Many entrepreneurs attempt to be all things to all consumers, but that can bring challenges when trying to compete with larger businesses in the general marketplace. A better strategy is often to focus on a niche market. This idea makes many business owners go pale with fear of losing sales, but if done right, honing in on a niche may actually grow your business. It can set you apart from the competition and allow you to more easily reach your target customers by focusing your marketing efforts, reducing your marketing expenses, and giving you the ability to charge more for your specialized services.
Here’s how to hone in on and reach your niche market.
Narrow Your Target
To find your niche, you will have to consider who you best serve in your business, and then define your strengths within that group. You can narrow down your niche by industry, demographics, geography, expertise, or the style of your product or services. For instance, if you are a wedding planner, you can compete with all of the other wedding planners in the general marketplace, or you can hone in on one type of wedding — say destination weddings — and market to that segment,. Specializing in destination weddings doesn’t mean you can’t plan other types of weddings too, but if someone wants to get married in an exotic locale, they will be more likely to call you than a general wedding planner — and you can charge more for your services because you offer a specialized service.
Focus Your Marketing Efforts
Now that you’ve decided which niche you want to target, you can begin to focus some of your marketing efforts toward reaching them. For instance, the wedding planner mentioned above could create a special landing page on her website that targets couples planning a destination wedding. In addition, she could advertise her services in specialized magazines like Destination I Do, partner with non-competing businesses who also specialize in destination weddings, use paid advertising on sites that rank high for related keywords, or start a blog about the topic.
Socialize With Your New Target Audience
Today’s consumers want to interact on a more personal level with the businesses they buy from, so in order to reach your target niche, you should get involved with them socially. For example, look for social media groups that cater to your target market, join them, and then contribute to the conversation. In our example, you can also reach out socially at destination wedding bridal expos and wedding shows at the locales you specialize in. And don’t forget to connect with other non-competing businesses in your industry because they may remember you when a customer asks for a referral.
Finally, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one niche. Start with one, and after you’ve established your business in it, chose another and repeat the process. For example, the wedding planner could expand to cowboy weddings after firmly establishing herself as a destination wedding planner.