How to Establish a Niche for Your Business

March 16, 2021

March 16, 2021

Last summer I shared about finding my own niche and the benefits of establishing a niche in your business. This includes sharing core values with clients, the ability to deepen your skillset, and becoming known for your expertise. So, in this post, I want to dive a little deeper into how to actually establish a niche. 

Step 01: Picking Your Niche

The first step is figuring out what you want your speciality to be. This could be something you fall into naturally or one you make an intentional decision about. In my experience, niches tend to find you- you work with a client and then she refers friends to you with similar problems to hers. In my case, the beginnings of my business were very niched into event branding, especially for the restaurant industry. One of my biggest first projects was for Madison Chef Week. This attracted a lot of other chefs within the network. I could’ve leaned into that niche more and focused only on restaurant work. 

However, as much as I enjoyed the design aspect of restaurants, fitness and wellness there is something I’m much more passionate about in my personal life so I decided to try to steer my business in that direction. This route is maybe a little more difficult at first, but in the end, leads to work that feels completely aligned. 

Here are few questions you can ask yourself when considering your niche:

  • Can any personal interests intersect with my work? Ex: Do you love a certain genre of music? Specialize in teaching hip hop yoga classes or musical-themed cycling classes. Are you a mother who feels passionate about helping other postpartum women recover safely? Do that. Are you passionate about art and painting on the side? Create a special event where fitness and painting are infused in some way, like this Lululemon event with Katy and mural artist, afrokilla
  • Is there a certain type of person I easily connect with? Think back on clients you’ve worked with in the past. Are there any common threads between the ones you enjoyed working with the most?
  • Is there a certain topic people keep asking you about or going to you to help them solve? Thinking about this is a good way to figure out what niche is already being established for you and you could easily lean into. 

Step 02: Attracting Clients Within That Niche

Like I mentioned above, sometimes clients within a niche come to you, which is amazing. But to be more intentional with your niche there are a few ways you can attract specific clients

One, is owning your niche and marketing to that audience and that audience alone. Tell people this is what you do. Talk about it on your website and in your marketing. Clearly state what you do and who you do it for. I used to think I had to wait until I had a full portfolio of fitness-related projects before I could identify with that. But once I just did it, I started attracting the clients I wanted. 

Of course, you may feel some disconnect in your marketing if your new niche is very different from your past work. In this case, as a designer I created personal projects, designs for fake clients within the fitness industry to show what I was capable of. For fitness professionals, that could be offering to work with a client in your desired niche for a trade or for a discount just to build a foundation for other clients. One note here: if you do offer a discount be sure to let the client know that they are receiving the service at a discounted rate so that you won’t be expected to offer that to everyone. 

Step 03: Becoming the Expert

Once you’ve established your niche and have started working with those clients, then you can really lean into it and be seen as an expert. To accelerate this a bit you can share your expertise beyond client work. Pitch to be a guest on a podcast, sharing your specific knowledge. Collaborate on a workshop or event with another complimentary entrepreneur, who shares a similar type of audience to yours. Every time you pitch one of these collaborations, identify yourself in that niche and soon enough people will be coming to you to share your unique insights with their audience. 

Establishing a niche has been a game-changer in business in terms of both financial success and internal fulfillment. I believe it’s key for any kind of business. Now it’s up to you to decide what that is for you.