Sometimes, when an idea for a new business comes along, one of the biggest mistakes is to fail to clearly define your niche. The same mistake is easy to make in search marketing too. For example, when doing keyword research, it’s all too easy to leave in key phrases because they have a high number of searches, irrespective of the number of competing pages. That’s why it’s so important to concentrate on some form of KEI, or keyword effectiveness index.
I have an interest in astrophotography – taking pictures of deep space objects, such as distant galaxies. Let’s say I decided to start a business designing a camera that I could use, and that I could sell to others. The market for astrophotography cameras is tiny, so it’s expensive to set up this business to sell very few. But if I also made sure the camera could be used for more general photographic use, I could sell lots more, right? Wrong. I’d find myself selling a camera that was too expensive for general use to be able to compete with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Kodak and others, while not specialist enough for its original intention. By trying to appeal to a bigger market, I’d end up with a compromise that would appeal to nobody. My actual market potential would be zero.
Don’t be afraid to go niche and reduce your target market size. Specialist astronomy cameras sell for many thousands of dollars, yet enthusiasts and serious amateurs are prepared to pay this premium to get the best on offer. Nobody who is looking for equipment in this niche is going to do a search for “digital camera.”
Make whatever you sell the best it can be for your niche market, even if the price rises. Sometimes, too low a price can give an impression or low quality, so refining your niche is almost always better that competing on price.
If you work within (or for) a small to medium sized company or client, make sure you understand the niche market that you’re optimising a site for or writing content for. If you try to compete without being niche, you’ll end up with your competitors being the biggest players in your industry, with massively more resource to attract the mass markets. Instead, concentrate your efforts in areas that these big competitors don’t target. Be specialist, and perform keyword research and content marketing accordingly.
Here are some rules that will help you to be successful defining and winning in your niche:
1. Discover your passion
If you do something you love, you’ll understand it better, be more enthusiastic at it, be happy to allocate more time to it, and you’ll be far more genuine in speaking to prospects and customers. You’ll know which search terms and key phrases best match your niche market far better than non-specialist competitors.
2. Don’t be afraid to take risks
Being different from any other business is taking a risk. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to take some risks and be different. Make your content different. Have a strong online persona. Don’t be afraid of creating controversy.
3. Do it now
There’s never a better time than now. Don’t wait for what might be the right time and find excuses to procrastinate. If you do, it won’t happen. Do it now or you won’t do it at all. Start with defining all niche areas, product groups and customers. Doing detailed keyword research will help expose many of these, so get started.
4. Face your fears and overcome them
If you want to be successful, you’ll need to take some uncomfortable steps. Hate presenting? Just do it and you’ll overcome your fears. Prefer sitting at your desk to meeting people? Hate writing blogs of articles? Write with the passion you’ll have if you’re doing what you love. Be yourself. Get out and network. Once you do these things a few times, you’ll wonder why you ever worried about them.
5. Live for today
Yesterday is past and there’s no point waiting for the future. If you want to change your future, take action today. Only by acting today can you have a say in your own tomorrows. Identify your niche – what you have a passion for – and get your business plan and online marketing plan on course.
There’s no time like the present, as they say. In other words, the only time to do it is now, so get started if you want to change your future.
Image: Niche Dog by Shutterstock