Walt Goodridge, author of over two dozen books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit, presents....
Launched in 1997, at the beginning of the internet rush, the nichemarket.com website was often the first stop for thousands of average people, new businesses and students who understood the significance of the niche market in explaining the tremendous popularity and widespread use of the internet. A market leader since then, our company's and founder's niche marketing expertise has been distilled into our Niche Market Report and is now available on this site.

What is a niche market?

"niche market" refers to the concept to which the Internet owes its tremendous success!

A niche market is a focused, targetable portion of a market.

By definition, then, a business that focuses on a niche market is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. You can think of a niche market as a narrowly defined group of potential customers.

The Internet makes it possible as well as profitable to cater to "wide thin" niche markets that previously were too geographically dispersed to be lucrative.

In other words, a store in the physical world selling a product that appeals to a small yet defined group (7-foot tall left-handed golfers, for example), could not get enough visitors in one city to make such a business viable.

With the Internet, however, golfers from all over the world can visit, and purchase products from an internet site.

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Finding a niche

In advertising terminology, niche market refers to a group of consumers sharing a common background, interests and consequently buying habits. The commonality may be age, race, hobbies, sports, gender, or any feature which creates a recognizable and quantifiable preferences that result in spending patterns and habits. The successful marketing campaign is one which effectively speaks to the interests of the individuals in a particular group and capitalizes on those interest in order to sell them something they want or need.

In one form or another, ever business is engaged in niche marketing. Some niches are bigger than others. Since there_s no product that EVERYONE needs, your target audience will tend to be a segment of the larger population. Every business owner is on the eternal quest for customers. Here are several strategies you can use to get your share.

Go after emerging or unnoticed niches.
At the time I wrote my first book targeting the Hip Hop Entrepreneur niche, no one believed that there was a sustainable volume of spending within that particular niche. Few believed that young African American males weaned on Rap music were interested in learning about how to start a business. All I know is that I sold over $160,000 worth of my self-published title within its first 20 months. The truth is, what_s considered sustainable really depends on who you are. A multi-million dollar publisher might not consider the million dollars that you or I could earn catering to a small niche worth their time, energy and financial resources. You and I, however, blessed with lower overhead costs would do quite well with a million or two in revenue. Wouldn_t you agree?

Go after existing niches
Some of the most studied niches include baby-boomers, African Americans, generation X, women, Hispanics and the growing health conscious. Every product that currently sells well can be used to identify a potential niche you can sell to. See the list of Potential Niche Consumers for some ideas.

Create your own niche
Virtually any and every trait, preference, passion, or physical feature can be used to identify and isolate a niche to market to. You can create a product and a marketing campaign for left-handed, 7-foot tall Guatemalans suffering from astigmatism and effectively sell a newly designed automobile for those individuals. There might just be enough left-handed, 7-foot tall, visually challenged Guatemalans looking for cars, homes and books to make you a millionaire before the rest of the business community catches on! The trick, however, is to determine whether the distinctions and identifying features and commonalities you_ve identified can create enough of a volume of spending to justify the effort.

Finding and understanding your niche market will be the key to creating wealth for yourself in this rapidly expanding marketplace. Your mission is to find your _Guatemalans,_ get into their minds to find out what they want, how they think, and how to sell to them. You must establish a brand identity in their minds. It_s a task that requires a change in the way you think, the inclination to acquire new sensibilities, and the patience to hold on until the big payoff. Following is an article by fellow niche market entrepreneur Bob Leduc with some tips on how to do just that.

Target A Niche Market To Increase Your Sales And Profits

Copyright 1998 By Bob Leduc

Contrary to what you may want to believe, the whole world is not your market. Even if everybody CAN use your product or service, there is a specific group with an intense need or desire for the benefits you offer. Find that "niche" market and commit your efforts to getting business from it. You'll soon discover how profitable your business can be.

A niche or target market is a group of potential customers who share common characteristics making them especially receptive to your product, service or opportunity.

I have a good friend in the life insurance business who happens to live near 2 large US military bases. Almost all of Frank's sales are to career military personnel at these 2 bases. He tells me the US military provides an excellent group life insurance program for military members but no life insurance for their spouses. This creates a potential financial problem for military families with children. If the service member's spouse dies, it will be expensive to provide care for the children when the member is on remote assignment or on extended training duty. By targeting active duty military families and providing a solution to their "special" life insurance problem, Frank became one of the top sales agents in his company.

Benefits Of Targeting A Niche Market
Identifying a target market makes it easy for you to plan effective marketing activity. It also makes it easy for you to develop a winning sales message. When you know the specific concerns of your market, you can tailor your message to focus on solutions to those concerns. You can even create different sales messages for different target markets.

For example, one of the books I wrote is a manual about how to use simple postcards to generate inexpensive sales leads. The information and examples in it apply to all businesses. However, one of the most profitable target markets for this manual is businesses that use a network marketing or MLM distribution system. The promotional material I developed for that market emphasizes the special advantages postcards offer for recruiting new independent distributors. That's the #1 concern of every network marketer. I identify their biggest problem and offer a simple, low cost solution to it. As a result, a high percentage of the orders for this manual come from network marketers.

How To Find A Niche Market

If you've been in business for some time you're probably already targeting one or more niche markets with your sales efforts. If you haven't or if you're just starting your business, here are some things you can do to uncover profitable niche markets for your business.

Start by listing all of the benefits offered by your product, service or business opportunity. Be sure you're listing benefits, not features. You must know the difference between benefits and features to market anything successfully.

A feature is what something is. A benefit is what it does. For example, my favorite donuts are now delivered in a re- sealable box. That's a feature. The donuts stay fresh for a week after I first open the box. That's the benefit. Understanding this difference is important. People never buy something to get a feature. They always buy to get the benefit produced by the feature.

After listing all the benefits you can think of, list some of the characteristics of prospects whose current situation would be dramatically improved by those benefits. You should begin to see a definable group emerging as a niche or target market.

Next, you want to determine if the group you've identified is a market you can reach and develop profitably. If it is, you will be able to answer "yes" to all of the following questions:

1. Can I identify individual prospects within the group including contact information to communicate with them?

2. Do prospects in this group have a strong need for (or a strong desire to have) my product, service or opportunity?

3. Do the prospects in this group have the money to pay for what I'm offering?

4. Can I deliver my sales message to these prospects under favorable circumstances?

5. Is this group large enough to produce the volume of business I need?

Don't waste your time on this market if there is a "no" answer to any of these questions. It's not a niche market for you.

Be sure to use the information you developed in finding your target market to create the sales material for it. You already know the overwhelming benefit(s) you offer to this market and why it's so important to them. Just build your advertising and sales material around this benefit and you'll soon enjoy the profits of successfully targeting a niche market. [End Excerpt]

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