With recent articles like Tony Maddox’s CNN post “Let it grow: How Clapton’s guitar can make you rich” popping up all over the web, the message for today’s market is clear: Whether you’re just starting out or are already a small business pro, there is no bigger sales secret than finding a niche.
Let’s say you’re just beginning a business. You have an empty garage and a house full of junk to sell — enough cheap wares to keep you going for a while. From old computers to gently used clothes to the neighbor’s forgotten second lawn mower, you’re the man (or woman) for getting cheap household basics.
So, tell me, do you have a business? No. To have a business, you need to specialize — to find that product or niche.
The same goes for services. Let’s say now that you’re a translator. Translating any language at any time is not a niche. Instead, say: I translate English to Spanish. Or English to German. Or German to Amharic.
Niche Lesson 1: Specialize in one specific area of industry. It’s easier to spread the word and to gain notoriety amongst a smaller group of people.
Here’s a real-life example:
Recently I learned there was a blog started a few years ago that’s devoted entirely to a unique subject: horribly decorated cakes. And it is a wild success! Jen, the main blogger behind the Cake Wrecks project, ran the blog (mostly at her own expense) and placed open calls for pictures of terribly decorated cakes. She eventually published a book about it.
Jen’s secret? She catered to an already specific niche — cake decorating, which is in the larger category of baking — and found something fun, unique and interesting — as well as marketable.
A lot of “invisible” things like that exist. For example, if you don’t build motorcycles, you might not know that people build custom motorcycles in their garages. If you don’t know ham radios, then you don’t know about the ham radio clubs and morse code enthusiasts scattered across the U.S.
Tens of thousands of industries like these are “invisible” to the people who are not in them. When you go into such a niche market with a very interested group of people, if you’re successful at what you do, they will be interested in what you have to say and sell.
Niche Lesson 2: Do your research! Read magazines, search the internet, or look in libraries for general information about your field. You may find a new market that you never even knew about.
But what if you’re already familiar with niches?
There is always more room to specialize — even with just a new product or advertising campaign. If you already have a business, ask yourself: How can I target my product to a different industry? Is it possible to market this for a client base we’ve never related to before?
This back-to-basics technique can totally revitalize the quality of your business, by taking what you already have and honing it using innovative niche-finding.
Consider the iPad. Apple had already cornered the computing market by 2010 with its innovative iPhone — and along with its high-quality computers, ever-popular iPods, and Apple TV, its sales were soaring. Then, Apple approached a market it had never tried before: tablet computing. To everyone’s surprise, the iPad was a booming success. One reporter has even suggested that Apple “one-upped” itself.
Boost your small business. Can you “one-up” yourself? What niche can you market to?
Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg is often called “the marketer for marketers”, a strategy and marketing advisor, ideas generator and action planner, experienced mentor and friend consulting to independent professionals and businesses large and small worldwide. For more info visit: www.issamar.com or reach him on Twitter at @RabbiIssamar . Find secrets like these and more at his blog: www.issamar.com/strategy