Your Niche – 3 Criteria to Be Sure You’ve Got the Right One

by Barbara Saunders

Do you have a set of criteria for your clients?

Your services are not right for everyone – and everyone is not a good client for you.

Remember that sign on some of the rides at Disneyland that said you had to be “this tall to ride” on it. Not only did it make sure that the park didn’t get sued when little kids got hurt (which can be a real buzz kill for your business), but it also made that ride a really hot commodity. Everybody wanted to ride the ride that you had to qualify for.

Your business should be no different.

Granted – you’re probably not going to get into trouble slinging young children from your ride (maybe you will, but that’s your choice), but being a little choosy is good for business. One, because it makes you seem more in demand, and two – clearly defining who you do and do not work with helps you focus your marketing message, your marketing tactics as well as custom tailor your services and packages.

We don’t get a real "high-class" feeling about companies that will do anything for everyone – sounds a little desperate doesn’t? We want to go to the stores that require shirts and shoes, don’t we? (side note: are pants optional at those places?)

There are THREE specific criteria that your niche MUST meet for your income to grow.

your niche: 3 criteria to be sure you've got the right one

It must be lucrative. There are 4 categories that people routinely invest in and have proven to weather economic downturns: 1) business and entrepreneurs; 2) marketing and sales; 3) executive and corporate; and 4) health, wellness, and beauty. Do your clients or services fall into one of those categories?

They must know they need help and be willing to invest in it. Let’s face it. There are TONS of people out there that need help but if they don’t know they have a problem, you’re fighting against the current. It’s a double blow if they’re part of a culture that doesn’t invest in services like yours.

It must have growth potential. There needs to be enough people within the group to support a few people who serve them, but there also needs to be growth so that you can grow as well. A good rule-of-thumb is at least 10,000 results when you Google the term of your niche. Lower than that and you run the risk of running dry. (A good targeted mailing list however, can be well under 1,000 and earn six figures! It’s all in the focus and clarity of your criteria)

Give your niche a tune up and see how your business grows.

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern It’s our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.


Jessica Clark said...

What a BRILLIANT article! If I had a nickel for every time someone talked with me about being able to serve everyone, I'd have a lot of nickels!

In addition to your valuable points, when I clearly define my niche and can clearly communicate the benefits they receive by working with me, I am able to build centers of influence and referral partners who share that niche. And those center of influence relationships are just as valuable as a 1000 piece targeted and personal direct mailing campaign.

Jessica Clark,

Deb Bailey said...

Hi Jessica,
You're right - a clearly defined niche is essential for business growth and success. So glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for your comments!

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