There is a very fine line between creating a successful brand and an unsuccessful one. Sometimes the entirety of that line falls on determining and labeling your niche.
More often than not, businesses fail not because their products or services are subpar, but rather because they didn’t attract the right audience for them. This is why finding your niche before you even consider putting out products/services and investing your hard-earned money is crucial.
This post will walk you through a very simple and intuitive 3-step process to determining your niche.
Step 1: Consider Evergreen Content and Evaluate Which Of Your Skills Fall Under Those Categories
In Donald Miller’s bestselling book, Building A StoryBrand, he outlines that in order to build a company that stands the test of time, you must position it so that it helps your customers solve a basic, primal need.
Basic primal needs include building and maintaining relationships, staying in shape, eating, surviving, having shelter, and feeling a sense of self-worth. Think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs here.
If you can position your brand to answer one (or several) of these primal needs, you will have a much better chance of succeeding in the long-term. Another word for primal needs is evergreen content – content that is always relevant.
We call content like this evergreen because it doesn’t matter what year, culture, or country you’re born into; all humans alike need shelter, need love, need self-worth, and need social relationships.
With that, the second thing to do is to write down a list of your personal (or your brand’s) strengths. Which of these strengths align with evergreen content?
Those specific connections are what you want to start focusing on. Now, let’s get into specifics.
Step 2: Narrowing Your Niche & Connecting It To Competitors
Let’s say that you want to start a travel company. You’ve figured out that your strengths are your ability to connect with individuals and your self-confidence. Well, having those two traits can allow you to position yourself as a travel brand that focuses on connecting members from different cultures and teaching people how to leverage travel for personal growth.
While your initial outcome may be to sell travel ebooks, your guiding niche is people who like to travel because they want to grow from their travel experiences.
See how you’re no longer just a travel brand, but rather a brand focused on the personal growth side to traveling? It differentiates you from a foodie or a luxury travel brand, for example.
Once you’ve determined your differentiating point (again, usually based on your personal strengths), it’s time to analyze your competitors.
The easiest way to do this is to type “[Your new specified niche] top brands” into Google and see who comes up. What you can do now is use these “competitors” to attract customers to your own brand. Since you already know that those customers are interested in your brand’s work, they are great targets!
Step 3: Clean your message and ask yourself a few important questions
There’s a typical rule of thumb when you think you have your niche down. Further narrow down your niche a few more times.
That is, if you thought that being a travel brand focusing on personal growth was niche enough, think again.
No matter what brand you’re trying to build, you can succeed at further narrowing down on your niche by asking yourself these questions:
“What age group am I targeting?”
“What are typical pain points of my target market?”
“What change would I personally like to see in the world, and how can I create it?”
“What do my competitors do well, what do they lack, and what can I take advantage of?”
At the end of the day, finding a niche takes a lot of time and trial & error. It will be impossible to just sit down with yourself today and expect to find it. That doesn’t mean the reward is not worth the process!
What you must always consider is that you’ll never find your niche unless you take that first step and put content out that you think will help your customers. Explore the feedback, then try again, and again, and again, until one day, you’re left with a very specific niche, and the framework for a very successful business.