How to discover and dominate niche markets
As a mentor in the $10K Bootcamp, the #1 question I get asked is, “how can I get more leads?” Even though the answer is simple, it’s the execution that kills us as web professionals.
Choosing a niche isn’t the easiest thing to do, I get it. But, the sooner you select a niche (aka market) the sooner you can templatize your offerings, sales process, etc.
Your job actually gets easier with every niche you enter.
What is a Niche, Exactly?
Technically speaking – a niche is a term that is used in ecological biology to define an organism’s role in an ecosystem. Seriously, that’s what a “niche” really is. Not only does a niche include the environment a given organism lives in, it also includes the organism’s “job” in that environment. In our case a “NICHE” is a marketplace.
As an example, Heating & Air Conditioning is a niche – not unlike the broader area of the Home Comfort industry, which would include luxury appliances as well. But HVAC is more specific than “Home Comfort.”
Let’s say you’re just starting out, the only way to get from zero to scalable business it to pick a niche and dominate it. That’s how we did it.
If you sell to everyone, you’ll sell to no one.
The point of a niche is to get you to the point of having enough revenue and a big enough client base to get you to the next level of your business. Or, to the next niche.
You don’t have to marry it. You’re not stuck there forever.
When you get to the next level, you can pick another, but your first order of business as a web professional is to produce revenue. The single most effective way to accomplish that is to choose a niche market.
Look, in all candidness – if you already have an influx of leads, niching is probably not as critical to your business as it would be to someone who’s just starting out. But that doesn’t mean you should push this topic aside, far from it!
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Trajectory
The first thing I tell all my $10K’ers to do is adjust your mindset. We hear “create a niche” and automatically we start thinking small.
Stop thinking like a hunter and start thinking like a farmer.
Hunters have to track, gather, clean, etc. Farmers plant, nurture, care for and harvest their crop. While hunters typically make a single kill over a period of days, farmers create acres upon acres of revenue generating product! Ask yourself “who would I rather be?”
Instead of thinking about the number of businesses we won’t be able to sell to because we’re choosing a niche, let’s start thinking about how we can solve problems in a particular marketplace. Let’s imagine what our revenue would look like if we could just sell three or four $10K projects into that niche market every month!
While we’re on the subject of mindset, make sure to never make “money” part of your niche selection process. What I mean is – if you love a particular industry, the money will be there.
Follow your passion, follow your heart. Choose a niche based on your interests, not based on it’s possible revenue potential.
Cultivating Your Niche
Many web pros feel niching won’t work for them. They fear that getting too specific will narrow down the amount of work they will be able to do. In actuality, the opposite is true.
When you dominate a niche market, you become the leader of that market. This will enable you to sell with more of an educational tone. You’ll no longer be that “sales call” that they hate – you’ll be the guy or girl with the answers!
To cultivate a niche properly you need 3 things:
You need to exercise patience and not give up just because you have a bad month or two.
Perseverance is just as important and will get you through the bottom feeders of any niche and in front of the top dogs – the top 20% who are making all the money.
Lastly, you’ll need to craft your personality – as seen in that niche market. You’ll need to become the ultimate example of your brand!
People do business with people they like; it’s just that simple.
Play to Your Passion
It becomes really easy to market yourself when you’re passionate about your niche. Once you figure out the terminology and what works, you can apply it across the entire marketplace.
And once you have ten to fifteen clients in one niche, it becomes really easy to get the next one. It becomes easy to scale and grow. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each client, because you already have the answers.
Sales cycles shorten, projects are more efficient, and industry terminology becomes second nature for you. You’ll instinctively know what each prospect wants and needs. You’ll know how to talk to them, and best of all – you’ll know how to sell them.
This newfound freedom (aka Niching) will give you the time you desperately need to focus on your business. Use it wisely.
It can seem counterintuitive to think that the more specific you get, the better results you’ll see.
But think of it like this: if you’re a shrimp fisherman, you don’t want to catch everything in the sea. You want to catch shrimp.
The more precise you can be about catching shrimp, the more success you’ll have. Shrimping is different than fishing for sharks or tuna. Knowing that, you can begin making a plan for your success.
Once you know you’re after shrimp, you can begin to identify where the shrimp are, what they eat, and the best time of day to catch them. You’ll also narrow down what kind of tools you’ll need. Which nets? Which buckets? Which bait?
Once you figure out all of these things, generating revenue becomes a process instead of a brand new challenge each time you generate a lead.
Make sense? Of course it does. You know it does!
I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my first niche, the HVAC market. After spending five years in that niche, it became almost too easy to sell, upsell, and even support my client base.
Now it’s your turn. Stop thinking about it and take action. Niches = Riches!