When you are starting a side hustle, it’s easy to get caught up in “I help everyone!” as an answer to “who is your target market?” Helping “everyone” is a sure fire way for your side hustle to die to its death. This may feel counter intuitive, sure, but the clearer you can be and the more specific you can get on who you serve will make all the difference.
“People fear that niching down means ‘missing out,” says business strategist and founder of Whyzze, Misti Cain. “That’s a false assumption. Creating a niche for your business allows you to simplify your messaging so you don’t have to do as much “marketing” or explaining. It allows you to simplify your product so you don’t spend time building or creating things no one wants. Niching down helps you level up – your customer experience, your focus, and your value.”
That’s Me Test
A quick way to know if you’ve gotten narrow enough is the “that’s me” test. When your potential customer can confidently say, “That’s me!” when you describe your services, you’ve nailed it.
Not too long ago, I was at a networking event when a woman stood up and said said she was a hairstylist. “Ok, I have hair,” I thought. But then she said, “I’m a hairstylist that specializes in short, blond, hair cuts and color.”
“That’s me!” I shouted in my head. Then I immediately got her card and booked an appointment. The majority of us need a hair stylist, but she knew what to do with my exact hair type. Genius.
1. She knows just by looking at me that I am her target demographic. When she walks into a room, she can confidently pick out the potential clients that she can help.
2. By defining and narrowing her niche so specifically, I silently said, “that’s me!” to myself and qualified myself as her potential customer.
3. As Misti mentioned above, you have to do less marketing when you have a very specific and narrow niche. People get right away if it’s for them or not. The amount of “convincing” is wildly reduced.
Get Even Narrower
Ask yourself, “can I get even more specific?” and drill down even deeper if possible.
If you’ve decided you are going to start a side hustle building websites, you will be lost in a sea of website builders. If you decide to be a tutor, you’ll get lost among the other tutors out there.
If you decide to become a marketing consultant, you’ll be just another marketing consultant amongst many.
How can you get to the “That’s me!” moment?
- Decide that you will be a web designer specifically for dentists.
- Decide that you will be a math tutor for grades 5-7.
- Decide that you will be the email marketing consultant for car dealerships.
Get as specific as possible here – again, you won’t be missing out on clients, you’ll be in a better position to close the prospects you do connect with, and position yourself for customers to come to you.
Curtis Webster founded a group called Dads Married To Doctors as a Facebook group. That group is so dialed in to who they serve – I love it! Starting out as just a group, they now hold events, raise money for causes they care about and offer each other support. There are thousands of members and each one of them can look at the title of that group and say “that’s me!”
Your goal is deep and narrow, not wide and shallow.
Enter Their World
One of the beautiful things about getting really deep into your niche is that you can start to infuse yourself into their world. Attend their conferences, be at their expos, show up at their networking events, join their LinkedIn or Facebook groups, etc. When you are the email marketing consultant to large car dealerships, you automatically “belong” where they do.
Show up in their spaces, be a resource for them and they won’t forget you when it’s time to buy a service or product like yours. Build your marketing strategy around providing value to this niche and you will become an asset to them. This will not be the case if you are just simply an email marketing consultant. By being more specific with who you target you will be the consultant that understands their business, their struggles, worries and industry.
To summarize, don’t be afraid to get really specific on who you target, it will make all marketing and sales easier for you down the line.
The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Side Hustle – 7 Part Series:
Part 1: Passion Is Not The Way
Part 2: Narrow Your Niche
Part 3: Managing Your Time
Part 4: Automation and Systems
Part 5: Making Money
Part 6: Marketing
Part 7: Recommended Reading