Targeting a Niche: How Obvious Do You Have To Be?


After a great conversation with a coaching client this week I have been thinking about how different businesses target a niche and I’d like to tap the great pool of branding knowledge here for some input.

Sometimes a business goes for the obvious approach.

In the Virtual Assistant industry there are providers who have niched themselves to a particular group of potential clients by declaring the niche in their name. (Internet Marketers VA, Writer Support VA, New Media VA) It’s clear to anyone who sees their business card or visits their website that they are niche focused. Their choice of name attracta their desired niche while at the same time discouraging others which is exactly what they want.

Why do they want to turn some potential clients away?

They know they are more likely to secure a long term relationship and a premium pay rate with clients who needs their specialized experience and skills.

My client who is in the financial advice field wants to know if she should move in that direction or not. She has been getting great word of mouth referrals for clients in the medical field, should she somehow create a brand for her business around that clientèle?

Unlike the VAs mentioned above who have specialized skills for specific markets, the services provided to these clients are really no different than those provided to others but she has definitely spotted trends in the financial challenges medical providers face.

Is that enough to declare a specialty? Should she adopt a brand that targets medical professionals?

Would it be her ticket to really setting herself apart from others or should she stay with her current non-niched brand and let the referrals come as they may?

What questions would you ask to clarify things and what advice would you give?


  1. Your client may not want to go so far as to adopt a brand that is singularly focused on doctors, as it may unnecessarily limit her ability to grow or change focus later without having to launch a new brand. Before taking that step, she should understand the potential of that niche – is it big enough to allow her to get all the business she wants/needs?

    Regardless of whether she decides to adopt a doctor-focused brand identity, she absolutuely should aim all of her marketing squarely at the niche.

    Effective marketing communications will always speak directly to the prospect. Your client should develop versions of her materials to be doctor-specific. By addressing this very targeted group, she has the opportunity to “go deep” with her copy, thus better demonstrating her experience and skill working with poeple just like the prospect.

    The advantage of avoiding a company name that could become limiting is that as she wants or needs to expand to other niches, she simply needs to create another version of her materials that speaks directly to the new niche.

  2. Chris Wilson says

    Focusing in on clients in the medical field would be a great strategy. The medical industry is a growing market, with no end in sight. By focusing in this niche, her credibility will get an immediate boost. She have a greater chance at claiming expert status in this area.

    One question I would ask is whether or not she has a passion for working exclusively with clients in the medical field. That alone will make all the difference as to whether or not she should move ahead.

    Love to hear more of your thoughts!

  3. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that if your client found her clientele expanding in a certain niche area, that it would be natural to start targeting that specific market with either her existing site, or a second web site. I know a consideration would be whether she could retain the same focus with maintaining two sites, but on the other hand, a second site could be quickly revised from existing content, and cross linking could be advantageous too.

  4. Great input!

    The difference between creating a brand identity and creating a marketing campaign is exactly what I need to discuss with my client 🙂