Have you ever heard of “niche” or “finding your niche” before? To be honest, I had heard of it but never considered it as apart of my day to day. That said, it seems I have always been operating with my “niche” in mind. When I started my novel *cough*6*cough* years ago, I had a particular goal in mind to fulfill what I considered a need – more fiction literature about lesbian African-Americans.
Fiction literature for lesbian African-Americans is my niche, the particular audience I am writing to.
I ended up revisiting this term because it kept coming up in my research to not only finish this novel, but make it successful. Truth is, though, no matter whether you are pushing a novel, art work, music, service or product, understanding and finding your niche could be the difference between making or wasting time and money.
If you are like me, you rather not waste your time and DEFINITELY not your money. So, let me explain “4 Actions to Finding Your Niche”:
1. FIGURE OUT YOUR PASSION. Think about what you love/like to do, are good at, and can possibly get paid for. What is it that you do that keeps you motivated? Take a moment to think about your values, vision and goals. This is the foundation for figuring out your niche and what you are willing to stick with, despite setbacks. By playing on your strengths, it makes it easier to put yourself in a position to become a sought after resource in your genre.
2. FIND YOUR FOCUS. Now that you have a list of what you like and your goals, it is time to translate it into your focus area. What problem or “need” can your strengths be used to resolve? Can they satisfy a basic need, solve a problem, or make others feel good about themselves? It is important to find your focus, because you cannot be everything to everybody, nor can you produce solutions to everything. While drawing down your focus, also think about “why” you are pushing your product or service. This will be handy when you are ready to market and promote.
3. RESEARCH THE MARKET. Once you have narrowed down what you have to offer, it is time to research. If you read my blog on branding, you may recall I said researching helps you reach your audience. This is true, but when it comes to your niche, researching is paramount to knowing if your focus even has a market. Do a Google search to check the competition, if there is any competition. Be a bit wary if there are no competitor ads popping up, or if there is a saturation of ads. These could be bad signs. Research will give you an idea of the market size and competition.
4. TARGET YOUR CUSTOMER. Again, you cannot please or produce with everyone in mind. The saying goes, “If you try selling to just anyone or everyone, you end up selling to no one.” This is why when discovering your niche, you want to have an idea of who your customer is. It is not enough to know the demographics. Think outside the box. Does the person who buys your CD like speak easy settings with live bands? Is the person techy or into organic products? Employ psychographics and bring your customer to life. Know their behaviors. Building your marketing plan will be a whole lot easier when you get to that point by thinking about this upfront.
If you figure it all out in the beginning, it makes it easier for you to be different and better than those who are already in your market. AND BONUS! You ensure that you waste as little time and money as possible.
That’s it! Now that I have shared all I have learned with you, please take a moment to leave a comment. Would love to hear from you.
Photo Credit: Surviving After Collegeby