Niching is rarely a straightforward journey. It can take years (being real) and the process can be frustrating at times.
But what I find most interesting is this: people tend to fear niching. The fear often sounds like this, ‘If I pick one niche then I’ll feel so limited.’ but, when people discover an authentic niche for themselves the reality is actually that people feel liberated and free. They feel like they are finally using all of themselves not just a part of themselves.
The other day, I was speaking with my dear friend Jennifer Summerfeldt about my six week Niching for Hippies virtual coaching program and she shared a recent breakthrough she’d had around her own process of niching. I invited her to share her story with you as I thought you might find it encouraging for your own process.
The commitment to finding and owning your niche can be an arduous path indeed.
As a Woman entrepreneur, who has owned and operated numerous small businesses (none of them which were financially successful) I understand the frustration and determination associated with carving out an ‘industry’ and ‘niche market’.
Like many, I believe I have great ideas, and I have no problem envisioning and implementing new ideas. In all of this, I do however, struggle to attract clients and customers; hence the low return on investment of time, energy, and money. I was beginning to feel like my passion was more of a hobby instead of a vocation.
I assumed that because I had great ideas, people would find my service and use it! This however, has not proven to be the case. Enduring years of frustration and listening to numerous marketing guru’s speak about the need to niche, I finally (with much resistance) started to take this idea seriously.
Hitting a self employed brick wall, I told myself this: If I want to be self employed, which I do, then knowing who I want to serve, why I want to serve them, and what I have to offer specifically; is of great importance. Since I am starting over yet again, as a self employed single mother of three, I do not want to make the same routine mistakes I have made in the past.
I am so tired of putting up posters, paying for marketing materials, handing out business cards that are vague in nature, and mostly, feeling depleted around my efforts. For the past 4 years I have gone through some major life transitions, which caused me to walk away from the life and identity I once knew.
Due to this life shift, I spent the past two years healing and contemplating seriously what I want to be doing with my life. How do I want to do that? How do I apply my knowledge of the past with this new knowledge and life experience? Most importantly, what & who is my niche market?
Each time I came ready to launch yet another workshop, website, blog post etc. I would find myself feeling blocked and anxious; knowing that I was still missing a key component – My niche. I paid for online marketing counseling, and the question the consultant kept asking was (can you guess) who is your niche market; who are you speaking to? What is their problem that you can help solve?
My answer to this question would always be the following:
“Well, what I am offering is applicable to everyone. I don’t want to pick a gender to focus on. I am afraid to narrow my market and speak to only a few people. Actually, I don’t really know who I want to target and what my niche is. You know, I am offering spiritual inspirational stuff, so really, anyone who is on a path of healing will benefit.”
I cringe when I read this now. Knowing how limiting this kind of mindset is. Truthfully, I was afraid to niche. I was afraid to be very specific because, on a deeper level, I was afraid of ‘doing’ what I want to do – I was afraid of being successful.
Faced with the need to work to take care of my family, I knew I needed to decide which path I wanted to go down, that of a day job or that of a creative self employed vocation. I knew I had skills, had a service to offer, had experience, and was ready to try again.
To my surprise, within an hour and half of serious niche counseling, I found my place in this maze of business and passion. Here are some of the questions I was asked:
What is your working title? How would you introduce yourself?
What are you specializing in?
What are you offering in this area of specialization?
How are you offering it?
Why are you qualified to offer this service?
Now, go out and practice as if you own it!
If it doesn’t fit or feel right, then rework it.
What I intrinsically noticed, after acknowledging my niche, was a deep sense of relaxation, peace, and contentment. It was an arrival of sorts and a newfound confidence that I have something of importance to offer the world.
I am excited to share with you what I came up with. This has taken many years of dead end attempts and finally, due to a readiness factor and eagerness to try something different, I was successful at finding my niche!
Let me introduce myself…
My name is Jennifer Summerfeldt, I am a Women’s Holistic Health Practitioner; specializing in reproductive health and healing. I offer therapeutic support for women who have experienced trauma & grief related to any of the following:
I am a mother of three adolescent children and I have dedicated the past 15 years as a radical scholar within the political field of women’s health, birth, & midwifery. I have worked as a holistic nutritionist, childbirth educator, workshop facilitator, writer, certified doula, postpartum doula and birth attendant. Currently, I am authoring a guidebook called: Soul Birth: Understanding the Journey of Healing & Recovery.
I apprenticed as a student midwife in both Texas and Mexico, owned a community pregnancy and birthing store, and co-created an online childbirth class.
I have a background as a university athlete and attended graduate school to study Sport Psychology; to which I have applied this knowledge to understand and question today’s birthing trends, healing and recovery, and peak experiences in birth.
My passion to specialize in trauma recovery connected to the women’s reproductive system, arose due to my personal experience with traumatic loss, grief, and the courageous journey towards wholeness.
I am offering a unique therapeutic and soulful service, dedicated to helping women heal from traumatic experiences associated with: birth, abortion, postpartum, miscarriage, menstruation and fertility issues. You can read more, learn more, or contact Jennifer at www.soulbirth.ca
*Since choosing my niche, I am in the process of updating and recreating my website to speak to my target group. Therefore, if you visit my site, you will see that it is in working progress.
Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program http://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/