In the last two days, you’ve taken the time to really get to know who your ideal client or customer is, then figured out where you could find more people like them, defining your target market. Today you’re going to learn what a niche is and then choose a compelling niche for your brand.
Ideal Client, Target Market, and Niche
There are three big factors you need to define if you want to create a business that really resonates with people – your ideal client, your target market, and your niche. Today focuses on the third and final part of the equation, creating a niche for your brand.
What is a Niche?
Now that you know who your ideal client is and you’ve defined your target market, it’s time to choose a niche for your brand. Your niche is a specific product or service that you create especially for your target market. Trail Toes is a great example of an effective niche. They have a very specific product (anti-friction foot cream) for a very specific audience (ultra-endurance athletes).
Here are few more examples of effective niche brands:
- Running coach for ultramarathoners
- Architectural firm for female-owned small businesses
- Lawyer for coal miners suffering from mesothelioma (a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos)
- Personal fitness training for expecting mothers in Austin, TX
- Car repair service exclusively for Prii (Prii is the plural term for Prius, according to Toyota)
Why Create a Niche?
Most businesses try to offer a wide range of products and services and market to as many people as possible. The problem with this approach is that their brand doesn’t really mean anything to anyone. It just becomes diluted and confusing.
In contrast, when you create a product or service specifically for one narrow segment of the population (your target market), they will see you as the brand that “gets” them. Your brand can relate to them, you feel their pain, and you help solve their problems. When you create an effective niche, your brand becomes the obvious choice.When you create a truly effective niche, your brand becomes the customer's obvious choice. Click To Tweet
How to Find Your Niche
Now it’s time to find your niche! Here are a few ideas to help you determine a product or service you can offer to your target market.
Look through your brand manifesto
Go back through your brand manifesto and see what core values and beliefs might resonate with your target market. What ideas could they really get behind? What themes stand out? Some examples of this:
- An architect notices one of her most important values is women entrepreneurs. She decides she’s going to focus her efforts on female-owned small businesses.
- A car mechanic believes strongly in protecting the environment. He creates a niche servicing only one car – the Toyota Prius.
Look at your current products or services
Think of ways of narrowing your particular product or service down to a smaller offering:
- A running coach who usually helps runners of all distances narrows his focus to only ultramarathoners.
- A lawyer who typically handles any legal issues that come across his desk decides to only represent coal miners with mesothelioma.
Check social groups
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ all have the ability to join groups. Look for groups focused on your product or service offering. Read through some of the comments and questions posted in these groups to see where needs exist and what holes could be filled. Meetups are groups of people that meet in person around a specific topic. Search their site for groups and see what topics they cover in their monthly meetings.
Use Google’s “autofill” feature
If you’ve even started typing something into Google’s search field you’ve probably noticed how it tries to finish the question you are asking. You can use this feature to see what specific needs people have. For example, if start typing “landscapers that…”, or “lawyers for…” Google will autofill to show you what a lot of people are looking for. You can get some pretty interesting results from this!
Here’s what I got when I typed “personal trainers who…”:
I’m not sure I’d want a personal trainer who smokes, but I can see that a lot of people are looking for a personal trainer who will come to their home. This little test proves there is a real need for this particular type of service.
Day 6 Action Item—Choose Your Niche
Your action item for today is to define your niche. Go somewhere where you work free of distractions, grab a notebook or your 21 Days to Build a Better Brand Workbook, and start writing. Don’t be afraid to go ultra-narrow with your niche. Get laser-focused on one specific product or service offering made especially for your target market. When you do, your brand will become the obvious choice.
Coming up: In tomorrow’s post, you’ll identify your biggest competitor and how their strengths and weaknesses can actually help your brand.
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