If you’ve business for at least a couple years, you’ve probably heard plenty of experts recommend ‘niching down’. And if you’re like me, after hearing this advice, you might wonder what the process of niching down looks like, or why to even niche down?!
Why should I focus on serving a specific niche, instead of trying to appeal to a broad group of potential clients?
How would I actually go about ‘niching’ down, without sacrificing clients or having to totally overhaul my business?
Well several months ago, I decided to take that ‘expert’ advice and start niching down in my own business. Today’s post will be a behind-the-scenes look at why and how I finally decided to take the leap and niche down. I’ll share tips to help you determine if niching down is the right next step for your business — plus, you’ll discover an approachable way to get started and make the shift.
Why I Decided To Niche Down
Since I started Jess Creatives, I’ve primarily been working with service-based entrepreneurs in a lot of different industries. And although I love serving these types of clients, there are thousands of options out there for service-based entrepreneurs who need design and websites services.
So one reason I decided to niche down (and one reason you might consider making this shift in your own business as well) was to stand out in an already crowded industry.
Serving a more specific client base, as opposed to a really broad demographic, makes it simpler to become a go-to (read: stand out) service provider for clients in your niche.
In my case, I’m shifting from focusing on all types of service-based entrepreneurs — to specifically, service-based entrepreneurs in the health and wellness industry (for example: health coaches, nutritionists, fitness pros, etc.).
The other reason I was motivated to make the shift and niche down was to do more client work that’s both professionally, and personally, fulfilling.
While I love working with service-based entrepreneurs in all types of industries, I’ve always felt the most personally connected to work I’ve done for clients in the health and wellness industry because I’m really passionate about what they do.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 3 years old, so my personal health and wellness has been something I’ve had to focus on for my entire life. That said, I have sincere appreciation for the service providers out there whose primary mission is to help people lead healthier lives.
My hope is that by working primarily with businesses in the health/wellness industry, my clients will be able to help even more people lead healthier lives.
How I’ve Taken The (Scary) Leap To Start Niching Down
There’s no doubt about it, changing anything in your business can be scary. For me, making the decision to start the process of niching down was daunting.
I worried about alienating my current audience/client base. I worried about finding more clients in my new niche. I worried about having to overhaul my website and content so that everything would make sense and be consistent.
All those worries held me back for a long time, until I realized this simple reality: change doesn’t have to happen all at once.
I first decided to niche down in January, and have been gradually making the shift in phases.
So far, this approach has made the “niching down process” simple and enjoyable — which is why I want to cover the first two phases of niching down in the rest of today’s post. This way you can take what I’ve learned and start niching down in your own business, without all the stress.
Phase 1: Interacting with the types of clients you want to serve
Engage in the places online where your ideal clients are spending time and interacting. This is a super helpful way to learn more about how you can serve your niche most effectively — plus, it’s always a great way to get your name out there and connect with potential clients.
Here are a few ways you can interact with more of your ideal clients during “Phase 1” (which is really more of an ongoing phase…but it’s also a great place to start):
Join Facebook Groups: Join 2-3 Facebook Groups geared toward your niche. Your goal here isn’t self-promo though. It’s to engage with community members and discover more about their problems, goals and challenges. Listen to the questions people ask in the group and notice what stands out in relation to what you offer.
Engage on Instagram:
Get featured on a Podcast or blog: Being featured as a guest on a podcast or writing a guest blog is great way for your ideal clients to learn more about you — on their turf. For example, I was recently a guest on the Wellness Business Podcast. Make a list of the blogs and Podcasts your ideal clients consume, then reach out about opportunity to guest post or get featured.
Phase 2: Make small adjustments to your website and content.
To be honest, my biggest concern about embarking on this process of niching down was figuring out how to do it in a way that wouldn’t seem sudden, or neglect my existing client base/audience members who aren’t in the health/wellness industry.
Typically when I decide to make changes in my business, I go all-in all at once. But in the case of niching down — and updating my website and content to reflect this change — I’ve just been making small, subtle shifts geared toward the specific client base I want to attract.
Based on the shifts I’ve made successfully so far, here are a few tips to get you going with phase 2:
- Tweak your website: In most cases, niching down doesn’t mean you need a total website overhaul. Instead, making a few minor updates each month can be a great way to keep things seamless through this transitional phase. For example, I updated my website sidebar to say that I now specialize in helping health and fitness coaches stand out with good design and strategic videos.
- Gradually “niche” your content: I started doing this by releasing one content piece per month (i.e. a blog post or video) geared specifically toward the health and wellness industry. The rest of my content, up to this point, has been what my audience would typically expect from me. In the coming months, I’ll likely release more and more content that speaks directly to the ideal clients I’m now looking to serve most often.
- Consult a strategist: Sometimes the process of niching down can be really daunting to do alone, which is why I worked with a content strategist who helped me identify the next steps to take in this process. We created a clear plan that streamlined everything from the site updates I’ll make, to content I’ll repurpose as freebies for the specific niche I’m looking to serve — she even identified aspects of my current offers that could be tailored so they appeal more directly to my ideal clients. Working with a strategist allowed me to eliminate overwhelm because now I have a clear plan that I’m excited to implement over the coming months!
After learning about my experience, what do you think? Are you ready to take the leap and join me on this niching down journey to stand out online and work with more of your dream clients?
Either way, I hope it was helpful to see behind-the-scenes of how I’m navigating this process of niching down in my own business. Because I know it can be scary, especially when you don’t know what you don’t know — which is I exactly why I recommend consulting a strategist, like my friend and content strategist AnnMarie Rose.