To Niche or Not To Niche: Marketing Q&A

marketing niche

Entrepreneur Question:

I have a Social Media company and really love to help non-industry specific small businesses and busy entrepreneurs. BUT, I have a great reputation In the industry that I have worked In for nearly a decade. I would say that 90% of my current clients are from said industry and they keep coming to me. Is this my sign to niche down? I feel like this is a situation most people want to be in but I want it all! I want to work in this niche AND I want to work with local businesses where I am from. Can I have my cake and eat it too? Thank you in advance for reading this!

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Expert Answer:

To niche or not to niche … that is the question.

And it’s a question that you’ll get a lot of incorrect advice around from some of the so-called marketing experts out there.

You’re already doing it right. Selecting a niche does NOT mean that you cannot accept work from other people and businesses.  

Actually, during my formal marketing education (MBA in Marketing), and my decades of experience, we have never talked about niches – at least not in the way they are talked about now.

Right now, people you hear tell you that you must use this strategy are equating “niche” to “audience” … and that’s not entirely accurate.

There’s a reason why it’s recommended though. “Finding your niche” is a simplified way of helping entrepreneurs – who are usually not marketers first and foremost – define their target audience.  Defining your target audience helps you hone your marketing messages and strategies.  Choosing a “niche” – as it’s used here incorrectly – is one way to help you do this (but not even the only way, and not always even the best way).

A niche is actually a small corner of a market where you are likely the only provider (or one of less than a handful). This can also equate to having a small audience. As an example, one company I’ve worked with sells sewing patterns for Native American traditional attire and powwows. Another example is a company that sells digital eBook/PDF reproductions of old catalogs from the early 1900s. As you can imagine, the audiences for these two needs is much smaller, and much more tightly defined, than the audience for tennis shoes or something used and needed by a larger portion of the population.

What is NOT a niche is something like “I serve female creatives”.  The proper term for this would be target audience. Your business will likely have a couple of target audiences.

“Find your niche” is one of those cookie-cutter strategies (like I talk about often) that don’t work for everyone. Like all of those other cookie cutters, it can be something that helps get you started in the beginning – and I always say start with anything that you have to in order to get going. It’s also one of those things that you’ll usually find restricts you later, and that you need to rethink on your pursuit of a 7-figure business. 


Thank you for that!! I slowly realized that and it is nice to hear from you that is in fact the case!

It should never be taken as the only thing you can do! Sounds like you understand your target audience well, and also your secondary audience.
It’s okay and even healthy to have a secondary audience. They help prevent dry spells. They help trigger creative thinking since your thinking isn’t always confined to the same rut.
… you should have no worries!



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