All marketers seem to talk about target markets and niches.
They use the terms flippantly as if they are the same thing.
They are not.
What is a target market?
A target market is who your customers, or ideal customers, are.
The people who would be interested in buying your products or services.
And no, it can’t be everyone.
For example, if your business is childrens’ shoes you target people who have children, obviously.
Oh! yes since we are at it, children are not your target market, they are your consumers.
What is a niche?
A niche is what you offer, your speciality, your genius that you offer those people.
(A niche is a French word pronounced “nee-sh” and refers to a dog house but, I just wanted to get that off my chest.)
Your niche is your secret sauce, that can only be found inside you.
And yes, we all have a special somethin’ we can add to our business like no one else can.
For example, going back to the childrens’s shoes, if you are a vegan who makes vegan footwear for kids – THAT is your niche.
Why are the terms niche and target market used interchangeably?
Well, because most people think they are the same thing.
Once you identify your niche your target market becomes a LOT more focused.
Do you find your niche or does it find you?
This is something I have spent a LONG time thinking about.
4 businesses later I can tell you one thing; BOTH apply.
Not the answer you were looking for? Well let me explain.
In my first business that I started in 2007 which I affectionately called “untitled” I offered marketing solutions, PR, design, production etc to anyone who needed it. YIKES! I’m sure there’s a business sluttery post in there.
Then, in 2008 I started Daribni Technical Training with John Falchetto – offering rescue training to government agencies, and then branched out to construction companies.
Our niche found us, we identified our target audience but it was limiting so we allowed our niche to find us. It was incredibly lucrative but to say that we were unfulfilled would be the understatement of the century.
We were not active participants in the niche game.
The 3rd business which is still ongoing is our holiday apartments in Provence, France.
Our target market is anyone who wants to visit the South of France. We don’t appeal to backpackers because our pricing is right – instead we appeal to an audience which is usually upper – to top management, business owners, and families.
And now, I have my marketing business. Initially when I built this site I sought to replicate my original marketing company. But it didn’t work out that way.
The site went live in August 2011. I thought I knew what I wanted to do, and who I wanted to work with.
One client later and I had a mini-breakdown. I’ll set the scene – I was in a cafe in Avignon with John and I felt LOST. I was now a mother, running a business but wanted to do something that was ME. Something that inspired me. Motivated me. Gave me a sense of “YES – this is what I am here to do.”
I’ve always been creative. Even if some said my art was crap. I drew, a lot, for myself.
I turned to John and said “I feel like I’ve missed my calling – I want to be a graphic designer” and then I exclaimed “WTF? I don’t have time for that, it’ll take YEARS for me to get good enough” and I’m just not the patient type.
It was then I went a huge change. With John’s help and encouragement I began to draw again, this time my style changed – my purpose changed.
I decided to illustrate MY site, my posts, and create Brand Identity Visualisations for others. In doing that my confidence grew.
I’d finally given myself the permission to bring together the 2 things that made me, ME; Marketing AND Art.
With that came the confidence to tell it like it is. To be brutally honest.
Yes, I found my niche. But it was somewhere I’d never thought to look before; inside me.
In doing this I found myself saying NO to a lot of people. And YES with excitement to those I really want to work with.
Traffic numbers, subscribers, all those numbers? They’re ok, they are fine. The reality is that by allowing my niche to find me by being selective, digging deep into what makes me, ME has opened up a HUGE world for me.
So, my target market is solopreneurs and business owners who need marketing – my niche? Those who want to break away from popular belief when it comes to marketing, want to grow their business by being told straight up, honestly what needs to be done, oh and those who love my drawings.
How can you find your niche?
- One quick an easy way is to look over your list of clients and see which you love working with and those you hate working with. The ones you love will inevitably have something in common.
- Look at the things that make you, YOU. What can those things do to change your business game plan?
- Ask yourself what do you LOVE doing in your business and how you could spend more time doing that?
- Don’t restrict yourself to doing what you *think* you should be doing.
- Give yourself permission to mix what makes you unique aside from your business WITH your business.
Need help with figuring out your target market or finding your niche? Get in touch