The Right Message at the Right Time – Marketing Your Business in a Niche

Want to be considered more than a commodity? Demonstrate to a specific audience that you are the solution to a problem they are experiencing

“Hey everyone. Listen to me!” in a crowd only grabs their attention for a moment as they quickly filter you out as not relevant. If you added someone’s name it would evoke more curiosity, but still there is no hook to keep them interested…but what would happen if you announced that you had that person’s missing child.

“Mrs Smith, we have your daughter at the Level 3 Customer Service Desk. Mrs Smith, please come to Level 3 Customer Service Desk.”

That’s an illustration of what you are trying to achieve with your marketing – the ability to demonstrate to a specific audience that you are the solution to a problem they are experiencing. When you address this you cut through the noise of the hundreds of competing messages that everyone is exposed to every day.

This in a nutshell is the benefit of niching – specialising in a small, highly targeted market that you can be the leader in.

But niching can be scary.

From a logical perspective, you know niching gives you the ability to:

  • Go after ideal clients that you want to work with
  • Target clients you know you have the ability to deliver results for, based on past experience
  • Know the exact needs of the people you are targeting and adapt you marketing message to suit
  • Systemise your offer and processes to achieve greater efficiency
  • Say “No” to clients that are not a fit for you, and are more labour intensive to deliver for

…but right now, any niche you choose is probably not 100% of your current business cashflow. What happens to your current “non-ideal” clients? What happens if you change your website to focus on this niche, and lose client enquiries you still rely on?

The transition does not have to happen overnight.

To ease the transition into focusing your business around a niche there are some things you can do.

1. Create a new, separate website to effectively represent the business you want to be in becomes where you completely remove distractions and the whole message focuses on how you service the niche. In some ways this makes things easier as you can focus without having to worry about generalising some parts of your content. From your ideal client’s perspective if they know you are a specialist and have the experience and ability to solve their problem, then they’re more likely to seriously consider you and not quibble on pricing.

However, you need to weigh the pro’s and con’s of a clearer message, without distractions, versus the cost of setting up and maintaining a new website.

2. Use your home page as a gateway page

This is probably the more common approach, but this is not to say it becomes a splash page – you still want people to have the full experience. This is about clear navigation that allows visitors to easily self-select the experience that is most relevant for them – that directs them to the page that tells them how you help people like them.

3. Start thinking solutions pages for ideal clients you define, over service pages

Explain how you apply the different services you offer to deliver the outcome that particular target market is seeking, e.g. the services and scope for delivering services to a single operator plumbing business is probably going to be very different to a professional service firm with 50 employees….and it’s likely neither of these want to know the ins-and-outs of every single service you offer.

These solution pages potentially become landing pages for your marketing, or with some tweaks you can duplicate to have landing pages that follow good landing page practice, e.g. reduced navigation and clearer call-to-actions.

4. Market to one ideal client at a time

Identify the deliverables/milestones for each ideal client you define, and then start building your marketing on that, pushing your ideal client through a marketing funnel that is tailored to them. If you have the ability to define and operate in a niche, your business can probably thrive on the clients you attract by marketing to them directly.

The opportunities that marketing to a niche opens up to your business are huge – you control the message and the understanding of how you operate, and even the process people go through to make an enquiry and book an appointment – because you’re focused you have so much more ability to set expectations from start to finish.

You can tell them the problems you solve, the process for onboarding and delivery, and the successes you have achieved for people just like them. In some situations you can even structure the process so they have to take certain actions to pre-qualify

Just imagine how much easier your days would be if you could be in the position that you are attracting enquiries from ideal clients that understand you have the experience and expertise to achieve a successful outcome for them, have even completed a questionnaire to give you all the information you need to sell them, and just want to know if you feel they are a fit for you.

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