Finding Your Niche: Your Step-By-Step Guide on How to Market to a Niche
In the age of the internet, niche marketing has become king of the marketing world. Now marketers and business people can reach out to increasingly small groups to provide niche solutions to niche problems.
The development towards personalized and targeted marketing to niche markets is not showing any signs slowing down. Find your niche so that you can get to take advantage of the future of marketing.
However, niche marketing is not without challenges. The key to success in niche marketing is how to find a niche market in the first place.
That's why we've put together this step-by-step guide on how to find your niche! Let's take a closer look at finding your niche.
- 1 Finding Your Niche: Your Step-By-Step Guide on How to Market to a Niche
- 1.1 Fishing for Customers: Mass Marketing vs Niche Marketing
- 1.2 Niche Now is not Niche Forever
- 1.3 Step 1 – Your Niche Is What You Know
- 1.4 Step 2 – Identify the Problem in Your Niche
- 1.5 Step 3 – Know the Competition
- 1.6 Step 4 – Can the Niche Make Money?
- 1.7 Step 5 – Trial Your Niche Idea
- 1.8 How to Find Your Niche
Fishing for Customers: Mass Marketing vs Niche Marketing
For a long time, most marketing efforts concentrated on mass marketing. That's targeting a large customer base to promote products and services.
The logic here was that because the market was so huge, even a small percentage of the market share is enough to make a profit.
The downside of mass marketing is that it's extremely costly to market your products and services to such a wide audience.
There are many lessons in marketing to be learned from fishing. Let's consider this fishing analogy to compare the two types of marketing.
On the one hand, mass marketing is like throwing a huge fishing net into the sea to catch as many fish as possible. On the other hand, niche marketing is much more like fishing with a single rod and patiently and effectively catching one fish at a time.
For many start-up companies with tech-savvy people, it totally makes sense to launch your business in a niche market. It's cost-effective and reduces risks.
Niche Now is not Niche Forever
It's important to keep in mind that you can start as a niche business and switch to a mass market down the line.
As the writer, Malcolm Gladwell illustrates in The Tipping Point with the example of the successful shoe company Airwalk.
Airwalk started off as a niche company focused on skaters in California before switching to a mass market selling skate shoes all over the world.
Step 1 – Your Niche Is What You Know
You can spend lots of time exploring and coming up with ideas for the perfect niche market.
But the idea for a niche market is already somewhere in your mind, it's just about unlocking the potential within you.
You can start by making a long list of all the things that you're passionate about, fascinated by and interested in.
These ideas shouldn't be something you've recently become curious about. Instead, they have to be things you've had a strong interest in for at least a few years.
Starting your own business is going to be one of the greatest challenges of your life. You can't be simply “meh” about it, it's not enough.
You have to breathe, eat and sleep your niche market if you're really going to make it successful. Your passion for your niche will always drive you during tough times.
If you're struggling to come up with the ideas, ask yourself questions, such as:
- How do I want to spend my time?
- What do I love talking about all the time?
- What do I read about the most?
At this stage, always keep in mind that you're only brainstorming. This means that no idea is a bad idea.
Step 2 – Identify the Problem in Your Niche
Now you've got your list of ideas that you're actually passionate about, it's time to think about identifying a problem related to the idea.
Most niche market ideas come from identifying that your target audience is currently encountering or experiencing a problem related to the idea. But after you've identified a set of problems, ask yourself the kind of solutions that could address this.
There are many tried and tested ways of identifying the problem within your niche market.
Ask Your Target Audience Questions
The best niche ideas are identified by the target audience. You can harness the knowledge and insights of your niche market by arranging conversations and focus groups to discuss the problems and potential solutions related to your niche.
The Internet is Your Friend
The internet is one of the most useful free-to-use tools for identifying problems within your niche.
You can start by browsing forums and blogs, such as Quora, for the kind of problems people are experiencing in your niche.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are also packed with people raising concerns or problems they have experienced within your niche market. Simply check out what's trending on Twitter at the moment to inspire ideas.
You can also utilize Google AdWords keyword planner to find out the kinds of keywords and phrases your target audience uses in relation to your niche market.
Step 3 – Know the Competition
You might ask – surely niche marketing is all about identifying a gap in the market in which nobody is currently occupying?
However, even if you've discovered a niche, there's always someone nearby looking to take the competition to you. Besides, if there's competition in it's also a sign that there's money to be made.
There have been a number of business ventures in niche marketing in which the owners believed they were onto something huge.
Only to discover that the reason there's a niche market for their product is that others have found that there's no way of making a profit. More on this in the next section!
Nevertheless, it's important to undertake some in-depth analysis of your competition.
Browse the internet for business websites within your niche market. By simply typing your keywords in your niche into Google's search engine you can get an idea of the kind of competition around.
Keep organized with a spreadsheet of the different companies and details about products, services, and market share.
Compete on Quality
It's especially important to look out for the quality of the product/service that other companies in your niche are providing. If the other players are only producing poor-quality products, by offering a much better product you can beat the rest.
Compete on Image
However, sometimes you can find a way to stand out that's more subtle. For instance, perhaps you can come across as transparent and human-faced in comparison to the corporate and faceless companies that are already present in the market.
Alternatively, maybe you can position yourself as a sustainable or green alternative to the other choices in the market.
Compete on Price
Finally, one of the most fundamental determinants of whether someone purchases your product or service over a competitor is the price. It could be that the competition is overcharging and you can undercut them. Otherwise, you might want to provide a higher-quality product and market yourself to those in the niche market willing to pay more.
By understanding the other players on the field, you can make sure you stand out from the rest. By checking out the competition you can assess whether the niche market is worth concentrating your efforts. Or, whether it's best to go back to the drawing board.
Step 4 – Can the Niche Make Money?
Now you have your niche, you've identified the problem and solution, plus you've done some research about the other players in the niche.
It's time to determine whether it's realistic to make any money out of it. After all, finding a niche is all about discovering innovative and unearthed ways of making a profit.
Of course, the fact that there are other competitors in the niche suggests that there's money to be made. But you might need to do some further research to find out the kind of products and services available in your niche.
Everyone has heard of Amazon. Clickbank is an affiliate marketing website, which is a great way to find out about digital goods within your niche too.
Additionally, Mix helps you find other websites within your niche and curate the different topics into sub-niches. This way you can find out if there are other websites making money in the same niche market as you.
If there's another leading company in your niche, don't be disheartened and think there's no hope. Consider the example of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Even though Coca-Cola is a multi-billion dollar business, this hasn't stopped Pepsi becoming a success in the market in its own right.
As already suggested, this doesn't give you much certainty about whether it's a profitable niche. It's all about looking for signs of profitability.
The perfect outcome is that there are a few products available in the niche market. However, fortunately, the market is not saturated with an abundance of products and services.
Step 5 – Trial Your Niche Idea
After you've completed each of the 4 steps, now you're ready to trial your niche idea. You can't ultimately know if your niche market idea is going to be successful until you really put it to the test.
If you've passed all of the steps so far, it's pretty likely that there is an audience out there for your niche idea. It's time to find out just how many people there are who are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
You can start to gather interest in your niche by setting up a mailing list. This will give you some idea about whether you're going to be successful without taking any risks. Check out ClickFunnels or MailChimp for mailing services.
On your website, you can set up a pre-order landing page for the product or service you're developing. This will give you some indication of the number of people interested in your niche idea.
If you're not ready for pre-orders, you could start fishing for interest in your niche idea by setting up a Patreon page. If people are excited about your idea and willing to pay for it, they'll support you.
Traffic to Your Website
With a wide range of online marketing techniques, you can start driving traffic to your web page. This can range from organic social marketing with SEO (search engine optimization) tactics and social media marketing. As well as paid advertising and affiliate marketing.
Tools and Tricks
Don't give up if you don't have instant success with your sales. It requires time to generate an audience for your product.
You can tweak your niche marketing strategy over time. Utilize the information about your traffic on Google Analytics tools.
You can also experiment with A/B testing which allows you to determine what you're doing right, and what could be improved.
How to Find Your Niche
Usually attributed to the writer Christopher Hitchens, “everyone has a book in them, but in most cases, that's where it should stay” applies to niche marketing too.
It's true that everyone might have the imagination to come up with a niche solution to a problem. But the trick is always to make a profit doing it. The question of how to find your niche is not only about solving a problem, it's about transforming it into a business.
That said, there's no one-size-fits-all blueprint to finding your niche. Every entrepreneur goes on a journey and some come up with niche products that irreversibly transform an industry. Others are thrown into the trashcan of history.
We can help you to transform your niche idea into a successful business idea. If you believe that you have a killer niche idea, get in touch with us today.