No matter what kind of business you run, narrowing your focus to an ideal target audience can have a huge impact on your bottom line. When you are clear about who you want to reach, it makes it easier for your audience to connect with you.
For example, let’s say you’re an over-worked mom and you want to hire a life coach to help you get some perspective on your hectic life. At an event, you meet two coaches: one who introduces herself as “a life coach for everyone,” and one who says she is “a life coach for working moms who are struggling with work-life balance.” Who do you think you’d be more likely to hire?
Establishing a niche focus helps you better connect with the needs of your audience. And when you cast the net too wide, you actually risk losing business because you lack focus. Here are some additional examples:
- Financial advisor who specializes in working with divorced women
- Website designer for retail stores
- Music teacher for ages 7 to 12
- Contractor specializing in bathroom remodels
See how this works? This doesn’t mean that you can’t serve people outside of your niche, but it does give your business a clear focus so you can then develop all of your marketing collateral, products, and services to meet the specific needs of your target audience.
To determine your niche focus, start by evaluating your past clients. Are there any commonalities that they share? Also consider if there are specific groups of people that you want to work with. Most importantly, pick a market that is narrow enough to be a niche, but not so narrow that the opportunity is limited.
Once you identify a niche, here are some ways to reach them online.
- Online Groups – Find one or more groups that reach your target audience via LinkedIn, Facebook, or Ning.com where you can become an active participant and get known in the community.
- Start a Group – Instead of joining an online group, you could start your own.
- Website – Once you are clear about your niche, make sure your website reflects who it is you want to reach and how your products and services benefit their specific needs and challenges.
- Blog – The content from your blog should also directly appeal to members of your target audience.
- Social Media – Once again, all of your content shared via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the other social networks should speak directly to the needs and challenges of your target audience.
- OPBs – Other people’s blog’s are another way to reach your audience. Inquire about contributing guest blog posts to sites where your community spends their time. You can also comment on blog posts and build recognition by participating frequently.
- Podcasts and Teleseminars – Record your own teleseminars and podcasts or be a guest on other people’s programs. You can locate opportunities with some Google searches. Also, don’t overlook internet radio programs via http://blogtalkradio.com, http://wsradio.com, and http://alltalkradio.net.
- Videos – Record videos of two to five minutes each that cover topics of interest to your target audience, and then build your own YouTube channel and share via social media. Videos can generate a lot of traffic so be consistent with this strategy and produce new content often.
Stephanie Chandler is the author of several books including Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business. She is also CEO of http://AuthorityPublishing.com, specializing in custom book publishing and social media marketing services, and BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. A frequent speaker at business events and on the radio, she has been featured in Entrepreneur, BusinessWeek, and Wired magazine, and she is a blogger for Forbes.
This article is from the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost Your Small Business in 2013. #Boost2013
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