Does Niching Really Matter?

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If You've ever read anything we've done, you'll know that we're huge advocates of niching your business through understanding your ideal client.  But is it really that important, and why?

This is something I get asked a lot.  It usually goes something like this "as a bookkeeper I can work for any business, I don't want to limit myself."  While I can understand the thought process here, in reality, it's completely at odds with what really happens.

The problem with trying to target anyone and everyone is that you need to make your marketing message so general that it doesn't speak to anyone.

Imagine that your ideal client was someone involved in the construction industry.  Their big issues are probably around managing CIS and credit control.  Now imagine another bookkeepers ideal client was a childminder.  Their issues might be managing childcare vouchers.

Although a bookkeeper could work for both of these groups, how do you speak to them both at once?  Having problems with your CIS or childcare vouchers?  Really?!  So you end up trying to find the common ground and talking about the same stuff every other bookkeeper says.  Things like "are you doing your books at the weekend?" or "are you spending time doing your books when you could be earning more doing what you love?"

While these questions are better than nothing, they don't speak to the most powerful pain points.

You also end up compromising where you display that message.  The best places for those in the construction industry to see your message might be burger vans, builders merchants and industrial estates.  Not the typical hunting ground for childminders.  They are more likely to be found in soft play centres, at nurseries or on parents forums.

So instead of these optimum places, you compromise again.  You look at the weak areas where the two cross over and stick a postcard in the post office, or a general advert in the newspaper.

You've now compromised on the message and the media.  You have a weak message in a weak media.  Then you wonder why you're attracting so few clients.  Now imagine that you could tailor that message specifically to those construction workers and put it where they are most likely to see it.  How would your response increase?

Do you want to be known as the generalist, or the go-to specialist?

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