Establishing Your Niche

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

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Old 01-12-2009
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Default Niche necessary?
I don’t really have a "niche" per se. I am one of those "Jacqueline of all trades" kind of gals. I do a bit of everything from office work to personal assistant to helping an elder get around.

I think I kind of have a market of my own in my area. This shouldn’t hurt my chances should it?

I actually got a call for an interview today for an in-office job....he said the same thing I always hear... you have a colorful resume. Lets just say I’ve done a little of that and a little of this but all had a common thread at least - office work but with extenuating jobs.
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Old 01-12-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
I don't think you necessarily need to have a niche. I'm like you. I can do a little bit of most things but don't have an area that I 'specialise' in. You can always see if you have any special particular talents and if there's a certain demand for anything particular in your area. But even if there's not, I don't think that should hurt your chances of success.
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Old 01-15-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Hi Michelle,

I'm just starting, too, & I don't have a niche. I'm trying to figure out what the difference between a niche & a target market is.

BTW, I really like your business name!

Lezly

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Old 01-15-2009
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I don't think you need a niche to be a successful VA. Assistants by nature wear different hats. I think it's a good thing to be versed in different areas. Keeps things interesting...
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Old 01-15-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Originally Posted by dognose View Post
Hi Michelle,

I'm just starting, too, & I don't have a niche. I'm trying to figure out what the difference between a niche & a target market is.
A niche is your specialty (i.e. bookkeeping, web designing, admin work, etc.) and a target market is to whom you aim your marketing efforts (lawyers, construction contractors, 1-person offices, realtors, etc.)

Hope this explanation helps...
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Old 01-15-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Generally, the concept behind niche marketing is that it's a whole lot easier to stick a pin into a particular spot rather than throwing a blanket out and hope you hit something. Some refer to it as VAs who try to be all to everyone and end up being nothing to anyone.

My entrepreneurship class described it as a kind of arrow marketing. You have a wall between you and the rest of the world of potential clients out there. If you poke a hole through the wall, a very specific, very tiny hole, you have a pretty good chance of poking through the wall and out the other side. Once on the other side, that hole starts to expand and get bigger and you stand a very good chance of landing potential clients. However, if you choose a big huge section of wall and ram into it with a huge section of what you think will get you through the wall, chances are you are neither going to pierce the wall nor land any clients. Too big a section to try to penetrate.

The nice thing about niche marketing is you're not limited to one tiny, little, specific hole. You can pick a whole bunch of tiny little holes to market to and chances are you are going to land clients. It also enables you to pick target markets that you want to work for, another handy benefit.

One doesn't have to have a niche to market to and that may work for you. One thing I have noticed is a lot of VAs kind of 'discover' their niche as they go along and it's always nice to see when that works out in their favor!

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Thanks guys! Really appreciate your time.
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Old 01-22-2009
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Since you are talking about niche and target market, I would like to ask for some help here. I would like to combine my experience in international sales, imports and exports with my experience as an administrative assistant. I thought about marketing to importers/exporters (domestic and international) and at the same time to small businesses and entrepreneurs in my area who might need secretarial services, but then again...will this be too much???

I haven't launched my business yet, since I'm not sure which way should I go. What do you think?? Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
That actually sounds like a GREAT niche. I doubt very many people would do that virtually. Look into manufacturers. I worked for a manufacturing company and doing exports was a bi-aaaatch!

Originally Posted by eVA2008 View Post
Since you are talking about niche and target market, I would like to ask for some help here. I would like to combine my experience in international sales, imports and exports with my experience as an administrative assistant. I thought about marketing to importers/exporters (domestic and international) and at the same time to small businesses and entrepreneurs in my area who might need secretarial services, but then again...will this be too much???

I haven't launched my business yet, since I'm not sure which way should I go. What do you think?? Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 02-03-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Great explanation on niche marketing. I was planning on going with the "big section" of wall, but after reading that I am thinking of changing to a "bunch of tiny holes".

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2009
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As every body says Niche is important for Internet Marketing
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Old 08-31-2009
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I keep reading about niche marketing on this site as well as others, and it appears to be generally accepted, but I feel like I have to limit myself to do that. Do you worry someone not from your niche will happen across your website and think "well, they say they work for authors, and I need this proofread, but I'm not an author so I'll find someone else." My instincts rebel against the idea of focusing on one type instead of sending everything out everywhere I possibly can.
In the metaphor someone used above, what is really the difference between one big hole and a bunch of little ones?
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Old 09-01-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
I guess my understanding of niche and target markets is different from others, based on what I read in this thread.

I provide 'bookkeeping and office support services' (my niche) which is a broad enough area that I can offer to do just about anything office related. I focus primarily on entrepreneurs/small businesses and attorneys (my target markets). I have marketing materials for each group that are just a 'little' different.
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Old 09-01-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Being a Jack-of-all trades is not a bad thing. As someone noted on this thread, we all have worn different hats for different companies.

If you are able to do a lot of different things then set up your site with those different things.

You can group certain tasks for specific niches. I work as a VA, VBA and a REVA. But, I also have a team that works with me as well as other VA's that I can call if I get backed up.

You will want to do some strategic planning when you are setting up your site. I have writers and speakers who call me for VA services and then real estate agents who call for REVA services. But, I set up my site so that it is easy for them to click on those specific needs.

Everyone will have different opinions about what you should do and how you should do it. I say take each opinion and focus on the one that best reflects your needs.

That is what we are all here for. A little input and a little feedback

Andrea
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Old 10-31-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
All great posts on what a niche market is! I have been in business for myself in one aspect or another for about 6 years. If someone is just launching into VA work, I think it is best to find that main thing you are superior at and confident in your abilities and market that. Once you gain some clients which gains you clients you can add to your services as they come along. Sometimes it is in conversation with someone that you realize another niche that you are good at and you add that to your services.

Being a "jack of all trades" is not a bad thing. It is good to diversify your business. However, don't spread yourself into so many different things that you have trouble being efficient at them. Sometimes it is easier or better to be good at a few things than spreading yourself thin in such a manner that you cannot perform anything with proper expertise and great customer service.
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Old 10-31-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Diversifying your business (Jack of all trades) and why this is a plus. Another term for this is the old adage of "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket". I have worked as an independent contractor in the mortgage industry for several years. That was my primary income. With the current mortgage downturn, my business has gone to nil. This is why it is important to have clients in several different industries so when one bottoms out, you have the others still going.

While I spoke of diversifying in the previous post as an aspect to supplying different services, you can also supply similar services but to different target markets so that, as stated above in this post, your business and income are not at the mercy of one industry.
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Old 11-01-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Michelle - thanks for posting this question. I was pondering the same.

Ladies - thanks for all the advice! Now to pick a niche!
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Old 11-01-2009
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Great information from everyone. My niche in Commercial Real Estate. It's a market that I'm deeply in love with!
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Old 11-03-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
I believe that finding your niche in the world, whether we're talking business or not, is important but sometimes it takes a little time to find it. And once you DO find it and specialize on the tasks that you really enjoy doing, after some time it just might change because we're all growing and changing, and then you can choose a new niche.
Niche marketing allows us to focus our energies and resources on a specific market but we don't have to be limited to just one or that one forever. Nothing has to be permanent.
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Old 11-04-2009
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Default Re: Niche necessary?
Sandy,
You are so right! As for business, it is always changing. We have to be willing and ready to change with it. While we may find a particular niche, we have to constantly look to the future, be aware of the trends and be ready to alter our thinking, our processes and our niches to accommodate our customer and/or potential customer's needs.
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