Recognize Your Niche
Are you waiting for that "aha!" moment to finally figure out your special role on the world's stage?
Do you expect that one day your specialty will just hit you like a bolt of lightning?
If you're waiting for the light bulb to turn on, you may end up sitting in the dark for a very long time. More often than not, identifying your niche and your specialty is more like a silhouette emerging through the fog.
In my own experience, picking a niche always comes about gradually. You're working on one thing, and then another thing similar to that, and before long, you are being associated with a specific specialty or setting.
You probably don't even realize it as it happens because the process of creating your niche is steady and progressive - the feeling isn't at all like your expectations. No fireworks, no clashing symbols.
The whole evolution of my own niche probably took 12 to 18 months. I didn't just ask myself one day, "I wonder what my niche is?" and the next day decide to be a cold calling expert. And, once I became a cold calling expert, I didn't stop there.
You need to just keep going and continue defining yourself in your business.
Ask yourself, "What is it that people are struggling with that I can help them with?"
I honed in on the area of appointment setting and appointment making. At that time, no one else was really offering courses on that specific topic. That helped me to stand out in the marketplace. Part of the reason that I stuck with that niche was that the market kept me on track.
I'm not where I am today because I decided at a very early age that I wanted to be an appointment setting expert. If there is a demand for what you are doing, the market will tell you whether you should continue in that direction. It just may not be a direction you ever saw yourself heading in.
Keep it simple. Look around you and ask yourself, "What am I seeing that's coming up as a problem for people time and time again?"
You can look at the needs of existing clients, read trade magazines for your industry or visit online forums to find similar topics that come up again and again.
There will be some that you're drawn to and others where you don't have that same attraction. Follow up on the ones that you feel a pull toward and see what happens.
Don't confuse identifying a niche with "what's my purpose in life?" That is a much bigger question. You are a magnificent being with so much to do on this earth. It's unlikely you'll be able to boil it all down into one sentence.
But, that's actually exactly what you need to do when you pick a niche. Boil it down. Pick one phrase. "I help ____ to achieve or to solve ____." Maybe you help moms who want to start their own business, or need another example here.
If you're approaching your niche as a life purpose question, it's going to be nearly impossible to answer. Take yourself off the hook and take that pressure off yourself.
Your niche will evolve with your business. Again, learn from my situation. I didn't stop at being a cold calling or appointment setting expert. Today I'm teaching people how to find new business. The way in which I'm helping people and the types of people I'm helping is completely different from what I started out with.
So, don't be concerned that what you decide today is irreversible. The market may take you in another direction over the course of time.
Approach finding your niche more pragmatically. Identify the area where you think there could be demand and where you feel you've got some expertise and can add some value. You don't have to have it all perfectly figured out from the outset.
About the Author
Bernadette Doyle is a marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs become client magnets and attract a steady stream of their ideal clients. She publishes a free, weekly newsletter for trainers, speakers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you'd like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at http://www.clientmagnets.com
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