Many people tell you they are working a niche when what they are actually doing is far from it. Working your niche correctly can create dramatic sales growth, the current podcast episode tells you how.

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I recently had a conversation after one of my presentations where we talked about visualizing the type of business you want and then beginning the steps to build the business that you’ve imagined. A woman I was talking with got the visualization part perfectly but then once she began to develop the foundation for her vision I saw her slipping back into doing what everyone else was doing. She said she had defined her “niche” but it sounded like so many canned talks I’d heard before.

Niche marketing has become such a buzz phrase that I’ve begun to realize that a lot of people don’t really understand what it means. Just to be clear a niche is a small segment of a larger category that is highly targeted. For example saying you’re a “coach” or even a multilevel marketer is not a niche but simply puts you into a broad category or market. If you said I’m a coach for people over 40 returning to the workforce looking to upgrade their skills; that is a niche. The same applies to something like multilevel marketing. While the company you work with may have a range of products, you specialize in herbal products that help clean up around the house, specifically focused on households with young children who want safety. See the difference?

The idea in going after a niche is first that the broader category may be highly competitive, and second you are aiming for a small section of that category that your competitors may service but are not heavily involved in. Think broadcast TV channels like NBC or CBS versus ESPN. The first two offer a broad range of shows from sitcoms to drama and also football. ESPN on the other hand is only going to show you sports programs so they don’t have to worry about a broad range of offerings like the big networks. They may offer Tennis and boxing but generally when you think of ESPN what instantly comes to mind is “football”. The psychological advantage of this approach is that they are going after people who want their product and are willing to pay at times premium prices to get it because it covers so much of this small area. niche visualizationThe benefit of concentrating on a niche is that people offering services to it are not bound as much by price limits and they can become experts in their small area.

Back to the woman I was talking with. I told her to stop doing what everyone else was doing and begin to think of how she could break down the area she wanted to build her business in. Was there a smaller section of an area she could focus on? Once she understood this aspect of creating her business she would also have a better idea of how to stand out from all the noise of the competition. She could begin to look at her niche based on location, age and gender, behavior, or lifestyle. In fact, she could do combinations of those factors to key in even further on who fit her niche. Becoming skilled at this would also help her understand what attracts clients to her and triggers them to buy her product because of the need it filled.

Marketing becomes easier because you’re not trying to service the world, just a small section of it. Servicing your small section begins to make you an expert in your area which builds your visibility even further due to the “social proof” of those attracted to your service. You’ve seen this happen… a crowd forms and people may not know what the crowd is watching but they want to watch too.

This is all part of what goes into finding your niche and learning what motivates them. Just be aware that the rest of the world may begin to take notice if your niche become profitable and just like that crowd I mentioned earlier, your little corner of the world may become crowded. Then, you may have to become even more targeted. But just being clear about who you’re going after puts you light years ahead of the “me too” crowd.