June 14, 2008

Are you trying to speak to the entire world, or have you narrowed the pool of people you are marketing to, down to a manageable size? That is the importance of finding a target or niche market. Think about the industries that you have worked with in your “corporate life”. What kind of work did you like best? What type of people did you prefer to work with?

Narrowing your message doesn’t give you less people to work with, as so many people think. Instead of being a small fish in a big pool (where the bigger fish eat you up!) you get to be the big fish in the little pool. And because you are targeting a smaller pool you are able to narrow your message down to their specific needs and desires. When they see that you are JUST FOR THEM they will come to you.

In practical terms it means finding where your clients are and going out of your way to speak to them. Finding the forums they participate in, the online and in person places they are likely to frequent. Talk to them. Have fun and make friends. Initially the point is NOT to sell your business but to let them get to know and like YOU. People do business with others that they know and like.

I was just as flummoxed over trying to find a niche market as any business owner. I didn’t know where to begin. So I sat down and really thought about what I liked to do.  And then I considered the things I love – things I am passionate about. I considered my personal goals for the next 2-3 years and how I want to have horses again. After chewing on that for awhile I settled for the Equine industry. I figured I could work for Breeders, Trainers, Farriers, Large Animal Vets and Clinicians, etc.

I redesigned my website to speak specifically to that group. And I suddenly knew where I had to focus my attention. I’m a now a member of several select Equine groups. As I have had discussions with this crowd, I’ve pretty much narrowed my niche even further to breeders and trainers. There are so many out there, even with my market that narrow, I couldn’t begin to contact them all. In fact, I could narrow my market to breeders of one type of horse and I would still have a huge market!  By making friends that know horses and know that I know horses I am able to present my business to them in their own language from a source they know and trust.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, narrowing your market doesn’t mean you can’t do business outside of that target. You can work with anyone! It’s just a matter of where you put your focus.  So find your ideal client, pursue your passion and watch your business grow.

To find people in your niche just Google them!  As an example I’ve Googled Business Forums, but get specific!  Target YOUR ideal clients!


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