it’s no longer reflecting your conviction, value and ideal.
When what you do is no longer reflecting who you are, your communication is not in alignment with your message and you are not attracting the right clients. Doubts set in, and you feel this niching thing has failed you (or you fail at it.)
Let’s wonder out loud…
What if the concept of niche can be approached with fluidity so it encourages freedom and experimentation in our expression and communication?
What if we can take a step back, zoom out and find the golden thread that ties all of YOU into a cohesive narrative to make “niche” an expression of something deeper than a reactive statement to the outside world?
What if you can find a way to express your niche that can endure the changes in trends, market fads, and even your own development (e.g. adding skills and certifications) so you are not chasing your tail and having to update your website and marketing materials every 6 months? (You know what I am talking about ;))
What if “niche” can become a North Star that helps you stay true and consistent, overcome bright shiny objet syndrome and filter out busy work so you can do what truly matters?
I want to help you get untangled from your Niche Pickle if you give me 20 minutes of your time (on the house, of course.)
Many of my clients got stuck with this niche bit and are unable to move forward with building their businesses in a way that feels aligned.
They are confused about what to offer, and how to confidently communicate “what they do and how they do it” in a way that reflects all the talents, passions, skills and experience they want to be acknowledged through their work.
It’s not that they “don’t know”. It’s that they have been steered a direction not aligned with who they are. It’s time to cut the BS.
In just one phone conversation, I help them see this big white elephant from a different perspective that give them clarity and direction, saving them months on the marketing hamster wheel.
They rediscover the excitement and enthusiasm to support their message, and the energy they put behind their communication change everything. It’s that powerful, and I don’t want to hoard the good stuff…
If you are ready to get out of your niche pickle and reconnect with your biz and your peeps, let’s chat.
Shoot me an email, with answers to these questions so I can make sure it’s a good fit:
- Where are you at in your business right now?
- Do you have a niche? If yes, what is it, and how is it working for you?
- How to you think getting clarity on your niche will help you?
- How do you think this conversation can help you?
This post was written by Ling Wong and originally published on her blog Business Soulwork. Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a PLAN to cut the busywork and do what matters. She does all this through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling has the superpowers to help her clients optimize the space between individuality + originality vs. “tried-and-true” marketing so they can express their WHY unapologetically and profitably without reinventing the wheel.