The biggest mistake beginning marketers (and some veterans) make is to try to sell something to a market that doesn't want what they are selling. The second biggest mistake they make is to believe that their product and service appeals to everyone under the sun.
The truth of the matter is...you can make more money selling to a small niche market who is dying for what you have to offer and will pay any amount of money for it than to try to sell a specialized item to everyone!
Take this story as an example to illustrate my point. My cousin loves 1976 Mercury Capri's. He loves them so much that he once flew 3,000 miles from NY to Seattle to purchase one sight unseen and drive it back to NY. I thought my cousin was insane but apparently he is not the only one who loves this obscure automobile. One day I came over his house and saw him online talking to several friends in a chatroom. I asked who they were and he said they were members of a "Capri club" he belongs to.
I asked him how many members were in this club and he told me the total membership of the club is close to 10,000. That is for the entire country! This may or may not be accurate numbers but imagine this: these are all rabid, slobbering at the mouth fans of the Capri. They will buy literally anything to do with their car!!! Do you think that someone who caters to this niche marketplace will make a lot of money? I think they will make a fortune.
Here is why:
A Capri lover is in a specific niche. They love Capri's. They share that common trait with a few others. They are not like average car owners who just want to go to work or school. They LOVE their cars and they will pay any amount to build, maintain, restore and care for their cars. This is a specific target market. Someone who went into business selling products or services that this market was interested in will make money simply because the marketplace (Capri enthusiasts) have a demand for products and services related to their interest. This makes them an attractive audience.
Here is another example:
Kubota tractors. Ever heard of em? I would be very surprised if you had. However, they are a very popular brand of tractors with a very devoted audience. This market is a very tight, specific niche and there are people who make millions selling after market parts to Kubota tractor owners. That is all they do: sell parts that are either out of stock or too expensive from the dealer and they make millions!
That is the power of targeting your market.
So how do you go about finding a tight, targeted niche market to sell to?
Well first consider this: it is easier to achieve success if you focus your business on something you like to do or are passionate about. For instance, if you love skydiving then you could focus your business on skydiving products and/or services to others who also love skydiving.
So therefore not only should you sell to a niche market, it would be helpful (although not necessary) that you too are a member of that market.
Being an insider gives you a keen insight into existing problems in your field. This is important because you always want to sell solutions to existing problems. However, not just any problem. You have to know which problems people are willing to pay to solve.
Lets say that you were a member of the Capri enthusiast group. You know that it is very hard to get a particular headlight for the 1972 Capri. Everyone in the Capri newsgroups and the Capri mailing lists is always saying: "I would pay any amount of money for a set of headlights for my 72 Capri. One day you stumble upon a wholesale source that sells aftermarket headlights for well below the market value. You strike a deal with the company to become a distributor and they will do the drop shipping and only charge you the cost of the headlights. You could go into business selling those headlights to the Capri enthusiasts for a reasonable markup (or go for the big profits) and make a tidy sum of money.
You could do this for any market, anywhere! And the best part is, the smaller the market, the bigger the profits! Going after a small market where there is little or no competition puts a good bit of money in your hands.
So how do you know what problems people will pay to solve?
Ask them using surveys. Surveys help you research your target market to find out exactly what solutions they are willing to pay for. Why spend the time and money to produce a product if no one wants to buy it? If you spend your time and effort in creating and running surveys to determine what someone wants to buy you can confidently produce it knowing that it will be profitable.
Find out what products are already being sold to your target market and create a similar product. For instance, a relative of ours is addicted to the new age industry. This individual purchases hundreds of new age books, tapes and courses and also attends seminars and motivational retreats. Every time we see this person, she has yet another new age product in her collection. And the buying frenzy is far from over. What a goldmine!
So you see, there is still room for you even when competition exists.
When you solve a problem try to do it fast. Everybody wants results NOW! They don't want to wait for results. For example, if you were selling diet products, you would want to offer a solution to losing weight that provides results in a few weeks time, not 6-12 months.
Make it easy for people to put your solution to use. People want the most for the least amount of effort. Sticking with our diet product example, people don't necessarily want exercise, most people looking to lose weight would rather take a pill or drink a shake. You get the idea. When you have these two ingredients, you have the formula for a successful product and ultimately a successful business.
Instead of focusing on being everything to everyone, target a niche and sell to them, the smaller and tighter the better. Selling to a small niche market instead of to everyone under the sun is actually easier and more profitable than trying to be everything to everyone.
Article by Marc Goldman, Goldbar Enterprises.