Finding your niche market is like discovering rocket fuel. Once you’ve identified your target niche market, you can tap into your customers’ goals, desires and problems. You can use these goals, desires and problems to create powerful, compelling and selling marketing messages.
Unfortunately, when you see your customers like a mob instead of as individuals, it’s easy to lose track of the goals, desires and problems that provide that power.
I work primarily with knowledge professionals. That’s been my “niche market” for the better part of two decades. It’s been a productive niche market for me because much of the marketing advice you find online isn’t targeted towards these professionals. These people are educated and intelligent and are often relieved to discover that marketing is hard when you don’t know what kind of sale you’re making in your business.
Knowledge professionals – i.e. accountants, attorneys, doctors, chiropractors, consultants, coaches and therapist – are making what Neil Rackham calls Major Sales. Many effective Minor Sale Marketing Tactics are worthless when used to promote a business making Major Sales.
Finding Your Niche Market
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen new knowledge professionals make is to try to pick a niche market based upon profit potential. This is yet another example of how a tactic that is very useful in the Minor Sale is worthless when used in a business making Major Sales.
When you’re buying and selling Minor Sale products, go ahead and find the most profitable niche. Jungle Scout is an ideal product to use to find the most profitable products for any niche market.
However, when you’re making Major Sales, you need to take a different approach.
For starters, I recommend that knowledge professionals build their website under their name instead of choosing a “niche specific” domain name. I’ve had dozens of clients who have chosen great niche specific domain names, only to discover that they quickly ran out of things to say. However, during the blogging process, they’ve discovered their true niche market.
When I launched my business in 1997, I worked with any business owner who wanted a website. In 1998, I built a website for a coach and really enjoyed the process. That coach referred me to other coaches, who referred me to other coaches. It wasn’t long before I had a thriving web development business.
I stumbled upon coaching as a niche market just as many knowledge professionals stumble upon their niche markets – almost by accident.
That’s how Jason Kurland found his niche as a “lottery winner lawyer.” One of his client’s employees hit a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot. The employee went to his employer who referred the employee to Kurland. Kurland used his expertise to help the new millionaire get off to a strong start. Then, another lottery winner contacted Kurland for his help. Over the years, Kurland now offers a wide variety of specialized services for lottery winners. One of the most interesting is the one where Kurland agrees to help his clients maintain friendships while protecting their winnings.
After a person wins the lottery, suddenly every friend and relative has a great business idea that needs funding. Unfortunately, many of these lottery winners aren’t able to discern legitimate business opportunities from financial quagmires. So Kurland began offering his clients a graceful way out of this predicament. His clients bring all such solicitations to Kurland who then acts as the “bad guy.” He’s the one who says no to the friend. This way the lottery winner can still maintain friendships while protecting his/her winnings.
This is a great example of finding a niche market and then developing your business around the unique goals, desires and problems of your target audience.
Blogging as a Way to Find Your Niche Market
If you’re a knowledge professional, blogging can be a GREAT way for you to identify where your passion lies.
I’ve had many coaching clients who had already chosen their niche market when they hired me to develop their website. One had already registered fantastic domain names for her chosen niche market. It was a great niche. It targeted a complex problem experienced by wealthy individuals. This complex problem was one that my client had navigated successfully and now wanted to help others through the process.
Even though this appeared to be a GREAT niche market, I still recommended that she begin by blogging. An interesting thing happened as a result. After a couple of dozen blog posts, she ran out of things to write about on her chosen topic. However, she discovered she never ran out of things to write about when it came to wellness and fitness. Since she had launched the site with her domain name as her name, she was free to explore this new topic. There’s no way she could have changed topics so dramatically under her fantastic domain name for her original niche.
If you’re a knowledge professional and you’re struggling to find a niche market, I recommend you begin writing. Set a goal to write 3 blog posts a week. This writing schedule will quickly show whether your possible niche is really the right niche for you.
The reason knowledge professionals have to find a niche market in this manner is because the competition for attention is brutal. If you can’t write 3 blog posts a week about helping your target market solve their problems, reach their goals and attain their desires, you won’t be able to attract and audience.
Of course, you don’t have to write or blog. You could do videos, podcasts, or any other way to communicate with your audience.
It’s critically important that you’re able to communicate regularly on the topic. If you burn out after a couple of dozen blog posts, you can’t expect to build a thriving business serving that target market. However, if you keep writing, you’ll eventually find a topic that energizes you and propels you forward. That’s when you’ll find yourself developing your own specialized “services” for that particular niche market. Then when you’ll find the rocket fuel your marketing needs to reach your target audience.