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niche marketing – Not everyone is your customer
Niche marketing you say? A niche is a small but specific group of people that can be identified by having the same wants and needs. In the case of small business, direct sales and even blogging (as a business) we talk of niches in terms of marketing and how we can get our product in front of the right people in order to grow a following and build our customer/follower base. A common scenario that is often seen in the direct sales or the solopreneur world is businesses launching and thinking that anyone with a heartbeat is a customer. In a nutshell, they try to market to everybody and in the end they don't serve anybody.When you try to market to everybody you end up serving nobody. Click To Tweet
The Business Dictionary defines a niche marketing as “Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist' but are ‘created' by identifying wants, needs, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. Also called micromarketing.” Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/niche-marketing.html#ixzz4AV4lkVvt
How do you find your niche?
Niche marketing is looking at the wants and needs of that niche, and figuring out how to solve their problems. You need to look at the products that you offer and think about how they solve a problem for your potential customers. One of the general tenets of the psychology of sales and marketing is that people buy things because it solves a problem or triggers an emotional response and makes them feel good. Now your product might cater to a larger group of people than other products for instance if you have a health product it will likely be attractive to both men and women, where a more gender oriented product like makeup narrows your market more towards women.
The smaller you can get your niche, the more likely you are to be successful – it’s much easier to be a big fish in a small pond than to fight with all the other fish in the ocean. Just think about the example above – say for example you sell a health shake – a man who wants to build muscle at the gym has whole different needs to the woman who wants to lose a few pounds after having a baby. You could try to market to both parties but you are likely to have a whole lot more success if you choose one of those ‘stereotypes' and direct your marketing towards them. Address their unique needs and show them how you can solve their pain point and you are well on the road to making them a customer.
As a further example – you start with a large group of people, say “parents” – then you get smaller “parents of toddlers”; and smaller “parents of toddlers who are stay at home moms”. You can even get much more specific, say, “Stay at home Moms of toddlers who plan to home school and use organic foods”. The key here is to get as specific as you can – and once you do, this will be your “niche market”. My biggest tip here is to start with yourself – why were you attracted to your products? What pain point did solve for you? Then you can start to think about how you can serve people in a similar position to yourself.
If you want to niche market, it’s important to decide on your niche first – trust me if you do this you’ll end up a lot happier in the long run. You can create a following of people who YOU actually like and respect. This brings up another point especially for those in direct sales – If you are thinking about getting started in this field think carefully about the products you are going to build your business on. If you pick products first and try to build a niche around those products, you may end up miserable. The people who want those products may not be the right people for you! You might not LIKE that audience, and you may end up hating your job. So identify your target audience FIRST.
If you are already in a business with products that you love then that's great you can and should still define your niche so you can create a client base and followers that you love as much as your product!
My niche is stay-at-home-moms who want to create an income through direct sales/small business online through social media and blogging. If that’s you, guess what – My blog exists to help YOU. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be blogging about stuff that might help other people – and that’s important to keep in mind. A lot of people get scared when they get into a tight niche, because they worry that they’re excluding possible clients/customers. This is a huge block for some but seriously you need to not worry about it. The people who need to see your information will read it and use it whether they’re an exact fit to your niche or not. My niche might be stay-at-home-moms but I have readers who don't have kids, I have readers who are men, I even have readers who aren't in business at all! The point of picking a niche is to give you focus so you aren't running around madly trying to meet the needs of everyone – you are likely a one person show and there is now way you can effectively market to everyone – that is an impossible task!
So who do you want to work with?
This is a really important question and it's probably going to mean you are going to need to be a little self-aware and reflective (come on you can do it!). You probably already know what type of people you care about, have an understanding of and feel a little passionate about (here's a hint, they probably look an awful lot like your friends, family and YOU!). Who do you enjoy being around and like to hang out with if you get the chance? What type of person do you think you can help because you ‘understand where they are coming from?'
Once you start to nut this out you can start thinking about where these people like to hang out – online and in real life, what groups they might be part of, what they like to read, what their fears and problems might be and what their wishes and dreams are. You will begin to build a profile or a persona of what your target market looks like. You can even give them a name!
Identifying your ideal customer is one of the first steps in creating a successful business. Niche marketing doesn't just apply to customers either, if you are in direct sales this process is also an important step in building your team – you want to attract your ideal customer but it's even more amazing when you can attract your ideal team member too!
In part two of this series we will go into more depth about they types of questions you can ask to help create your ideal customer.
Here's to Your Success!
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