How Finding and Attracting a Niche Increases Productivity

How Finding and Attracting a Niche Increases Productivity

I believe that one of the biggest challenges for solopreneurs in online business is marketing yourself. All of your marketing depends on understanding your niche. Your articles, blog posts, social media sites, videos, and emails should be targeted to your niche. If they are not, you are shooting in the dark.

Like anything else worthwhile, finding your ideal niche takes work. When you have a system to walk you through it, it becomes a lot easier.

 

Why You Need a Niche

Many entrepreneurs think that selling to a vast market is the way to success. They are afraid to go after a niche because they fear losing business by turning away clients. But this approach is not very effective.  

Some of the benefits of niche marketing include: 

  1. Simpler to become an expert. By focusing on a niche, you become an expert at offering your service or product.
  2. Focus your marketing resources. When you are familiar with your niche, you understand their buying habits and how to reach them.
  3. Adapt your programs and services. When you serve a niche, you can offer products and services that meet their specific needs and what they are motivated to purchase.
  4. Speak their lingo. When you understand your niche, your can effectively communicate effectively what you offer and speak directly to their situation.
  5. Differentiate yourself. In zooming in on a niche, you can significantly reduce your competition and create a distinctive personal brand.
  6. Command more money. As an expert you can set higher fees and leverage your efforts into multiple income streams. 

Many solopreneurs fail because they put the cart before the horse—they do not conduct the research or planning. They spend a lot of time and money without being aware of the needs of their target market, the solutions they offer and how they can differentiate themselves from the competition. Spend the time at the onset of your business to get your foundation in place before you start spending time, money and energy on marketing. 

 

What a Niche Is

There are various definitions of niche and target market. The terms are sometimes  used interchangeably. Let’s use the following working definition of target market and niche:

A target market is the group of people most likely to purchase your product/service. These are the people your product is being marketed to. Think your target market as your ‘who’.

A niche brings in another dimension. It combines your target market with the solution you are providing. You want to become the solution provider for your target market. It is your “Who” plus your “What”.

Niche = Who (target market) + What (your solution)

In understanding your niche, it is important to realize that people do not purchase a service or product—they purchase a solution. That solution can be a goal you assist your target market to attain or a challenge that you assist them in overcoming.  

  

The Beginning

We begin with our who or our what. I believe you should start with you. You cannot be outstanding at everything; however, there is an area in which you have your own special offering. Now, you must determine who wants what you have to offer and if they are willing to pay for it. There must be synchronicity between what you offer and what your target market desires. When you find that union, you can determine your niche.

To succeed in business, you must give value to your target market. That value is primarily you. You have a unique offering and there are people who can greatly benefit from it. You have to tap into what that is, then locate the people who are driven to pay for it. Begin by evaluating your skills, passions, education and experience. Brainstorm and make a list. What stands out the most? These are the areas that you can use to come up with your “what”. Remember that the things that make you unique come so naturally that you usually do not think of them.

 

Determine Your Target Market

Who can benefit the most from your solution and motivated and capable of paying for it? If you are already in business, take a look at who you are currently attracting. List the common factors among your existing clients. Pay attention to the people you love working with, the people that naturally seek you out for help, and the people you already have some experience with.

  

Determine Your Competition

We do not live in a vacuum. It is important to know who else offers a similar solution to the identical target market. After all, your clients know who they are so you should also. Identify, study and research your competitors. Determine what sets you apart. Take into account who you are as a person. Prospects want to see if they can connect with you on a personal level. If they are able to resonate with you on a deep level they will be magnetized to you. Be able to clearly communicate your “Why”.

   

Assemble the Pieces  

Your What (solution), Who (target market), and Why (competition) are the three components of your niche. You have to address all three of these pieces in order to arrive at your ideal niche. It is a synergistic process. You want to ensure that you have a solution that is invaluable to your target market (it should be their burning desire) and that you can deliver it in an unequaled manner.  

 

Research Your Niche

In order to link up with your niche in an authentic and compelling way, you must have in-depth knowledge of your target market. What worries, challenges, dreams, goals and needs do they have? How do they learn best and where do they turn to seek information? Where do they hang out on the internet? Some on the ways you can conduct this research are:  

  • Interview and survey people in your target market.
  • Join discussion groups and social media sites where they hang out.
  • Uncover what your competitors are doing to serve and attract this niche.
  • Conduct keyword research.

  

Evaluate Your Niche

Some of the criteria you should use to evaluate your niche: 

  • Well defined–has specialized interests and needs.
  • Strongly desires what you offer.
  • Competition—businesses are already serving this niche but not so many that it is saturated.
  • You can reach your niche via clear-cut communication channels.
  • The group is large enough to produce ample business.
  • You have a connection with them—both inside knowledge and you enjoy working with them
  • They have the income to invest in your offerings.

 

Broadcast Your Message

Remember that people do not purchase processes—they purchase solutions. Can you clearly explain who you help, the solutions you provide, and the outcomes they can expect to receive? Create a Problem/Solution Statement where you cover four specific things: 

  1. Who you serve.
  2. Their needs and desires.
  3. What you offer that truly serves their needs and desires.
  4. The results your clients get and the benefits of those results. 

 

Understand Marketing From a Niche View

You should develop a marketing plan that allows you to authentically connect with your niche. Some important ideas that are necessary for niche marketing success are: 

  • Market Strategically.  Hang out where your target market hangs out and speak their lingo. In addition to understanding who your target market is, realize who within that group is your ideal client. Everything you write should be steered at that person.
  • Realize the Emotions Behind Decisions.  Oftentimes, logic plays a secondary role to emotions. For your marketing message to be compelling, it must go beyond rational thinking and strike the true emotional chord.
  • Recognize That Marketing Helps People. Many solopreneurs fear marketing. This fear is unnecessary once you understand that marketing is simply helping people make a buying decision. A good way to accomplish this is by creating valuable content that helps your target market solve a problem or reach a goal.
  • Set the Intention to Always be Marketing.  Marketing is an ongoing process of repeatedly informing people of the results you can help them achieve. You have to devote regular time to your marketing activities. Become aware of how other people are successfully marketing their businesses and learn from them.
  • Take Marketing One Step at a Time.  Avoid drowning in a sea of overwhelm by having too many marketing plates in the air. Take things one step at a time. To begin, discover what kind of marketing is the best match for your skills and interests, as well as what will resonate the most with your niche. 
  • Sell “You” First.  Attraction marketing attracts your target market using the power of the Internet in conjunction with sound marketing principles. It is like using a magnet lure the people you want. Remember that you are attracting people to you. You must sell yourself before you can even consider selling a product, service or business. A great way to this is by providing educational information that is of value for your target market. Educate—do not sell!

 

Create a Targeted List

You have heard the expression, “the money is in the list. The money is in having a targeted list of your perfect clients. Your goal is to attract your perfect clients and inspire them to opt in to your email list so they can receive further information from you. Essentially, Have an opt-in form with a valuable freebie on most, if not every, page of your website. Without a great giveaway, you will not be able to build your list quickly. And without a list, you cannot build a booming online business. 

Once a prospect opts into your email list, you then have their permission to communicate with them. The best way to do this is with an autoresponder system. Autoresponders allow you to send emails to your list so you can build relationships and share your offers. Be careful to not be excessively promotional or people may unsubscribe. You need to continue to provide invaluable information.

 

Enrich Your Niche

After attracting your niche, cherish them and maintain open communication with them. There are numerous ways to communicate with your clients and prospects–phone, emails, cards and conference calls. You also want to inspire your customers to communicate with you. Surveys are a good way to gather information and show that you are listening. You can also have areas of your website that allow your customers to communicate with you, such as a “contact us” area form and comment areas on your blog. You may even want to install a live chat system on your site.

 

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About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.

Comments

  1. What a comprehensive article and you a correct about the ideas and concepts you have shared. Great to have read it. Loved the cart before the horse analogy!

  2. a very good post for any one to read before they decided to finalize their business dreams. thanks for sharing.

  3. Helene Martin
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    Hi Rachel !This is a nice post appreciate that. I like the part when you mention about ;to know what is the marketing strategies we should do that fit with our skill. This is pretty clever attitude.In order to spend money to advertise we must know exactly what we do and be able to follow up properly after we get new prospects or customers….
    Helene Martin recently posted…I know you’re hungryMy Profile

  4. I have never before thought about the difference between a target market and a niche. Excellent information.

  5. Hey, Rachel!
    That was some article! I gained so much information that was helpful and useful!
    I especially liked the part about bringing out the emotions in your target market.
    That is what I try to do, and it has worked well for me. So much valuable information to use to help your social media also. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Diane! Funny, I attended a workshop just this morning and the speaker was saying that so many entrepreneurs are needlessly struggling because they either do not understand the importance of this, or because they are so emotionally attached to what they want that they can’t (or won’t) offer what their clients are begging for.
      Online Biz Boomer Babe recently posted…How to Rock Your Business While Rocking Your BabiesMy Profile

  6. Hey Rachel,

    What a really comprehensive post about niches. I am really passionate about helping people find their niche. Because focussing on mine, literally changed my business. It takes time in the beginning but is sooo worth the results.

    Awesome post.

    Beth 🙂
    Beth Hewitt recently posted…Forgetting how to blogMy Profile

  7. This is awesome and just what I needed to read today, thank you 🙂

  8. Dr. Erica Goodstone
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    Rachel,

    What a thorough and complete explanation of why and how to build a niche, even down to differentiating between your target market and your niche. You also made it so clear that we need to know who we are and who our target market is, how we can serve them, how our competition is serving them, and what sets us apart from others.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…One Moment in TimeMy Profile

    • Yes Erica, I often write about the topic, but there are just snippets all over the place. Thought I will write a more detailed post rather than forcing readers to dig around for the info 🙂

  9. Thank you for writing such a comprehensive explanation of niche marketing. I agree that it is really important to know your target market and your niche to be the most effective in business.
    Emily recently posted…The One Thing That Changed EverythingMy Profile

  10. donna merrill
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    Hi Rachel,

    If someone wants to increase their productivity, this post explains it all! BRAVO. It took me a while, when I first came online because this all wasn’t explained back then to me. I had to figure it out the hard way.

    You sure did put together a wonderful process to increase productivity with researching our competitors, list building, and of course my favorite of all Attraction Marketing!

    When you mention “Sell YOU first” I do believe that it is one of the most important factors in marketing products/services. People will gravitate to others. There may be thousands of the same product out there, but who will they buy from? A person they know, like and trust!

    Thanks for these wonderful tips! And I’ll spread this one around.

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…Why Updating Your Blog Is ImportantMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,

      I, too, believe that Now the best way to sell yourself and position yourself as a valuable resource to your customers is to give without want.
      And this simply means that you need to freely provide valuable information to your target market.

  11. This is an excellent post Rachel with so much good advice and information, thanks for sharing al this with us.

  12. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
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    This is really a very informative and comprehensive
    Article about Niche and Target market.
    A need to read for all starting out in business.
    Great post ,Rachel

  13. Hi Rachel,

    I agree with everyone else here, really great share. Very comprehensive post about why having a niche is really so important and what exactly is involved in order to increase your productivity. I know I didn’t know anything about this when I started and I was really flying blind.

    There is so much to think about like finding a niche that you’re passionate about and then seeing who your competition is. Then of course we have to attract our target audience to us and start building those relationships and of course our list.

    There is so much more wonderful information to help us pave the way to building the type of business we want and understanding how this all comes together.

    Sticking with a niche, understanding what your target audience wants and handing it to them is a fabulous combination for success.

    Thank you Rachel for sharing this and really great explanation.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…How To Insert An Image In An Aweber Opt-In FormMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne,

      I knew very little about this topic when I first started out also. Once I begin studying and implementing, my business my a significant turn for the better. Guess that is why I am so passionate about the topic.

  14. sherman smith
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    Hey Rachel,

    Wow! What a great detail post on finding and attracting the right people to promote your offers to. It’s definitely important to do research on the people that will be more interested in the offers that you have. In order for them to even look your way, you definitely have to sell you first as you mentioned. But the one thing that really rang a bell was when you said people don’t purchase a product or service, they purchase a solution! This definitely says it all! Thanks for sharing and you have a great weekend ahead!
    sherman smith recently posted…How To Be Hip On Social Media So You Can Pop Your Collar!My Profile

    • Yes, Sherman. Would you believe that I had been coaching for approximately five years before I learned that people do not purchase coaching LOL. Boy was I ever spinning my wheels. Sell the sizzle–not the steak.

  15. Sue Bride
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    I had not heard this definition of niche before but it makes a lot of sense. I had considered it just to a particular topic area. The wider definition of “the who” and “what” helps define your actions by thinking of how to cater for needs or, as you say, providing a solution.
    Sue Bride recently posted…Welcome To UGI Team BuildMy Profile

  16. Coach Donna Ward :

    Great article and so true – most people don’t want to narrow it down and focus – thinking they’re turning others away 🙂

  17. Liz Delaney
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    What a great article to wake up to today, Rachel. Thanks so much for this explanation of how we should be going about our business. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts and ideas. I am, at the moment, in the process of finalising my target market, so this came at the right time for me.
    Thanks heaps
    Liz
    Liz Delaney recently posted…How to Refresh or Reload a Page.My Profile

  18. Excellent article Rachel. The two cents I’d like to add comes from my own experience. Even if a niche appears to be saturated, if you really care about the subject consider drilling down a little deeper. The niche I began with has not only become saturated, a few of the big name “gurus” in the self help field have had problems in the past couple of years which created major trust issues for self help industry as a whole. I didn’t want to give up a niche I was truly passionate about so instead I chose to drill down and narrow my focus. This new strategy has enabled me to zero in on very specific audiences (primary and 2 bumper) and make progress on establishing my expertise in this area.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…On Becoming the Person You Aspire to BeMy Profile

  19. Great advice, Rachel, that should put anyone on the right track to starting an online business.

    I find that many people work hard to attract folks in their niche, then build a list, and even follow up with their list.

    But then, they don’t know how to proceed. What to sell, how often to promote and how to keep people engaged.

    I think that’s because they didn’t set the firm groundwork that you’ve outlined, here. If you don’t really understand your niche and your target audience, then you don’t know what they really want and need.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted…Email Marketing Strategies for BloggersMy Profile

  20. Wonderfully comprehensive post, Rachel! I need to spend some time determining exactly what my niche is, because right now my blog is too broad. I especially like one small but powerful statement you made, “People do not purchase a service or product — they purchase a solution.” If network and internet marketers would just grasp that, it would make a huge difference.
    Willena Flewelling recently posted…It’s Cold Out There!My Profile

  21. WOW Rachel, you have given such valuable information in this article. If someone knew to internet marketing follows your directions carefully, they’ll have the foundation of their business in place. I see soooo many people who don’t go through the process you’ve described, and they waste so much of their time trying to sell without having a niche or defined their target market. Or, worse still they have such a broad niche, that it’s impossible to compete with everyone else.
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted…4 Steps To Implement Your Sales Funnel on a BlogMy Profile

  22. Hi Rachel, I enjoyed reading your post and the detailed explanations to help us understand the difference. This will help new people to online work and also others who have been online and have yet to figure it out.

    Have a great day. Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…I Blog But I Am Not A WriterMy Profile

  23. What a fantastic post to determine one’s niche Rachel. And so useful to read through and think of some tweeks and changes to my current definition.
    I loved your reminder that people do not buy a service or a product – they buy a solution 😉
    and Cherish Your Niche is wonderful concept!
    thank you for this productive post 🙂
    Jacs
    Jacs Henderson recently posted…Why Start An Online Business?My Profile

  24. Rebekah Radice
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    I love this article Rachel! I sing the praises of identifying and working within a very targeted niche. As the saying goes, “the riches are in the niches.” I’m a firm believer of that, but see people fight against it daily.

    Your article is the most comprehensive I’ve ever seen. I’ll definitely be pointing the naysayers in your direction for guidance!
    Rebekah Radice recently posted…How to Create Social Media Graphics that POPMy Profile

  25. Since working with a nutrition/fitness mlm recently I have garnered more focus for the direction I want to steer my blog. Dealing with this company has really opened my eyes about a lot of things that I will start conveying in my blog. It took me a while to do but I’m glad I have finally found a path.
    Melanie Young recently posted…Here Come The Pink TuTu’sMy Profile

  26. Leslie Denning
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    Hi Rachel. I enjoyed this comprehensive article on niche marketing. I had thought of a niche more as what you are selling rather than who you are selling to. Sometimes it is hard to discipline yourself and narrow your target market to those you can best serve. I appreciate all this information.
    Leslie Denning recently posted…Up the Beanstalk, Part 3My Profile

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