You typically hear in many marketing circles that the first thing you need to do is identify your niche. This terminology of a ‘niche’ doesn’t work for me because it feels very much like, “Find a group of people to sell to.” I’ve found a better way to identify these people is to ask, “Who needs me most?”
When you look at who needs you most and you can recognize what your ideal client is, it’s very important for you to be aware that you shouldn’t work with everyone.
I was once at a networking group and someone asked this gentleman, “So who’s an ideal client for you?” and he answered, “Anyone breathing.”
That’s so not the case. If we agree on the fact that we have a unique gift and if we try to use that gift to serve everyone, it’s just not possible. It’s simply not possible.
First of all, we can’t do it well. You just can’t do everything and you can’t please everybody and you don’t have the skill set and the energy to try to spread yourself that thin.
The second part of that is if you can focus on what your real gift is, combined with the people that that gift can be served by, that makes you really powerful.
It’s important to understand these, the people who need you most, and to develop yourself as a perceived expert to them. That’s something that you really want to work towards – being an expert – not because you want to know it all but because that is a way that it can make your clients feel comfortable and confident with you.
I have asked clients this question before – “If you need brain surgery and you’re given the choice of two doctors, and one doctor does brain surgery only and he’s really great at it, and the other doctor does hip replacements, knee replacements, and some brain surgery, who are you going to pick?” It is so obvious.
When I ask that question, it’s always obvious to the person I’m asking, but we don’t do that with ourselves and within our own businesses. We tend to ignore the fact that if we were looking for anything else for ourselves – from plumbers to brain surgeons to a designer – we would look for the best of the best that is specific to the area that we’re working in.
We need to really relate that to ourselves, develop the skill sets and connections necessary to be considered an expert in our area, and then focus on, “Who needs me most?” which will be a more useful guide in developing our businesses than stressing over finding our ‘niche.’
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