Consider Niching, Architects?
‘Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.’
– ‘The Great Gatsby,’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
When I need to refocus, I turn to my favorite novels. Classic literature tends to reveal the answers I’m searching for. After all, we can find truth both in the real world and in the realm of fiction. Stories are powerful – whoever tells the best story wins.
It felt as if ‘The Great Gatsby' narrator Nick Caraway spoke directly to me about that single window. A few years ago, I thought ‘how boring’; there are so many perspectives to explore.
Yet when I reread Chapter One last night, I realized this guy is pretty smart.
He might just as easily have been advising anyone looking to up their game in business.
That's what having a niche is about.
Look out ‘a single window'
Having a niche means separating your marketing information into sub-markets and creating a targeted message for each one. Essentially, you’re focusing your message on your preferred project types and speaking to your ideal clients, setting aside all the rest.
Then look through your one ‘window’ at that ideal sub-market; talk to those who occupy this niche, work towards them, be there for them. It means not trying to talk through several windows (to several types of customers) at once.
After you successfully build a marketing system focused on one niche, you can add a second or third; but it’s important to start with one specialty first. Only when you are good and ready do you move up to having two windows to look through, talk through and manage.
A Niche Highlights Your Strengths
As we mature, we usually come to the conclusion that we can hone our skills if we concentrate on fewer pursuits.
Recently, I connected with an architect who specializes in home design transformation for the Baby Boom generation in Connecticut – and he carries a harmonica wherever he goes. This architect has learned the power of focus, with both a niche at work and, when it's time to relax, the ONE THING he wants to get better at personally.
Here are some examples of niches that other architects have identified:
- Residential eco-lux designs for homeowners in Sydney, Australia
- Commercial real estate designs for people with special needs in the Chicago area
- Fabrication lab designs for colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions
An architect business niche can help boost your success. Marketing to a specific niche does not limit you. Rather, it makes your marketing messages more relevant and attractive to your ideal prospect.
Choosing your niche can be a challenging process of self discovery and analysis of your unique talents and interests.
Specializing Increases Focus
The quotation above from a Great American Novel reminds us to look inward and outward … through a single lens.
Gatsby intrigues Nick from the very start. Peering out from his bungalow, he can’t help but notice Gatsby’s glittering mansion.
Nick’s not amused by Gatsby’s frilly parties. He’s confused, yet curious, about his cousin Daisy’s growing obsession over Gatsby. But hey, maybe Gatsby’s doing something right.
Coming from vastly different backgrounds, Nick and Gatsby still have something in common. They’re both entranced by a green light at the end of Daisy’s dock … it serves as a focal point in the novel.
This green light is widely known as a symbol for the American Dream. For you, consider it a symbol for finding your specialty and using it to increase your livelihood.
Discover and Reveal Your True Purpose
To niche, or not to niche – that may be the question on your mind today. And the answer is: Yes!
Niche your marketing message to position yourself as the go-to-person in one marketplace.
Suddenly, you’ll look through your window and see opportunities (every bit as noticeable as that green light) that you might in the past have missed in your busy-ness with projects that were not the ones you wanted. Even more importantly, the ideal clients will knock at your door.
For me, Gatsby signals the green light for ‘go after my dreams.’ Though Gatsby may not have gotten what he wanted, there is something desirable and poignant in his single-mindedness. It is attractive. And niching actually makes businesses more attractive for a similar reason.
Move forward. Embrace your value.
What's challenging about niching? What light are you seeing through that window?
Talk to us … we want to hear from you.
What is Your Niche?
Do this exercise, simple as it is:
On a sheet of paper, write your answers to these questions:
- What are you passionate about?
- What is your dream project type?
- What is your ideal client’s specific problem or irrational passion?
- What keeps this client up at night?
Now, based on your answers to the above:
- Brainstorm five possible niches that unite what you are passionate about (items 1 and 2 above) and where there is a market (items 3 and 4 above).
- Then, rank them from 1-5.
Ready to discover how to market to your chosen niche? Join us for our free Architect Marketing Masterclass. Click below to register!