Everyone believes the way to “niche down” revolves around WHO you serve, which is why entrepreneurs people get stuck.
When we think about a niche, we tend to focus on the WHO because every guru, book, or article titled “the riches are in the niches” tells you to focus on WHO you serve.
And while this advice is not entirely wrong, it creates a few common pitfalls that cause solopreneurs to get stuck.
- Muddled messaging
- Multiple offers
- Bad marketing
- Fixation on a specific group of people
Ugh. The focus on the WHO methodology is filled with self-doubt and, at times, paralyzing overthinking. So, how do you “niche down” without falling into the WHO you serve trap?
Simple. Focus on the WHAT.
The WHAT-centric niche.
All well-known brands build a WHAT-centric niche.
A WHAT-centric niche allows you to sell more products or services to various WHOs.
Apple knows this.
Coke knows this.
StoryBrand knows this.
Many of your favorite online Gurus know this, which is why you buy their courses and sign up for their free groups. They know the WHAT-centric secret for their niche and business, but to attract you, they talk about the typical WHO-centric niching beliefs.
A WHAT-centric niche focuses on the obstacles you help your clients overcome vs. who you serve.
Imagine if Apple said they only serve creative people who work in brand design.
Or Coke only provided products to Solopreneurs who make between $100K and $500K and have been in business for over six years.
Both are ridiculous examples, but the standard advice on “niching” takes you down that path. Fortunately, the WHAT-centric model avoids while helping you get focused on how you help.
What’s your WHAT?
Ignoring all previous advice you’ve heard about niching down for a minute, think about the obstacles (problems) you help your clients solve.
Here are a few tips to help you develop your WHAT-centric niche.
Tip #1: List the obstacles (problems) your clients struggle with that you help them resolve.
Tip #2: Narrow your list to the top three obstacles. These are three you know you can help your clients overcome. Preferably, they should be tangible and measurable.
Tip #3: Add the name of a client you helped next to each obstacle for your list of three. It’s OK to have more than one obstacle per client.
Tip #4: Review your list. Look for patterns in WHO you serve. Do they fit into the same target market? Share similar demographics? My guess is they will.
Tip #5: Talk about the obstacles (problems) you help your audience solve in your messaging and marketing to attract your WHO.
Using this WHAT-centric methodology to discover your niche eliminates the common pitfalls many solopreneurs and small business owners struggle with when naming their niche. The WHAT-centric model also makes your marketing and messaging much tighter and more focused, so you don’t feel like you’re all over the place.
So, if you ever get stuck “finding” your WHO, stop focusing on the WHAT, and you’ll be on your way to becoming well-known in your target market.