Imagine that you’re a doctor finally pursuing the dream of starting your own medical practice and you need a website.
You do some research online and find two local web designers.
One is generalist who sells “results-driven websites” and the other is a designer who has a business niche in “websites for health and wellness professionals.”
Which option is more likely to win your business?
The second! The second option poses less risk and sounds more appealing because the message is tailored to you, a health and wellness professional. Working with someone who specializes in your type of business and understands your needs feels safer and smarter.
As a generalist marketing to everyone, it is difficult to create effective marketing campaigns, capture the attention of prospective clients, and craft content that resonates on an emotional level. Marketing to everyone makes the audience do all the work to figure out if you’re the right choice.
Because generalists have to work harder at attracting new clients, they have to spend more time and money on lead generation and client attraction.
On the other hand, as a specialist marketing to a specific business niche, you can create targeted marketing campaigns that deeply resonate with your audience, capture their attention, and persuade them to take the next step. When marketing to a business niche, you’re doing all of the work to communicate exactly who is a perfect fit for your services.
Because specialists have more clarity about who they serve, what they do, and the results they create, lead generation and client attraction is easier and faster, which means it takes less effort and less money.
When you stop trying to market to everyone and instead narrow your focus and choose a niche, it also becomes easier for others to send you referrals and new business because they know exactly what type of clients you want and what type of businesses you can best help.
The Myth About Choosing A Niche
The idea of narrowing your focus and choosing a niche for your business can be scary, especially if you’re already struggling to win clients and land new business.
It can also feel incredibly limiting, which doesn’t really make sense if you don’t have enough clients as it is.
Luckily, choosing a niche and narrowing your focus only feels scary and limiting because you’re thinking about it the wrong way.
Think about the two web designers I mentioned above.
Which one would you rather be: the generalist who isn’t the obvious choice for anyone or the specialist who is obviously the best choice for health and wellness professionals?
I’m guessing that you said the specialist.
Choosing a niche doesn’t limit who you can and can’t work with, it doesn’t alienate potential clients or turn people away, and it doesn’t take away potential opportunities. What it does is positions you as the best choice.
Think of the client attraction process as a game of darts.
- In the game of darts, hitting the bulls eye wins you the most points. As the rings on the target get larger and move outward, their point value decreases—but you still earn points for hitting them.
- In client attraction, marketing to your niche is like hitting the bulls eye and landing the perfect client or project. However, your marketing efforts may also resonate with people who aren’t a perfect match for your niche but still want to work with you.
The Reality Of Choosing A Niche
Defining a niche isn’t meant to limit your options — it’s simply meant to focus your message and marketing so you can deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
Narrowing the focus of your WordPress business doesn’t mean you have to put constraints on your business. When you lead with a primary service or niche offer, it makes it easy for prospects to say “I need that” and hire you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer other services as well.
For example, at my agency Bourn Creative, our focus and marketing efforts are centered around building complex, custom WordPress websites and working on retainer for large-scale existing WordPress websites. But we’re a full service agency at heart. So while we lead with the WordPress work to get clients in the door, we are able to support our clients further by providing a complete menu of design services.
Also, choosing a niche for your WordPress business isn’t something you have to stick with forever:
- Your niche is simply a tool to help you connect with prospects and get new clients in the door. It doesn’t mean you have to turn people away who don’t align with your niche.
- Your niche is flexible. As you grow and evolve as a business owner, your niche may also grow and evolve with you. Or if you find that a niche isn’t working out, change it!
- Your niche can expand. Once you have established your brand in one niche and built a strong reputation, you can expand your brand to serve a complementary niche.
Three Ways To Choose A Niche
Most people, when talking about narrowing the focus of your business or choosing a niche, are talking about selecting an ideal client and defining an ideal client persona. The success of this approach is undeniable, but many business owners have trouble identifying just one ideal client.
That’s why I’m sharing three different ways to niche your WordPress business below.
Niche By Ideal Client
The most common approach to narrowing your focus and choosing a niche is to identify an ideal client you want to work with. An ideal client is a client who understands your value, is happy to pay your worth, and is excited to work with you.
With this approach, you need to create an ideal client profile or persona—a representation of your real life, perfect-fit clients—and have a deep understanding of exactly who they are. This will require data gathering and research on things such as:
- Demographics: Objective, factual, statistical data like age, gender, ethnicity, income, mortgage amount, homeowner/renter, marital status, geographic location, number of children, vehicle type, occupation, and education level.
- Psychographics: Data about attitudes, aspirations, interests, lifestyle, and other psychological criteria that explains why clients buy from you and what their motivation is to buy. This may include mindset and attitude, beliefs and opinions, goals and dreams, interests, hobbies, how they spend their free time, personality and values, lifestyle and priorities, how they spend their money, and worries and fears.
- Behavior Analysis: Data on the behavior and actions taken in relation to what you are selling, including the types of email they open most, what blog posts are most read, what social media posts have the most shares, and real client feedback. It can also include sales spikes, why repeat customers continue to buy and what motivated new customers, how prospects gather information before making a purchase, and how are they affected by price, quality, convenience, and prestige.
Once you understand who your ideal client is, you can tailor your brand, marketing, and messaging to speak directly to them so they feel understood and are more easily able to connect with your offer.
Niche By Ideal Service
Many freelancer and business owners struggle to define their niche by ideal client because they don’t have just one type of client they work with. Instead, they work with a wide variety of clients performing a very specific service. In this case, you can niche by ideal service instead of ideal client.
When you niche by ideal service or ideal offer, you’re positioning yourself as a specialist and narrowing your offers to what you do best—better than anyone else. And while you’re only offering those services, you are willing to perform those services for anyone who needs them.
Here are three examples of businesses that niche by service:
- Plumbers: Offers only plumbing services to anyone who needs plumbing help. They may even niche further by only offering residential plumbing services.
- Web Designers: Choose to only build custom WordPress websites, but are willing to build a website for any type of business. They may niche even further by only offering ongoing support for WordPress websites or the design of eCommerce WordPress websites.
- Copywriters: Choose to specialize in website content packages but are willing to work with any type of business. Or they may choose to niche even further and specialize in website content packages for health and wellness websites, but are happy to work with anyone and any type of business in that space.
Niche By Industry
If you’re generalist—a jack of all trades—who doesn’t want to niche down by ideal client or service offering, the last option is to niche by industry. In this case, you select an industry that interests you and learn everything you can about the industry, including the different jobs in the industry, the struggles those in the industry face, the overarching industry challenges, business opportunities, how people make money in the industry, and more.
When you niche by industry, you must become an expert on the industry so the people and businesses in the industry view you as a trusted authority and hiring you as the “no-brainer” option.
Here are three examples of choosing an industry as a niche:
- Real Estate Virtual Assistant: Offers a wide variety of digital support services to those in the real estate industry, including realtors, mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, real estate attorneys, or property managers.
- Construction Industry CPA: Offers bookkeeping, accounting, and tax services to those in the construction industry, including licensed contractors, home builders, remodeling contractors, painters, drywall contractors, roofers, stucco contractors, pool builders, tile contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc.
- Hospitality Marketing Specialist: Offers a wide variety of marketing services for hospitality businesses such as hotels and resorts, limousine companies, bars and restaurants, caterers, travel and tourism companies, airlines, cruise companies, casinos, marinas, and entertainment venues.
If you choose to narrow your focus to a specific industry, be sure to watch the trends, shifts, news, and predictions in the industry carefully, especially those that are contradictory. This was you can prepare in advance for any major changes coming that could negatively affect your business.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Business Niche
When narrowing your focus and choosing a business niche, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have any experience serving this niche?
- How much do you enjoy this niche? How interesting is the niche to you?
- Is the niche large enough to be viable?
- Are your services familiar, understood, and accepted in the niche?
- Can you solve a problem the niche struggles with?
- How important is solving this problem to the niche?
- Do people in the niche already invest in the services you offer?
- What is the average price people are willing to invest in the services you offer?
If you determine the niche to be viable, interesting, and lucrative – go for it! Try narrowing the focus of your WordPress business, track your efforts and results, and see what happens.
- If you find success, celebrate.
- If you need to make adjustments along the way or do a little course correction, that’s okay too.
- There is no one approach that is the right approach to narrowing your focus and choosing a niche.
Running a WordPress business can be tough—it’s a lot of trial and error because there is no cookie cutter solution that works for everyone. But with a crystal clear niche, you can begin attracting quality clients who value what you do, are happy to pay you what you’re worth, and can’t wait to get started.