Service niching could be your answer.
In the three years I’ve been running businesses online, I’ve always struggled with the concept of niching down. Not because I can’t see the value in it, but because it’s boring to think, talk and write about the same thing every day.
When I was an online fitness coach, I wrote about wrote about weight loss for parents so much, I could turn any experience into a weight loss lesson. Like:
While this was entertaining for my email subscribers and blog readers, looking at the world through a weight loss lens was driving me up the wall. So much so, I’ve hardly written about weight loss, or fitness for that matter, since closing my business last June.
Over the last 8-months, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what I want my new venture – a freelance writing business – to look like. Initially, I thought I’d stick with fitness writing because I have plenty of experience in the niche. But alas, that hasn’t entirely happened. Instead, every time I wrote a fitness or health-related blog post, I found it difficult to write. I procrastinated a lot and even once I completed the work, I was never entirely happy with the end product I submitted.
Recently, I realised why my niching efforts weren’t working.
As I’m no longer a personal trainer, I don’t have as many stories to tell in the weight loss niche anymore. So, rather than storytelling, I found myself writing dry, research-based articles on protein, carbohydrates, strength workouts and fat loss. It wasn’t fun anymore, because I was no longer taking my life experiences (or those of others) and turning them into entertaining articles.
Talking through this with my mentor a few weeks ago, and it hit me. I’ve been approaching finding a niche from the wrong direction. The fact is, I simply don’t have enough weight loss stories anymore. But when I combine all my interests – cycling, travel, cooking, strength training – suddenly, I’ve found a truck-tonne of stories to write about.
But how can you build a high-ticket freelance writing business talking about pedals, parachutes, paprika and push-ups?!?!
The answer was so simple it’s been staring me in the face all along.
I’ve decided to niche down on my product offering, instead of offering services to a single niche market. That way, I can write the way I love to write – telling stories about cycling, travel, camping and cooking – so I get to have plenty of fun while achieving incredible results for clients.
If you’re struggling to choose a niche market, try selecting a niche service instead. Simply work through the following 3 steps to identify if a niche product offering is the solution to your niching woes.
A simple 3 step process for choosing a niche service.
Step 1: Write a list of everything you can do for someone else.
Chances are, you have a laundry list of skills you use to help other people. So, pull out a pen and paper, and jot down everything you can do. Don’t forget about the tasks that come easy to you, like uploading a blog post for example. When you’re unconsciously competent at a task (a.k.a. could do it with your eyes closed), it’s easy to forget plenty of other people don’t know how to do it. So take the time to write down everything you can do, no matter how large or small.
When I wrote my list, I realised I have quite varying skills. Having been a skint online business owner for years, I learned how to do a lot myself rather than finding the cash to pay others to do it for me. So, my list was made up of writing tasks (emails, blogs, website copy and sales copy); WordPress website design (blogs, business sites and shops); systems support (email software, landing page software, financial software) and some niche specific skills (nutrition and personal training).
Step 2: Choose 2-3 specialist services.
Once your list is complete, take a red pen and cross out anything you don’t enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy it, you don’t want to build an entire business around that task.
Then, cross out anything you don’t feel relatively confident doing for others as they’ll require extra learning before you can confidently sell these services to potential clients.
From the remaining list, highlight the top 1-3 services that meet these criteria:
- You love performing these tasks.
- You’re confident performing these tasks, and explaining how you can help people by doing so.
- You’d be happy to build an entire freelance business around these tasks.
Initially, I chose blog and email writing as these services ticked all the boxes. But in time, I started to enjoy email writing more, and blog writing less. So, when I reviewed my offer in January, I chose to remove blog posting from my service list, and only offer email marketing.
Step 2B (Optional): Identify a semi-niche market.
Realistically, it’s important to have some understanding of a niche market. You’re probably not going to be comfortable writing in the medical, legal, fashion, technology and fishing niches. So choose a few areas of interest and get really good in those niches. This gives you a level of content flexibility while maintaining a high standard of work. Plus it’s less stressful because you know your content.
I work with cycling, camping, outdoor, adventure and travel brands. I’m quite active and travel often, so I have journals full of experiences that are screaming to be turned into entertaining and profitable story-based sales emails. It’s a win, win for me.
Step 3: Remove everything else from your marketing and promote your new freelance niche service.
Ever heard the saying “jack of all trades, master of none”. Choosing a niche service transforms you from Just Jack to Bill Gates overnight. You think Bill, you think Microsoft, right? Service niching puts you on the track to greatness (I can’t promise you the millions though; that’s on you).
Once you’ve chosen your niche service or three, it’s time to rejig all of your marketing and remove anything that doesn’t support your core offering.
So, check out your website, automated emails, lead magnets, cold emails and social media profiles. They all need to be updated. preferably with killer copy that’s packed with:
→ a 13 story champagne tower (because it’ll always lead to an entertaining evening),
→ a 4-course buffet (because you have to show your clients you can meet their needs), and
→ a promise to be the designated driver (because your clients have to trust you’ve got their back).
It’s that simple.
I recently re-wrote the ‘work with me’ page of my website focusing on how I can increase profits for my ideal email marketing client. Check it out here – https://www.tarafitness.com.au/work-with-me/. I updated my LinkedIn profile too, and I have a series of cold emails for each subject I’m offering.
Now you’re niched up, shout it from the rooftops.
After working through these 3 (and a half) steps, you should have a solid understanding of your niche service. Now, all you have left to do is tell the world what you do and deliver the best results you can for your clients.
Are you an online entrepreneur working 20 hours a day, sacrificing everything you love in life to build your business, but despite swimming as hard as you can, the current keeps you stuck where you started?
If so, it’s time to overhaul your business. When you download ‘The Stress-Free Success Toolkit’, I’ll teach you the exact strategies I used to level up my business (and income) while offloading a truck tonne of stress and responsibility. Enter your details below to get your free copy.