Call it a niche, call it a crew, call it a tribe, a herd, an avatar or an ideal client. Whatever you call it, it’s important. If you don’t think it’s important, keep reading.
You can literally have the PERFECT solution to someone’s problems, but if you can’t find those people and you can’t communicate to them in a way that they understand and that resonates with them, they will not pay attention, you will never build a following and you will certainly never sell anything.
I’m going to give you the three things to consider when selecting a niche. They are listed below this video. If you would like to “watch” this blog post, just click the video below, otherwise keep reading.
OK, before we get into that, let’s start by outlining WHY you need to define a niche. The simple reason is that you need to have a group of people with a common set of problems or desires who you can get access to and communicate with in a similar manner.
Coca-cola, Budweiser and McDonald’s have the “marketing muscle” to CREATE demand. They have the budget to sponsor sporting events, create characters and do the appropriate amount and type of advertising to actually MAKE people want their products. McDonald’s, for example, has actually manufactured demand for their bad-tasting, unhealthy food that kills you.
None of those three big companies have the best beverage or food in their category. But they do have the best marketing. They have marketing that is so good it has actually created demand for their sub-par products.
You probably don’t have the marketing budget to do that. And, I suspect that even if you did, you wouldn’t want to sell your information in that manner anyway. So, you must define a clear niche that already has a clear and common set of problems and desires. Let’s talk about that.
The three things your niche must have:
1. A clear problem they want to solve or desire they want met.
2. Common viewpoints about their situation, their goals, desires and frustrations.
3. Findability – they must gather in places where you can get access to them.
1. A Clear Problem They Want To Solve or Desire They Want Met
We call ourselves “experts” and say we are in the “information” business, but let’s face it, we are in the marketing business. Marketing is all about identifying a problem that someone has and then showing them how the thing you have solves that problem. If there is no Problem to solve or Desire to meet, there can be no effective marketing.
That is why your niche must have a common problem or desire. In some cases, this is obvious, for example, if you are an expert on relieving back pain, the problem is obvious. If, however, your area of expertise is a generic and very broad topic, such as Holistic Medicine, you have some work to do here to “niche it down.” While the general topic of Holistic Medicine does contain benefit that is applicable to nearly everyone, you can’t market that to EVERYONE because EVERYONE does not have the same problems and desires.
Simply choose a small portion of EVERYONE to start with. In the holistic medicine example, you might choose the parents of hyperactive children, or women in their 50s who are concerned about osteoporosis due to their family history, for example. That concern about osteoporosis or hyperactivity is a PROBLEM that you can address.
They want a SOLUTION to that specific problem and you have one to offer to them.
2. Common Viewpoints About Their Situation, Goals, and Frustrations
Your niche must have similarities in how they view the world. Certainly not in every aspect, but in many. You must be able to talk to them in a similar way. For example, let’s continue with the holistic medicine theme. The parents of children with chronic earaches is a specific niche. These parents also should have similar views about the world. They are interested in holistic medicine. Perhaps they are frustrated with traditional medicine’s approach to the problem. They may feel that their doctor just prescribes medication each time their child gets and ear infection, rather than attempting to get to the root cause. They are frustrated with the reactive nature of their doctor.
Let’s also consider a little more about this parent. They obviously love their child very much. They hate to see him or her suffer with this horrible earache. The parent misses a lot of work because of their child’s illness and spends a lot of money on doctor bills. They are also concerned because the child is missing so much school because of the earaches. This is all much more rich information we can use to understand what our niche wants and needs.
Their clear problem is their kids having chronic earaches. Their common viewpoints or perspectives are that traditional medicine is reactive and a holistic approach may get to the root cause and result in fewer earaches, making their child feel better and be happier.
3. Findability: They Must Gather In Places Where You Can Get Access To Them
This is just a plain old practical matter! You have to have a way of reaching or contacting your niche. This can take on a number of different forms. It could be online forums, regular events or trade shows, clubs, organizations, Facebook groups, etc.
If you can’t find them, you can’t market to them and you can’t get known. That’s it. Your niche simply must be in some place where you have access to them. Pick a niche that “hangs out” in a few specific places that you can get access to.
Finally, there is a huge misconception that “niching” is limiting. The conception is that defining a small niche will hurt your business by limiting the pool of people you do business with.
The opposite is true.
By choosing and targeting a smaller niche, you actually increase the power of your marketing. You actually make it possible to reach and very effectively target a small group of people with your marketing dollars (which are much smaller than Coca-Cola’s :-). Once you have success and a following in this niche, it will be much easier to branch out and target larger groups and niches.
So, if you are feeling limited by a niche, think of it as a stepping stone.