Niching down your offering is all about refining who you are targeting from a large, general audience to a smaller, more specific audience.
For example, when I was originally searching for web design clients in 2016, rather than building all types of websites, I focused solely on building social influencer blogs.
In this article, I will discuss good reasons to niche down your offering and some considerations to make when doing so too (using some first hand experiences as examples).
Two Great Reasons to Niche Your Offering
When niching, you become a far more compelling offering to your more targeted audience.
Rather than speaking generally, niching allows you to speak directly to your specific target customers at all times.
For instance, in 2016 the home page slogan of garymelican.com said “Helping social media influencers to grow their blogs”.
You can imagine that if you were a social media influencer at the time who was looking to start or improve their blog, the above sounded far more compelling to you than what other general web agency sites were saying, things like “Designing and Developing Modern Websites.”
Every case study on our site at the time was about a social media influencer too. Compared to the general web agency’s case studies which were about a variety of businesses which had no relevance to social media influencers.
So you’re speaking to fewer people, but what you are saying is far more compelling.
Another benefit of having a more specialised offering is that the fulfilment of your service is simplified.
For instance, when I was solely focused on building social media influencer blogs – it became easier and easier to get really good results each time. I knew the exact layout a blog would need, pitfalls to watch out for and what had helped other blogs succeed.
Whereas if I had been building all kinds of websites, each website would have required more research, planning and consideration each time. Inevitably, the projects would have run less smoothly too, as you would inevitably encounter unexpected issues each time around.
Things to Consider when Niching Down your Offering
How niche is too niche?
In most of the US business based podcasts that I listen to, they are always saying things like “The Riches are in the Niches”.
However if you’re located in Ireland for instance, the total addressable market of everything is obviously smaller than the US.
So if you’re based in Ireland and cannot easily access other markets, just be careful not to focus on too small of a target audience when niching.
Is your niche growing or in decline?
Getting back to the example of creating blogs for social media influencers in 2016…
A factor which I refused to acknowledge at the time was that blogs were being used less and less by social media influencers. Instead, Instagram and YouTube were almost completely replacing blogs.
So as niches go, this one didn’t have a great future ahead of it.
Choosing a growing niche will mean that your business gets easier to run over time whereas choosing a niche which is in decline will only lead to you being squeezed more and more as time passes.
What will be the lifetime value of your target niche customers?
At the time, social media influencer blogs were perfect for me to focus on.
This was because they were generally part-time operations which didn’t require much support from me.
Given that I was only working evenings and weekends on garymelican.com back then, this suited me.
However, going forward this would have limited business growth potential as the lifetime value per customer would not have been that high.
Do you actually want to specialise in this niche?
If you’re going to focus on one specific area, you should really take the time to make sure you will enjoy it.
Niching down your offering is a big decision to make.
Your fear will of course be that by niching down, you will miss out on so many opportunities outside of your niche.
A question I would implore you to ask yourself is, “how many of these general projects am I actually winning currently anyway? Could I win a lot more by having a smaller target audience who are much more excited to work with me?”
Despite the risk associated with niching, the upsides of having much higher conversion rates from your sales efforts and easier fulfilment processes will make this risk worthwhile over time.
Our current niche is building online learning websites which take payments online.
It’s a great niche for us for a variety of reasons which I will explain in a separate article. Over time, I would love to niche this even further. Potentially to only offer this for clients in a certain industry (e.g. wellness, fitness or finance) to make us stand out even more.
Thank you for reading as always,