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The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing a Niche

October 18, 20233 min read

New founders are often confused about choosing a niche.

It is not narrowing your focus to 2-3 industries or to businesses with a certain employee count. Technology, defense, and communications companies are not niches. They are gigantic categories with very large differences, languages, and needs. Their buying processes are different, and the individuals making the decisions have different priorities. Your products and services are also not niches. They are WHAT you sell and not WHO you sell it to.

Industries, small businesses, and your product/service are not people. They are just concepts. They don't actually buy anything. People make buying decisions and sign the checks. It doesn't matter if they are inside a company or buying for themselves. You are marketing to humans.

Niching is narrowing your marketing focus to groups of people with shared characteristics—demographics and psychographics.

I call them tribes.

The reason to niche down your focus is that broad content rarely works. In a world with 10,000 channels, you have to grab their individual interest, or your message will be drowned out in the cascade of millions of other messages.

Narrow focus allows you to create content that speaks to an entire group, but individuals feel like it was written for them.

Here is a DM I recently received, "Anthony, your last several posts struck a chord with me."

Then, during a call, the individual told me his exact problem. He had an early-stage service company and needed a marketing system to bring in new business.

Demographically, he was a veteran, 20+, college educated, but most importantly, he was busy servicing clients and didn't want to become a full-time marketer. He wanted a business process done for his company that would deliver results.

He was my exact Tribe.

Here are two tips to help you narrow your focus to a niche:

1. Choose a broad-based group and think how you might sub-categorize them into a smaller group based on a trait.

For example, here are three sub-niches my agency Can-Do Ideas targets:

Industry = Hospitality —> Hotels —> Single location, family owned hotels

Small Businesses —> Early stage small businesses —> Early stage small businesses with two or fewer employees and no one on staff doing marketing

Small Businesses —> Veterans recently leaving service who are in the early stages of their business or who are looking to start their first business.


2. Find demographic or psychographic traits that differentiate a group, especially if it signals how they consume content and reveals their buying process.

Example:

Business owners who are pre-revenue vs. Business owners who are pre-revenue and are veterans who want to get back their feeling of service.

These two groups are similar but different enough that content can be niched down in a meaningful way.

Two questions often come up about niching: "When is a niche too narrow?" and "By niching down, am I not ignoring everyone else I could work with?"

The answer to both questions is to test your ideas in the marketplace. Conduct micro-tests using social media Ads with your target audience. How do they respond? Are they easy to connect with and have real sales conversations with?

Most of the time, narrowing your focus will help you get noticed faster. It is much more important to be a big fish in a small pond than a tiny guppy in a giant ocean.

Until next week!

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog
blog image

The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing a Niche

October 18, 20233 min read

New founders are often confused about choosing a niche.

It is not narrowing your focus to 2-3 industries or to businesses with a certain employee count. Technology, defense, and communications companies are not niches. They are gigantic categories with very large differences, languages, and needs. Their buying processes are different, and the individuals making the decisions have different priorities. Your products and services are also not niches. They are WHAT you sell and not WHO you sell it to.

Industries, small businesses, and your product/service are not people. They are just concepts. They don't actually buy anything. People make buying decisions and sign the checks. It doesn't matter if they are inside a company or buying for themselves. You are marketing to humans.

Niching is narrowing your marketing focus to groups of people with shared characteristics—demographics and psychographics.

I call them tribes.

The reason to niche down your focus is that broad content rarely works. In a world with 10,000 channels, you have to grab their individual interest, or your message will be drowned out in the cascade of millions of other messages.

Narrow focus allows you to create content that speaks to an entire group, but individuals feel like it was written for them.

Here is a DM I recently received, "Anthony, your last several posts struck a chord with me."

Then, during a call, the individual told me his exact problem. He had an early-stage service company and needed a marketing system to bring in new business.

Demographically, he was a veteran, 20+, college educated, but most importantly, he was busy servicing clients and didn't want to become a full-time marketer. He wanted a business process done for his company that would deliver results.

He was my exact Tribe.

Here are two tips to help you narrow your focus to a niche:

1. Choose a broad-based group and think how you might sub-categorize them into a smaller group based on a trait.

For example, here are three sub-niches my agency Can-Do Ideas targets:

Industry = Hospitality —> Hotels —> Single location, family owned hotels

Small Businesses —> Early stage small businesses —> Early stage small businesses with two or fewer employees and no one on staff doing marketing

Small Businesses —> Veterans recently leaving service who are in the early stages of their business or who are looking to start their first business.


2. Find demographic or psychographic traits that differentiate a group, especially if it signals how they consume content and reveals their buying process.

Example:

Business owners who are pre-revenue vs. Business owners who are pre-revenue and are veterans who want to get back their feeling of service.

These two groups are similar but different enough that content can be niched down in a meaningful way.

Two questions often come up about niching: "When is a niche too narrow?" and "By niching down, am I not ignoring everyone else I could work with?"

The answer to both questions is to test your ideas in the marketplace. Conduct micro-tests using social media Ads with your target audience. How do they respond? Are they easy to connect with and have real sales conversations with?

Most of the time, narrowing your focus will help you get noticed faster. It is much more important to be a big fish in a small pond than a tiny guppy in a giant ocean.

Until next week!

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog