What is a niche? Niche is an important part of your brand and marketing. And how is a niche different than your target audience? Or is it the same thing? Or part of your target audience?
By one definition, your target audience is the group of people you serve. Your niche is the service you specialize in offering to your target market.
By another definition, your niche is a smaller, more specific group within your target audience.
Yet another definition, combines your target audience – the WHO that you serve – with WHAT you are helping them with.
Let’s take a look at the definition from Webster’s dictionary: A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment; or a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
Define your niche
This week a creative community moderator posted the question: How niche is too niche? One response jumped out at me. Eleanor said she thought her niche was a temperament – meaning let’s just get this done/I want to hit the easy button/ it looks fine/ I’ve happy with whatever you decide, rather than an industry. This response resonated with me.
It felt similar to how I define my niche: It is about the intention of the business rather than a specific industry. I work with businesses who are in for the good they do, not the profit they can make. That is the result of their purpose.
Temperament is yet another way you can segment your audience. As Eleanor described – she is there to help a person or business that is in a specific situation with a certain mindset and timeframe. This cannot be described as a demographic or a geographic area. And it is not limited to a specific industry. For my target audience, it is also not tied to a specific industry. While it is most often service-based businesses who are in it for the good of the work they do, I have also found those who are in the experience business or retail businesses with roots in relationships also are very purpose-driven. An example is those in the wedding industry such as wedding planners and bridal shops.
Benefits of knowing your niche
- Differentiate your business from others who do the same or similar work
- Become the industry thought leader
- Getting in from your target audience becomes easier
- Increase your online visibility
- Grow an established network and a loyal customer base
- Expand your focus
- Define your mission and vision
- When your business has clarity of target audience and niche, you’ll consistently communicate with them, and their confidence in you will grow – and so with your own confidence. And that confidence will translate into more business.
If you don’t love your customers. If you don’t love who you’re trying to serve. Don’t be in business.Dr. John Delony, Entreleadership podcast episode 400
Going back to the definition of niche. My advice – as long as you are as specific as possible with the definition of who you serve and how you serve them – it doesn’t matter if you call it a niche or a target audience. You know who your business is there for and those people will find you through your actions to attract them.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Why niching is the most important business decision you’ll make
- Niche market vs target market: what is the difference?
- Nine strategies influenced by your target market
- My own target audience challenge
- Diversity in marketing: know your audience
- Recognizing your ideal target audience
- Who’s your target audience?
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