Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to?… Think again!

I’m guilty of it too!

You know… glossing over the distinction between “target market” and “niche”; using those (very important) terms/concepts interchangeably.  Don’t confuse what you do with for whom you do it!

Your target market is your “tribe” — the folks you want to attract and please.

Your niche is the special “stuff” you do for your tribe.

Doesn’t that distinction help you conceptualize your game plan?  Somehow, when you use the terms interchangeably, you can end up  feeling like a small fish in a big pond.  It can make you feel helpless to meet all of the needs of a huge population.

However, when you identify your niche, it helps you pinpoint your specific area of expertise; then you can apply it to those in need within a population(s).

Let’s say your target market is women with anxiety disorders.  If you think about that as your niche, you’ve got a lot of work to do — after all, how will you become the expert who soothes the pain of that HUGE population?!

If, however, your niche is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for anxiety, you have a specific skill to share with members of that market who might benefit from your work.  Your expertise is that skill.

Phew… now doesn’t that sound a lot more manageable?

An extra benefit to clearly defining your niche is that you will likely be able to generalize that niche to multiple target markets over time (if you wish).  Start with your primary target market; when you get bored or just want to expand your reach, add another.

It’s a lot easier to develop and work a reasonable marketing strategy when you clearly know the difference between what you do and for whom you do it!

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