I need to find a niche for my business

When I started Simon Social Media I read a lot of blogs and videos around the key advice anyone should hear before starting up a new business.

There’s obviously a huge amount of content out there on this topic and a lot of the advice is really sound; have a plan, research your market, find an accountant, just get started, find a niche.

I remember thinking over that one, find a niche. Did I want to niche? Could I think of a niche? Would it limit my options when it came to potential clients?

I thought about it but decided not to niche. I couldn’t think of an industry in which to niche. Sport had come to mind but I didn’t think there was a market there, so I just got started.

My business got off the ground with some early interest from potential clients and over the 6–9 months which proceeded the launch of my business I had clients from various sectors. Care, Recruitment & Restaurants amongst others.

What happens when you don’t niche and you get clients from various industries? Well, firstly you have to research that industry to find out more about it.

You need to find out the basics, the trends — where’s the industry heading and what are the latest innovations and discussion points? If you’re curating content you need to know who the big players are, who has the blogs from which you can curate content.

You then start to share content and start to monitor what does and doesn’t resonate with your audience.

The problem here is you’re starting on the back foot, to a degree. There’s a lot of effort and time required to get even a basic grasp of the industry.

So let’s park that there and fast forward to this year, 18 months in to my business. I’d started to think about this “find a niche” statement again. Business was a little slow, I wasn’t getting a few things right (e.g. regular content and a good sales funnel to name but a couple) but I felt the business was too generic.

When I created content it was difficult. Who was I creating content for? I was sharing good articles and content, but probably content that I thought people would be interested in rather than content that my potential clients would be interested in. That’s no good.

If I had a niche then I could create an avatar for a client within that niche. Then when I created content I’d know who to position it towards.

So this niche topic was playing around in my head as it came up to the CMA Live 2017 conference (CMA = Content Marketing Academy).

Quick interlude; I attended a recruitment conference in June 2016 where the first idea of niching in to recruitment had struck me.

Back to the story…

So I attended CMA Live 2017 in Edinburgh in early June 2017 and there were two talks at this conference which really struck a chord with me.

The first talk was from a woman called Sharon Menzies. Sharon runs Influx Recruitment and spoke in a lightning talk about the incredible transformation her business had undergone since she invested in content marketing. This got the grey-matter ticking over once again and I thought back to that recruitment conference I’d been to in June 2016 where a lot of the content was about building trust and using digital marketing as one mechanism to achieve that.

The second talk was from an inspirational woman by the name of Karen Reyburn. Karen spoke about how you find your niche (for your business). Karen had been in a similar situation to me (and many like me) and explained how she decided to focus on being a creative agency for accountants / accountancy firms.

Karen explained that:

A niche is a targeted, focused area that you serve really well.

She had four questions that you need to ask in order to find your niche.

  1. What’s the one thing you keep coming back to?
  2. Who or what do you understand the best?
  3. Where do you get great results for people?
  4. Where are you or could you be really profitable?

It was a talk which resonated massively. “The smaller you think the bigger you get”, she told us.

It started to make sense. That niching gives you a sense of purpose, a target market for your content, an industry to specialise in, an increase in opportunities.

So, I’ve returned from that conference and I’m now planning to niche. Recruitment feels like the direction I’m inclined to head toward, but I haven’t ruled out others … I’ll explain this a bit more in the next blog.

I’ll be using this blog to take you through the thought process and inevitable re-branding and re-forming that happens to my business once I’m decided on a niche.