Are you confused and frustrated? What is a niche market anyway and what has it got to do with you? Can you make money in this niche market?
To clarify, a niche market is a segment of a market in which a specific type of product is being offered. As a market segment, it can be subdivided into smaller and smaller segments and, in most cases, the narrower the definition of your niche, the more control and success you will have.
You won’t find a niche market just laying around waiting to be picked up – successful niche markets are very specific in their targeting and are created by the entrepreneur themselves. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can be a supermarket store selling many things to many people. Be very specific in selecting your designated customers and providing for their needs only.
If you try to take on the world, you will end up exhausted and with some very confused customers.
Some people approach internet marketing with a specific product in mind and they only have to define their target customers that will need that product. Others are so excited by the idea of being an entrepreneur that they have little idea of what to do next!
This post provides three easy steps that will assist in defining your successful niche market and the products that you will need to provide to answer the needs of that segment of the overall market.
I was there,……several years ago now, wondering what the heck I should do to determine what my niche market was going to be. Luckily Lee McIntyre explained a few things in a webinar and I finally understood what everyone was asking about. Lee required us to construct a detailed avatar of our prospective clients……..and this is an essential part of starting your online business.
Who are you marketing to and what are their problems that you could help with?
Even now, I have re-asked that question of myself more than a few times and gone through the process of determining who I am marketing to……. what they do, how many children they have, what cars do they drive and where they live…..
So what is involved in determining your successful niche market?
You are intending to market online so let us ask the question in a slightly different way – from the point of view of the prospective customer.
Why do people use the internet?
The answer is that most are looking for quick access to information and to chat about it with their friends on social media. In other words, they, or someone they know has a problem and they are looking for a solution.
Your successful website will provide the solutions that your audience are looking for in your defined market niche.
Step One – Determine Your Own Areas of Expertise
Let’s do a simple exercise to determine your strong points and interests. Take a standard piece of paper and turn it to “landscape” orientation. Draw three columns on the page…..(see the sample below)
In the first column, (left hand for Westerners), list down everything you have done in your life in which you have a reasonable level of competence. For me, that was easy….I was trained as an industrial chemist, ended up working in testing laboratories on some major dam sites, progressed to building pipelines with industrial coatings and finally specialised in their protection.
So obviously I became an internet marketer!
But to be serious, we are looking for your areas of interest. They may have little to do with your past experiences in the literal sense but will help you find something you will want to research and work with. You won’t be happy marketing something you may hate or despise so don’t go there!
Your successful niche market should be developed from your interests and experience. Look for patterns in the way that you resolve your problems and then look at others to see if they have the same needs that you could supply.
In the second column, please list the markets that your interests (as determined in the first column) would be useful in. For example, I was interested in the environment around me and I saw a lot of that working on construction projects in Australia, Asia, Africa and America. On these projects, I had been involved in helping my clients’ engineers understand what it was that I was doing and why.
I found that I was proud to see their comprehension of the construction techniques involved, in preventing pipeline corrosion, for example.
So my second column included interests such as environmental protection, teaching, work safety, photography, solar energy, blogging and computer applications.
As I mentioned in another post, I was influenced by a young American lady environmentalist who was working on the Mojave pipeline in Arizona and California in the early 1990’s and whose partner was involved in, what was then, the new fangled “internet”. They had a website and, each day, she would record and upload a post on the environmental findings for that day. She must have been pretty good because, after a couple of months, she had accumulated a readership of more than a thousand people who were fascinated by her revelations and discoveries in the desert.
That without any form of advertising on her part. It was all word of mouth and gave her a great introduction to Online Marketing.
The third column is short. It contains a minimum of the three internet based markets that you could be interested in, happy to work and research in and are comfortable with.
You can list more if you are interested in more marketing areas but, your research in Step Two below may eliminate all but one.
When I first did this exercise, to my surprise, I had ‘Internet Marketing’ listed in my third column but it was my second choice. I had listed Solar Energy as my first choice.
So your sheet will look somewhat like this but with different experience and interests:
Congratulations! When your chart is complete, you will have drilled down to find a minimum of three online markets that interest you and now we will do the research to find out how competitive they are. What you are looking for is an evergreen market in which you will develop your website and expand your subscribers.
Step Two – How Successful are My Selected Markets?
People who are just starting to be entrepreneurs are often looking for a niche where there is little competition. They are afraid of failure and hope for an easier entry without too many others putting pressure on them.
I am here to tell you that, if your researches find a niche that has little competition, is is like that for a reason and there is no value in wasting time on it. There is no money there.
You are looking for a market where there is plenty of competition and that means that there is a high demand for these products. The top three most profitable niches in 2016 -2017 are Health, Dating and MMO (Making Money Online). Please do not think that the competition will limit your ability. You are responsible for your product and you will learn to ensure that your product is above market average to be successful.
We can determine the success of any niche market by looking at the number of searches that contain the keywords relevant to that market on the Search Engines…..Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc..
The following statistics for the Search Engine market share were compiled in August 2016:
- Google: 79.88% (79.17%)
- Bing: 9.9% (10%)
- Yahoo!: 8.34% (8.87%)
- AOL: 0.84% (0.88%)
- DuckDuckGo: 0.41% (0.43%)
- Other: 0.62% (0.65%)
I used to use Google Keyword Tool but that is now tied to Google Adwords and the content is aimed more at the ads so I tried Serps.com even though the site only analyses a few keywords for free. Here the data is presented differently but the results allow the analysis that were are looking for and Serps allows change of location so your data can be local.
Diagrams courtesy of Serps.Com
We look at the Volume figure to assess the popularity of the site and, as you can see, the niche “Internet Marketing” has a score of 8,100 as opposed to the score for “Solar Energy Applications” – 50. Guess which one I will choose!
Remember the table and the three ‘Potential e-markets’ that we came up with in Step One……here are the keyword search result as Volumes for all three:
- Internet Marketing 8,100
- Solar Energy Applications 50
- Photography of the Environment 0
The winner is Internet Marketing by a good margin.
Top Keyword Analysis Tool
The most popular site for this type of research is SEMRUSH.com. Here the query generates a large amount of information about the keyword under analysis, including both organic and paid searches, similar words and the associated top websites. As in Serps, the Volume recorded is 8,100 but these are results of the “Internet marketing” keyword search using the SEMRUSH All-in-One Marketing Toolkit.
Diagram courtesy of SEMrush.com
As you can see there is a lot of information in the above table which I will address in a post on SEO to be published shortly.
Note: If you subscribe to this site (it’s free), you will receive an email alerting you to new content as well as marketing ideas that we are testing as they occur.
To emphasise the importance of selecting the right market niche keywords, I compared “Internet Marketing” with “Making Money Online” and “Make Money Online” with the following results:
- Internet Marketing 8.1K
- Making Money Online 14.8K
- Make Money Online 60.5K
You can see these are all popular markets but a small change in the keywords used can make a large difference to the market success.
Step Three – Who will be My Customers?
You now have an idea of your interests and a market niche that will interest you. The final step is going to be to determine your customers and, if not already determined, your product. Lets work on the basis that you do not have a product in mind when doing this research. No ideas! Nit! Nada!
From Step One and Step Two you will know where your interests lie. In my case it was in Internet Marketing and that was the most popular in my Keyword research. So who are your prospective customers going to be?
At this point I am going to introduce my second BIG MISTAKE – and Yes…I made it once.
I paid a fair sum of money for around 1000 leads that were all guaranteed sales opportunities and I emailed every one that had a current contact email address. It was all done manually and took me a couple of weeks to accomplish.
You can guess the result – for all of my hard earned cash, my midnight work and the sweat of my brow, I got two positive results from an estimated 480 emails.
So don’t go there. This technique does not work and there is a much easier way to determine who may buy from you.
Ask yourself this question. “Why am I interested in Internet marketing?” Write down your reasons for your interest in this field and be honest with your self.
Do any of the following apply to you?
- Interested in making some more money for my expenses, family, children’s education, wife’s mother………yeah..make that list!
- Interested in becoming an Entrepreneur in life?
- Interested in determining my own future rather than trusting my present boss?
- I want to buy a house and don’t have the deposit.
- I want to develop my marketing skills with a view to setting u my own business
- I want to own a red Ferrari Sports and park it in my driveway as a Success Statement!
- In this rapidly changing world, I want the best for my very young family – I want to have the best training to help them succeed.
and the list can go on so you should write down everything that interests you. It took me two days to start my list and another five to finish it completely!.
When your ‘wish’ list is complete, write another one that contains all of your friends, acquaintances and family that have these same characteristics. Do Not spend a lot of time here – just write the list and contact details and put it aside. You can talk to these people as occasion arises in the future but they are not a priority now.
Your Prospective Clients
Picture the people who are going to be interested to learn about your selected market niche (Internet Marketing was mine) from your own ‘wish’ list.
Young, just married, one baby – maybe another on the way, buying a house that is financed by another loan, needs a car….and so on.
Lets research that group of people to determine who will be the broad fit for all these listed qualities. Remember, statistically it will be a Bell Curve with the greatest number of people having to most ‘Wish’s” on your list.
Now, from that list, develop an ‘avatar‘ of your perfect customer by describing them in detail. You need to know the details of who they are, what family do they have, in what locale do they have their house, how may cars do they have, do they have shares and insurance,…….
Do not cavil at specifying the details of your prospective clients. The more you know of their background and their needs, the more you will understand your successful niche market and be able to control it. You will be able to focus your ads and campaigns to target the specific needs of your subscribers.
And that will define your potential customers.
Potential Clients “Needs”
So what problems do your potential customers have? We already have identified one…..lack of cash. How many others are there and, specifically, what are they?
When you have answered those questions, you will have determined part of your product. For example you will show this group of people how to make that extra cash
Hang On! Does this mean that You will have to market only that product? No!
You are an entrepreneur and the needs of your customers in that selected niche will determine what products you will have to develop to answer their needs. Talk to them and ask about their problems…..are they the same as yours or are they only similar.
Remember that environmentalist lady that I admired on the Mojave Pipeline? She started by writing a blog that interested people and she monetised her site after a while by arranging tours for subscribers to see the plants and animals that she had written about. She retired happily with her family several years ago.
Follow the three basic steps above to determine Your Successful Niche Market and the products that your clients may need to help them reach their goals.
The World is your Oyster……go find it.
Talk to you soon