The Niche Hypothesis
The dominant marketing narrative goes something like this: if the world of products is a crowded shelf, your company will never win if it competes with millions of other products and services. Your job is to find an empty spot on the shelf, your niche, and take advantage of reduced competition.
For Example, Imagine An Agency:
Instead of a generic marketing agency, you might create a marketing agency that serves dentists in the first year of their practice in the suburbs of Houston. The promise is that you can charge more, you can advertise better, and you can serve your clients better.
The Niche Is A Lie That Makes Other People Rich While You Stay Small And Trapped.
There's a grain of truth to the approach above, but, unless you offer some exceptional innovation in a field like healthcare, robotics, or defense, you're not going to become a billionaire working a niche.
It's a falsehood propagated by people whose biggest vision is dropshipping pillows using crappy Facebook ads and a Shopify store. It's a lie told by people who can't sell, who don't have a big vision, and who want you to buy their secret formula to crack an economic equation whose answer is staring you in the face.
Niches Treat Marketing As A Secret Formula.
"Solving" an equation and finding the Perfect Niche™ is not going to magically win you, customers. It might help you deliver a marketing offer, but it is very unlikely to lead your company to 8 and 9-figure status. When you pick a niche, the heavens are not going to part. Money will not rain from the sky.
Quite, the contrary.
Limiting your target market doesn’t make any sense.
Your wrapper can be niche, a certain email can be sent to a niche, your language can change depending on the niche, but if you want to join the super-rich, building your business around a niche is a non-starter.
Don't believe me? Meet my friends Jeff, Warren, and Ray.
Whales Don't Fit In Niches, They Trawl Oceans
The biggest companies in the world treat everyone as a buyer.
- Berkshire Hathaway
(I'll keep going.)
They treat everyone as a buyer.
There’s no niche. They serve everyone. Why would you get into a business that only serves a small group of people? The massive riches are not in the tiny niches. It's an economic contradiction.
You can always find another niche to serve, but you'll never get there if you're serving dentists in Houston.
That's a dead end.
Build An Offer Around a Niche, Not A Company.
Niches are great when you’ve got a specific offer to make to a specific subset of people – but you don't build a huge, resilient, thriving business with a moat this way. A massive business has a massive impact on society at large.
A niche can be a means to an end, but otherwise, it's a gimmick that will keep you stuck on a hamster wheel that will never let you scale past a few million dollars a year if you're lucky.
Sell a billion things, to a billion people, a billion times.
“The best way to become a billionaire is to help a billion people.”
— Peter Diamandis
Okay, James – I'm Convinced.
How do I Un-Niche my business?
If you know anyone that is looking to explore their business, get in touch.
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