Benefit From Differentiating Market Niche and Offer
One of the reasons that professionals resist choosing a market niche is that they confuse niche and offer.
Think of your market niche as the location or domain in which you make your offer.
By contrast, your offer is who you are and what you do. Your niche is where and with whom you do it.
Here's an example of differentiating market niche from offer based on my client's coaching practice.
Her niche is working with independent professionals and artists to craft prosperous businesses or careers that fully align with their values, aspirations, and desired way of life.
The offer that she is in this market niche distinguishes her from hundreds of other business coaches. As an offer, she is a gifted somatic coach, helping her clients embody success. She is an artist and a business owner herself, and her coaching springs from a deep personal engagement with the concerns that her clients bring to the work.
The offer that she is also includes her spiritual beliefs and practices, her training as a singer, her skills as a writer and editor, her passion for learning, and much more. The offer that she is, in short, encompasses a lifetime of experience - past, present, and future.
When she tried to discern a market niche based on the offer that she is, she was stymied. Was she a somatic coach? A creativity coach? A spiritual coach? Every niche seemed to be a too-small box, a dead end that limited her as an offer. When she conceived of niche as a location relative to the people she can best serve, niche became a refined point-of-focus for her unlimited and unique offer.
Having chosen a niche (or, more accurately, having acknowledged and accepted the niche that chose her,) she is now committed to honoring standards and boundaries that support that niche. She refers prospective clients who do not fit her niche to other coaches. She is careful to clarify her market niche whenever she writes or talks about her work.
By focusing her niche marketing strategy in this way, she can make a very strong impression. So can you. What's more, referrals have increased substantially. Every time she refers a prospective client who wants career coaching or some other service that she could easily do but that does not fit this niche, she creates a source of referrals. The client she turns away knows where her offer is of maximum value. He knows that she has the integrity to work within the domain in which she offers the greatest value. He won't hesitate to send people her way when they want business or marketing support.
Showing Up in Your Market Niche as a Powerful Offer
I used to see people's eyes glaze when I tried to tell them what I did. I knew I was losing them, but I didn't know how. Now that I name my niche before I describe my services, it is easy for people to connect with what I am saying.
There's a paradox in naming your market niche. When you give people a category to put your products or services in, it is easier for them to get a handle on what you do and to remember it. It's also much easier for them to appreciate how you differ from other professionals in that category. In other words, by putting yourself in a category, you can also make yourself stand out because you distinguish yourself from others in that category.
* * *
Use Molly Gordon's Small Business Marketing Resource to cast a fresh eye on your business practices -- niche marketing, self promotion, marketing plan components, pricing strategies, and work life balance, and become more vibrant, more authentic, more engaged in your life as well as your work, effortlessly attracting business.
About the Author: Molly Gordon, MCC, is a leading figure in business coaching and personal growth coaching, writer, and a frequent presenter at live and virtual events worldwide. Join 12,000 readers of her Authentic Promotion® ezine, an invaluable small business marketing resource helping you grow your strong business while you feed your soul, and receive a free 31-page guide on effective self promotion.