How to Pinpoint Your Niche

How to Pinpoint Your Niche

Big Ideas

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February 5 2021
Big Ideas

Dominating a niche is a marketing strategy that has seen increasing popularity throughout the past decade. The idea propelling this marketing “movement” is to limit generalization: wearing too many hats in your business won’t help you or your customers; in other words, it’s better to be excellent at a few things than mediocre at many. 

Sculpting your niche market and positioning your brand as THE go-to for that specific audience not only helps build validity and awareness for your brand, it also helps establish your unique value proposition amongst competing generic brands – it's what causes your target audience to land on your content and immediately say “this is exactly what I need”. Brands such as Lefty’s Lefthanded StoreLush, and the recently famous New Amsterdam Pink Whitney have done extremely well in understanding and catering to their respective niches.  

Here are the 4 steps to pinpoint your ideal niche: 

Brainstorm Possible Audiences

Before you nonchalantly pick a niche at random and move onward with the campaign, it’s extremely important to properly validate your choice. Start by brainstorming with your team a list of potential niches you would want to target - and think carefully. There are countless niches you can pursue; you want to make sure that your choices make sense. Once you’ve curated your ideal list, rank them based on who you think would make the best customers and align best with the product or service that you currently offer.

If you don’t even know where to start, consider the following:

  • Try to think of problems or “pain points” you can solve in the industry 
  • Research your competition - what are they doing? How does it differ from you? Are they missing anything? 
  • Ask individuals in your network for their thoughts and opinions  
 
Build a Customer Avatar 

Once you’ve settled on your top choice, you can dive into creating a buyer persona also known as a Customer Avatar.

Specifically, think about who the person that you want to target truly is. Ask yourself a bunch of questions about this person: who are they? What are their needs? What are their interests? What are their go-to communication channels? etc... If the question is irrelevant to fitting them in or out of the niche you’re targeting, ignore the question. If it is relevant, add it to the customer avatar. You want to go as narrow as you can, while still leaving a large enough market for it to be interesting.  

It’s important to note that you’ll still catch a lot of people outside the niche - and that’s okay! You don't have to turn them away; you aren’t limited to ONLY doing business inside your new niche.  

If you're feeling stuck, check out this blog post that goes over how to create a killer customer persona.

Now before you make this decision final, you need to validate the niche. Which moves us to the third step...  

3 faceless avatars a white women with brown hair in a pony tail, a black man with a beard and a white women wearing glasses with brown hair.

Validation Cycle 

There are 3 components to the cycle: Product, Positioning and Proof. 

  • Product: This is about thinking what you can offer this new segment. What unique value can you bring? Try to refer to the consumer pain points you came up with – what can you do or offer to alleviate these challenges?  

 

  • Positioning: This is about crafting a marketing plan. What do you need to say and where should you be targeting your niche?

 

  • Proof : This is about validating your choice. Call a few of your existing customers that fit in your target niche. Then cold call a few people in your target niche that aren’t customers. Be sure to find or create a framework for asking questions that help uncover the real pain points. 

 

The Validation with Product, Positioning and Proof in a cycle diagram.

Pivot 

Once you have validated and you feel you have really nailed the product and the positioning, it’s time to Pivot. Rather than re-designing your entire brand and website, here’s an easy first step you can use as a proof of concept.... 

Build a page on your website completely dedicated to your new customer avatar. This page should look and feel like a new home page but be targeted to your specific niche. It should be completely self-contained and should have everything you need to communicate the unique benefits you offer with a clear call to action.  

Then, without overinvesting, build a paid marketing campaign targeting this new niche and use this new page as the landing page for the campaign. This is just one example; you can execute your proof of concept any way that best makes sense for your business model. Ultimately, you want to establish yourself as an industry expert.

 

Postition Yourself as an Expert 

Forbes magazine offers four tactics to help position yourself as an expert within your niche: 

Provide Valuable Information on your website 
Not only is this important for your SEO/SERP rankings; but websites are often the first point of contact for your audience. Thus, it should be your primary focus for establishing your business as in industry thought leader. 

Look for opportunities to share 
Business leaders cannot just reply on their website; they must use a variety of platforms to share knowledge and build authority on their brand. This could be guest blogging, being interviewed on a podcast, or influencer collaboration. 

Be a great CEO/leader 
Being a strong leader will help you achieve the desired outcomes from your team, whilst driving sales and building powerful brand authority throughout the process. 

Build Strong Industry Relationship 
Remember: the world does not revolve around you! While you may have lots of useful knowledge to share, there are other experts out there as well. It’s important to know what you don’t know – there may be some things that you can’t help with. In these instances, it’s best to guide these individuals to the person who can help them. Not only does this help build trust with your customers, but also within others in the industry. 

 
TO RECAP: 

https://sherpa2017.blob.core.windows.net/images/contenthub-posts/02-2021/Twitter---Steps-to-pinpoint-your-ideal-niche.png 

Remember to never stop researching and studying – you can’t find your target market’s unmet needs if you aren’t actively searching for them! It’s important you consistently study the ins-and-outs of your industry. Listening is also an important component of this! Conduct interviews, focus groups, surveys – do whatever you can to learn about your industry and niche.  

Resources: 
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245236 
https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/348961 
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/272808 
https://www.shopify.ca/blog/niche-markets 
https://thrivehive.com/examples-of-niche-markets/ 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephanieburns/2020/06/13/4-tips-for-positioning-yourself-as-an-expert-in-your-niche/#70734a487f81 
https://neilpatel.com/blog/choosing-ecommerce-niche/ 

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