How to Choose a Niche Market

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I recently posted a list of niche social networks to help you find and interact with potential clients in a specific niche market. If you don’t have a narrowed down niche as your target audience you might want to find one.

Here are some reasons why a niche can be effective and tips for choosing one.

Why a Niche?

When it comes to marketing, it’s impossible to reach everyone in a meaningful way. A very broad target audience costs more to market to and is almost impossible to get a clear idea of what the audience wants and needs. A niche can make all of your marketing and outreach activities more effective.

While you don’t need a narrow niche market in order to be successful in every type of business, it can be a smart move for some businesses. Here’s are some other reasons why:

  • You can establish yourself as an expert in your niche market.
  • You can conduct “in-the-trenches” market research to learn what your niche audience needs and wants.
  • It’s easier to optimize online marketing for a narrow niche (think SEO).
  • If you find an untapped niche, you can benefit from being the first, go-to resource.
  • A niche allows you to talk right to your audience and their needs instead of using general terms.

How to Choose a Niche

If you are just starting out or are looking to establish a new niche (you can have more than one), here are some tips for choosing a niche.

Consider: What are you already selling and to whom?

In many cases, you will already know who your niche market should be based on the services you provide and the people you typically work with. Do you offer something that provides a unique value for a specific group of people? Do you find that you are frequently contacted by one “type” of client? These can be clues about the type of niche that could work best for you.

Consider: What do you want?

Finding a new niche gives you a chance to really zero in on the type of clients you want to work with and the specific work you want to do. Think of your ideal client sketch to help you identify a niche, not only in terms of the type of business, but think about age, gender, location, level of education, marketing activities and more.

A niche can also be defined by passions and expertise you already have, people you generally just enjoy working, and even areas you are interested in finding out more about.

Consider: What hasn’t been done?

There really is only room for so many providers in one area. Do your research to see who is already targeting a niche you are considering and how much potential business is left over. The last thing you want is to jump into a niche that already has some major competition.

Consider: What do your tests tell you?

The only way to determine if a niche is a good one with a lot of potential is by testing it out. Run some test marketing campaigns to see what the reaction is before you commit a large amount of time and resources to a selected niche.

Ultimately, a niche market gives you focus. If you find that your business, products and services are appropriate for more than one niche and can focus on each as an individual target, you may be successful marketing to multiple niches.

Do you have a niche market? How did you decide to focus on that target?

Image credit: jaylopez

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
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Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

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