I recently sent a message to my entire mailing list asking how I could help them. I told them they could ask anything, and hundreds of them did just that.
Their questions are interesting. Ranging from “how can I make $5000 next week” to “where can I find white label products” the good people on my list have varied interests, skill levels, and experience.
But there is one thing they all have in common.
They want to succeed online! And they are willing to work to make it happen. They just need a little guidance, a little help.
I am answering everyone personally and individually, which I hope will help.
But I want to help more, so I’m creating a series here on the blog from the top 50 or so questions.
Here is the first one …
A man writes in needing to find a niche market. He is unsure of which niche to choose and asks for help.
He believes that to succeed with niche marketing he needs to sell a product no one else is selling to a group of people that are not being marketed to at this time.
After that, he will continue to innovate new products and find other untouched niches in order to find success.
So he is asking:
“How can I choose a niche?”
Here is my answer to him. Below I will elaborate each point briefly.
I’m not sure I agree that breaking new ground is the best possible choice.
Many people have had great success modeling the success of others, letting them make the mistakes, prove the concepts and test the market.
The core idea behind a minimum viable product is to find a product that is selling well and introduce a competitive product that costs less or offers more benefits or both.
I am not saying your idea is not a good one. In fact, it may be a great one.
But I think there is no way to know if it is good or not without answering these questions.
1. Is this something about which you are passionate or have deep knowledge?
2. Is there a large market for this? Or a small but intense market that will support higher prices?
3. Does this market of people buy things online?
4. Can you reach them with your marketing message for a price you can afford?
Why did I share those four points? Because these are the very things that ruin most niche marketing.
Let’s look at each briefly.
Is this something about which you are passionate or have deep knowledge?
The old passion argument? Really Charlie? Do what you love and your work will seem like play?
Sounds corny, but yes. That is what I am saying.
But here’s another reason (other than work being fun) for having a passion for your niche.
You are going to work your backside off. I mean work hard. If anyone doubts that, ask anyone who is wildly successful. Most successful people I know work long hours building their dream.
Having passion matters for three important reasons.
- When the going gets tough (and it will) you will keep going.
- Your natural interest in your niche will help you become an expert.
- The more you know the more you earn. Period.
If you needed open heart surgery you would not want a 2nd-year dental student. You would want the man or woman who eats, breathes and sleeps helping patients recover and lead full lives.
Your potential customers feel the same way. They want your passion.
Is there a large market for this? Or a small but intense market that will support higher prices?
If you don’t have a large market you will struggle to succeed. Why? Because it is almost impossible to reach everyone in any market.
You want to be able to reach the largest number of people for the lowest possible cost.
And only a large market can do that.
It’s the oldie but goodie “all I need is a tiny slice of a big pie” argument. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Choose a market large enough that you don’t have to dominate in order to succeed.
Or be prepared to dominate.
As an alternative, you can choose a small but passionate market. This can work well if you are an expert. Otherwise, this is not a recommended choice.
Why? Because small passionate groups often will not accept outsiders. If you can’t get their ear you can’t help them or sell them anything. And why work that hard?
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Does this market of people buy things online?
This is a very important question, even today when you can order almost anything online.
The X factor here is knowing the difference between a market that SHOPS online vs. a market that BUYS online.
Take real estate for example.
My beautiful little niece (not so little anymore) just bought her first house.
Way to go Melissa!
She did plenty of shopping online. I mean plenty.
- She did comparables.
- She looked up freeway access.
- She Google mapped the proximity to her job.
- She considered shopping nearby.
- And more.
But when it came time to buy she called the owner and made a deal.
And that is the difference between a market that buys online and one that only shops (or gathers data) online.
If you want to make money from a market that only shops online you need to be the one who sells the information. Like The Munir Group for real estate.
Can you reach them with your marketing message for a price you can afford?
I have seen this one simple factor derail many a budding online career.
Nothing will ruin niche marketing faster than having all your ducks in a row and then discovering that it costs too much for you to get the word out there.
Expensive marketing can ruin your day.
So what is expensive marketing?
It is the marketing you can not afford. Simple really.
If it costs $50 and you don’t have $50 then it is too expensive.
What you earn per sale will ultimately determine what you can pay for advertising. That’s why promoting products that pay big commissions is smart.
But what is in your bank account is the real deciding factor.
Another thing that will ruin your day is finding out that the niche you have chosen just can’t be reached for any price.
Even the great and powerful Facebook can’t reach everyone. So be careful not to “niche down” so tightly that reaching your prospect is impossible.
So what is the #1 niche marketing mistake?
It is not asking the right questions BEFORE committing to a course of action.
It is so easy to become emotionally committed to a plan of action before knowing the facts.
But it’s a mistake.
It’s also very easy to say to some guru “which niche should I choose” and get an answer that serves him, not you.
Let’s look at the four factors again.
- Is this something about which you are passionate or have deep knowledge?
- Is there a large market for this? Or a small but intense market that will support higher prices?
- Does this market of people buy things online?
- Can you reach them with your marketing message for a price you can afford?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all four it might be time to reevaluate your plan.
I hope you enjoyed this. If you want to know more let me know in the comments and I will be happy to help.