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How to Niche into Your Why

Filed Under: Business | Podcast | Strategy
Date Published: March 31, 2020
By: Claire

Niching is important if you want to have a successful business.

But if you are not sure about your niche, or if you feel like you can still niche down your business a bit more, there is a method you can follow that will help you connect better with your clients. 

Listen to find out:

  • Why niching down is important.
  • How to reconnect to your why and understand how important it is.
  • A way to recognize your values and what is important to you.
  • How to apply this to find your true niche, aligned to your values and motivations.

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Transcript of this episode:

Everyone says it. If you want to be successful in business you need to niche down. But what if you’re not sure about your niche? 

In this episode I’m going to share my thoughts on niching into your why. Having a strong why for your business will help you keep going when times get tough. When you put your why at the heart of your business, you can speak to the people directly impacted by your why, and it can help you niche down in a way that makes it feel authentic and easy. 

My name is Claire, and over the last nine years I’ve worked in innovation teams across industries including research, manufacturing, retail and technology. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly when it comes to innovating for customers. Now I alongside my esteemed guests, I’m sharing these learnings with you to help you avoid the mistakes and capitalise on the learnings to grow your businesses with innovation. 

This is the innovation and business podcast and today I’m going to talk to you about my favourite topic of the moment, niching into your why.

Let’s get started.

So, I’m actually not going to start with talking about niching into your why. And instead, I’m going to talk to you about why niching is important. Now niching is important because it helps you market yourself more easily and more readily to clients. It helps you speak to that one person at a time that’s going to really want to buy your product and be really excited about what you can offer them. 

When it comes to cutting through the noise online, particularly if you’ve got like digital business, or selling digital products, you need to be able to speak to one person as they would be face to face and have them connect with you even though you could be miles miles away. 

Now this is much easier said than done. There’s a lot of information online and I will link to it in the show notes about your ideal client and creating an ideal client avatar it’s going to help you do this. Some of the things you want to think about though are, what does this person do for a living? What is their income? What is the problem that they’re currently having that your product can solve? What’s their name? Are they married? What’s their family situation? What’s their gender? How old are they? 

These are all kind of questions that you can ask yourself when you’re building up a picture of your ideal client avatar and by doing so you build up a much stronger picture of your niche. 

So niching is important because it helps you market yourself better online, helps customers understand what you’re doing and if it relates to them and if it’s something they want to purchase, and it helps you cut through the noise of digital marketing. 

But why is your Why important? 

Now for me, my Why is the most important thing to me, I have a very purpose and value, lead person. I’m pretty emotional at times. And when I say at times, I mean all the time. And I really struggle to stay committed to something if it doesn’t align with my values. So for me, it’s always really important to know my Why when I’m in business, and when I’m taking up a new project. And I know that I am not alone in this. 

I think many of us as entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs, set up our businesses to fulfil one why that for us was so burning hot and burning strong that we couldn’t imagine life without going after this and trying to solve this problem. 

So, growing a business is not easy, and it’s going to take a lot of time and effort. And when you’re going through this process, having a strong Why that really drives you is what’s going to help you keep going, even when times get tough. If you’re not sure about your Why, or you’re worried that maybe your Why has changed over the years. Understanding what’s important to you will really help you get deeper into this topic, which if you’re going to be reaching down into your Why -which we’ll talk about later- is going to be something really important for you to understand. 

So, here are a couple of tips that I’m going to share with you on understanding what’s important to you based on some coaching lessons that I’ve done previously. So, the first one is around identifying your values. And one way that you can do this is think about different words that means something and that are important to you. So for example, some of the words that means something to me are sustainability, community, family, loyalty, trust, creativity. These are all words that when I was defining my company values and my personal values, more clearly working with my coach came out as ones that were really important to me when it comes to building my business. I encourage you to do the same exercise if you’re in the position where you want to evaluate what drives you and understand that better and how that can link into your business. And then once you have these words, you can think about what those words mean to you. How do you define them? What does that look like in business? And from there, you can build up a stronger picture of your core values, and what your business should look like for you.

Another exercise that you can try to understand your deeper why and the thing that’s going to keep you going when nothing else can, is the seven levels deep exercise. The seven levels deep exercise is much like the five wise exercise that we’ve talked about before. Except it goes deeper. Seven times instead of five to be exact. 

So, in this process, you will talk a little bit about what you’re doing. So for example, for me, it’s I’m starting an innovation consulting business. And then ask yourself, “Why?” seven times. So, why am I starting this business? It’s because I want to work with different passionate entrepreneurs to help them build sustainable revenue. Why do I want to do that? Because I love working with a variety of different people and working on different projects every day. So, why do I like that? I like variety, I like being able to set my own schedule, and I like having that kind of freedom. So why do I like that kind of freedom? And it’s because it feels more sustainable to me and it’s something that I’m more interested in and it gives me the freedom to spend more time with my family who it’s also important to me. And then you can kind of see where this exercise is going. I’m not going to talk you through the whole thing because I don’t want it to get tedious. But if you keep asking yourself why and you ask yourself seven times, what you will ultimately end up with is your true why. And my true why when I completed this exercise, was because I wanted to avoid pain. 

For me, it was all about creating a sustainable community so that I would never feel abandoned or alone. And I felt like my life was secure. I know that’s pretty deep, right? I find, if you take this exercise seriously and you if you’re honest with yourself, something always comes up that you didn’t really expect. And once you know that something, you can really use it as a superpower to push you forward when things are getting difficult. And that’s going to really help you to grow your business and market yourself online. 

Okay, so in the next half of the podcast, we’re going to talk a little bit about how to transition your values into your niche. 

So, if you’ve done the first two pieces of work, which are understanding your value and thinking about your ideal client, then you should be able to see some links between these two pieces. 

So, who are the kinds of people do you want to work with? Why do you want to work with those kind of people? How can you link your values and your Why to the kind of people that you’re working with? And how can you then use this to build up your business?

So, when I did this exercise and realised that a lot of my values are around sustainability, it made me realise that who I really wanted to work with is purpose driven start-ups and purpose driven small businesses, people who are passionate about making a difference in the world, who love community, and want to help people with their businesses and make a change and make an impact. And knowing that those are the kind of people that I want to work with, because that’s my important why, those are my values, that helps me to really start talking to those people more and be more open with why I’m building my business and what I’m interested in, niching really into my why. Not just what product and services I can offer someone, not just the fact that I’m an innovation consultant, and I’ve worked for innovation companies and innovation teams, and done all this product stuff, anyone could do that, it’s more about like, why I do it and what drives me and how I can help and why I’m going to do my absolute best to give you the best possible advice and support and help with your innovation strategy, it’s because it means something to me. It’s important to me, it’s in line with my values. 

And when you’re building a business that’s in line with your values, and you’re working with people that meet those values, and your customers are people that you as a person are super excited to help, then you can only be better, that your marketing will be better because it will be more authentic. Your business will feel better to you because it’s true to yourself and you’re not going in conflict with yourself. And then once you have these pieces in place, and you’ve niche down into your why, you’ll start to find more like minded people and you’ll be able to grow your business and grow your revenue by working with those people. 

So, when you’re thinking about this and you’re thinking about how you can be more authentic and how you can kind of niche further into your why, remember that it’s not a one shot and then you’re done. I think for me, at least over the last six months, I’ve kind of pivoted a lot with the way that I’m branding myself. And part of that is just learning what works and what people are interested in. But part of that is going on this journey and understanding myself and what’s important to me, and how I can niche further into my why to build a business that I really love and work with people that I’m really excited with. 

So I encourage you not to think of this as a done and done issue and like okay, well I’ve identified my Why so now I’m ready and I’m finished. But to really continue to come back on it and you know, I talk a lot about continuous improvement and iteration. And accept that things change over time, you’ll learn more about your clients, you’ll learn more about your customers. And as you do that, and you want to keep working with them and making your products better for them, you’ll have the opportunity to really niche even further down into your why and understand in more depth what’s going to drive you and keep you motivated over the next few years as you build your business up. 

So this is just a very quick episode about niching into your why. Something that I think is a really interesting way of looking at niching and defining your niche. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. And you can tune in next Tuesday for a top of another inspiring innovation story. Because next week, we’re going to be talking about how to let your customers drive your innovation. And I’ll be sharing some stories from my own business but also from other businesses that have had big customer driven innovation pivots in the past. So, that should be very fun. 

So make sure you subscribe to the podcast on your podcast provider so you don’t miss an episode. If you have time, please review us as it helps me to find guests for the podcast and it helps other people to find the podcast as well. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode. I really enjoyed talking about this with you and sharing my thoughts on it. If you found anything particularly interesting, please feel free to send me a DM particularly on LinkedIn, you can get the link in the bio. 

So yeah, I look forward to hearing from you and talking more about this subject. Have a great day now.