In many of our previous blogs we have discussed how to find your niche. (See 5 steps to finding your niche – part 1 and part 2, business development time savers: have a niche – part 1, part 2, part 3) You could say that we have examined the sixty million dollar question of helping you find your niche many, many times. Then, a discussion amongst members of the Professional Speaking Association, turned to the ‘to niche or not’ question. It also threw up some interesting points, angles and thoughts, which I have developed in this blog post.
Do you find your niche or does your niche find you?
This is an interesting question, because it can happen both ways. You can actively set out to create your own niche. Or you find that you get good at attracting a certain type of work or client. I.e. your niche finds you. My view is that it doesn’t matter which way around you do it, just that you do it.
If you are short for time and just starting out, I would speed up the process and actively find your niche. After all, you don’t have the time to play around with a handful of different niches or sectors. Just pick one or two and go for it.
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Are you passionate about your thing?
I never set out to become passionate about helping people become the Go-To-Expert. It just happened along the way in my journey. However, when I speak to people on topics relating to this subject, my eyes start to shine, the energy comes in my voice, and I could spend hours and hours talking and debating this subject. Do you have this sort of passion for what you do? If you don’t, what bits of your work or client base makes you feel energised and passionate? This is a big clue to finding ‘your thing’
Can you build a decent sized client portfolio without a niche?
Of course you can. Many partners have done this in the past, and done it very successfully. They are probably still winning clients as well. However, there is a big if to this. These partners are normally reaping the reward of strong and long-standing referral relationships. If you are going to stand out from your partners you also need to build these strong relationships. To do that, you need to be memorable and stand out from your peers. Oh, we are back in the ‘find a niche’ argument again.
If you have limited time, and a limited marketing budget, and you are wanting to challenge established referral relationships then you are going to have to do something a little bit different. Focusing on developing a deep level of expertise and credibility for a niche is a very effective way of doing this.
How did you find your niche or did you niche find you?
Written by Heather Townsend. I help professionals become the ‘Go To Expert’. I am the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life‘ and the author of the award-winning and bestselling book on Networking, ‘The FT Guide To Business Networking‘.
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