In my last blog, I talked about how to overcome the fear of niching and why choosing to niche can be one of the best ways to grow a training business.
If you are convinced that niching is the way forward for you, the next challenge is how to identify and move into the right niche.
I’ve put together some of my favourite tips on how to find your niche below:
1. Think about your skills or areas of in-depth knowledge
For clients, one of the benefits of hiring a trainer who occupies a specific niche is that they are likely to have more in-depth knowledge and a better understanding of a certain topic, area of business or industry sector (depending on the niche).
A good starting point is to look at your own skills, knowledge and experience. What are your strengths? What topics do you know inside and out? Where do you have insights that trainers without your experience might not share?
2. Play to your strengths
A helpful exercise is to write down a list of your strengths and then describe them in terms of what you can do and why this would make a difference to your clients.
Your greatest strengths might represent your ideal niche.
3. Identify your passions and interests
Running your own business can be something of a rollercoaster ride. During the low points, feeling passionate about your business may well be the thing that keeps you going.
To identify your passions, think about the following:
- What do you like doing in your spare time?
- What topics do you always want to read about?
- What clubs or organisations do you belong to?
- What topic do you absolutely love covering in training?
- What do you feel excited about doing?
- What topics fire you up in conversation?
They say that if you do something you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life so do think about how you can incorporate your passions into your business and turn that into a niche.
4. Look at your current clients
It can be helpful to look back over your existing clients and list the types of businesses they represent and the problems you’ve helped them solve. Is there a specific business type, sector or problem that keeps coming up? This might be your niche.
5. Identify the problems you can solve
Speaking of problems, many people create a niche by being able to solve a specific problem for their target audience.
Perhaps you’re overflowing with practical knowledge about better time management and productivity. You can help your clients or their staff feel less stressed and achieve more, so you solve the problem of ‘How do I get everything done when there are only 24 hours in the day?”
Or perhaps you have hands-on experience of helping businesses move through a post-merger transition period and you provide training that addresses problems such as, “How do we manage the culture clash between the two different organisations?”
6. Review your most successful case study
Alternatively, you could pinpoint your most successful case study – the time when you made the most difference to a client because you had the exact skills and knowledge they needed. This could be another indicator of your perfect niche.
7. Look for a gap in the market
Many successful niche businesses grow out of fulfilling a previously unmet need or gap within the marketplace.
If you have existing clients, they might be able to tell you where they see gaps and how their needs could be better met. Alternatively, you could spend some time exploring your competitors’ websites, social media, etc. to see whether there are noticeable gaps in what they offer.
Another way to identify gaps in the market is to look at upcoming trends. A quick search on Google for ‘<insert year> training trends’ could give you some ideas about how to differentiate your business.
If you’ve already niched your training business, how did you find your niche? If you’re thinking about niching, how confident do you feel about identifying where your training business will fit? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this exciting topic.
For more advice about becoming a successful freelance trainer, don’t forget to download your free copy of The 7 things you need to know to become a successful freelance trainer.