What is a Niche, really? And why is everybody talking about Niche Marketing? According to About.com a Niche Market is a narrowly defined group of potential customers. Let me be really clear about this – Niche is not about you. It’s not about your product or your genre. It’s about them, your customers/clients/fans. It’s about the folks you want to draw into your circle of influence.
In today’s world, we have available to us literally thousands of marketing tools, marketing avenues and technologies that were not available to us 10 years ago (even 5 years ago). Just watch a rerun of the X-Files and you’ll realize how far we’ve come in the first decade of this century.
But these technologies are both a blessing AND a curse. They’re a blessing because you can market very effectively without a lot of money. They’re a curse, because everyone has access to them. So, you can build a website – but so can billions of other folks (including your competition). You can participate in social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – but so can everyone else. From your customer’s perspective – it’s like watching a raging river – no single drop of water stands out. How could it?
How You Stand Out in the Crowd
Many business owners are afraid to define their niche on the mistaken premise that they will lose business as a result. The truth is just the opposite. There’s just no way that you, as a small business owner, with a limited marketing budget can effectively market to everyone.
Because what you can afford to do is just a drop in the bucket of all the information each one of us is exposed to on a daily basis. And so, in order to make an impact – you need to be exposed to your market multiple times, in order to even be noticed. The old marketing adage was the Rule of Seven – seven exposures to your product before they buy. But I believe the rule should be more like 15 because of the sheer quantity of marketing messages we are exposed to every minute of every day.
In Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility and Crush Your Competition, my friend Patrick Schwerdtfeger says, “go an inch wide and a mile deep.” What this means is to narrow your market down to a very specific group of people who are uniquely defined. And while you don’t want to define them by your product or service, you can define them by the problem (pain/need) your product or service solves. Designing your marketing around a Niche can enable you to have a major impact on a small budget. Since most business owners are working with a limited to non-existent marketing budget – Niche Marketing can give you a tremendous advantage over your competition.
Switching from Push to Pull
Once you’ve defined your niche, what their problems/needs/desires are and how you uniquely solve them, you can set about getting in front of them. And that’s a lot easier to do if you know specifically who they are and where they’re hanging out. Because then you are pretty much guaranteed that the people you’re getting in front of actually want and need what you provide. Instead of what most small business owners do – throw lots of spaghetti against the wall and hope some of it sticks.
And here’s where the magic comes in – if you design your message on their terms, in their language and in a way that gives them an experience of the benefits, then they will have the “Oh, that’s just what I need!” response. If your market recognizes you as exactly what they’re looking for, they will flock to you, easily and effortlessly. And isn’t that what you want?
Want to learn more about Niche Marketing and how to apply it to your unique business or career?
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