Getting Started – How to Discover Your Business Niche
In a previous article for Ms. Career Girl The First Step to Career Success is Finding Your Soul Purpose – Here’s How (mscareergirl.com), I talked about how to find and tune into your soul purpose, or in other words, the job that you are born to do. For many years, I had not tapped into my soul purpose and I was not living the life and doing the type of work that I was supposed to be doing. When you have discovered your soul purpose the next step is to find your niche and figure out how to turn what you love to do (and what you were born to do) into a profitable business.
What is a Business Niche?
In a nutshell, a niche is a segment of a larger market that can be defined by its own unique needs, preferences, or identity that makes it different from the market at large. For example, I work within the Film Industry and my niche is creating successful film festival strategies for filmmakers. Clearly that is a very unique niche and is nowhere near as common as, for example, getting one’s nails manicured at a beauty salon! However, a manicure is essentially a solution to a problem, which is exactly what a business does. Your soul purpose will help you fix your clients’ problems in a way that no one else can.
For example, let’s say you are an outstanding beauty therapist who is born to do this type of work. If a woman who is about to go to a party breaks a nail and is anxious to get it repaired before the party begins, then she has a problem that needs resolving. When she runs frantically into your salon and asks if you can fix her nail, it will still require you to explain to her how and why you are the best person (above all the other nail therapists in the area) to help her. Whatever area of business you work in you will need to clearly explain what you do and how you will resolve your client’s pain in order to attract clients towards you and to then successfully close deals.
In this article I’ll be drawing upon several essential techniques created by entrepreneur & business coach Ed J C Smith Coaching Business Secrets Revealed! By Ed JC Smith. Before you can become the leader of your business niche and live your dream you need to 1. identify your niche, 2. figure out if your niche will work as a business and 3. formulate what is known as a Big Domino Statement, so you can articulate your business and what you do to others. During this process you’ll learn a lot about how skilled and knowledgeable you are within your niche.
When I first moved to London in 2011, I was asked ‘what does a Film Festival Strategist do?’ all the time when I attended networking events and film festivals. I had such difficulty explaining to people what my business niche was and how we resolve our clients’ problems. The worst example was when a filmmaker asked me, “So what does the Film Festival Doctor do?” I replied: “It’s kind of like a personal assistant service. We do everything for you and get your films into film festivals.” Now that was garbled! When someone else asked the same question, I said “We get your film into film festivals and do everything for you!” And: “We help you get your film seen in festivals by sending it to the right people.” Again, not really clear at all. Eventually I got better. “We offer services to filmmakers to help them create successful film festival strategies.” That got people interested and wanting to find out more. I’d then ask them something like: “Do you want to get your film seen at film festivals but don’t know how to do it or have the right contacts? If so, we can help you resolve this problem by creating the right strategy for your film.” This wasn’t perfect, but it was an improvement and helped me to close my first few deals.
Between 2011-2012 my website was convoluted and not very clear, as everything was still in my head rather than on paper. At first it was far too wordy and it went around in circles, meaning visitors got bored and gave up. I could do what I wanted to do for my clients really well; it was setting out how I could help them that was the problem. Eventually I met Ed J C Smith, who became one of my business coaches. Ed pointed out that what I was saying about my business and how I was positioning it needed to be clearer and much punchier; he felt I was not positioning myself as an expert in my field.
How To Identify Your Niche
Ed’s training is very straightforward and clear. He breaks down the concept of a business into simplistic forms and removes all the complexities around starting one. Ed was the person who showed me that running a business is essentially all about solving a problem for your client. When you remember this every day, it really helps you to position and align your business to your ideal clients.
Ed explained to me that that the first thing you must do before anything else is pick your niche. He asks you to think hard about the following questions:
What niche are you an expert in? There are thousands of niches – for example, blogging, buying and selling houses, wealth management, fashion, beauty and, in my case, film. Your soul purpose will always guide you towards the niche you have the most knowledge and experience in and are passionate about. And if you are still struggling to discover what your soul purpose is, this technique of Ed’s can really help you to pinpoint what it is specifically. In which niche are you most equipped to help people? Let’s say, for example, you are very knowledgeable and have experience working within the world of social media. It’s an area you know a lot about; it is what you were born to do. However, which area do you know the most about within that niche? Is it how to use Facebook to grow your business? Or Instagram? Or Twitter? Maybe it’s how to create video content for effective social media promotion, or coaching people how to use LinkedIn, etc. Think about which micro area of your niche you are most passionate about. In my case, obviously it is film festivals. Which niche are you most passionate about teaching? This is where your soul purpose takes center stage, and you can narrow the list you made for the previous question to just one key area.
Let’s say you are drawn towards Facebook because this is the area of social media where you can add the most value as you know more about it than the other platforms. It’s also the area you are most passionate about compared to LinkedIn and Instagram, etc.
In which laser-focused aspects of this niche are you an expert? Do you feel you have the knowledge, experience and capability to teach people how to create and make money for their business via Facebook advertising, or how to create content for effective Facebook marketing, or how to use Facebook to build a loyal following, or how to create and manage a Facebook business page, or how to network effectively for your business using Facebook, etc.? Really narrow this part down to be very specific, streamlined and focused.
What are you most equipped to help people with? After breaking down the above questions into smaller pieces, perhaps you realize that what you were born to do is to help teach people how to create and make money for their business via Facebook advertising. In addition, you are already a leader in this niche because you have the knowledge and experience and you will be able to get your clients the results they desire.
Ed says that the area of your niche you are most equipped to help people with is the area where you will thrive and grow and become the leader of your niche – in this example, you will become the go-to person who can grow people’s businesses and make substantial profits via Facebook advertising. However, before you go any further there is one more part of the process that must be completed…
Can Your Niche Work as a Business?
The next step is to think long and hard about whether your niche will be able to work as a business. This is something everyone should think about – if there is no market or demand within your niche, it won’t be a viable business.
Ed asks you to consider: Do people already make money from this niche? Referring back to the Facebook marketing example, the answer is a big yes – as lots of people already do it. Is the niche growing or declining? Clearly the Facebook marketing model is growing rapidly as social media is a powerful tool for businesses to grow their client base. Is there a demand for something different in this niche? Yes – in our example this would be the perfect opportunity for you to step in and show how small businesses can make a profit through Facebook marketing. And if you can offer a different service, it means people will pay for it. Why is the old way less effective?
After doing your research, your soul purpose will help you to identify that not every method people suggest for Facebook marketing is effective for everyone’s business and the areas they work in. Let’s say you have identified that small business owners who applied the standard Facebook marketing techniques to market their business services didn’t make any money from it at all; they got no new business leads or sales and didn’t get a return on their investment after spending a lot of money. You know how to solve this problem as you have the gifts that can help them achieve success and results for their business – this is where you and your services come in to fill that gap in the market and resolve this type of pain for your client.
Why is your new method more effective? To prove your method is more effective, you need to create a business that solves a specific problem and then articulate your niche to others. It’s important to test your model and get some good results before you launch your business in order to prove it’s a viable model. Once you have results, you can prove to potential clients that your method works and will heal their pain. This also means they will be happy to pay you, as you are a valuable asset to them. The technique above should always be completed before you launch a new business.
It’s extremely important to know if there is a market and demand for your niche and whether there are people who have the funds to pay for your services. If demand is low, you won’t have a sustainable business. I will never forget what Ed taught me, which I repeat to myself every day and when I’m closing deals with prospective clients. Every single business revolves around solving problems and healing their clients’ pain. You provide a product or service that helps them to fix their problem. Ed encouraged me to create what he calls a ‘killer problem statement’, which becomes the core element around which a business must be based. He says the best way to tell people what you do is to simplify how you will resolve your client’s pain. It’s broken down as follows:
I help … (your niche) Get … (their desire) Without … (their pain) By … (hiring your services or buying your product) Here is the Film Festival Doctor’s ‘killer problem statement’:
I help: independent filmmakers… Get: their films into film festivals so they can get the exposure and win the awards they dream about… Without: submitting their film to the wrong festivals, wasting their money and for the film never to be seen and get the global recognition that it deserves… By: hiring me as their film festival strategist. Ed stressed to me the importance of using the phrase ‘so they can’ in your statement as it shows how you can fix their problem using (1) your methodology, (2) your knowledge and (3) your expertise. And it once again proves to them that you are the leader of your niche.
The Big Domino Statement
Now comes the final part, the Big Domino Statement, which will have a strong impact and make an impression on your prospective clients as well as close business deals and build a loyal following resulting in repeat customers.
The Big Domino Statement was originally created by marketing strategist Dan Kennedy and, I believe, popularized by online marketing expert and coach Russell Brunson. Ed has helped me use it and apply it to my business. It’s great for helping you build confidence in yourself and your business, which will also help you demonstrate to others that you are the leader of your niche. The Big Domino Statement is broken down as follows: If I can make (your market) believe That the only way to get (their desire) Is through (your method). The only way to execute (your method) is by buying my product or service. Then all objections become irrelevant and they must invest.
Here’s the Film Festival Doctor’s Big Domino Statement: If I can make filmmakers (my market) believe the only way to get their film into the right film festivals, win the right awards that grow their career and get their film seen by the right people (desire) is by creating a strategy for their film which is streamlined and focused upon the most suitable festivals to achieve their goals and get the results they want (my method), the only way to do that is by hiring me as their long-term consultant. Then all their fears become irrelevant and they must invest.
Viola! The golden rule is when you home in on your business niche you will thrive. I’d love to know what your business niche and big domino statement is! DM me on Instagram @rebekahfilmdr and share your business journey with me.
This guest post was authored by Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith
Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith (aka Rebekah Film Dr) is an award-winning consultant and media personality with more than ten years of film festival strategy consulting experience. Smith and the hard-working team behind her company, The Film Festival Doctor, are creators of success who are committed to nurturing filmmakers to help them secure film festival screenings, win notable awards and earn positive recognition within the industry. Currently, her company has won more than 1,000 awards for their clients and her team has supported nearly 850 creatives across the world. In her honest, detailed, and personal debut book, Born to Do It: Becoming the Leader of a Business Niche Using Powerful Spiritual Techniques, Smith records her hard-won knowledge to help individuals pondering the leap into entrepreneurship and those already on the journey, but are yearning for more success and profitability. To find out more, visit www.rebekahlouisasmith.com or connect with Rebekah on Instagram @rebekahfilmdr.