To identify your own business niche, figure out how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and what area you can specialize in. Ask yourself these questions:
• What do I enjoy doing?
Even within your field, there are some things that you like doing more than others. What are the projects that you get excited about? Paying attention to what you enjoy is important, since we generally enjoy doing the things that we are already good at.
• What do I not want to do?
Almost as important as figuring out what you enjoy doing is figuring out what you don’t enjoy doing. Think about the projects that you drag your feet on or avoid doing. Instead of competing for projects that include work that you don’t want to do, leave those for others and concentrate on the ones that you’ll enjoy and will be a better fit for you.
• Where do I have the most experience?
Think about how you have gained experience in your field. Was it through working for a large corporation, a small business, or a non-profit? Was it in a specific industry, or in a particular area within the broader field? In my case, for example, I started my marketing career working for an ecommerce business, so all of my experience was focused on blogging, social media, search engine optimization and paid Adwords campaigns, not in offline marketing strategies; focusing on online marketing was a natural course for me.
• What is my target market?
You might start with a broad target (“anyone who needs XYZ services”), but you’ll need to narrow it down from there. How can you break down your market into more specific segments? For example, both startups and established businesses may need your services, but would one be a better fit for you?
• Who values my services?
Some clients may really value your services more than others. Think about the clients you’ve worked with and identify the ones who really understood the value of what you were offering to them and were happy to pay your fees. What do they have in common?
Once you have identified your business niche, you will be in a better position to market your services effectively. You’ll have a clearer idea about what you do differently than others in your field, what your expertise is within your field, and who values your services.