Your niche choice is crucial to your online business success. Choose the wrong niche and you set yourself up for problems, frustrations and failure. No matter what niche you’re in, whether it’s health or crafts, you need to have made the choice based on internet marketing requirements. This post is about any niche where you’re looking to sell your products related to that niche. But you need internet marketing to do so.
Here is what typically happens when people decide to start a business online. If they don’t think about a website first, they jump straight into working out what product they’ll sell to make money.
Let’s suppose you decide on selling knitting patterns because you have some great ideas for them as an experienced designer. You make the common mistake of assuming people in the knitting niche will want more patterns and they’ll want your patterns. So, you excitedly set up your knitting pattern site and start marketing.
You’re shocked to find there’s a lack of interest in yet more patterns and/or they don’t want your patterns. You’ve spent a lot of money on site designers to show off your patterns to their best effect, and you’ve paid for marketing. You’re losing money from the get-go with no sign of what to do about it. If nobody’s buying your product, you feel, that’s it – your business is finished before it got started. You join the 95% or more people who don’t succeed at their online business.
Choosing the wrong niche is one of the most basic reasons for this result.
Why is your choice, before you even think about what products to sell, so important?
1 Your niche gives your business a context. It should be the place where your business fits best. But you need to work the other way round to the example I gave. Choose the niche context first, then you can decide what business to have in it.
Otherwise your business tends to be floating free on the internet, without any real connections to your market. If you create a product first, it probably won’t be relevant to the niche because you know next to nothing about it, including who your prospects are.
2 A sub-niche or narrower is best. In a large niche there’s already a lot of marketing noise going on. People have masses of marketing messages to choose from. It’s not even a question of why they would choose you but how can they have a chance of doing so when your message is drowned out by all the others? Your message has to be heard and attended to by someone or else there’s no point in you marketing at all.
A sub-niche, or smaller, is OK as long as there are still plenty of buyers and they want the product you offer them. In fact, the ideal situation to aim for is a sub-niche where there is no or very little, and poor, competition – where you’re in a unique situation and can set your own price. Get as near to that situation as you can.
3 You have to be an expert in the niche. This is a term meaning simply that you know more than most of your competition and customers in the niche, or you’re willing to learn. By doing this you place yourself in a unique or original position. It allows you to re-position yourself and your product, even if others are selling a similar product.
Also, you can re-imagine your product or re-invent, change, a product to make yours original enough. (Of course, you’re not copying or changing someone else’s product without permission: always check any copyright – better you invent your own product, in any case.)
By choosing a niche you already know enough about or have learned enough about, it gives you and your business focus for further learning and for action.
4 Make a choice based on the idea of it being like a pool hungry buyers with wants, desires, fears, hopes, problems – all looking for a solution. The niche will also include your products when you introduce them. Choosing the right niche for you will have two results.
One is that you will know it and the prospects in it, so you can make offers to them that it would be ridiculous for them to refuse to buy. The second result is, therefore, that less and less you’ll be asking yourself why prospects won’t buy your products, as they get more and more targeted by you.