If you are stuck defining your niche or figuring out your “target market”, maybe let it go for now, because you might be trying to define things too early in your business....
The typical reasoning:
Define Niche ➜ Create Content & Offerings ➜ Get Clients
In my experience coaching hundreds of authentic businesses, the above formula doesn't work for a lot of people.
When you try to get clear on your niche — your audience, your messaging, your offerings — without enough engagement with your market , you may well be thinking it all up in your own head.
How do you know if your ideas are going to be resonant with the market or not? In this case, your own intuition is not enough. Neither is the opinion of any marketing expert.
This is why so many entrepreneurs “fail”. They create products, programs, and services that nobody wants. It’s heartbreaking to see it happen. Unfortunately, it happens all the time.
The people you try to sell to? You find that they don’t respond to your product/service. You’re baffled, because your offering is the greatest (in your mind), and you thought they really need it.
Sometimes, even your email subscribers aren't buying.
What happened? You defined your niche and created offerings without adequately building and engaging with an audience.
An authentic business works more like this:
Create/Distribute Content ➜ Fan-Based Offerings ➜ Get Clients ➜ Define Niche
The clarity about your niche, messaging, offerings, target market, your ideal client… those don’t emerge out of thin air in the beginning.
Creating content allows you to…
In other words, you first build an audience by exploring your authentic voice and ideas. Your true fans will appreciate the journey you’re taking them on. Your own personal development is part of the story of your authentic business.
As you engage with them through your content, replying to their comments, creating content based on their requests, you will get increasing clarity about what they most want from you.
This allows you to then create offerings (products/services/events) that they would love.
“But where’s my audience?”
What if you’ve been creating content, but not getting enough engagement?
You have a lack of content visibility. I recommend at least $30 per month for paid advertising. This will speed up your audience growth, and it’s a very reasonable amount to spend on your marketing.
To grow faster, ratchet your paid ad spend up to $300/month or even more. I personally spend about $1,000 per month on paid ads, most of which is to promote my content to those who can benefit from it.
The most cost-effective paid advertising right now is Facebook Ads. You’ll be able to target specifically the right types of people, and you can advertise your writing, your videos, or your links. (I teach an online course about Facebook Ads.)
By doing this, you will reach true clarity about your niche, offerings that people really want, and true fans who will spread your work.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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