If you ask most business owners and entrepreneurs who is their target customer, they usually respond with this. (I'm guilty as well)
"It's anyone who would need our products and services"...
I've realized that it's a flawed mentally especially if you're still in the startup or grind phase of your business.
Think of it this way. If you need specialized heart surgery, would you go to your family doctor or a cardiac surgeon for operation?
You'll choose the cardiac surgeon, right? It's the same way when building your business. You need to find a niche, become an authority in that niche and then that's how you carve your name in this industry.
I know it's easier said than done. But I've realized that there's a methodology for getting it done properly.
And it all starts with finding a profitable niche. If you've picked the wrong niche, then it will be an uphill battle for you and your business.
Do you want to start your own online business?
Are you struggling with where and how to start your blog or online business?
What I’m about to share with you is what worked for me and my online businesses in the past few years and I'm hoping that you'll be able to take action and apply it to your online business.
What is a Niche Market and Why it's Important?
By it's definition, a niche market is a small market segment, a part of a bigger "market".
An example of big market would be "weight loss" and within the "weight loss market" are smaller sub-niches like "weight loss by juicing", "weight loss by eating whole foods", etc.
By targeting a "niche market", you'll be able to identify your "target customers" more easily.
You'll be able to create content that speaks to them and provide more "targeted products and services" that they need.
Because if you're trying to be an "expert" in everything, then you'll most likely end up "diluting" your resources and time, to the point that people will just see you as a "jack of all trades" instead of an expert.
This is what I did for many years and it was a very costly mistake...
Niche Market Ideas
You might think that all the good and "killer" niche ideas out there are taken.
I thought so as well, but I was wrong.
"Killer niches" and "new niches" emerges everytime.
Here's a quick example. Just think of "wearable gadgets" like the Apple iWatch.
This niche didn't exist a few years ago. But as more and more people wanted to become mobile and still be "connected to the digital world", wearable gadgets become a reality (and a lucrative niche as well).
So, If you're starting an online business, where do you start? Where do you find a niche idea?
I would start with the BIG 4 Markets...
Pick one from these BIG markets based on your interest, passion, expertise and experience.
It's NOT a pre-requisite to pick a "niche" based on your passion.
But picking a niche that you're interested and passionate about will definitely HELP your online business in the long run.
How to Find a Niche Market (Step by Step)
Here's a step-by-step process in helping me find niche market ideas.
Big Market - Choose from one of the 4 Big Markets
Let's dive into the details...
For this article, let's say I've chosen the Health market (one of the Big 4 markets).
Under the Health Market, I've chosen the "weight loss market".
But the weight loss market is still huge.
Because under "weight loss" there are people who wants to lose weight by surgery, while others through diet and exercise, while others through gym memberships, etc.
So I'll need to dive deeper and find a more specific "Audience Segment" or group of people. *An Audience Segment is simply a more targeted "Group of People" within a bigger market.
To help me define my "Audience Segment" I'll start with an Age Group and Gender Demographic.
Do I want to target a Male or Female Demographic?
Do I want to target Females between the ages of 35-55 years old?
Do I want to target a specific location? specific country?
Don't be tempted to target everyone. Because if you do that, your content and articles will be TOO generic that it won't appeal to ANYONE.
After you've identified a particular "Audience Segment" it's now time to check if other competitors are already providing relevant products and services that addresses the needs of that segment.
If a competitor provides existing products and services to that Audience segment, that's a good sign.
If a competitor is also running existing advertising campaigns to promote their products and services, that's a great sign as well.
(Especially if it has been running for a few weeks or months, you can use these "spy tools" to know what ads are running for a long time.
Once we've identified our target "Audience Segment" and found out that competitors are actually offering (and advertising) products and services to this audience, you can now start building your online business to serve the needs of this Audience.
You'll probably have multiple "Audience segments" within your Niche.
But start with one Audience Segment, then expand as you grow.
Now the next question, is where do you find your "Audience Segment"?
Where do you find pockets or groups of people that will be interested to purchase your products and services?
They're everywhere. Think of "groups of people" congregating together "virtually" on a common topic or idea.
They'll be in forums. Which is why you'll find forums in almost every interest, passion, business, topic, hobby.
Just go to google.com and type in: [Your Keyword/Topic] + forum
and Google will give you list of forums that you could join and become a member of.
Contribute in this community, reach out, help others, and find out what they're biggest needs are. Solve those problems and that's how you start building a profitable blog.
Go to facebook and search for groups. Join these groups and like forums, become a contributor, regular commenter and that will help you get started.
The important thing here is to find out if this "group of people" are willing to buy the products and services that you'll be offering. That's another topic, which I'll discuss more later on.
Tools and Software
These tools (both Free and Paid) have helped me find profitable niches. The Paid tools are optional but powerful ways to help you identify the competition of your chosen niche.
Of course, if it's too competitive you can run the risk of never getting enough traction to launch your online business. If it's too small, you also run the risk of spending a lot of time and resources into something that just doesn't have the "volume" to become a viable long-term online business.
- SEMRUSH (Read my full review of SEMRUSH) - this is a very powerful competitor research and keyword research tool. It can find out what keywords your competitors are bidding on and how long are they advertising for a particular keyword.
The longer they are advertising on a specific keyword, the theory is that it's probably giving them a positive ROI.
This will help you a LOT when it comes to which "niches" and "keywords to target" for your online business.