A sure-fire way to get more results from your marketing and sales efforts is to stop trying to sell to everyone and, instead, focus in on a very targeted niche.
Now, I know that narrowing your pool of potential clients when you’re trying to win more business probably sounds crazy, but the power of focusing on a highly targeted niche cannot be underestimated.
Focusing on a well-defined niche enables you to do 3 things:
- Engage in much more relevant, effective messaging.
- Build a strong track record and reputation with relevant reference-ability.
- Create a solid platform (and playbook) you can use to add more niches in future
Let’s explore each of these in turn.
1. Relevant, Effective Messaging
By doubling down on a specific niche, you’ll be able to refine your messaging to be hyper-relevant to the challenges your potential clients are facing.
Think about the marketing messages you receive. Which ones get deleted immediately and which ones capture your attention?
For example, emails I get from generic businesses with generic messages are 99.9% sure to be deleted without a second thought. However, an email that comes from a company that specialises in say, marketing for Software companies, will definitely grab my attention.
People’s inboxes are as crowded as they’ve ever been. The way to stand out amongst the barrage of emails that are flooding those inboxes is to be super-relevant and super-valuable.
Sure, you may be limiting your potential client pool, but it’s much easier to shoot fish in a barrel than it is to spear them at sea.
Niching down means you can ensure your offering and messaging is absolutely on point for what your customers need, rather than generically trying to cover everyone and ultimately pleasing no-one.
You can shout about how great you are until the cows come home, but it’s far more powerful when other people say it for you. Your prospects are definitely more likely to believe quotes from your other clients than they are to just take your word for it.
What’s more, your prospects typically have a lot of vendors to choose from, so “social proof” from other, similar clients has never been more important.
Happily, nailing your niche can help you fast-track yourself to relevant reference-ability.
The smaller the pond you’re fishing in, the easier it is to acquire clients that your future customers may have heard of and know, helping you to quickly build a relevant set of reference clients.
Also, the “small pond” approach can yield benefits if you’re targeting a sector that is particularly close-knit, as referrals inside that community can start to flow as you build up a set of happy clients.
A strong, positive reference from another company that your prospect knows and respects is perhaps the strongest sales tool you can have.
Moreover, by really focusing in on solving the problems of a specific type of client, the quality and effectiveness of the work you do for those clients will likely be much better than what your generic competitors can deliver..
Furthermore, a happy client is usually more than happy to give you a quote and case study for your website. Don’t skip this, as these materials are invaluable across the entire sales and marketing process and can be the difference when competing against your less-well-regarded competitors.
The more specific you are in terms of your target market, the quicker you’ll achieve both relevancy and reference-ability, and the quicker you’ll reach success and start to dominate your niche.
3. Add More Niches
OK, now you’ve nailed a niche you should do two things:
- Continue to grow in that niche
- Add your next niche
Why? Because you never want to be completely reliant on one thing, be that one huge client or, in this case, just one niche.
For example, let’s say your niche is restaurants. That can be an excellent niche to focus on in positive times but not so great in times of recession, so having all of your eggs in that particular basket can open you up to significant risk.
Therefore, adding multiple niches over time is a smart move. Your offerings and messaging should still be tailored to each niche, you’ve just got several niches now instead of just one.
That’s exactly what we did at CMAP.
These days, we have several tailored CMAP “editions” specifically tailored to perfectly fit several different types of professional services companies, from Architects to Accountants.
However, we didn’t come out of the gate with half-a-dozen nuanced software packages ready to go.
We actually started out focusing on Medical Communications agencies (which is about as niche as you can get!) and then branched out into creative agencies, consulting firms, architects etc.
Naturally there’s a lot of overlap between those sectors (they all deliver projects, they all have resourcing challenges etc) so the lessons you learn and the skills you develop within your first niche we will give you a head start when you do start branching out.
You never know where one niche will lead you, either. Our architectural offering came about through working with a Consulting firm that happened to have a client in architecture that was experiencing similar problems, so they introduced us.
Fast forward a few years and Architecture is now one of our most successful verticals and has led us onto more still, such as Engineering.
In summary, don’t be afraid to narrow things down and focus on a niche. Getting hyper-specific regarding which companies you’re going to go after will allow you to:
- Target your messaging much more effectively
- Build expertise and deliver more effective results for your clients
- Build a strong reputation and reference-ability
- Give you a platform from which to branch out into other niches
All-in-all, niching is an incredibly powerful approach to build your company quickly, so we strongly recommend you embrace it and implement it as soon as you can.