Ask Shannon: Niche Narrowing Strategies?

Question: “In order to narrow my niche, what do you think about making inquiries via Reporter Connection about overwhelm for various niches, writing articles, and seeing what reaction they generate?”

– Dr. Monique Y. Wells, Understanding Time Management, Paris, France

Shannon’s Answer: Monique, thank you so much for your question! First of all, thinking about ways to narrow your niche and get really targeted with your marketing is a great plan. Too often entrepreneurs try to be everything to everyone, which leaves their marketing messages rather unfocused.  Contrary to what new entrepreneurs might think, directing your marketing strategies on a narrow niche actually makes attracting clients much easier.

Become a Reporter

One of the best ways to find out what your ideal customers really want is to simply ask them, and there are many avenues you could utilize to gather than information.  If you have a large, interactive email list, you can simply entice them to complete a questionnaire.

For those with smaller, growing lists you can certainly draw parties interested in your focus area by submitting queries to sites like Reporter Connection or HARO ( The other advantage with this strategy is getting your name out to a broader audience of potential customers, and peers who may already be working with your target clients. Quality survey questions and reporter queries will certainly provide you with lots to write about, from which you can measure interest. But none of that will matter if you aren’t certain that you are trekking down the right niche path.

Know Thyself

The clients I have had the pleasure of working with know that polling the public is not step one in my book. Before you start looking outward for your niche, you must first do some serious self-examination. Yes, it’s vital to know that there is a need “out there” that people are willing to spend money to fill. But you have to know the best of what you have to offer before you can begin to wrap it up in a pretty marketing package to a specific niche.

Ask yourself the following questions to establish a baseline from which to work –

  • What do you really love to do, that when engaged in it, time seems to stand still?
  • What are your greatest strengths and gifts?
  • What are you strongest experiences that have helped shape you into the woman you are today?
  • What group of people do you naturally gravitate toward, and have the easiest time relating?
  • Where do your passions lie?
  • Based on all the information above, what do you believe is the one problem for the group of people you are drawn to struggle with, for which you can provide a unique solution that is not currently being offered?

The more you know yourself, the more you will know who you are designed and prepared to assist. Once you know who your target audience is, you can discover where to connect with them, and begin to ask them deep questions to draw out what they really want and are willing to pay for. And that’s where the strategy you asked about above can be handy.

I use HARO nearly every week to poll interest on a variety of subjects pertaining to entrepreneurship, and am always thrilled with the wealth of information and insight that comes pouring in. Not only do I get to share valuable content with my audience, but I get to see what is important to them, and others who share their comments.

As with anything in business, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Just make sure that you have a plan in place wherever you decide to invest your precious time. That way you can measure your results against your goals and determine when it’s time to change course to keep moving ahead.

To your business success,

Ask Shannon – Do You Have a Question?

Send me your question about business, peak performance, mindset or any issue you face as an entrepreneur via this form.

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  1. Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    EXCELLENT post, especially the part that says ‘know thyself’. This could not be more important; I speak from experience. I thought about a niche for years & years. It wasn’t until I asked myself questions such as “What would I be good at?”; “What are my strengths?”; “What has been a common thread in my life?”; “What do I have a lot of experience at?”; etc., that the answer came to me.

    And, what a passion it has brought to the surface!! I’m doing what I love to do not because of the money but because of my belief in myself and what I’m doing.

    Ladies, paste this article in about 5 different places so that it is always at the front of your conscious self.

    The dividends will be rich in more ways than one.

    • Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Randy! So happy to have your comment which is “proof in the pudding.” 🙂 It is just as important to know who you are not, as it is to know who you are. Thanks for sharing! Shannon

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