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 because much of the marketing advice you find online isn’t targeted towards these professionals. These people are educated and intelligent. They are often relieved to discover that marketing doesn’t have to be hard. It’s only 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.
One of my primary recommendations when I begin working with a knowledge professional is I ask them to build their website under their name. Many want to dive right in and choose a “niche specific” domain name.
Because this is my niche market, I’ve seen many make this mistake. I’ve had dozens of clients who have chosen great niche specific domain names to start their website. Unfortunately, when I asked them to create content for the website, they hit a wall. Sometimes it takes a few weeks for them to run out of things to write about. On a positive note, I watched many clients discover their true passion and niche market after just a few months of actively blogging.
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.
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.
How Jason Kurland Found His Niche Market
Jason Kurland found his niche as a “lottery winner lawyer” by accident. One of his client’s employees won 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 newly minted millionaire get off to a strong start. Then, another lottery winner contacted Kurland for his help. Then another.
Over the years, Kurland has added 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.
Here’s the problem his newly minted millionaires ran into. After they won the lottery, every friend and relative with a great business idea comes to them to ask for funding. Unfortunately, Kurland’s weren’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 for Knowledge Professionals
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 an 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. However you communicate, it’s critically important that you communicate regularly on your chosen 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.