One of the most IMPORTANT lessons I’ve learned about how to find and dominate your niche market is, the power of specificity.
To confuse people, remove clarity; overwhelm them with so many details they can’t keep it all in their working memory is the WORST thing you can do in finding and dominating your niche.
Let me show you how I learned this through my own story so you can find and dominate your niche market.
In 2013, I sat at a window every single day talking to unhappy customers. My job was property management. The firm I worked for had over six thousand tenants who would come in to pay rent, complain about things, order maintenance, and (the worst) yell at me for things not being done on time!
You could say that my “leap” into consulting was in large part due to the frustration of going into work every day, and dealing with the negativity. Around this time, I started studying marketing – and before long, it hit me what a great opportunity I had to experiment with what I was learning.
“Can you insert a word before your sentence to make it more appealing?” I would try it and study the response. I would learn in the mornings and the evenings about writing copy and advertisements to sell products… and then I would apply the same principles during the day to “sell” tenants on paying their rent on time and leaving with a smile!
When our tenants came in to pay their rent, they would also let us know about any problems they were having with their property. Our goal was for our tenants’ “rent paying experience” to be as fast as possible. We knew that the longer they stayed in the lobby, the more problems they were having and the more unhappy they would be.
What I learned was that people want their problem to be heard. They want to know their problem is understood. And they want to know what the “solution” is for their problem.
For example, when a tenant complained about their air-conditioner, instead of telling them things like, “we are very busy,” or “the maintenance team will be there when they get there,” I would thank them for bringing the problem to our attention. And say, “I completely understand, and know I would be frustrated, too.” I’d ask them questions so I could give them the best help, and they felt involved in getting it fixed. Then I’d say, “We’ll get this submitted immediately – can I call you in 30 minutes with an update?”
We found by giving our tenants a timeframe for an update to their problem, they were happy to leave the lobby. Both our goals were accomplished – they were heard, and action was taken; and we had a happy tenant who left the lobby quickly and paid their rent on time.
It was a perfect training environment, but not necessarily in an enjoyable way. Perhaps similar to the way the Colosseum of Rome was a great “training environment” to learn how to fight (win or be killed).
One of the most IMPORTANT lessons I learned from that job was the power of specificity.
This lesson lined up exactly with what I was learning from my studies: sell one thing at a time… the human brain can only handle so many details at one time – so don’t overload it. If you want someone to take action, give them ONE action to take (or else they’ll delay and ponder, trying to avoid selecting the inferior action).
Putting together WHAT you are going to package up is the final step before getting out there and putting your expertise to the test (I’m talking about selling your first client).
In this article, I want to uncover lessons that have long been hidden behind our $10-30k client fees. You will probably learn more in this chapter about WHAT you sell than you’ve ever learned before – so buckle up, get ready to take a few notes, and let’s develop your offer.
DO’S & DON’TS OF NICHES
I mentioned earlier that I was studying marketing while working a full time job – and one of the main characters I cut my teeth on was Dan Kennedy. He is famous in the marketing world for a lot of things – but one famous phrase he coined goes like this:
“There are ‘riches’ in ‘niches’.”
It was true when he said it, and it’s just as true now!
With one important caveat: the game has changed… significantly! A ‘niche’ is still a powerful thing, but if you try to niche down today the way they niched down in the 80’s you are going to fail.
Back then, a niche meant, conservatively, demographics. People come into our programs every day and they say, “My niche is 40-50 year old moms and…” Hold up…
Let me just stop you there.
When I say give me your “niche,” what I am saying is, give me clarity on a specific PAIN/PROBLEM/DESIRE — and describe the type of person most likely to have this problem. The reason why we want to develop a clear niche is simple: if you can identify one small “vertical” of people, who need what you sell, you can find and dominate your niche market.
Picture the selection between the two lawn care providers:
Provider A) I cut lawns!
Provider B) I am your full service, one-stop-shop to beautiful, healthy, vibrant and well manicured lawns. I specialize in high end homes in high end neighborhoods with HOAs. People come to me not because I’m cheaper, but because I do everything up to your standards, which are higher than most. Full fertilization, watering schedules and programming, weekly manicuring, seasonal weed treatments, aeration, and the peace of mind of YOU not having to do anything at all.
Now — these are the same offers!
Very different “niches,” though. I took all of this to heart, so in early 2015 I decided to go ahead and try it out. Back then I was a freelance copywriter. I wrote ads and e-mails for my clients to help them grow their businesses.
After a couple months of competing based on price, I decided to niche into a vertical. By the way, one of the main indicators of a poorly executed “niche,” is price shoppers… we’ll tackle some of that later.
I dubbed myself “The Infusionsoft Copywriter.” Infusionsoft was a certain (expensive) software tool that I noticed my best clients all used. If someone used Infusionsoft, it meant they probably had some money, and it meant they took their business seriously. Also, there was a tremendous learning curve involved in learning how to use the tool, so I had another good niche attribute: pain.
If a business owner needed marketing, but they didn’t want to have to learn all of the tech, well I could solve both! My chosen niche (expert copywriting campaigns for Infusionsoft users) worked amazingly well… a month after putting it out there, I was cleaning house. Two months after, I was booked solid and taking deposits for work that I didn’t have time to start for MONTHS.
Before, I was just an “Average Joe Copywriter.” After, I was the copywriter specifically trained to help you IF you used Infusionsoft and needed expert campaigns written FOR Infusionsoft.
This leads me into a few points about creating your niche.
A good niche is the following:
- Clear (when you hear it, you know instantly whether you’re in the niche or not)
- Outcome-oriented (usually the outcome is to solve a problem, or deliver a desired result; the point is, when you hear it you know instantly whether you want the outcome or not)
- Specialized (there is no competition between a ‘general doctor’ and a ‘neurosurgeon’ if you need brain surgery, this is because of the specialized skill set a neurosurgeon has developed – same with a niche)
- Elastic (you can charge more with a good niche than you can with no niche)
See, Infusionsoft wasn’t a “niche,” it was a problem… and the outcome was simple: you don’t have to mess with it.
I took the term “riches in niches” and I shifted it. Instead of the old way of niching down — only working for doctors, or only working for real estate professionals — I found a common theme amongst MANY industries or “niches,” I created my own sub-niche, and I started catering to those people.
For example, there is a shared set of problems which a doctor, an artist, a politician, and an attorney, all have in common. The old school niching model would be to help doctors do X, Y, Z. And let’s say that it is, to keep more money. An entrepreneur would focus on, “I’m a financial planner for doctors!” This is old thinking, as a doctor, an artist, a politician, and an attorney might all have the same problem, which is, being able to raise money for R & D.
So, the new niching model is … I am the person who helps innovative professionals raise money. Well, that’s not just a doctor, it’s an artist and all of the other professions. Therefore, what we’ve done is we’ve taken the industries, lumped them together, and threaded the needle with the problem rather than stay within one industry. This opens the scope of your niche and makes it very specific with your promise.
The proper way to niche is by first drawing lines around the problem — and the industries, ages, or specific demographics of the people who experience that problem don’t matter as much. This is a much simpler, and much more effective, way to niche than any I’ve ever seen.
WHY YOU NICHE DOWN
I first developed this style of “niching down” due to necessity. In 2015, I was competing with everyone else trying to do the same thing, and since then it’s become even worse.
You have to understand, I went from being a relatively obscure freelancer, to perhaps the most in demand marketing consultant in the country – relatively quickly… in about four years! From struggling to get 2-3 clients per month to literally thousands of customers and clients on a monthly basis.
To put it into perspective, in 2013 my hourly rate was $14.50. At the start of 2015, I’d raised that hourly rate to almost $200 per hour. As I’m typing this, my hourly rate, if you combine all companies, is around $25,000 per hour. That’s what you call warp speed growth — part of it has to do with this style of niching and how we were able to cut through the competition and rise to the top.
Today, the world is rapidly expanding. The entrepreneurial space is growing by leaps and bounds. It is no longer enough to perform coaching only for chiropractors. There are eleven-hundred people within 100 miles of you trying to do the same thing.
You have to niche after a problem or you are constantly going to be penalized on pricing, timeframes, and a thousand other competitive scenarios where others will deliberately undercut you to earn the business away from you.
The beauty of this style of niching? If you’re a neurosurgeon specifically trained for neurodegenerative disease surgery in younger people, under 40 years old — it doesn’t matter how expensive you are. People are not going to go with the neurosurgeon who just graduated school because they’re cheaper!
You have to get your niche targeted on the problem not the demographics– then your price issues go out the window. Let’s dive into some of the models for creating your perfect program or offer. Keep in mind, the first few models are exercises only, and they are important. The more clarity you get about who you are wanting to serve, the faster you can plug and play at the end to create the perfect offer your market needs and wants.
SPECIFICS IN CREATING YOUR OFFER
In order to create the perfect offer to dominate your niche market, you need to first set your target on finding the perfect market. A market is simply a group of people that you are equipped and passionate about serving.
Serving, as we know, means solving problems. What problems are you particularly passionate about (and equipped for) solving?
I know there will be a number of readers who think, “Yep… I know exactly what to offer people and I’m certain on what I’m good at and what my best value to my market should be.” But most readers are just like I was when I got started – that’s okay… it’s literally what this article is for.
I had NO idea what I needed to offer. I read all of these stories and followed the popular thought leaders on social media and wondered, “What can I do so I can make that kind of money?”
People will tell you that for people to buy from you they have to like you… that’s bogus! Business is about value and cash. If you’d like to test me on this, go out and offer as much value as you can for the next year, make people like you so much they click “like” on every post you write and comment on every picture you post — and see how much you get paid. You won’t get paid anything.
You will accumulate fans and followers, but your bank account will likely stay the same. This is NOT the goal. Your income isn’t dependent on whether your market likes you, it’s dependent on whether they trust you can help them do something they don’t know how (or don’t have time) to do.
This means, for you to have a great consulting business, you also need to be wise in selecting your MARKET. I know this from experience:
Great offer + bad market = dud.
Great market + bad offer = dud.
Great market + great offer + poor marketing = dud.
Thinking about this has led me to create the following MODEL of [WHO] + [WHAT] + [HOW].
Let’s go over it together right here in my free video training, the Evolution of Service. It goes over the WHO + WHAT + HOW framework.
If you’re more of a reader, you can catch my summary of the process in my article, 3 Keys to Creating the Perfect Offer.
And if you’re ready to go DEEP into structuring and SELLING your first high-ticket offer to start earning more, grab our premium training, The Packaging Blueprint.
To your success,