Monday, March 29, 2010

Are You a Niche-Jumper Or Why IS Picking a Niche so Difficult?

I find this problem a consistent challenge for my clients. I often speak with a client and within a week or two, a new niche comes along that to distract their attention. While you’ll find a lot of reasons people do this, I’ve also found that there is a common, hidden theme to Niche-Jumping.Hopscotch

The concept of choosing a niche is so deeply engrained in the marketing culture that making this choice is considered synonymous with success. This instruction is so extensive that the practice has become a hyper-powered hyperbole.

Here are a couple of examples. You can now dial in your target market so closely that there is actually a practice/concept called “Micro Niche.” And you can purchase a variety of products to help you find one (I don’t endorse or market any of these products specifically and I know they exist). I’ve been wondering when we would hear about the nano-niche and of course, it’s already here.

You want to be aware of three important factors about choosing a niche. How you relate to these realities around Niche Marketing will determine how much you enjoy your business and how easy it is to succeed.

· Niche Marketing is at least 60 years old

· Niche as used in marketing is an out-dated concept

· Niche-jumping is not the problem; it’s a symptom

These factors are key to making sense out of where marketing is and where you want to take it for your personal success and well-being.

Niche Marketing is at least 60 years old. This fact alone is significant. You see, the longest economic waves that have been measured and predicted fall in the 60 year time frame. A 60-year cycle is considered extremely long-lived. A maximum 45 year cycle is much more common. Like any pattern that is experiencing change, hyper-acceleration happens from the building energy that then turns into the crashing crest of the wave.

You do want to be sure you’re solid on the lessons from Niche Marketing: Be ready, be clear, be specific. The second factor around niche marketing is the most meaningful for me.

Niche as used in marketing is an out-dated concept. The way this term is used comes from older models of biology and ecosystems. In truth, the scientists who pioneered this idea do not use it in this way. They have upgraded and updated their understanding based discoveries in how plants, animals and resources actually interact. As a result, the concept of Niche Marketing is embedded with many aspects of scarcity and competition for limited resources. These beliefs have much to do with the problems we deal with in the world. Just as scientists updated the idea of niches over the years as they’ve studied, you have the same opportunity to upgrade your perspective of how to market.

Your experience with the demand to pick a niche reflects these expiring and changing models. As a result, it’s time to meet marketing with a different perspective. In reality…

Niche-Jumping is a symptom, not the problem. Most people have trouble settling on a specific niche for appropriate and little-discussed reasons. Selecting your most appropriate, most favorite clients is NOT about marketing. It’s about heart and soul. While many people are starting to teach this concept, many established coaches and marketing experts don’t know how to make this connection in a meaningful way. This is a change in how business works and what customers want—some of us are ahead of the change, some in the middle and others are catching up.

If you find yourself constantly changing niches, it’s time to back up a few steps. Clarity on your purpose and your values makes “choosing” a niche virtually unnecessary. Your process for marketing, sales and business then becomes a reflection of you.

Experts sometimes say things like “Just pick any Niche and stick with it for a couple months, you can always change your mind.” Of course you can always change your mind, and aren’t you tired of feeling like you’re always starting over? I know I did, before I understood and used these principles.

That’s why I created the “Don’t Pick a NicheTM” marketing workshop. Your most powerful marketing doesn’t come from putting you or your services in a niche. It comes from knowing how to present yourself and what you do in a way that is appealing and accessible to your clients. The next workshop is on Thursday, April 29 starting at 6:30. Are you ready to stop worrying about niche and get to the heart of the matter?

Most of all, remember, Niche-jumping is a symptom, not a problem. If this is where you are at, you’ve got the perfect cue that it’s time to take a new look at your business.

Wishing you Success & Heart,

Heidi Sue

© Copyright 2009-2010 Heidi Sue Roth. All Rights Reserved.

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