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[Guest Post!] 3 Niche Misconceptions that Make Your Copy Suck

Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome fellow copywriter Ling Wong to the blog! She's giving you the down low on niches in this article, which is adapted from her new book on Copywriting for Coaches, Consultants, Solopreneurs & Small Businesses – How To Turn Your Personal Brand into Powerful Marketing Communications.

Finding your niche has everything to do with writing effective copy.

Here’s why:

Good copy speaks to your audience. They elicit an emotional response in them that makes them want to buy from YOU, not your competition.

You have to understand who you’re talking to – that is, your niche – before you can truly make the connection and create the resonance so they’d take the next step with you.

But aren’t most of us somewhat allergic to the “N” word?

Often times, in the business and marketing context, “niche” carries a conclusive, expectant, and even judgmental tone.

It has become a marketing "to-do" to check off the list as you progress through some program or training.

The common perception of “niche” lacks the fluidity and adaptability essential for long-term fulfillment through business.

To start, I want to propose a different assumption: niche is the way we define our place in the community.

(This premise is influenced by Tad Hargrave's book, the Niching Nest.)

The premise of niche being an anchor to our community through business turns the mechanical and definitive act of “picking a niche” into an organic process – because when you anchor your message to a group of people, you're naturally ensuring your work’s relevance to a market.

This premise asks that you perceive your clients/ customers/ followers/ audience/ readers to be more than numbers and stats. (May I say, humanity is the next big thing in sales & marketing?)

With this in mind, let’s reframe our perception of “niching” from some disconnected marketing exercise to a continuation of how you express YOU through your marketing and messaging:

Reframe #1:

Niche is NOT something you pick from a “niche menu” just because someone says it’s viable or lucrative. Niche is NOT determined by external factors alone.

Niche is rooted in our inner values, convictions, and points-of-view.

When we have the clarity, when we find the beliefs and convictions that drive us, we create a sense of inevitability that fuels aligned action.

“Niche” emerges organically under such inevitability, from within. You cannot squeeze yourself into a “niche” handed to you by others if your internal drive tells you otherwise.

Your niche is the undiluted expression of your values, convictions, and vision for your version of the world. It makes YOU relevant by relating you to your community.

Therefore it's critical that we include our ideas, convictions, and points-of-view in everything that we do, say and write.

Relevant content – be it written or spoken; distributed via text, audio, video, or live audience – is your magnet to pull those who resonate with your unique approach into your world.

Your message seeds the process of organic self-selection, not one of imposing yourself into a group and shouting with a megaphone regardless of context and relevance (with yellow highlights and big ugly red headlines.)

Reframe #2:

Niche is NOT a collection of research data.

Niche is about connection and resonance. Niche is about giving a shit.

It's quite interesting that with all the research and data, which are essentially a distillation of human behaviors, many approach niche in such a clinical and impersonal way that they lose sight of the fundamental element – real living breathing people!

After we establish what matters to ourselves, the next piece of the puzzle is to establish who matter to you, and what matters to them.

If A=B and B=C, then A=C. What matters to those that matter to you, matters to you.

"Niching" is about finding these people who matter to you, or care about what matters to you, and connect with them on an emotional and personal level.

Connection and Resonance are the new currency of Conversion.

To create content that connects and to cultivate a deep resonance, we have to own our vulnerability.

Establishing meaningful connection requires empathy – not lip service like “I understand” “I have been there” or “it’s not your fault” – canned phrases that are flooding the marketplace because of some sales page checklists or scripts.

You don’t have to go through the exact same thing (in fact, you can’t) – everybody’s experience is unique because of the individual’s history and emotional state. To say “I know exactly what you are going through” minimizes the unique experience.

It is about acceptance and showing up no matter what – because if you can’t show up for your peeps, how can you expect them to show up for you?

Reframe #3

Niche is NOT static. Niche is NOT “set it and forget it.”

Niche is constantly evolving because we're evolving, and the world (in which we define ourselves) is evolving.

Some people find “niche” to be limiting because of the common perception of it. They resist defining a niche, which prevents them from taking their work deeper into serving those who truly matter to them.

For the multi-talented and multi-passionate, being “defined” by a niche can feel constricting, particularly if we approach “niche” as existing labels we're supposed to choose from.

We often associate “business” with our logical mind, and it’s hard for the logical mind to embrace uncertainty. But we all know that uncertainty is the only constant we can count on.

If you resist taking your niche with you on your evolutionary journey, the misalignment and chasm between YOU and what you *think* your communication and offering *should* look like based on an artificially defined parameter can widen to the point at which they no longer reflect your convictions, values, and beliefs.

When what you do is no longer reflecting who you are, what you write or say will no longer be in alignment with your message and you won't be attracting the right clients. Doubts set in, and you feel this niching thing has failed you (or you fail at it.)

About Ling

Ling Wong :: Intuitive Brainiac | Copywriting Alchemist. Through her unique blend of marketing coaching, content strategy and copywriting process, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts - by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years experience in the online marketing industry.

Get her free WEBSITE COPY ALCHEMY video here.

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