Discovering your niche is so important in business. It is the basis for your positioning and should ideally reflect your WHY – the reasons you do what you do. Start with these introspective questions and make yourself a Niche Notebook that lists everything that pops into your mind as you consider your answers.
What problems have you had in your own life that you addressed and solved for yourself? Often there is a link between the work you do and your own life experience.
Write down the major problems you have faced and how you worked through them. You may be working on them still … but the experience has helped you in your work, and perhaps helped you help others.
Why are prospects coming to your business now? Who are they and what are they looking for you to do for them?
Are the characteristics or demographics of your current prospects and clients similar? (gender, age, business/industry, challenges) Are they at a similar place in their careers or personal lives?
List the commonalities you notice. Which of the challenges or problems excite you or make you really want to work with these people? Be as specific as you can.
What issues do you want to learn more about or become expert in?
Once you identify why prospects are coming to you – what problems they need help with (AND you enjoy helping them in these particular areas), you may also feel the need to learn more. You may be excited about this area, but are not yet an expert in it. Conversely, you may be helping people with specific problems now, but would rather spend your time and energy on other areas.
Jot down the problems or areas you want to work in. Consider what you might need to learn to become expert in these areas. Rank your list to the #1 and #2 niche areas.
What have you done for clients/customers that elicited a passionate response? How did this make you feel?
Think back to the times when you were thanked profusely for solving a problem for a client. Now think about the problems you want to be able to solve that will improve your clients’ lives – professionally or personally. What specific things do you do that warrant a heart-felt testimonial or passionate thank you?
Finding the perfect niche is a process that takes time. Work through these questions – not all at one time, but bit by bit. Go back to your Niche Notebook and review, revise. When you have a niche that seems right, share it with colleagues at networking events – create a new “elevator” speech that reflects your niche. See how it feels and note the reaction you get. Stay with it until it becomes a natural part of your business description, a comfortable chair or your favorite sweater.