Finding a iche
Posted By: Catherine (doc-72-47-120-192.kellogg.id.cebridge.net)
Date: Thursday, 7 January 2010, at 8:37 p.m.
One of the first things that we should look at is the importance of looking at the market in which you are going to market to and how to break down that market to find a smaller part of it for your niche. The reason for this is that the market place in many areas can be very broad and if you are going to try to target all areas of a particular market then you are going to have a lot of competition. But if you find a “piece” of that market and only target it, then your competition will be substantially less.
Here is an example of what I mean. Lets say you make belts. Lets also say your area of expertise is in making belts for teenage girls. Glittery, trendy….. Now you will have a much better chance if you target and market only to teenage girls. you may have talent in making other kinds of belts as well, maybe you can make any kind of belt. But you enjoy and thrive in making belts that are trendy. So the important factor is not that you can supply belts for anyone. It is that you are and expert and enjoy making belts for a target age group.
Most people think they will be more successful if the try to target the “whole”. but the fact of the matter is, it takes alot more work, it takes alot more networking, it takes alot more diversity, and it usually does not end with the results that are desires. s I have already noted, if you attempt to hit the market place with this idea as your belief, you have just added alot of competition to struggle against. Become an expert in one area! This is probably the most important bit of information I can share with you.
After you find your “piece” of the broad market, then you can focus on it, you can network to certain individuals, you can focus all of your energy to make that one area great! One of the first things you are going to want to do after you have your “niche” is to study your competition. Find what areas they stand out in, reflect on the ways they try to target the market, what do they focus on, how do they carry themselves, what colors do they use, what do you find appealing about their strategy and what do you find unappealing?
After you have your notes about your competitors, create your own formula using the knowledge you have just gained. **Think of branding, colors, images, logos, catchy phrases, content**
Next you will want to create a website to inform the public of your existence. This site should reflect you, your personality, your services. Have meaningful content, have competitive prices, display your images so they stand out. Remember that the visitor of your site will perceive it’s layout, content, flow, appearance in direct relation to you and your work.
Offer discounts, sales, have a GRAND OPENING! Think about the consumer. People love deals, they love sales, they love to feel they just got a bargin and saved THIER money. Use this knowledge, have an opt-in subscription on your site, noting that if they sign your guest book, or subscribe to a newsletter they can receive 25% off of their purchase.
The reason for doing this is not only to generate new sales and customers. But if they sign up you then have their email address and can inform them when ever you have another sale or a new product. This is very powerful if it is not abused with too many emails or spam.
Network!! Use the tools available to you. Join social networking sites, online business sites, submit your business and website link to directories. Be active in your communicating with others. Be authoritative, be friendly and professional. And remember to spend the time finding the networks that are relevant to your niche.
If your niche is making belts for teenagers, then there really is not need to sign up to a networking site that is target for single men…. etc! An important tip I want to share about networking, and I have written it in some of my previous articles, is that you don’t want to SPAM! Do not go in with the intention of just submitting your name and service to everyone you can! Use it as an avenue to meet people.
Build a “friends” list, introduce yourself to them, comment on their status, on their services or interests. Write articles to post, they don’t have to be long, and it is quite ease to do. Just write what you know about your product or service, what you do, how you do it, what materials or equipment you use, your struggles, some of the lessons you have learned!!
Break your own experience up and share it weekly in new posts. Ending each with your name, your title and your web address! Not only will you be viewed as more trust worthy, this is great for search engine optimization. The link to your site helps add to the number of crawlers you receive. If the content is good it help to drive traffic to your site and if your content is really good others will want to share it and recommend it for even more potential clients!
Never under estimate “Word of Mouth”. I know alot of people don’t like to go door to door. But if you venture out you may find a shop that will carry your line on consignment. Have marketing materials printed out to pass out to friends, strangers, business owners…
I have to admit one of the best places I have found for marketing material is Vista Prints. They are affordable and their work is of high quality. They are who I recomend to all of my own customers. And I strongly urge anyone else to at least look at their prices!
With a little planning, hard work and a lot of determination you will see the rewards!