A Complete Guide on How to Niche Down Without Losing Out

Learning how to niche down is essential in business.

This is the process of narrowing your target market – your audience – and matching it up with your marketing. This way, you’ll only speak to people who LOVE what you do, what you sell, and the pain points you solve for them.

(Read: Success will follow. 🎉)

But here’s the antithesis I’m here to share today: You can go too far and trap yourself in a box if you’re not careful.

Don’t get me wrong. Niching down is an important strategy to use to help you target the right people.

I’ve said it before… and I’ll go ahead and repeat myself 😂: You can’t market to everyone. You can’t sell to everyone.

So it’s important to niche down to find the people who would LOVE to see your marketing and buy your product/service.

It prevents you from wasting a ton of time talking to those who will ultimately never buy, and who have no vested interest in the pain point you solve.

BUT –

Niching down becomes a problem when you go too far.

“How far is TOO far?” you may be wondering.

That’s exactly what I’m discussing today:

  • Why niching down is important
  • How to niche down without losing out on potential customers
  • How far and how specific you should get when targeting prospects

In a nutshell, I recommend niching down while NOT putting all your eggs in one basket – literally. 🥚 Here’s why.

how to niche down

How to Niche Down, Explained: Video

First, if you’re resistant to niching down, let’s talk about why it matters and why attempting to speak to everyone is a recipe for failure.

Why Should You Niche Down?

Niching down can be scary.

You’re essentially ruling out a vast chunk of people from your audience and getting them out of your viewfinder. You’re tossing them over your shoulder and forgetting they exist.

It can feel dramatic. So much so, your brain might revert to planning how you can keep your nets cast far and wide: “What if I could convince these people, eventually, that they need what I’m selling? Isn’t the tiniest chance they’ll buy still a chance?”

Sure. Maybe you could convince them… Someday. After you spend tens of thousands of dollars on ads. After years of persistent marketing. After pouring in time and resources to find ways to wear them down.

Yikes. No. This is a formula for disaster! If you have to work THAT hard to convince someone to buy, they probably aren’t your greatest prospect. At best, you’ll bleed your business dry trying to persuade these people to your side.

At worst, your brand will go under because you failed to find customers.

Instead, if you find the people who are easy to convert, you’ll save time and money. You’ll build a brand that lasts versus one that falls apart at the slightest speed bump.

Why Niching Down Too Far Is Dangerous

When you find the right targets to hit with your brand presence, messaging, and marketing, magic can happen.

Your message will be music to their ears. 🎼

Your solutions will be balms to their pain. 🌿

They’ll want to buy with little friction in-between the moments when they find your brand and when they hit “purchase.”

But focusing on one ideal market isn’t sustainable. Why?

Markets are unpredictable. They can change, sometimes without warning.

If you find a great, niche target market and pour all your efforts into connecting with and selling to that one…

What happens when a cheap competitor comes on the scene, vying for that exact market?

What happens when budgets slash in that niche due to bigger, overarching economic problems (pandemic, anyone?)?

Niche down too far, and your prospects will all come from the same tiny pool. One shift in the wind, and that pool can dry up.

That’s why you should niche down to a couple of different target markets, not just one. A more diverse pool of targets means more stability for your biz when one of those markets inevitably shifts. (And I’m all about not just stability, but sustainability in business!)

In this video, I go deeper into this topic, including how to niche down to three target markets and position your brand to speak to all of them. Check it out:


Niching Down Case Study: Andia of Content Takeoff

One of my Content Transformation students, Andia of Content Takeoff, is a great example of why niching down is so important.

Andia used to target everyone with her marketing and positioning – but she couldn’t grow her brand that way. By trying to talk to everyone, she ended up speaking to no one.

She joined the Content Transformation System hoping she would get clarity on growing and scaling her business. With my help in our live student community, after going through the Skillset Phase and the 4 Business Core Drivers in the curriculum, she completely revamped her presence.

Specifically, she narrowed down her target markets to no more than three. Here’s what they have in common:

  • They match up with her expertise (she has a Master’s degree in Banking & Finance, + more than 10 years in the financial industry).
  • She can speak to their pain point exactly and solve it for them.

After completely rebranding her site to reflect her narrowed audience, her targets are now directly addressed on her homepage:

niching down content takeoff

“We’re a content marketing agency that helps financial and fintech companies transform their website content into powerful marketing machines.”

Here’s what Andia had to say about her brand’s transformation:

andia cts testimonial

That’s the power of not just niching down correctly, but getting crystal clear on every single one of your business’ moving parts. ✨

10 commandments of a great business

Ready to learn how to niche down the sustainable way, so your business is market-proof? Here’s how. 👇

How to Niche Down to 3 Markets Successfully

Contrary to what many gurus will tell you, niching down, down, down isn’t a great strategy for the future health of your biz.

Sure, niche down, but do it within reason. I recommend serving no more than 2-3 groups.

1. Start with Finding ONE Ideal Client

Who do you serve the best with your business?

If you already have an established brand, you can probably name this ideal client right now.

For instance, maybe you know your ideal client is a stay-at-home mom. Maybe it’s a freelancer in their 20s. Or perhaps it’s an educator or a self-published author.

Whoever they are, make sure you’ve determined they’re THE person you serve best.

Conversely, if you haven’t started your business yet, you’ll need to do some market research to find this person. (Not sure how to go about market research? Check out this guide on researching your audience and creating a persona.)

And, yes, at this point, stick to identifying and describing ONE ideal client in detail. We’ll expand on that in the next step.

2. Consider More People Like Your Ideal Client in Multiple Markets

Next, think about people similar to your ideal client who would also benefit from your services.

Maybe they’re people in parallel roles in the same industry. For example:

  • Course teacher
  • Author
  • Expert consultant

When you think about it, all of these people are concerned with sharing knowledge. They each do it in a unique way, but they ALL have a similar goal in how they help others.

Another example from the content marketing industry:

  • Executives
  • Marketers
  • Agency leaders

All of these people are interested in reaching customers, ultimately. Their roles are different, but their goals are the same.

As you expand outward with target markets, make sure your business can serve each of them amazingly well. Pinpoint why this is, and justify your reasoning.

By the way, if your business is based on your passion, this will be pretty easy for you to figure out.

3. Find What They Have in Common to Niche Down Correctly

The final step in niching down: Find out what all three of your target markets have in common.

This will give you great clarity in terms of positioning your brand, because you’ll speak to this ONE commonality in all three of your target groups – in other words, you’ll hit three birds with one stone. 🔥

At the same time, you’ll maintain a diverse group of targets, and if one falls by the wayside, your biz won’t go under. ✅

For instance, say you’ve discovered you can serve busy entrepreneurs, marketing executives, and tech CEOs equally well.

What’s the common thread? You can sum up these three groups with one phrase: “busy executives.”

Here’s an even simpler example. You find you can serve course teachers, authors, and expert consultants well. What’s the through-line? They’re all “insert topic here” educators.

TIP: Once you find the commonality between your markets, use it to name your market in just a few words.

This phrase is one you can use all throughout your brand messaging, including your website copy, ad copy, email copy, and more.

Examples:

  • Busy executives
  • Content marketing educators
  • Female entrepreneurs
  • Course creators and consultants

Check out how we do this at Content Hacker – our call-out to our target markets appears right on the homepage. We speak to the common thread underlying all of the groups we target.

content hacker target market

At the business I sold, we did the same thing. We targeted three main markets, which was key to protecting us during the economic slump at the onset of COVID-19.

ew target markets

It’s that simple. Go slightly broader with who you target, protect your business.

You Know How to Niche Down. Now It’s Time to Transform Your Brand

Knowing how to niche down is important for a successful business.

You can’t sell to everyone. It’s impossible.

Even if you tried, you would more than likely doom your brand quickly. You’d run out of money, time, resources – all of it – if you wasted effort on people who were never going to buy anyway.

At the same time, niching down too far has its dangers.

You need to diversify your target market slightly so your biz is not just market-proof, but future-proof.

It’s the sustainable way to build your enterprise. 💪

And sustainability is at the core of everything I teach in the Content Transformation System.

A sustainable business is a strong business with impact and legacy.

You won’t become one of the 70% that fail if you have sustainability deep inside your systems and strategies.

It’s how I built my own successful brands, and I’m sharing the entire playbook with you inside CTS, my 1:1 coaching program.

The car 🏎 is here.

The keys 🔑 are one decision away:

Ready to run a SUCCESSFUL digital business? Apply for The Content Transformation© System now.

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.