The narrower your niche, the wider your opportunity. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? It seems like if you chose a narrower niche, you’ll have fewer potential customers. Actually, it works just the opposite in the real world.
Let me give you an example.
When Sheila Scarborough sat down to draw our target market for Tourism Currents, the center circle included Convention and Visitor Bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations. Then she realized there were more concentric circles, of Main Street organizations, trails groups, cities, museums, hotels, convention centers, and on and on. These were people who did similar work and would be able to benefit from our courses, without being our main target. Many people from these concentric markets have been attracted to what we do, and are learning with us now. By narrowing our niche, we widened our opportunity.
Why It Works
You aren’t cutting down your list of potential customers. You are cutting down the list of people who are a bad match, so you can put yourself in service of the people who are an exact match.
Narrowing your niche forces you to select an exact target. It helps you to say no to things that don’t fit. That in turn gives you time to say yes to the things that matter.
“Unless you’re running for something that requires a unanimous vote,” Seth Godin said, “it’s a mistake to focus on the frowning guy in the back of the room or the dolt who doesn’t get your subtle references or the miser who isn’t going to buy from you regardless.”
“You’re on the hunt for sneezers, for fans, for people willing to cross the street to work with you. Everyone else can pound sand, that’s okay. Being remarkable also means being ignored or actively disliked.”
Sure, you can go on being all things to all people. But by keeping that wide open definition, you are cutting down your opportunity to succeed.
Agree? Disagree? Share your experience in the comments.
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