Do I really need to niche if I want clients?
It was only last month that I opened the doors to the Business from the Heart Membership and invited new “Hearties” into the fold. So right now I’m in that phase of getting to know our new members, and helping them with their questions – and confusions!
One of the questions that comes up time and time again goes something like this:
“I would love to get more clients – but how can I if I haven’t got a niche”
I find this just a little crazy – and pretty frustrating – mainly because I’ve seen over and over again just how much the belief that you have to have a niche before you can get started, holds people back in their business.
Look at it like this:
Imagine you don’t have any clients right now.
Now Imagine it is 6 months from now and you still don’t have any clients (because you are still working out your niche). How will you feel? Deflated? Demotivated? Lacking in confidence?
Now imagine it is 6 months from now and you still don’t have a niche but you do have paying clients. Now, how will you feel? Probably hopeful, optimistic, more confident of the results you can help people achieve, and just possibly a good bit closer to finding your niche.
Now before I go any further I don’t want you to misunderstand.
A niche or a clear target market IS a very important marketing tool.
Without a niche it is hard to really stand out to your ideal clients, impossible to create a website that people can land on and go “oh, she really gets me, I need to work with her”, and really difficult for you to know how to reach your ideal client.
In other words, your marketing is smoother, easier and a LOT less effort when you have a defined niche.
However, you don’t need a niche to get paying clients.
I know that might be a bit controversial so I will say it again to make sure you got it:
You don’t need a niche to get paying clients.
In fact, if you decide that you need a niche before you get paying client that can be a bit like putting the cart before the horse.
Because it is really hard to work out your niche in isolation and out of context. I remember my days of struggle as a newly qualified coach, trying desperately to work out my niche just by sitting at home thinking and journalling. I did a lot of thinking, I did a lot of guessing, and I changed my mind about once a fortnight (this is actually perfectly OK to do while you are working it out!). But in the end, the way that I actually found my “thing” was by getting out there and working with clients.
When you do that you will start to notice what sort of clients are naturally attracted to you. What sort of clients make your heart sing and what sort make you want to hide under the kitchen table until they go away.
I firmly believe I would never have discovered my true gift and passion and specialism if I hadn’t gotten out there and started working with the “wrong” clients on the wrong stuff.
Getting started without a niche was what helped me find my niche.
And of course, once you’ve got that niche clarity, then it’s far easier to get noticed for what you do – and that’s when you’ll need a system for converting them into paying clients.
Having a “perfect” marketing machine, with the perfect niche, the perfect website, the perfect free giveaway, and the perfect social media strategy – with no clear process for how to turn “I’m interested” into “I’m in – how do I pay you?” is a bit like pouring water into a bucket with a hole at the bottom – as fast as you can pour clients in, they are just trickling out at the bottom.
So, to wrap up this particularly common sticking point; my advice to anyone starting out in business, is to not get held back by the belief that you can’t start your business without a niche – you can DEFINITELY get clients whether you have a niche or not and working with clients is EXACTLY how your niche will come to you.
….if you do want to get noticed, if you want to make things easier, if you want to get maximum return on the time and energy you put into marketing, if you want to be seen as the “go to” person – and when someone tells a friend a problem they say “oh, you need to go and see [insert your name here!]”, if you want Expert Status so that people contact you to invite you to speak or give interviews in their groups, workshops or podcasts – then a niche or clear target market will most definitely help you with that.
What could you be the “go to” person for? Don’t know yet? Then get out there, get started, and find out!
How has this landed? Please do feel free to share in the comments – I’d love to know your experience with this particular ‘niche’ subject.
And to support you to build confidence on your business journey so you definitely don’t become demotivated, why not sign up for my e-book?…
How to Create a Business you can Fall in Love with
If you’d like to learn more about my approach to growing a business you can FALL in love with and STAY in love with, you can sign up to receive my e-book where I share my secrets to creating a truly successful and sustainable business – without burning out or falling out of love with it along the way. Sign up for the Create a Business you Love e-Guide here.