Redefining niche in marketing and sales through a feminine lens

Your niche is not what you think.

As a seasoned sales professional, I’ve always believed that I had a solid understanding of what a niche truly meant in the world of marketing and sales. But little did I know, my perspective would be challenged, reshaped, and enriched on this journey we call entrepreneurship. I invite you to join me as I unravel the enigma surrounding the concept of a niche, exploring its intricacies and redefining its true essence through a uniquely feminine lens and through someone who’s spent the majority of her career in a sales role. Maybe I’ll shatter some preconceived notions you’ve had and unlock hidden opportunities you never noticed before.

Every marketer and their dog tells you that a niche needs to be narrowed down,

Let me start, right out of the gate, by stating you’ve most likely been taught by every marketer and their dog that a niche needs to be narrowed down, to such a point, so your marketing message is  speaking to one person. 

Let’s go back to the beginning of what we are told a niche is.

The concept of a niche, in simple terms,  refers to a specialized segment of the market that focuses on addressing the unique needs, preferences, or interests of a specific group of customers. (AI spit this out for me).

 I would add that it helps you specialize in something. Be known or something to a specific group of people you serve. Like a problem you specialize in solving. 

Are you with me so far?

The masses will tell you:

Rather than trying to appeal to a broad audience, targeting a niche allows a business to concentrate its efforts on a narrower, more defined customer base. By doing so, we can tailor our products or services to meet the specific demands of that particular group more effectively.

That is what we’ve learned to be true…..right?

Identifying and serving a niche allows businesses to differentiate themselves from larger, more generic competitors by offering specialized solutions that cater to the unique requirements of our target audience. This differentiation can help us stand out and build a stronger brand identity.

Additionally, targeting a niche often leads to increased customer loyalty and engagement. When customers feel that a business truly understands their specific needs and preferences, they are more likely to develop a strong connection and trust in the brand. This can result in repeat business, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, long-term success.

And, to discover and define your niche,  you’ve assumptively done your homework and have conducted extensive market research and analysis to identify a specific segment of customers with distinct characteristics, desires, or challenges. Right?

So, it’s fair to say you’ve crafted your products or services to cater to these specific needs, providing value that is tailored to their requirements.

Utilize your time and resources efficiently by using the niche model

As business owners, we follow this model so our time and resources are utilized efficiently, allowing us to deliver exceptional products and services with a higher level of expertise and customization. Our goal, especially as small business owners who wear the majority of the hats, is to become the go-to provider for this particular group of customers – building a reputation for excellence within our niche. That is what many see as the destination.

But, guess what? Oftentimes this struggle is continuous. If only you could find that one group of people you serve everything would be sunshine and roses. Right?

Here’s an example:

Say you’re a business coach and you hunt down folks who are new at entrepreneurship. 

Your persona may sound like this: Susan is a 40 year old, who went to university and now works in corporate. She has 2 school age kids and has joint custody with their father. Susan hates her job and wants to be an entrepreneur. She has an idea and wants to start her own business.

I bet you’ve gone through this exercise a few times, am I right?

What if you thought about your niche from the standpoint of what you solve?

What if what you solve will attract the clients you want to serve?

It’s a paradigm shift in thinking.

As a small business, being clear in your marketing message is what lifts you up from the crowd.

And, part of that message is to be clear on what you solve. First.

Ever heard the expression, “Don’t put the cart before the horse”?

Putting th cart before the horse doesn't work.

If you were to put the cart before the horse, it would be difficult or impossible for the horse to “push” that cart forward efficiently. And, it will take a crap ton more power to move that cart without the horse.

So….it advises against jumping ahead to the later stages or aspects of a process before completing the essential preliminary steps.

Think about it.

If you can’t clarify the problem you solve, ALL this other work doesn’t land.

You can spend hours, days, months, and years trying to zero in on a persona. But if your problem doesn’t solve what your persona needs you have wasted your time. In addition, it’s about who do your prospects get to become after they work with you.

(I follow this amazing gal, Jereshia Hawk. I highly recommend watching her videos on this topic. She emphasizes aligning your values to the problem you solve. It is a game changer.)

Here’s another secret…….which isn’t a secret when you’ve been in sales as long as I have…

The problem you solve – that helps those with that problem – is your niche.

Niche versus verticals and how you can implement both

Open the curtains at center stage …in walks a VERTICAL. 

If you decide you want to attract a particular industry, this is called a VERTICAL

Some of my peers call them silos. I prefer the term vertical. I’m from the country and where there are silos you will find smelly manure…so I don’t use that term myself.

And, here’s the thing that is tripping you all up……you can serve multiple verticals.

Did your brain just explode….just a little?

Don’t get verticals mixed up with what a niche is.

To clarify, you simply need the right marketing message for each vertical.  But your niche remains the same. Specifically, verticals are the industry within your niche.

Basically, if I’m a chiropractor, my niche can be with athletes. So all your messaging is around sports injuries and how you help them get back to playing their best game.

The vertical here can be soccer players. Another can be hockey players. Another can be marathon runners.

But the niche is people who play sports and get injured in the game. 

The problem you solve, and the people who have this problem, is your niche.

I believe that by specializing in your niche, you can offer your valued clients a unique and tailored experience that addresses their specific needs in a way that your competitors can’t. The way in which you solve their problem is different. Or maybe you solve the same problem as your competitors but your process is unique and different. 

The problem you solve and how you solve it is your niche.

The industry you want to serve is a vertical.

With one niche you can serve several verticals. 

Now, go out there and help solve the problems you know how to solve.

Nicole Gallant

Nicole Gallant is the lead marketing and sales strategist connecting buyers to sellers for 20+ years. Buyer behaviour is definitely her jam. Certified in StoryBrand helping small businesses generate sales with content rich websites, crystal clear offers and effective social media plans. The trick is knowing which words trigger curiosity and interest with your brand and which words to avoid. She coaches female founders how to #ditchthepitch and stop using ego-centric content. Learn more about me »