Many people believe that one of the most successful ways of starting as a freelancer and maintaining a growing consulting or training business is to specialise or to find your own niche.
What is a business niche?
A niche business is one with a focus or area of specialisation. It is a market segment that particularly suits your experience, knowledge, talents, interests and personality. It is a segment of the market that you can make your own. You make it yours because it fits your expertise and your passion. Any niche must also reach a viable market that is hungry for a solution to a pain or need.
Why trainers and consultants avoid selecting a niche
Many consultants and trainers hesitate to pick a niche because they are afraid that if they narrow their target to a smaller specific group of people that they will miss out on too many potential clients. You can be a generalist consultant or trainer but I believe it is far better and in the longer term sustainable to have a clearly defined niche. My niche is business focus, ensuring any development activity add holistic value to the client organisation. A second is training trainers.
Benefits of Picking a Niche for Consulting or Training
Picking a niche is important because you need to be able to clearly define whom you are marketing to and what their needs, desires, and challenges are. When you have a clearly defined niche you can become a know expert in your area. This advantage enables you to communicate to the market place and “show you know”. this might be on sites like TrainerBase, TrainingZone or HRZone etc.
How do I select my niche?
To help you identify an appropriate niche, make a list of all the areas in which you have a strong passion for as well as an appropriate level of knowledge and expertise. Undertake a SWOT analysis and make a list of all the credentials and experience you have in that area to help you realise that compared to most others you are an expert in that niche.
Picking a clearly defined target niche will allow you to communicate your understanding of their specific needs, challenges, and desires.
page updated December 2014