Triggering title huh? Let’s address it straight away. Women aren’t a niche because they make up half the planet’s population. Women are an absurdly multifaceted group with a vast and divergent range of interests, and aiming a fitness product at a group of that size is just as vague as aiming a product at people that have faces.
When you are ‘targeting’ a group with a niche it’s just that, targeting. Just like aiming a football at a goal you are trying to hit a specific spot in order to have a successful outcome.
(If you don’t like football/soccer, I’m going to be drawing out the metaphor for most of this article so simply think of a different goal and object based sport to picture e.g hockey, basketball, golf, archery and make replacements to the comparison where needed.)
Having a niche as broad as ‘women’ is like standing outside a football stadium, closing your eyes and kicking the ball in the general direction of the building hoping that somehow it bounces into the goal.
So what about women age 20 – 30? That’s more specific right?
I mean yeah…now you have your eyes open when you’re kicking towards the stadium.
If you target ‘everyone’ you are competing with million dollar global brands. The only way you are going to win that war is if you totally disrupt the fitness industry, and if you genuinely think you can do that then hit me up – I want to invest.
If that isn’t you, which is probably everyone, your niche needs to be REALLY specific, 9 or 10 identifying factors that nail down who it is that you are going to create your product for.
You may be worried that this is going to narrow your options too much, but it actually does the opposite. Let’s go back to the football/soccer analogy.
The best strikers pick a spot in the goal – top right, bottom left, etc. and shoot towards that. They will score (a sale in this analogy) if they get it anywhere in the goal, but picking an actual spot decreases the shot’s margin for error and makes it far more likely to go in the net. The net is all the people that are not quite your exact niche, but fall into most of the categories you have defined. The spot you pick out is your niche. You will ’score’ more reliably doing it this way than with any other method, and by virtue you will attract people all around your niche as well as those who fit it to a t. Watery, non-comital, branding will sink you in the information era, your competition is too powerful and your message will be too vague.
This article isn’t just a fun think piece for you to nod at and go, ah..how insightful.This is the stuff that works in the real world, and you are wasting your energy if you haven’t put meaningful time into defining your niche.
We see this in our business program all the time. Our most successful clients have defined their niche and offer something very specific. Carl – who has converted thousands of clients through the funnels he built in the program, teaches people how to swim for triathlons. TJ (https://vimeo.com/429286085) focuses his attention on clients that want to build muscle for rugby. Those aren’t the only clients they draw-in but due to the specificity of the targeting both Carl and TJ are seen as having a high level of expertise – which gives tons of value to their brand and voice, even to an audience outside swimming or rugby.
Look at Propane itself. Yes we have clients from all over the spectrum now – but if you look at our brand it is mainly aimed at a busy professional, powerlifting, hyper-analytical, highly passionate about fitness, males, aged 20-30, from the UK (the vocab we use), who have a fairly firm grasp on nutrition and exercise (1-5 years experience), have been on fitness forums before, enjoy evidence based training, and have been burned by other coaches before. Basically us 10 years ago.
If you are struggling to define a genuinely specific niche then a solid rubric is whoever you were before you solved the problem you now trying to solve for other people. And I mean exactly who you were, down to your marital status, your purchasing habits etc etc. Create a product for that person. You aren’t as unique as you think and if you can connect with the many people who have experienced similar struggles to you then you are on to a winner.