What's all this hubbub about niche marketing? Why is every successful marketer preaching niche marketing as being vital to your profitability as a marketer online or offline?
In answer to that, let's paint a little picture... Imagine you have an idea for a great product, an idea so great you decide to turn it into a product and sell it. You're going to make millions so you labor away hour after hour creating a masterpiece, well... It's a masterpiece in your eyes.
Hours of feverish activity, a month goes past, then another, and finally the great day arrives when you launch your product. You have a superb product and the best sales website on the internet. Another month goes buy, then two and... Not one sale!
In desperation you hire an experienced marketer for their advice, but what they tell you, crushes you...
"You don't stand a snowballs chance in hell of making any sales!"
You see you have picked a massive market to sell to; you are competing against big established suppliers who are seen as experts. The market trusts them because they are well known and have great reputations. It's David against Goliath only David forgot his sling.
If this has happened to you, you're not alone. This little scenario plays itself out day after day. Each month thousands of people find themselves in this situation.
Doesn't it infuriate you to see others seemingly doing exactly what you did, but they make money? From their product launch they bank the profits. Want to know what they did differently?
They found a niche market, created a product specifically for it and they sell that product to that niche only. Don't make the mistake of thinking niche marketing is something new, savvy marketers have always sold to niches. It's only recently that niche marketing has been so heavily publicized.
Niche marketing is the process of finding small profitable segments of a much larger market and involves a lot more effort. Established suppliers to larger markets are usually not prepared to spend this time and effort required to seek out smaller segments, leaving them ripe for the picking.
One way of explaining the niche marketing concept is to picture a tree - it has a big trunk which leads to branches leading to even smaller branches and finally tiny twigs. Take the topic of fishing which can be likened to the trunk of the tree having branches leading away from it including:
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Salt Water Fishing
- Game Fishing
- Fresh Water Fishing
The smaller branches leading from Fresh Water Fishing include:
- Fishing Baits
- Bass fishing
- Fly Fishing
The tiny twigs leading from Fly Fishing include:
- Trout Fishing
- Steelhead Fishing
- Fly Tying
This is a good example of niche marketing because people who fish tend to be nuts about the subject. Drill all the way down to the tiny segment of Steelhead fishing and there are still avid enthusiasts who will go to any expense to catch the "big one", including buying books or e-books.
One point worth noting is that any book or e-book on Steelhead Fishing had better be full of useful advice (i.e. the advice works), so you had better be an expert and know what you're talking about if you intend to write one...
Finding niche markets is not as easy or obvious as you might think. Sitting down with a piece of paper and drawing a tree listing all your ideas is NOT the way to go. You are listing your ideas... your ideas won't sell!
You need to find what your potential customers want, and to do this you need to conduct some research, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1) Visit a few online forums related to your interests. Take note of the questions people are asking and how many times similar questions are asked.
2) Visit a few book stores and go to the magazine section. Take note of the types of magazines on sale. Ask the sales assistant which magazines sell the most.
3) Take a look on eBay and spend some time going through the categories related to your interest. Take note of popular items and how often they sell.
By finding a small segment of a much larger market in which people are actively buying, and where there are not too many competitors, is the best chance you have of making money from selling your own product.
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