Establishing Your Niche

Post here if you're defining (or redefining) your niche.

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Old 06-24-2012
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Default I Don't WANT a niche...
Yep, you read the title of this post right. I don't want a niche. I don't want to limit myself to just one job industry. I want to do it all. Transcription. Research. Typing. Desktop publishing. Making appointments and acting as an administrative liaison. Ordering supplies and purchasing equipment. Giving top of the line business advice. Document proofreading. Setting up Skype meetings. Troubleshooting computer programs. I don't want to limit myself to a little box... I want to rip the box up and build an infinite one. Maybe I'm a rebel in the VA field (I mean ahem, administrative consultant field). My mission as an administrative consultant is to help companies and businesses reach their goals and strategically align them to become successors in their field. Maybe not walk their dog, but I can walk them throw a glitch in Microsoft Word.

Please don't throw me in the paddy wagon for making this post. I assure you, my brain cells are intact.

Last edited by namadminservices; 06-24-2012 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Deletion of sentence.
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
Nadia,

Believe me when I say, we ALL don't want to be in a box. The reason behind deciding on a niche is so that when you put your marketing materials "out there", you are talking to one type of person, not everyone.
Imagine this:
You have this awesome therapeutic car/truck seat cover you want to sell. Now you send out flyers, post on the internet, etc. (targeting no one in particular) inviting them to a presentation you've set up.
100 random people show up to see what you've got to sell.
25 are women over the age of 55 and retired.
25 are young men about 18-25 who work in retail/fast food.
25 are middle-aged men who work in an office and wear a suit.
The final 25 are made up of Truck drivers and Cab drivers.
In this scenario, most likely the only people who will actually be interested are the last 25 and out of those you may sell 10 seat covers to them. The others feel you wasted their time.
Your sales equal 10%

Now in this next scenario you've targeted your marketing to the Truck/Cab driver industry.
50 truck drivers & 50 cab drivers show up.
They love your product and 40 of them purchase your product.
Now you've jumped your sale to 40% just by targeting a certain type of person.

I'm not saying you can't do it all, just that narrowing down WHO you want to do it for and specializing in one main thing will get the clients coming to you. Then you can let them know what else you offer and build a relationship with them.

:-)

Hope that helps,
~C
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
I think I understand what you are saying, Nadia. I do not want to specialize in a particular business area such as real estate, transcription, etc. I would like to market to any small business that might need my services.
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
Originally Posted by ChristinaVOS View Post
Nadia,

Believe me when I say, we ALL don't want to be in a box. The reason behind deciding on a niche is so that when you put your marketing materials "out there", you are talking to one type of person, not everyone.
Imagine this:
You have this awesome therapeutic car/truck seat cover you want to sell. Now you send out flyers, post on the internet, etc. (targeting no one in particular) inviting them to a presentation you've set up.
100 random people show up to see what you've got to sell.
25 are women over the age of 55 and retired.
25 are young men about 18-25 who work in retail/fast food.
25 are middle-aged men who work in an office and wear a suit.
The final 25 are made up of Truck drivers and Cab drivers.
In this scenario, most likely the only people who will actually be interested are the last 25 and out of those you may sell 10 seat covers to them. The others feel you wasted their time.
Your sales equal 10%

Now in this next scenario you've targeted your marketing to the Truck/Cab driver industry.
50 truck drivers & 50 cab drivers show up.
They love your product and 40 of them purchase your product.
Now you've jumped your sale to 40% just by targeting a certain type of person.

I'm not saying you can't do it all, just that narrowing down WHO you want to do it for and specializing in one main thing will get the clients coming to you. Then you can let them know what else you offer and build a relationship with them.

:-)

Hope that helps,
~C
Okay, so what you're saying is that I should focus on building a strong foundation first right? Finding some areas I want to speacialize in, spread the word out, get the customers, and then do word-of-mouth marketing and get them to bring me more customers??

I think the thing that made me write this post was that i kept hearing the word niche, and the more I heard it the more it sounded like "limited options" and the more it made me cringe. I guess I don't like cramped spaces and that I'm used to spreading myself out over various areas.
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
Nadia,
Exactly! I started out wanting to work for anyone and everyone. When that didn't work I begrudgingly started marketing to life/business coaches. I got three new clients in the first two months.
Now that I have an extensive portfolio, a great reputation and more confidence in myself as a business owner, I can still market to one industry (which has changed to energy healers, mediums) but I get all kinds of clients.
Now my clients come by word of mouth, I don't even have to market much anymore.
I've recently worked with a self-published fitness coach, a Raw Vegan consultant, a dating site, a medium, a construction company and a real estate broker.

So starting out you need to focus on one industry, as time goes on and you build a reputation, you'll be amazed at the variety of clients you will work with.

Don't think of niche as "a box", think of it as fine-tuning your client prospects :-)

Good Luck!
~C
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
Nadia,

Totally ditto what Christina states...she speaks volumes!

Many VAs start up (including me!) not wanting to eliminate any potential clients so we throw the net around everyone so as not to miss a single inquiry for services.

But I found, as will you, that when you concentrate on a few target clients, the flood gates open up. Then you can concentrate solely on marketing within that targeted market. All your marketing including social media, blog posts, website and any materials are geared toward that market, which may seem slim by categorizing it by one name (accountants, coaches, speakers, etc.) but it is not! There are many, many targeted customers available to work with you; listed under those niche categories.

What happens when you target a specific niche, you become the expert for that niche and then they come to you!

As time goes on, you can add to or drop those targeted markets.

Also, you can get referrals much easier by having a targeted niche. If you work only with speakers, for example, these folks know other speakers and they will tell others about you = word of mouth referrals! The best kind!

Janine
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
Christina is dead on with her advice! Trust me, finding a niche doesn't mean limiting what YOU can do. I still provide a wide variety of services that I love doing.
It's all about finding the right demographic to offer those services to. And I think we've all experienced that fear of excluding possible clients. I like to describe the importance of a niche this way, compare finding clients to fishing.
Having no niche is like marketing in the ocean. In the ocean there are millions of fish of different kinds spread over a huge area. There are also lots of fishermen there trying to catch them. They all respond to different types of bait and lures, so in order to catch one you have to be in the right place at the time with the right bait and hope there aren't other fishermen with better timing and/or bait than you.
Having a niche is like fishing in a small pond. Sure, there are fewer fish, but you know what kinds they are and you know what bait they are going to respond to. They have a smaller area to swim in, so the chances of one grabbing your hook is much, much higher and chances are you don't have nearly as many fishermen around you competing for the same fish.
Even though choosing a niche seems to be leaving people out and making your chances of finding clients more difficult, in reality it's just the opposite. Because you understand just who you're marketing to you can play to their specific pain points making them much more likely to respond.
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
I literally just replied to a post of yours asking for advice because you want Real Estate to be your niche market and less than a minute after posting my reply, I see that you posted this a mere 3 hours earlier. Now I'm a little confused...?
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Old 06-25-2012
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Default Re: I Don't WANT a niche...
Originally Posted by Canary Admin Services View Post
I literally just replied to a post of yours asking for advice because you want Real Estate to be your niche market and less than a minute after posting my reply, I see that you posted this a mere 3 hours earlier. Now I'm a little confused...?
LOL. I was confused yesterday about choosing a target market. I wanted to just be available for anyone at anytime. But then I this post, as well as another convo with another business owner, told me that i needed to FOCUS, focus, and FOCUS.... then the light bulb came on and it popped on: real estate. I've never worked in real estate before and I may be taking a big risk. But I figure that since I'm only in the planning stage of my business, I can tweak it. Plus, real estate in my area is wow...money central and these people need help as well. I can spend the months while I"m planning researching real estate, figuring out what they want and go for it. Get some training, watch some videos, read some educational blogs, forums, etc. Because this article that I read about the dangers of becoming a jane of all trades scared me; I don't want to stress myself out, I don't want to be frustrated. I just want to run my business as an administrative consultant and help others. I was thinking of doing some volunteer work (possibly) at a couple; kind of get my feet wet, in the door and a jumpstart on things. But as of right now, real estate is the biggest piece of the pie. Real estate and law offices.
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