Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to find a Niche Market

How to find a niche market

This may not have much to do with executive coaching but I wanted to write something for all those coaches who have written to me to ask how they can start an online business - since I'd mentioned earlier that a lot of the people I coach want to leave their corporate roles and start up their own business online - so here goes...

Becoming and internet marketer has never been easier than it is now. However that is not to say that is easy.

The first step for anyone starting out is to decide what their niche market will be. This can be a really fun thing to do but it is also a serious, and probably the most important part of any internet business. It is when you put all those 'great' ideas you've had down on paper and start to think hard about what it is that people want to buy.

Central to all this though is knowing what a 'niche'. Essentially a niche is a group of people looking for an answer to a problem which they are unable to fine. Never lose sight of this! It is the foundation of your business. I've seen so many people set up a website then find out that no-one is interested in it.

Try these to start with:

Perhaps a hobby you love: there are lots of hobbies that turn into great businesses. And since it's something you enjoy you won't find it hard to go to work!

Life experience: We all have experiences in life. You can use these in a business. I've known people use their work experience to set up a business around, I know someone who had cancer, someone with their kids starting out in school, someone who loves computer games. All of these started a successful business.

Your knowledge and skills: we all have these. You can start a business using your talents whether this is pony riding, cooking, teaching, management, or gardening. I started my executive coaching business using a skill I had (offline first, then online) go here to see a site that sells for me

Once you've done this, do this ...

1. Prioritise the ones you like best.

2. Go to Google keywords and do a search on the words related to the areas you have chosen. This will give you a rough idea of what words are being searched for. You can also find out the websites providing these and so who your competitors are. There will always be some competition. But don't worry about this too much. Competition means that there is a market - people want your stuff...

3. Generally if you find something which is demanded in quantity but which is low in site offering a solution, then you are really in with a chance of profiting Try this as your special niche market. A niche market keeps down the competition.

Be different

Once you have found your niche market you need to decide how you are going to be different. In business terms they call this a USP Unique Selling Point. You need to make what you are offering different in some way from the competition. That is, either better, cheaper, faster, easier, etc. in some way etc than the competition. This will give you an edge over your competitors and you will emphasise this in your sales copy.

Now you need a marketing model.

This defines how you will sell. How will you get your product out there and get people interested in it. There are several things to think about here:

1. Find the people who will buy from you?
2. Network market - join forums, and some social networking sites
3. Write a couple of articles and post them to some free article sites
4. Getting involved with some affiliate programs. This will offer you variations in what you can offer
5. Decide how you will 'deliver' what you are selling (service, product) and whether you will deliver this physically or electronically (for example see how I deliver one of my products on one of my sites here

This is just a start and there are lots of other things to do and think about. But this should be enough to do for now. Good luck!

Michael Anderson

1 comment:

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