Establishing a Niche – Do you have one?

When you start a business it can be difficult trying to work out who your target audience is.  It’s a question I ask myself every day, something I have to remind myself of when posting on social media and even writing this blog.  If I aim my updates and blog posts at the wrong audience it’s unlikely I will attract the clients I want to my business.

That’s where establishing a niche comes in, and it doesn’t have to be difficult to work out what your niche is.  I am going to use my own niche as an example.  If you are struggling to come up with a niche, you need to ask yourself some questions – what am I good at? what sort of clients am I hoping to attract?  do I have a unique skill I could sell?

Example

A virtual assistant can do almost anything, you hire a virtual assistant to help you with tasks in your business you either don’t have time to do yourself, or tasks you find difficult or time consuming.  The list of tasks a virtual assistant can help you with is endless, so I won’t list them all here.  Common tasks could be bookkeeping, writing letters, checking your emails, answering the phone, formatting documents, organising events, doing research for you etc…

Make yourself stand out…

When you are looking for a virtual assistant you want to make sure who you hire is great at what they do, and capable of taking on the tasks you need them for.  This is where searching for a virtual assistant with a niche comes in.  You need to make a list of the tasks you want your virtual assistant to do, and then I would suggest going to some of the useful directories of virtual assistants such as BeMyVA, IVAA, Virtual AssistantVilleVirtual Assistant Forums or even LinkedIn (you can use this for any skills, not necessarily virtual assistants).  For all of these sites you are able to search using keywords, which will bring up various people specialising in the skills you  need.

Using myself as an example, my niche is eBook formatting and social media management.  These are the tasks I am good at, yes I provide other services, but I think I excel at these two main tasks.  If you search for eBook formatting on LinkedIn, I rank quite highly in the results.  Knowing what my niche is means I can target the right audience, for example authors, writers and small businesses who require help with their social media accounts.

Do you have a niche?

It’s not only virtual assistants who need to establish a niche, if you run a business which provides many different services it’s worthwhile finding two or three which you can aim at a particular audience.  You’ll soon notice that enquiries start to come in for your niche, and once you have clients you can talk to them about your other services they may not have thought about.

I have found there are a lot of blog posts about establishing your blogging niche, but not many about your business niche.   I was hoping to include a few blog references here, but I couldn’t find any good ones.  If you know of some, please let me know so I can include them in future blog posts.

Comments

  1. Love the post. It’s so true. Though I personally blog about homeschooling adventures, I am a freelance writer and my niche there is real estate, accounting and business. I know those are my niches — now. In the beginning I was bad about just trying to get any job I could as a writer. Now I realize I do much better, can command a better pay, writer more quality work, and enjoy myself a lot more when I accept jobs within my niche. Though I do sometimes write outside of because of my interest level or a proven client, in the end, understanding your niche is important to getting jobs and doing a good job at them. Thanks.
    Tawnee recently posted..Free Winter Printables !!!My Profile

  2. I agree Jo, you can’t cover every angle – I have one website & blog that’s targeted at wedding and portrait clients, and another that’s targeted at business owners. Both relate to my photography but the message is very different in each.
    Ian Hamilton recently posted..Where to propose? Dorset wedding photographerMy Profile

    • That’s a good idea Ian, to have them separate. I find I cross over, some posts are aimed at clients and others aimed at virtual assistants.

  3. Rick Obst says:

    As a virtual assistant, it is important to be very good at what you do. That includes constantly learning and upgrading your skill set. Focusing on a niche allows us to do that. Our job is to essentially to solve people’s problems profitably.

    My niche is providing marketing support for residential real estate professionals – Realtors and mortgage loan originators. I’ve worked in these industries from the ground up and understand what my clients’ needs are without them having to say it. I focus on those people who rcognize the value that I offer and are willing to re-invest in their business.

  4. Thanks for mentioning Virtual Assistant Forums in your post Jo! We appreciate the inclusion :)
    Virtual Assistant Forums recently posted..Help Selecting Printer!My Profile

  5. Great post Jo – thanks for including Virtual Assistantville as a resource for clients searching for a professional Virtual Assistant!

  6. I am working on establishing and getting clear on my niche as we speak. Thanks for bringing awareness. Here is a good website that you might want to take a look at. http://www.attractyourniche.com/ It has lots of useful info on niche marketing strategies for entrepreneurs. Hope you find it useful!
    Delia recently posted..Can you influence using color?My Profile

  7. Hi Jo,
    Some great tips about Niche Marketing.
    I definitely agree that you need to identify a niche and focus your marketing on your ideal customer rather than marketing to the world and it’s dog!
    Thanks,
    James
    James Debono recently posted..Use Niche Picking to Seek Out Your Own Personal Gold Mine!My Profile

  8. Thanks for the great advice! I’m currently in the process trying to figure out this very thing so this was right on time. Good luck in your endeavors!

    Cachet

  9. I think that it’s much better to have a niche then you can really focus on that area and be the best in your field. My niche is small business accounts for the self employed, since focussing on this area I’ve seen my business grow quite quickly over the last year. That’s not to say I can’t do the accounts/bookkeeping for larger companies, but there are more smaller companies in my catchment area
    Rob Scott recently posted..The Next Blog Challenge BeginsMy Profile

    • Same here Rob, it’s good to have a focus… I have started using Twitter in a similar way, by focussing on my niche client I hope to gain some new clients. :)

  10. What a wonderful and timely post for me. I have been needing a virtual assistant to help me format my ebook. Unfortunately all of the text is being held hostage on my broken Mac’s harddrive, and I won’t access it until I am able to finally bring home my new iMac (yay) I will keep you in mind for this when the time comes!!

    I am also struggling with my niche and defining it. I have it in my head, but I am not sure if it comes across in my website. Thank you for posting :)
    Kelly recently posted..Nothing Lasts~ (and just when things were going well)My Profile

    • Thanks for your comment Kelly and really pleased you found the post useful. I hope you managed to rescue your eBook from your broken hardrive! I just bought myself an iMac a few weeks ago and I love it.

      Do get in touch if you need some help with formatting, I would be very happy to do it for you! :)

  11. Jo,

    I am so happy to have found you through the Ultimate blog challenge! You are living the life that I aspire to. I am an administrative assistant and my desire is to work from home. I’ve known that virtual assistants existed but never knew how to get my foot in the door. I will bookmark your site and attempt to learn as much as I can. I think I have my niche figured out…travel. However, I’m not sure how that would apply in the real world…who would be my customers and how do I get them to hire me? It’s a lot to learn and sort out, but at least, I can do more than just dream about it.

    Thank YOU!

    • Hi Renee, so glad my blog has been useful to you. Have you checked out my blog post 10 Virtual Assistant Resources? It’s full of information you will get all your answers from, in particular the Virtual Assistant Forums, they are great!

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