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If you are a regular reader of the Enlightened Marketing blog, you have probably heard us talk about the importance of finding your niche. Indeed, a niche is really the heart of any strong brand.

After all, a brand – at its core – is a promise that you can solve a specific problem for a specific target audience, and a niche is a specific subsection of that audience. The more clearly the audience and the solution are defined, the easier your brand is to communicate. We all know that a clearly defined brand is at the core of successful marketing. So far, so good.

“Now,” I know you’re thinking, “A really specific, well-defined niche is the key to my brand and my business success!” Oops, hold on there just a second.

Not Just Any Niche Will Do

Let me start with an example, a niche that I heard of recently: “weight loss for female entrepreneurs.” At first blush, this sounds great. It targets a select group of people (female entrepreneurs) and a certain problem or desired solution (weight loss). Therein lies the problem, though. Notice, I said that this niche targets a specific group and a specific problem, not a specific group with a specific problem.

A Niche for Niche’s Sake

small business marketing niche

Is Your Niche Too Small, Too? Image via Jo Naylor/Flickr

This niche – weight loss for female entrepreneurs – is a niche for niche’s sake. It needlessly tightens the target audience without focusing on solving that audience’s problem any better. There is no real logical connection between female entrepreneurs and the problem of weight loss. Why would a female entrepreneur want a different approach to weight loss than, say, a working mom?

A better niche would be “weight loss for busy women who struggle to find time to take care of themselves.” This niche includes a much larger audience, and it qualifies that audience much better, because it limits the audience based on the problem those in it share, rather than a more or less random demographic.

A Random Niche is the Worst Kind of Niche

When you are discerning your niche, you should of course think about the psychographics and demographics of your perfect clients. However, that information is merely the lens through which you view the problem (that you solve) your clients have in common.

Yes, the demographics might inform you more about the problem your audience has. However, it is often a mistake to try to reverse that process and try to extrapolate demographics from the problem.This is because you are not trying to serve a demographic; you are trying to solve a problem.

Focus First on Problems

If you always keep the focus on the problems that you solve for your perfect clients, you can avoid the over-niching trap.

To find your niche effectively, we recommend asking yourself:

  1. Who has benefited most from my services in the past?
  2. What unique group do I have an affinity with or connection to that makes me the natural choice to help them?
  3. Do these past clients fit a demographic group? If I were to describe them all as a type to help someone recognize them (for referrals, maybe), how would I do it?

Unfortunately, discerning your niche and your brand isn’t easy, like “trying to read the label from inside the bottle.” The good news is that we at Enlightened Marketing have a great deal of experience helping small business owners and solopreneurs discover their brands – and communicate them in ways that attract perfect clients.

If you are ready to step into your light and the best niche for you, get in touch with Samantha today about discerning your business’ brand. We have three options to support you wherever you are on your journey. Your perfect clients are waiting!

So tell us: what’s your niche?