Your Own Super Niche: You Need a Compelling Business Message

Mari Gottdiener started Outsource Solutions a decade ago in San Francisco to help clients improve credit scores and resolve identity theft. A former attorney, she offered an alternative to high-priced and often unscrupulous credit 'cleanup and repair clinics.'

After months of networking at the local Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, she generated awareness for her services. Still, she struggled to find clients. Mari realized that she needed to reach a more targeted group of prospects.

Mari determined through research that mortgage brokers had an ongoing need for her services on behalf of their loan applicants.

Mari began networking at mortgage broker trade associations. She published articles about credit repair in mortgage broker trade publications, gave workshops at several mortgage offices and conducted a webinar for a mortgage broker Web site.

Within a few months, Mari had made the mortgage broker industry her own "super niche." Prospects from all over the country sought her out, and she enjoyed a new ability to charge more for specialized services.

"My decision to focus on being the person who fixes credit problems for the mortgage broker sector transformed my business," says Gottdiener. "It became easier to define what I could do for them and their clients. Now, my name gets passed around, and I've developed a special reputation within that market that makes getting business easier than ever."

To Find a Niche: Focus!

Many entrepreneurs think that selling to the widest possible market is the likeliest path to success. The problem is that the "take all comers" approach is not very effective as an overall marketing strategy; marketing becomes expensive when everyone is a potential prospect.

Today's small businesses share a fiercely competitive playing field. Combined with information overload, this means that it's harder to stand out when you have a generic message. If you are merely a "management consultant," a humble "business coach," or a nondescript "financial advisor," you risk fighting it out over price with competitors who offer identical services to yours.

To rise above the fray, you need a compelling business message aimed at the right people. You need to cultivate your own Super Niche.

Niche By Design

You can develop a super niche without spending a lot of money. Start by focusing on the unmet needs of targeted prospects and developing a unique spot in your marketplace that flows from these fundamental principles:

  1. By narrowing your focus, you create more opportunities
    Niches are, above all, manageable. You can get your mind (and wallet) around them well enough to design a marketing strategy that speaks in personal terms to real prospects. You avoid wasting time and money broadcasting your message to a general population that isn't particularly interested in what you have to offer.

    Start by identifying your ideal customers and the communities they belong to. By targeting the best, most favorably inclined prospects within a niche, you can become your target market's vendor of choice-and if that market is large enough, you will be a success.

  2. Establish yourself as an expert in your niche
    When you cultivate a Super Niche, you use the power of positioning to make your business distinct, meaningful, and indispensable. This enables you to establish yourself as a resource and a trusted advisor within your niche. Like Mari, you'll use your expertise to communicate competence and industry leadership in a manner that is relevant and appealing to your target market.

  3. By sharing what you know, customers seek you out (instead of the other way around)
    Becoming a resource within your target market starts with sharing your knowledge. You can give away free information—booklets, reports that make a difference to your prospects, valuable Website content—in a way that attracts interest but does not involve sales pressure.

    The more you become known as a source of expert information, the more potential customers trust you. You become part of their world, a center of influence, and because people like to do business with people they know, or know of, you will be their first choice.

  4. You will offer products and services not found anywhere else—and charge more
    People will pay a premium for products and services that address their special needs. This provides you with profitable opportunities to create higher-end products and services customized to your Super Niche.

    For example, a chiropractor could approach moving companies with a seminar, "Proper Lifting Techniques that Reduce Worker's Compensation Claims." Or, a career coach could target only those in mid-life with a premium-priced mentor program, "Live Your Passion After 50."

    As you establish yourself within your niche, you'll develop a special reputation that drives word-of-mouth through testimonials, case studies, and specific results from others like them.

    When you cultivate a Super Niche, you own the playing field. Competitive challenges become a thing of the past. You'll get more business with less effort and you won't be competing with similar businesses solely on price. The best part is that cultivating your own Super Niche requires only time and attention. Now, take action!

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