Creative industries are all about self-expression, relatability and connection. But how do you find your niche? Your ideal customer, who values, and therefore pays for your craft, whose projects excites you and who’s network will bring you referrals.
This is one of the biggest challenges faced by new creative businesses, so how do you overcome it?
Step 1 – Evaluate your passions and skills
This sounds simple, but it is important. Don’t choose a niche because you are kind of into it, it must be something you’re passionate about, something you would do for free, and enjoy.
Ask yourself, how likely is it that I will be passionate about this in 5 years’ time? If the answer is unlikely, get back to the drawing board, it is much harder to achieve success if you aren’t interested in what you are doing.
Consider your skillset, which areas do you have experience or particular skills in? What do people regularly tell you your good at? What comes naturally to you?
Identifying where your current skill set is, allows you to play to your strengths and puts you on the advantage from the start.
Step 2 – With step 1 in mind, it’s now time to get really clear on who your ideal client is
In a world where competition is steep and attention spans are stretched, it’s important to identify your niche. Trying to appeal to the many, often means you don’t appeal to any, and that is why we believe its important to define who your ideal client is.
Ask yourself these questions, and make sure you get specific:
- Is your ideal client male or female?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What type of business do they own or work for?
- What type of education do they have?
- What are their interests and passions?
- How much money do they have?
- Where do they spend their time?
- What are their pain points?
- How will you solve their pain points?
Step 3 – Check out the competition
Now’s the time to get your detective hat on, stalk if you will. Its crucial to assess the competition and identify what works well, and how you will get the competitive edge.
Get online and make key word searches for your niche and service.
- Are there many businesses offering the same as you?
- What is the quality of the offering?
- How is yours different?
- What do their reviews say?
- Note which platforms get the most engagement
- Note which posts get the most engagement
- Identify any interesting facts about your competition
- Sign up to their newsletters and grab their free resources!
- Most businesses offer a newsletter or free piece of resource on their website and we highly recommend you sign yourself up to receive it. It will spark ideas, allow you to identify gaps and get insight into your competitors marketing strategy.
Have you got contacts who are in your niche? It’s always a good idea to speak directly to your people.
- Find out what they like about their current service provider
- What challenges they have with their current service provider and how these could be overcome
- Ask for example pieces they loved, and ones they didn’t
- Analyse the results of the both and let it drive your approach.
Step 4 – Consolidate your plan of action!
You have assessed your skills and passion, narrowed down your niche and stalked your competition, now its time to formulate your plan of action. This is the exciting bit, though the hard work isn’t over yet, we have listed below some key points to include in your plan of action.
- Create an ideal client profile
- Clarify and define your business goals
- Identify your mentors and coaches
- Use your learnings to drive your branding and marketing strategy
- Write your business plan and get clear on your finances
If you have followed the 4 steps above, you should be well on your way to defining your niche, congratulations, that’s a big step!
Check out our other free resources for further tips and get in contact when you are ready to take your creative business to the next level.