Many people choose a niche for their business and then feel like they made the wrong choice. If you’re in that boat, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this episode, Kendra Perry answers a question from one of her Health Coach Accelerator students. That is, what if I choose the wrong niche? As someone who had chosen the wrong niche before hitting multiple six-figure businesses, Kendra knows what it feels like to end up on the wrong side. Today, she discusses finding the niche when starting your business and why choosing the wrong niche can surprisingly be alright. Tune in to learn more about her strategies for landing the right niche.
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What If You Choose The Wrong Niche?
I am so excited to be hanging out with you. This one is going to be a little bit juicy and it’s probably something that might be a little bit on your mind. This is inspired by a question or a concern that I received from one of my Health Coach Accelerator students. I’m going to be paraphrasing this but this is going to be helpful because this is going to resonate with you. There’s a good chance that you’ve thought the same thing.
It went something like this. I got an email from a student. She said something like, “Kendra, I’m struggling with my niche. I feel like I need to pause my experience inside HCA because I’m not making any traction. I have no client experience. I feel like I need to get out there and work with clients so that I don’t choose the wrong niche. I don’t have any clarity.” Have you ever worried about choosing the wrong niche? If you were brand new, you’ve probably heard, “I know I need to choose a niche but what if I choose the wrong one?
This is something I want to tell you about business. There is no clear-cut route for building your business. There’s not some template that I can give you, you need to implement the template and everything’s going to go smoothly and work perfectly. That’s not how it works. I wish it did because it would certainly make our job a whole lot easier but that’s not how it goes. Your business is a test and an experiment. What I mean by that is everything needs to be tested and go through the experiment.
If you are familiar at all with the scientific method, what we do in science is create a hypothesis and then validate it through the experiment. We test it but before we test it, all we have is a hypothesis. There’s no way to either prove or disprove the hypothesis without the experiment. You can’t just think the hypothesis into being true or not being true. We have to put it through the experiment. I want you to think of your business and, in this situation, your niche statement or the niche that you’re going to choose as your hypothesis. I see it as three stages of business.
There is the proof of concept stage, distribution stage and scale phase. In proof of concept, you are in this business experiment where you were making a lot of hypotheses and doing that multiple times with all different sorts of things, whether it’s your niche, offer or social media strategy and then validating it through your observations, experiment and experience.
The second phase of business is once we have proof of concept. What I mean by that is that we have proved something works repeatedly and gets the results. At that phase, we go into the distribution phase. This is a great phase for pumping ads behind your concept. You’re going to lose a lot less money because you have a proven niche, offer and business.
Finally, we talk about scaling. It is optimizing your internal processes like customer service, your external processes, your program, maybe turning it into a group program and online course membership. For the first few years in your business, you were in this proof of concept phase. The only way for you to know something like, “Do I have the right niche,” is to test it.
The problem with trying to get clients without a niche is, first of all, it’s going to be hard. It ends up confusing you more because you’re unfocused. You’re going to be attracting a lot of different random people and be like, “This person was a male in his 50s. This one was a female in her twenties. This was a mom. This was a divorced woman.” It gets confusing versus choosing something and testing it, creating the niche hypothesis and then validating it.
Do you know what will bring you clarity? Action. You can’t have clarity without action. Without action, all you have are assumptions, predictions and your hypothesis. You don’t just want a hypothesis. You want to prove and remove assumptions and predictions and have the fact. Action is what gives you the experience that you need to make a decision. The first thing I want you to think about is what if it’s okay that you choose the wrong niche? What if that’s not a big deal? What if that’s just a part of proving or disproving your hypothesis?
When we think about niching, it’s not just about, “Is the niche profitable?” Yes, we want a profitable niche but we also want a niche that feels good. We want something that we’re excited about. A lot of times, we’re not going to know how that feels until we put it into practice. What if choosing the wrong niche is a part of the journey? It doesn’t have to be a bad thing because for every wrong choice you make, you get closer to finding one that fits.
As you know, I have a very successful business to multiple six figures but I am not in the niche that I started with. I chose the “wrong niche” in the beginning too. I was pretty aware early on that I needed a niche. I started with female hormone imbalance. That would be exciting. I did it for a couple of years but ultimately, it wasn’t the right choice for me and I didn’t like how it felt. There were a few different things with that niche that didn’t work for me.
The first thing I felt about that niche was that it was way too broad. Ultimately, I was attracting a lot of menopausal women. Those were not the people that I wanted to work with. I didn’t have experience in my 30s with menopause and I didn’t have a lot of education around. It was a pretty complex condition and I didn’t feel equipped to work with it. The thing about hormones is a lot of women are only getting educated about their hormones or even realizing that their hormones are a thing when they go through menopause. That’s when they get hammered by this information, “It’s your hormones.”
What I learned is that women who were in their 30s, which was the type of woman I wanted to work with, often were not aware that they had a hormonal issue. They knew that they had PMS, menstrual cramps or they may have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. They knew they had weight gain or fatigue but they often didn’t know that they had a hormone imbalance. I quickly realized that I was attracting someone who I didn’t want to be attracting and who I didn’t feel well equipped to help.
What I was learning through experience was that my niche wasn’t quite specific enough. That was part of it. I was working with people who I didn’t want to be working with so it didn’t feel quite aligned. I wanted to work with something that I had experienced and I didn’t have a lot of traditional hormone issues. My hormones were a mess but I wasn’t going through menopause and wasn’t struggling with a lot of PMS.
I started thinking, “How can I make this more specific and work with a person with whom I want to work with?” I started with the person and then thought about the problem. Sometimes this can help choose a niche. You can think about, “What type of person would I be incredibly excited to work with?” Oftentimes, it’s some version of yourself or a former version of yourself. For me, I wanted to work with women who were around the same age as me, women in their 30s who were active and women who didn’t just want to lose weight but wanted to get back outside and do the things that they wanted to do because that’s what I was struggling with in my 30s.
I was dealing with fatigue and insomnia. I was unable to get out in the mountains and do the things I wanted to do. I felt like I wasn’t living a full life. I wanted women who were a lot like me. I decided that I wanted to work with active women who were passionate about the outdoor. I started thinking, “What are problems that these women would have that would prevent them from doing that thing, going outside, being in the mountains or running the race or whatever it was?”
That’s how I landed on fatigue. The other thing about fatigue was that I was also struggling with it. I had an intimate experience with it. I could speak to it. That’s when I transitioned into helping women resolve their chronic fatigue so that they could get back to the sports and activities that they loved. It was only through starting with a niche that turned out to be the wrong niche that I was able to find the niche that felt right for me and that was profitable.
I changed my niche again. I went through a few years of helping women with fatigue. I got to the point where it didn’t feel aligned anymore. I realized that I didn’t want to be health coaching anymore but I loved business. I noticed that there was a huge need in the market for health coaches who needed help with business because health coaches get very little educational training in their certification. It’s minimal if they get any. Typically, if they are getting a business education, they’re being taught a pretty outdated business model or one that leads to burnout.
I realized that I would feel passionate about helping health coaches and practitioners start and grow their businesses so I switched again. Was it scary with each switch? Yes, especially the one where I switched from health to business coaching. That one felt incredibly scary because I was making a lot of money as a health coach. I was like, “Am I going to do a complete $180? What’s going to happen to my income?”
The thing about switching niches is marketing is mutable. If you learn the powerful basics of marketing and sales, they can be applied to any industry. When you changed course with your niece, you were not starting over. This is where people get tripped up. They’re like, “I don’t want to start down one path, choose a niche and then feel like I have to start over.”
You are never starting over because you are gaining a ton of experience. You are learning so much and all that can be applied to any niche that you ultimately end up choosing. It takes time. What I want you to think about is the fact that choosing the wrong niche is often a part of the journey but the only way to know that is to test it, put it into action, go all in on it and see how it feels. If it doesn’t feel good or profitable or you decide you want to do something else, that is always available to you. The beauty about being your own boss and entrepreneurship is you get to choose or change course when you want to.
I want you to know this. Pay attention. Building credibility and authority in any niche takes time. I don’t want you to get into the habit of changing your niche every month when things don’t work because it does take you going all in on your niche for several months before you’re going to be able to prove your hypothesis, which is, “This is my niche. It is profitable and aligned.” If you switch every couple of months or every month, then you’re never going to make any traction in any niche.
You do want to go all in for a decent amount of time. I would probably give it six months before you make any decisions. If you have to change, know that you are not starting over. You are taking the experience that you’ve learned up until that point. You were just applying it to another niche, to a new hypothesis. We’re in this proof of concept phase. Know that it’s okay If you choose the wrong niche.
You don’t need to have business experience. You just need to think about, “Who do I want to work with? What problem does that person need solving?” Put it into action and that’s it. We often over-complicate and overanalyze things when it’s as simple as choosing one thing, testing it and seeing how it goes. That is all I got for you.
I am so glad that you read this episode. I hope you found this helpful. If you want to chat with me or you have questions about this episode, I am always open to answering your questions on Instagram DM. My handle is @KendraPerryInc. Go over there. Give me a follow, send me a DM and say hello. I love chatting with you in a direct message. I will see you next episode where I help you become wealthy AF.