I know you want to MAKE ALL THE THINGS! Trust me, so do I. It’s so hard, right? Every new trend, every new yarn, every new pattern is an opportunity for an adventure … and a profit! But what if … What if making all the things is actually confusing your customer and hurting your business? Today we’re going to talk about why you need to create a niche in the crochet market that is uniquely you.
What is a Niche?
Dictionary describes a niche as:
- an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
- a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world.
- a distinct segment of a market.
Defining your niche will help you carve out your distinct segment of the market. Think of it as your own corner of the crochet world. Your niche is what you will be known for–the specialized products that you will be offering to your target market.
Why You Need To Create a Niche
1. Build Trust
While a few handmade businesses have found success by making whatever happens to be popular at the moment, it is not a great business model and can lead to both brandlessness (confused customers) and burnout. As a rule, successful businesses know who they are, stick to who they are, and can be counted on for consistency. In this way, we build trust with our target customers.
2. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
Not only does having a defined niche build trust, but it helps set boundaries for you, the maker. Instead of saying “yes” to every opportunity that comes around–and setting yourself up for chaos and burnout–you can quickly ascertain if a product fits within your niche and say “yes” to those that do and “no” to those that don’t. I understand that saying “no” is hard and feels like you are giving up on an opportunity to make money. But, in the end, it will save you.
3. You Rise to the Top
As you consistently create products within your niche, you become an expert in your specialty. You will notice that with each item you make, your quality increases. Your customers will recognize that quality and be willing to pay for your superior products.
4. You Become the Go-To
In both my counseling practice and my crochet business, I have my favorite referral sources. If a client is seeking help for an eating disorder, I know who is the best. Similarly, if a customer wants a crocheted baby photo prop, I know exactly where to send them. As you become known for your niche, you will become the go-to artisan within that corner of the market. Whether it is baby items, women’s fashion, home decor, or simply nerdy crochet products–whatever your niche is–you will become the go-to resource.
5. Marketing Becomes Easier
Niche marketing makes attracting the right people easier. You’ve already got your message, your branding and your target customer identified when you define your niche. So, all the hard work is already done. And you are already creating products that your customer wants … so marketing to her becomes a breeze. Not only will creating marketing materials become easier, but the need for advertisement will lessen as you begin receiving referrals and become known for your specialty amongst your tribe.
It’s All About You (And Your Customer)
Now, it might seem easy to just say, “Hey, I’m going to go find a successful crochet business and copy her and I’m all set.” But that’s not the way it works. There are people all over the internet trying to copy other successful businesses, but no one is ever as successful as the original. It’s like going to see a sad sequel to your favorite movie … unsatisfying for both the consumer and the producer.
If your niche isn’t, first and foremost, about you and your connection to your customer … it’s not going to work. Right? Customers can spot authenticity and passion a mile away and it draws them to you. Then, when you show them that you understand them and their needs, you’ve got them hooked and they’ll return again and again.
When I first began my business, I knew baby items were selling like hotcakes … but I didn’t have a passion for baby items and knew that my lack of enthusiasm would show. So, I designed things that I loved, that felt life-giving to create, and that I knew my target customer needed and couldn’t find anywhere else. Because of that, I continue to be energized by my business even after selling over 2,000 of the same hat last winter!
Get Your Free “Create a Niche” Printable
So remember, we’re talking about creating a niche, not finding a niche or hopping on board someone else’s niche. Why would someone buy from you if there’s already another well-established business selling the same thing? By being YOU and being unique, by creating something different and that solves a problem for your customer, you set yourself apart and make your product a highly-desired commodity. If you want an easy, step-by-step worksheet to help you define your niche market, be sure to download the Creating Your Handmade Niche printable.
You might be wondering, “Well if I’m supposed to be different, why are you selling patterns to other crochet businesses?” That’s a valid question! I sell patterns that are specifically profit-optimized for crochet businesses, but I always encourage others to customize and make the products their own. They can do this with yarn selection, embellishments, and color choices. My customers have come to expect that all of these things will be consistent in my products. That’s what makes them mine. By changing those things up, you can make them yours.
Ultimately, just BE AWESOME. By creating with authenticity, consistency, and quality, and sticking to your brand, you rise to the top of your field and specialty. Declare quality without saying a word by creating awesome products. People are willing to pay for awesome.
Price Your Products Like the Pros
Includes: the exact formula I use to price my products for maximum sales and profit while attracting my ideal customer.
Cheryl Dee Floyd says
Hi, Pam, I’m already subscribed, probably about 25 times or more, but I can’t seem to get to your Create a Niche Worksheet. The link takes me to another op-in screen to get the Handmade Business Binder, which I already have. What should I do? I’d really like to have that worksheet.
Pam Grice says
Thank you for letting me know. The link is fixed and will automatically download the file now.