Background

This training aims to solve a specific problem common with people wanting to start an online business.

Yes, they want to start an online business. No, they don’t know what niche to have the online business in.

They literally feel stuck before they’ve even got started.

Actually, the problem is not simply choosing a niche they think will work. It’s also finding a sub-niche in the bigger niche and/or finding an angle about it that will make the new business stand out. Because if you’re just the same, or very similar, to other businesses in the niche, there’s no reason for people to buy from you rather than someone else.

Now, choosing a niche obviously depends on an individual person, and can change over time. I can’t cover all the possible variations but to look at the essentials of doing so. To make the information evergreen.

There are 2 basic starting points people can come from in making their choice.

First, they already have an interest in the niche in some way, but don’t know which part of it will generate profits. They’ve no idea what people in the niche want help with.

Second, their only interest is in making money. They’re not bothered which niche they do it in. But they won’t make money unless they do develop an interest in it. Usually, as well, they reckon they can just copy what someone else is doing. However, there’s a miniscule chance that doing that will be successful. Let’s say 1 in a million. Would you like a 999,999 failure rate?

The odds are much higher, let’s say 1 in 3, if you have an interest in the niche.

Therefore, don’t focus on the money but concentrate on solving people’s problems, for which they’ll pay you.

Choosing a niche process

First step: what are are the interests in the niche that need to be met by you? And related to that, what are the needs and wants of the people in the niche?

Ask yourself: Do people have unmet needs there?

Then: are people spending money?

These are the basic issues that have to be present if you have a chance of making money.

Here’s a simple offline example.

Imagine you want to open a coffee shop. You check what sort of customer numbers other coffee shops nearby are getting. You can’t be exact but you can see which ones are mostly full or not. If so, there must be a need for coffee shops at that place. In addition, you could check them out during their busiest time, which might be a Friday morning. You could work out some basic numbers over a period of time during a Friday morning, and work out an average for the full morning. that is, you have some statistics to help you.

To do this kind of thing online, you’d do some sort of survey. Whether offline or online, there is only one way to know if something will work. That is to actually start the business. The advantage online is that there is a low entry point. That means, you can keep trying out niches or businesses until one is found to be profitable.

Now, how do you find out what people are interested in?

Search outside your niche. Go to places where there are lots of ads, such as on news websites. Check out the topics those ads cover. Take a screenshot. Go back a month later and compare with your screenshot. If some are exactly the same ads, those marketers are making money. Although this does not tell you how big the demand is, even if it’s small, there is always room for another marketer to go in. If there are only 2 or 3 competitors in the topic or niche, they probably aren’t making all that much money.

However, the number of competitors on one site may be deceptive. For example, some marketers spread their ads across many websites, so it might appear that at any one place they’re not making much money. or they might be selling their product using several different names. If either of these strategies are happening, then there is, in fact, some real competition.

Second step: how do you meet the needs in the niche?

If there’s only one competitor, they’re probably not meeting all the needs. Opposite to that you might be the only niche site selling information solving problems.

Check the formats selling well. You need not be limited to the same ones. On the whole, if a product subject sells well in one format, it will do so in all other formats. You could also add on coaching as an extra product format. Some people will purchase all the different formats on the same subject.

Why would people buy coaching if they’ve bought the information in, for example, 3 different formats? This is because what they’ve found in those other formats is not working for them. There is a gap between having and knowing the information, and their implementation of it. Think about getting your information from a video: you’re basically just watching, you’re outside the actual action that needs to be taken. You understand but when it comes to implementation, it doesn’t work for you. In contrast, coaching takes you step by step, together with some interaction where you can ask questions and find out more. Plus it’s focused on your business and not in general.

The point here is that you can find out what needs are being met in various formats. You can then create a product to meet that same need in one or more formats.

For example, find out what audios are being listened to, and see what videos on YouTube and other sites are being used. Look for lots of audios, or videos, on any one specific topic. That tells you there’s a definite need, so you can create your own product, perhaps in a different format.

Also check out magazines and books offline. Which ones seem the most popular and are being read in the shop and then being put back on the shelf? They need not be on exact niche topics but subjects related to your niche topics in some way. You can also see which ones the store has bought in bulk. For example, there’ll be many more copies on weight loss at the beginning of January as people make their resolutions. Or when there’s a big political election time, there’ll be much more interest in general and in specific topics. Another thing you can do is see which topics are written about in feature articles.

Look at business magazines particularly. Read them and study them. Look for what’s common in the same magazine across time, or across different magazines. If a magazine covers the same issue month after month, you know it’s a hot topic. If the same advertiser is in all the magazines, you know they’re making money. You can do the same for non-business magazines as well. Then go find their websites. This can be done for any niche.

These are all guides for you. But none of the above actions will tell you with certainty what will work. Therefore, don’t spend months or even years on this. You have to actually begin your business to see if it works.

Let me emphasize this: it’s a fallacy to think you can know what will be profitable before you do anything in your business. You cannot know ahead of time if it will make money. Also, unless you have a friend in the niche, it’ll be very difficult to get any insider statistics. Think of the offline coffee shop example: if you go into one that looks popular and ask for any data they can give you about their business, they’ll just show you the door. The same online.

Step three: What are the needs in the niche?

To find out, go to where people are who are interested in the niche, get them to subscribe to your list, and then ask them. This may sound straightforward but, again it’s the same as business offline. There’s a belief some people have that you can have the business set up in a few hours. This is because there are such low barriers to starting an online business, and they can do it from home. But it’s just as difficult to build online as offline.

Here’s a way you can ask about prospects’ needs.

Aim to get your results yourself. If you can afford it, or want to pay the money, you can send traffic for a few days to a squeeze page or Ask page.

If you don’t already, stay up late one night at watch any late night infomercials, and take some notes. See which topics are focused on the most. Of course, these businesses will have other product outlets too, such as selling their information in books. If people are buying at night, people will also buy during the day.

To discover the needs in your niche, try this.

Have a squeeze page to let people opt in to your niche. Make your freebie a cheat sheet for getting something done, or offer to solve a problem they have. Then, in addition to the opt in form to collect their email address and your copy about the freebie, have 3 additional sections to the form which ask them 3 questions:

1 What is your single biggest challenge in…[your niche or niche topic or niche whatever]?

2 How difficult has it been to find an answer to this problem?

3 What would it mean for you if you could solve this problem?

In this way, they’ll be telling you the unmet needs in the niche. Some will not fill out any answers. Some will say say there is no difficulty with a problem, so you can ignore those responses. Probably a small percentage will say it’s difficult to solve the problem they have. That means that if you do have competition in the niche, that competition is not satisfying the needs or the subscribers do not know about the competition.

If some write at length about their niche problem, they’re looking for help right now. In fact, they’ll probably tell you what you need to know to create your first product.

For this type of squeeze page you should be able to extend the normal autoresponder form so you can ask the questions. An alternative is to use survey software instead and send people there after they’ve subscribed.

You can do this with free traffic where you’re spending your time generating it. You could spend, for example, 90 to 180 days doing it, or quicker, depending on your response rate.

If you do this and get, for instance, 4 separate possibilities of what product to create, then run a similar test on all 4. This will show you both the needs and the intensity of those needs.

When some people write a lot in their answer to question 3, you could write an individual response to them, and ask if it’s ok to have a phone or email or skype discussion with them about the the problem and possible solutions. Even if there are only 4 or 5 of these, it’s better to have that few in number of hot leads than have many more surveys. In other words, follow up with those who want to solve their problem now, and not later.

Create the product

Now create the product, send traffic to the opt in page, and then send them to the sales page. You now know you have a product that people want in your niche, solving their needs, and resulting in sales.

This is one way of deciding what product to create.

The important thing is to actually start your online business. Most people never get started as they try to get everything right before they begin. But you only get better by making mistakes.

For example, you could see what you think is missing in your niche and create that product, and see what happens. Working by trial and error. You can try out something every week or month. You have to allow yourself to fail in order to improve.

However, you could use the above squeeze page method to even more effect. Imagine you’ve gone through all the actions I’ve covered above over a couple of years, and you have a list. You might at that point see a product someone is selling in a related niche and realize there is a need for something similar in your niche. Just ask your list to fill out a survey as above so they can get a cheat sheet from you on niche topic.

In this way you can develop deeper and deeper, and more detailed, products as you progress.

Take action on what we’ve gone through to get the results you want.

Joe