When you are defining your marketing strategy, you will need to decide whether you will be a one-stop shop for your industry, or if you will carve out a specific piece of the market, called a niche, for which you will establish yourself as the specialist. Either is fine. It is a question to ask yourself, and only you can properly answer it. There is no wrong answer here. You just need to have that answer.
A NICHE is defined as: a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
In other words, niche is a group of people with common interests and/or the same hobbies. The group could have the same social background and/or ethnicity. The niche could be a subset of another demographic. Each niche will have the same desires & needs, and will need information and a solution to their problems. Your niche may be an extremely targeted market.
Defining a Niche: Here are some steps to take:
If there is nothing that differentiates you from your competition you become common. Webster defines the word common as, “ordinary or not special” and the only way buyers select one common service over another is price.
Take inventory of your skills, experience and knowledge. Are you a specialist in some area? Are you an expert in certain facets of your business? These and other differentiators can make you unique and valuable to a select group of clients.
Define Your Ideal Client, then Choose Prospects Carefully
In the beginning of your sales career, you may have to work with any client that you can. That is okay. As you build your clientele, you need to start to attract your ideal customer. This is called an “avatar.” The word “avatar” refers to an icon or manifestation made to represent a person or character. Just like the avatar you make for a video game, or your social media account, this is a construction of the qualities you want to see in your ideal customer.
To begin controlling your business, write down the attributes of the people you want as clients and then go out and get them with targeted marketing. I hope the first item on your list of attributes is that they are people you enjoy spending time with. Being a business owner is far too difficult to work with people you don’t like just to earn a living.
Turn away people who don’t meet your criteria. When you reject or refer away potential clients that don’t fit your customer avatar, it tells the world that you don’t just work with anyone, you are selective which raises your perceived value. It also makes you unique from other businesses who will work with anyone who can bring them a paycheck.
Research Your Niche
Before you spend all your time defining a niche, and working on a website & writing up eBooks, you will need to make sure that your potential customers are going to be interested in what you are selling. Examine your product or service:
What do you want to sell?
What is an area that you have a specialized knowledge about?
What is your passion?
Selling an information or transactional product online is easier than selling a service, but selling a service online makes more money with monthly memberships.
There are three reasons why a customer will want to buy your product:
Your product or service solves problem for your customer
Your product or service makes life easier or more comfortable for your customer.
You are very passionate about your product or service, and it shows in everything you do.
Answer these questions in your market research. Also see how many competitors you have. The fewer the better, but look at their gaps, and fill that need in your market. This is your chance to widen your net, and catch more clients. The answer to this question may come from your ideal client themselves, or from what your competition is doing, or even more powerful, what they are NOT doing.
Do your homework now, and find what people want.
Do your current clients frequently ask for a product or service that you do not offer?
Is there a natural add-on to what you sell that you currently don’t offer?
Once you find your avenue and passion, ask yourself how this serves your customers.
You want to provide an excellent service to each and every person that spends their money with you. This cuts down on complaints, bad reputations, and, worse of all, chargebacks.
After you’ve decided whether to offer a wide range of products and services for your industry, or if you’d rather be deep on just one type, the next step is to define the ideal client.
Whatever you do, remember to keep it simple.
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