Why you need a niche to have success online

When someone asks you, “who’s your target audience?” Your answer shouldn’t be, “anyone who can afford my {insert product/service}.” Not true, and not a winning strategy online. There are a few places that it might work, sure. But they have names already, Amazon, Walmart, eBay. For the rest of us, attempting to be the online resource for everyone will get you lost in a very saturated market.

It sounds counterintuitive to be exclusive in who you want to sell to. But, success online is found in finding your tribe. Let’s take a look at some offline comparisons to put this into perspective. Then we can take a look at some simple things that you can do to help your business create a niche for yourself, and set yourself up fo success.

Downtown Business vs. Big Box Store

When there’s an economic downturn in an area people tend to look at it’s effect on “Main Street America.” But, even in bad times, some businesses thrive in downtown settings. The thing they do is niche. Looking at a store like Bivouac, they don’t try to compete with Walmart or even Cabelas for outdoor wear.

They know their optimal customer, and they market to them. They’ve found a niche in high end camping and outdoor enthusiasts. Not everyone can afford a $500 parka, and they don’t want every customer. They’re successful at what they do because they know who they want in the store.

So how do they do it? How do they stay in business when there aren’t that many people that are in that market? Most importantly, how can you find that success, online or off.

Know Yourself

Successful businesses have an identity. Not a logo, not a brand package, but an identity of who they are. Let’s say you’re lawyer. You’re trying to build your client base and you know that you’re going to focus on family law. In your city there may be 20 lawyers that also do family law.

What is your differentiating proposition? Who are YOU? Perhaps you’re passionate about women’s rights, or children’s rights. Letting your ethics shine through in everything you do will help you market to the clients that you’ll want to work with. 

Know Your Stuff

Bivouac hires people who are knowledgable and passionate about the outdoors as well. They know their gear and are helpful in assisting you in your needs. Going back to the lawyer example, it’s just about showing your legal chops, every other lawyer in town can do that. You need to show that you know your stuff about your niche.

Writing content that talks specifically to the way you feel about your subject will establish you as an expert in the needs your clients will have. Using content to differentiate yourself will help potential clients find you as they search for answers to the questions they have. When you resonate with them, that’s when you find your tribe, and the sales that come with them.

Know Your Customers (The Real Ones)

To assist that content creation, getting to know your the real needs of your customers will go along way. Listening to their questions all throughout your process is the easiest way to get ideas on how to write articles, make videos, and reach others that can make great customers.

Not everyone will like what you have to say, and that’s ok. Establishing the boundary on who you want as a client will mean you have less bad clients, and more good and profitable ones.

Saying No is OK

At the end of the day, saying no to someone who’s not a good fit will actually help you grow. The Internet connects people from everywhere in the world. Getting lost in the mix is easy to do, but when you find your niche the odds of more people finding you because of the niche you’ve created is far more likely.

Know what your business is, who you are, and the identity you want to have and be ready to see your growth take off with the customers you really want.

Published 12/01/17 by Eric Lynch