Nailing a niche to grow predictable revenue
Do you struggle with lead generation, even though you’ve got a great product and a strong business model? Do you struggle to fill your top of the funnel, even though deals progress well once they’re in your pipeline?
If these problems sound familiar, maybe it’s time to nail your niche.
Aaron Ross knows a thing or two about building a successful niche. He’s the author of From Impossible To Inevitable (ranked one of the best startup books of all time) and Predictable Revenue (called “The Sales Bible of Silicon Valley”) about the sales systems that helped Salesforce.com, Twilio, Zuora, and many other companies to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.
In a Sales Impact Academy Workshop, Aaron spoke about why nailing your niche is so important to generate consistent and predictable revenue.
So what is a niche really about?
A niche is about FOCUS
Whatever market you’re in, chances are it’s a busy market. You’re always competing for attention when trying to get customers.
So in order to cut above that noise, defining a niche is essential.
One thing to note is that niche doesn’t necessarily mean small. It doesn’t mean drastically reducing your services. It simply means being more focused.
A niche is all about staying in tune with your market, your customers’ needs, and how best you can serve them in order to generate predictable revenue. It’s not just for startups – any company, at any stage of business, can benefit from honing its niche.
Identifying your niche allows you to be more focused. It allows you to develop more expertise in your specific target market, show more competence, and build more trust with your prospects. It allows you to benefit from the network effect of that niche, where every conversation you have, every connection you make, leads you to more conversations and more connections within your target market.
Uncovering your competitive edge
Nailing your niche is about understanding the Pain your customers have. What Pain they have, what this Pain costs them, what Value you can create by taking that Pain away.
Once you nail your niche, you can become THE experts in solving the problems of that market segment. Rather than being all things to all people, your niche will allow you to become known for this expertise and ultimately the WINNER in that market segment.
This expertise, this position as the best company at solving the problems in your niche, that’s your competitive edge.
Once you’ve won that niche, you can expand out to other niches, develop your expertise and win those too.
How to nail your niche
So how do you find your niche, and really nail it?
Here are five simple steps:
- Firstly, figure out the popular ‘pain’ you solve. You want to specialize in a specific pain that you solve, a pain that many companies in your niche have, and a pain that is a high priority for them to solve… Where can you be a big fish in a small pond?
- Next, show tangible results. How can you prove you’re good at solving that pain? Use hard numbers to make it concrete.
- Offer a believable solution – this can come in the form of case stories, customer testimonials. Ultimately, you want to make sure the customer knows your solution works, and it will work for them too.
- Create a list of identifiable targets. This is a specific section of the market that needs exactly what you’re offering.
- You need to showcase your uniqueness – how are you different? Have you had any experiences that set you apart from other people in your field doing similar things?
Ultimately, customers need to feel that they need you. Your service so perfectly fits their needs that they can’t imagine going anywhere else.
Position Yourself As a Leader
Often, businesses confuse prospects by trying to serve everyone’s needs, so they end up not really serving them at all.
To serve them better, you need to allow your prospects to understand your value. You do that by positioning yourself as a leader in your niche – talking directly to their specific pain point.
These days, many people don’t have much time or attention to pay to things that they don’t immediately see the value.
So it’s up to you to make it simple for them – make your leadership and authority in the subject easy to understand and repeat your solution to their problem multiple times throughout your website and marketing materials.
Nailing a niche doesn’t always happen right off the bat. It can take a couple of years between product evolution, messaging evolution, and the development of your business model. All of these pieces need to fit together to get you to a place where you can sell in a repeatable way.
How do you know if you’ve succeeded in nailing your niche?
You’ll know if you have nailed your niche by the fact that you are able to find and sign up customers that will pay you on a consistent basis.
Your audience comes to you because they know exactly what you do. The word has spread far and wide, and only those customers that are 100% aligned to your offering are the ones paying you on a consistent basis. They may have started off as cold leads, but now they’re red-hot, committed customers paying you a predictable income.
Thanks to Aaron for this incredibly useful and impactful workshop.