If you follow any marketing expert blogs you will hear ‘target your niche’ over and over again. The question is what is your niche and how do you find it?
How a computer programmer found a niche
The other day I had a local landscaping company deliver 4 yards of triple shredded mulch for my flower beds. When I was writing him the check he asked me how I found his business. I told him that I did a search for mulch on the Internet and his name and number came up.
The mulch man went on to tell me that his son-in-law created a website for him and since then he has been getting a lot of business from the search engines. I never actually saw his website but it was obviously driving some traffic to his business.
In our brief conversation he went on to tell me that his son-in-law had a side business in computers. He told me how he (the mulch man) worked on a farm and that he and a lot of other farmers had issues with connecting all of their computer networks together. His son-in-law, Jake, was on alert enough to see the need and fill it.
He (the son-in-law) has since created his own company and has a very nice side business. Very specialized just for farmers. He found a niche.
Tip #1: Listen - Be On The Alert
Everyday I am on alert for new topics for marketing and business tips. When I heard the mulch man tell me the story of Jake I knew right away I had to share it.
The same goes for your profession or passion. Listen to the crowd. What are they asking for? What are they complaining about? As a user, what is on your wishlist? Is it a simple fix or something that could be helpful for years to come? Write your ideas down.
Tip #2: Research - Is there room for you?
After you have found an area to focus on you should do some research.
Years ago when I started my web hosting business it was new and exciting. Even so, the market place was full. It wasn’t until I decided to concentrate only on Microsoft ASP web hosting that my company took off.
Even with a niche like I had, things are different today. The market is over saturated even in niche areas.
Starting a web hosting business today would be a huge uphill battle. I’m not saying it’s not doable but you would definitely be starting with a disadvantage.
Ask yourself a few questions. Is there room for my niche in the marketplace? Does it matter to me if it’s already over saturated? Who will be my competition?
Tip #3 - Choose A Niche That Will Last
This tip has two different parts. The first is, will you still enjoy talking about this topic for months or years to come?
Are you still going to be excited and passionate about this niche down the road? Picture yourself in 2 years. Do you want to be involved with or even be talking about this at that time? A lot of things seem great at first but they grow old quickly. Make sure this niche isn’t one of them.
The second part of this tip is, will this need still exist in the future?
For example, Twitter just bought Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is basically a Twitter client application. Twitter has mentioned several times in the last year that they don’t want developers to concentrate on developing ‘client’ applications. Now would not be a good time to create your own custom Twitter client. There’s a good possibility that Twitter will wipe your entire business out if they turn off the switch (your connection to Twitter).
Listening, researching and finding a niche that will last are just 3 small pieces to finding a niche. The most important thing is that you need to find something that you love doing.
Making money is great but if you don’t enjoy it then it just becomes a job. Nobody wants a job. Jobs suck. Athletes don’t have jobs. They get to “play” the games. Musicians don’t have jobs. They get to “play” gigs.
Take 5 minutes today and start. Find your niche so you can start “playing”.
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