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How to Successfully Develop Your Niche

It’s pretty easy to know a little about a lot, and we can thank Google and YouTube for that. The internet – or more appropriately, the information superhighway – has given new meaning to the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

Let’s say you want to bedazzle a pair of jeans (don’t worry, no judgement here). There are literally dozens of videos on how to embellish your denim. How about changing your own oil? No problem. After just a few clicks, you’re in business.

But what if your engine dies? That’s not a snag you can simply solve on YouTube. And you don’t want someone who sort of knows about cars and stereos and tires and paint and stuff. Nope, it’s time to find a professional who specializes in fixing engines.

You need to apply that same philosophy to your business. In what area are you the expert? The one your customers can’t do without?

It’s time to develop your niche, and there are several factors to keep in mind:

  1. Decide who you want to do business with: Imagine you start a business as a running coach. Who are your customers? Are you OK with beginners who need more hand-holding, or would you prefer to focus on speed work for elite athletes? Narrow your target market so you can focus on their needs.
  2. What can you offer that your competitors aren’t? It starts with market research. If you see that most coaches are only teaching form, maybe you should include training for half- and full marathons. Boom! You’re offering an important component that your competition does not address.
  3. When networking, be specific: Saying “I’m a running coach” is not as effective as saying “I’m a running coach who focuses on training for long-distance races.” Now you’ve got their attention.
  4. Appeal to emotions: This item cannot be stressed enough. Look around. Most people aren’t running. Why? Because running is a choice, and it takes dedication and drive. But for those who do it, running is rewarding in so many ways. Physically, emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually – if you questioned that last one, you probably haven’t run lately. Appeal to the enjoyment that your expertise will bring. That connection will keep your customers coming back for more.

So find your niche. Find your target market. Find that emotional connection. And then bedazzle those jeans – just don’t wear them while changing your own oil.