Choosing a marketing funnel niche and why you’re afraid to do it

“I’m scared of choosing a niche for my marketing funnel business, because I’m worried there won’t be enough customers in that space.”

This is a really common fear, with all of my marketing funnel clients. We are constantly telling our customers that they should choose a niche and be very specific, about the types of customers they go after.

However, to take our own medicine, and do it for our own marketing funnel business, can be very scary.

As soon as we talk about our idea of “niching down” for our marketing funnel business, Our brains are instantly flooded with visions of poor sales and no product interest. We imagine tumbleweeds rolling through the empty streets of our business because we’ve decided to set up shop, where there are no customers.

choosing a niche marketing funnel business

This fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a common response from the brain to protect us and help us survive.

Here’s why we think this and why this is happening inside our imagination. Our brains are terrible risk assessors. We like to think  that we make all our decisions, especially business decisions based on logic, but really we are more likely to make decisions based on emotion.

In fact, most of our decisions throughout our entire life are entirely determined by emotional responses. Even those of us who pride ourselves on making cold logical decisions, probably make more emotional decisions than we realise.

Fear for example, is an emotion. Any decision at all based on the emotion of fear, by definition, is an emotional decision. Emotions are responses to our thoughts. As intelligent human beings, whether we like it or not, we are entirely in control of both our emotions and our thoughts.

Our decision to not do anything at all, because we fear the consequences, is still a decision. It’s an emotional decision. Even if you’re committing to not doing anything.

marketing funnel niche fear of missing out

Our brain just wants to protect ourselves. That’s all it wants to do. Our brain is a machine designed to expend the least amount of energy for the most amount of comfort and security. It’s got nothing to do with not finding customers or becoming unpopular. At its core, any change we subject the brain to, is going to cause the brain to assess the risk.

But as we mentioned,  the brain is a terrible risk assessor. It over plays and exaggerates the terrible results that we could face if we make the wrong decision, because it just wants to protect what we already have.

The brain sees our existence as both comfortable and secure. Any change to that routine or location or actions could be deemed a threat. The brain cannot tell the future. So therefore, it floods our bodies with emotion and tries to control its environment, typically through fear.

What’s interesting, is that decisions made by the higher functioning areas of the brain, can create new habits. Habits that would have previously been seen as either destructive or unsafe.

The brain can then find security in those new habits. The brain doesn’t like change and will do anything it can to prevent change.

Your job is to rise above that immediate “lizard brain” fear function and work past the ludicrous and exaggerated ideas that the brain is telling you. Choosing a niche does not mean you are going to starve to death or become unpopular or struggle to find customers.

But the only person who can make that decision to do that and go ahead with it, is you.

marketing funnel niche, fear, niche, fomo

When choosing a niche for our marketing funnel business, we become stuck in “analysis paralysis”. A lot of the time, I think that many marketing funnel businesses believe that choosing a niche  will either fall into their lap. Or a heavenly voice from above, complete with glowing halo and epiphany moment will tell them the type of niche that they should follow.

This obviously doesn’t happen. The niche that you choose is entirely within your control and determined by you.

Will the niche that you choose instantly be a success? Probably not.

What happens when someone chooses a niche for their marketing funnel business, is that the very next day, a customer of the complete opposite profile will approach you. That’s the universe’s way of testing you and because it’s got a sense of humour.

Your job is to push past that initial fear of missing out and stop chasing what approaches you. Instead, start approaching businesses that are within your specialist niche.

Often, after two or three months, many marketing funnel businesses decide that this particular niche isn’t working out for them. They haven’t had any customers, there  fee hasn’t gone up and they are not overwhelmed with work. So they go back to chasing broad customers and broad markets.

Our biggest mistake as funnel businesses, is hoping that explaining what we do and having customers understand what we do will increase the amount of work we get.

I have first hand experience, knowing that choosing WHO you go after is far more important than what you do. I also know from experience that many marketing funnel businesses have done extremely well from choosing a niche rather than chasing general work.

When marketing funnel businesses tell me they have chosen a niche, but they are struggling to find customers still, I’ll ask them how far they’ve committed to that niche.

We look at their websites, blog content, videos, product and solution names, service names and more. Throughout the entire process (I suppose you could call an audit). We find very little evidence of them committing to this new niche.

I get it, I really do. I honestly understand why people fail to commit to choosing something that seems to cut out a massive part of their potential market. But like I said, our brains are terrible risk assessors.

When we start as marketing funnel businesses, we see an enormous pie where every potential business in the world could use a marketing funnel. We believe that if we get really good at telling people what we do, then we will be allowed as much of the pie as we like. However, this isn’t the case and rarely happens at all.

The theory that choosing a niche will give us more definition about who we go after, while true, is envisioned as our brain as excluding 95% of the pie. We are literally telling the world and universe that we only want a tiny sliver of the total pie in front of us.

Our brains scream at us. “This is counterintuitive, we could starve to death. We need to go after the whole pie.”

I call this “little brother syndrome”. My younger brother when he was a child, had a habit of hoarding as much of the Sunday family meal as possible. Bearing in mind, he was only about seven years old.

When the chicken, potatoes, cabbage, parsnips, carrots, bread sauce (the best bit in my opinion), Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, chipolatas and sweet potato Came out to the table, he would do his absolute best to hoard as much as possible on his own plate. Usually this would end up him having a plate taller than him sat at the table.

It would also be followed with “Samuel, are you really sure you can eat all of that?”

Of course, he would eagerly nod his head, explaining that he was really hungry. About 15 minutes in, he would start to regret his eagerness. The mountain of food never seemed to get any lower, but he knew if he didn’t finish it, he would be given a bollocking.

Incredibly, however, if someone asked “does anyone want this last parsnip?” He would be the 1st to pipe up and try to put it on his plate. Obviously, our parents told him that he couldn’t have any more until he finished what was already on his plate.

Of course, he never finished his meal in full because he had piled up way too much on his plate. His brain had seen all the potential food on the table and begged him to hoard as much as possible. There was a scarcity mindset in his brain that was worried if he didn’t take as much as possible he would miss out.

We all experience this. We all experience little brother syndrome when it comes to our own marketing funnel business. The problem however comes that if we don’t choose a specific piece of the pie to go after them will end up not having any of it. It’s like the time it takes to make a decision means that everyone else would have taken a piece of the pie before you anyway.

First, if you need help choosing a niche, you can read this blog post here on 108 niche is that funnel businesses could become category kings in.

niche marketing, category, marketing funnel coaching, category design, marketing funnel niche,

108 niches that marketing funnel businesses could become kings in

Second, your job is to commit to that niche. Tell people that that is who you work with. Your job is not to “build marketing funnels for small businesses.” Your job is to “help camera tripod manufacturers grow their email list”.

If you’ve ever felt that it’s hard to generate content, write blog posts, produce videos or webinars, it’s because you’re not positive on your niche.

Yes, there are checks that we need to make in order to confirm that your chosen niche can support your business. For example,  the most common mistake that people make when choosing a niche is going after one that they perceive as “easy to generate leads from”. Not for profits and start-ups are a really good example of businesses that always want help. But they never have the finances to pay for your services.

Obviously, if you chose the niche of “Bakeries in Wrexham”, it’s pretty obvious that after about three projects, you’re going to run out of customers. Don’t choose a niche based on fear again. Don’t choose a niche that you think it would be easy to generate leads for or easy to find.

If you’re not comfortable picking up the phone or writing content or approaching people in any niche then you need to get comfortable doing it.

The irony is that if I tell you what your niche is, or if you told a customer, what their niche is, I guarantee you, you’ll have hundreds of ideas on approaching and reaching that customer.

But because we are basing our decisions on emotion (which is a good thing. By the way). We base our choices on fear. Fear of missing out, fear of not getting as much as everybody else, and fear of losing our current customers.

You can always go back to doing broad general work. That work is never going to dry up. The lower paying clients are always going to be out there.

But if I told you that you are going to only “build funnels for service businesses that produce one physical splinter product”. Or “convert Facebook traffic into email subscribers for accountancy firms who use Xero” for example. Then you would be able to think of content, marketing and sales approaches for that particular type of customer.

Again, don’t fall into the trap of thinking “service based businesses” is a niche. It’s not. Service businesses in the UK alone account for 74% of small businesses and 79% of employment. You might as well say my niche is “small business”.

Finally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with testing two or three niches. Take a look at the 108 niche ideas blog post here. And think of two or three ideas that you could seriously dedicate time to.

The reason the businesses who have chosen a niche fail, is because they fail to stick to and pushed through the sense of repetition. Creativity, novelty and new ideas are overrated when growing a business. What works, is sticking to a plan and repeatedly executing it over and over and over.

If you write one blog article for your niche, keep it specific, and share it with that audience. I guarantee you that you will find heights of growth that you never thought possible before.

You will dominate Google search rankings. You will dominate people’s mindset and mine space when they think about help for their niche. Repeating a message and solution or problem over and over in your prospect’s minds is how you find traction.

Novelty is useful when you are seeing stagnant growth. Don’t confuse stagnant growth with lack of growth.

Lack of growth probably indicates that you haven’t committed hard enough to your new market and you’re not doing everything you can to help them.

Tell me what your niche is in the comments below and tell me how you are going to reach out to them. Have you ever experienced any of the emotions above? Let me know in the comments below.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.