If you lost a coveted speaking engagement to a competitor who doesn’t know as much as you do, you’ve been niche slapped.
Contusions and bruises aside, real experts know that the days of being a “mile wide and an inch deep” with your expertise are gone. Successful firms figured out a long time ago that it takes focus to get known for what you know.
So how do you create a great niche practice?
Does your firm have other professionals who share your enthusiasm and experience for a specific type of client? No niche is an island. You need other professionals who can bring their expertise and knowledge to the practice.
Do you have the commitment to make it work? In an earlier blog post (“Stop, Start, Stop, Start”, November 11, 2011), firms that are good at business development know the difference between ‘lip service’ and ‘client service.’ You can’t just call a meeting of like minded professionals, put a stake in the ground and proclaim WE HAVE A NICHE! Creating really good niches takes strategy and planning.
What goes into a niche plan? Glad you asked. We use a visual map to show the elements of the plan which can include target (who are they, size, location, triggers for hiring you), social capital (who are referral sources that can get you in front of prospects); branding (developing collateral pieces, web content to tell your expertise story); associations and organizations (birds of a feather flock together…what trade or industry associations do your targets belong to?) to building lead generation campaigns to generate opportunities within your niche.
Creating a niche practice can help you build and showcase your expertise. It just takes time, strategy and focus.