When finding a niche market to work in with your new internet business, it is important to ensure you are able to speak to customers on a relatable level. The best way to do this is to focus your efforts on a niche market.
So with the niche market we’re just talking about a narrowly defined group of potential customers. This niche is often more narrow than you may initially think. Say for example you were selling a fitness product, either your own, or as an affiliate, and you want to sell to the type of guys who would want to read Men’s Health. That’s still a pretty big marketplace, including all the different types of people who would be interested in mean’s health and fitness in general. Now say you are offering something that appeals to the average man who wants a quick workout to keep him in shape. You aren’t trying to appeal to bodybuilders. You aren’t trying to appeal to runners. You aren’t trying to appeal to martial arts experts, or professional tennis coaches, or anybody else like that. You can therefore identify your niche as perhaps being the 35 to 40-year-old guy, who was busy and wanted to work out quickly and effectively at home. This gives you a far more defined niche market than simply “Men’s Health readers”.
That’s an important thing for you to consider – you just have to focus on a specific group of people. And what you want to do is make that specific niche of people as happy as possible. And if you have some people who aren’t happy it’s probably because they don’t fit in your best demographic.
So why do you want to do this? Well, targeting a very clearly defined niche market allows you to have specific and direct communication. If you take the niche in the example above, when you’re writing for a 35 to 40-year-old guy, you can talk about his kids, you can talk about how he had a tough day at work. You can guess that he probably worked from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and then had a commute. You can talk about how he’d rather be golfing. You can talk about how he’s interested in March madness and Super Bowl picks and all that type of stuff.
If your contact list was more diverse, you might be worried about offending the woman who was 50 years old, and then you would never talk about that stuff. And you would please everybody. But that would not make you a very good business. Why? Because that 35 year old guy, your best customer, he’d be like, “Why is he talking about Dancing with the Stars, because this is not something that’s interesting to me. I want to talk about how I can get my workout done and go watch Monday Night Football. That’s what I’m worried about.” He would be uninterested in your message and unlikely to be moved towards buying from you or remaining on your contact list.
When you get specific and direct with your communication you bond better with those people, and you have that stronger connection where they know, like and trust you better. So know, like and trust is really, really important. If a customer doesn’t know you, clearly they’re not going to buy. If a customer doesn’t like you, you’d have to have the greatest product in the world to get them to buy. And if a customer doesn’t trust you, nothing would get them to buy. So know, like and trust are must haves no matter which niche you focus on.
This doesn’t only apply if you are running a personality-based business where you as an individual are customer facing. It can be do they know, like and trust your brand if you’re selling just products on the Internet. People know, like and trust Zappos because of the interaction they’ve had with it, but they may have never heard of Tony Hsieh, the CEO. And they don’t know who they’re going to get when they call up there for customer service, either. But because of the way that business has been set up, Zappos has that reputation. People know, like and trust them.
Because at the end of the day with everything else being equal, who are you going to buy from? You’re going to buy from somebody who’s your friend. Everything else being equal, if I had a friend who was a real estate agent and there was this other person, and they both had the same sales ability and they both came from a reputable real estate company but one guy’s my friend, well of course I’m going to go with my friend because I know, I like and I trust him. So that’s why you pick that niche market and make sure you’re able to communicate with them in the jargon and “code words” that are in their world.
For example, if you’re selling to a mom who just had a baby, and you’re selling clothes to her, you’re going to be talking about specific things, specific key words, code words, that a mom is going to be talking about that are going to be different than talking to a woman who hasn’t had a kid. And you’re going to be describing your clothes in a way that a woman who hasn’t had a kid, a 20-year-old girl who’s still in college for example, is not going to understand. The college girl would therefore not be interested in your message. But if you are talking in those code words to that woman who just had a baby and she wants to look good in clothes again and you have this really cool type of material that makes women look fantastic even though they’ve gained a bit of weight from pregnancy, then she is going to be interested. So you have that direct communication, and she’s going to know, like and trust you. And that’s how things work in communicating with a niche market.
Find a niche market that is large enough to be worth tapping into (new mothers and men aged 35-40 who work out are significantly sized niches, with plenty of people to sell to, but you could go to an even smaller niche, choosing something like the “Labrador dog owners” niche if it suited you), and small enough to clearly define, and you should find it far easier to build up the rapport you will need to sell into that niche market.