The concept of “finding riches in the niches” should not be a new concept to any businessperson. Finding, focusing on, and fulfilling the needs of a defined, targeted constituency is the only path to success. Seth Grodin says, “The secret to being the best in the world is to make the ‘world’ smaller.” Focus your energy on one tribe or group.
There’s even a term for it – Nichepreneur™, coined by Susan Friedman in her book “Riches in Niches.”
So what are the strategies to define and capture a niche market? It’s as basic as A*B*C, or in this case, N*I*C*H*E.
Note Your Competition
Do the research into similar businesses. What are they doing and what are they not doing, who is and who is not being served. Study customer comments and visit the Better Business Bureau to find out what customers complain about. And don’t assume that a market characterized by high demand is profitable. Find public tax records to study profits and loss.
Identify Your Niche Market and Individualize Your Services
Study the holes you discovered in your research and decide how you can fill them. Differentiate your business to meet those demands. Do what the competition is not doing and don’t do what they’re doing wrong. Remember, you can be flexible to market demands without being unfaithful to your original intent. Identify your niche—those who are being under or inadequately served. Break it down: male/female, married/single, urban/suburban, newspaper reader/on-line surfer. Walk away with a clear picture of who your unique customer is.
Create a Marketing Strategy to Reach that Customer
Brand yourself based on what makes you different. Here are some ways to establish yourself as the go-to person in your niche:
- pursue PR & media opportunities by targeting outlets your audience visits and doing such things as giving free advice on a local radio station or writing a guest editorial on an appropriate website;
- speak in public, whether large conventions or local gatherings. Bar none, it’s the best way to enforce your authority position and attract high-quality leads;
- generate high-quality content created with your target audience in mind―articles, blog posts, podcasts―even a book;
- do giveaways and contests on social media;
- create referral incentives;
- attend events. It’s where loyal tribes of customers come together. Be there with them.
Have a Go at It
Dive in and see what kind of feedback you get from the market. You might want to first organize a focus group. Bring together members of your niche market to see if your marketing efforts are effective in reaching their intended audience. The Marketing Research Association estimates that almost 70 percent of all market research dollars at Fortune 500 companies are spent on focus groups. Create an informal local gathering of people. Or do it digitally. Send questionnaires to your email list. Create a Facebook group.
Refine, based on feedback. Add more features that customers want and take away ones they hate. Always be looking for ways to improve.
I worked with an author, Jim Ziegler, a consultant to automobile dealers. He said something to me a long time ago that stuck. He said, “Adam, outside of the car business nobody knows who I am, but inside the car business I’m a freakin’ rock star.” The lesson from that is that you want to be famous to the people that can support your business. You need to be the authority in that industry, in that community, in that marketplace. That’s your niche.