As a startup, finding your audience is an important part of success. Simply put, you want to get your message out to your target customer in a manner that’s clear and engaging. Startups should talk early and often about their business, however there does come a time when the message needs to be focused.
When it comes to your sales and marketing efforts, one common misstep that startups find themselves in is in trying to craft a message that has broad appeal, rather than focusing in on their niche. Focusing on a particular section of a market can help make your message known to someone who might really have a need for your business. It’s a great way to really establish yourself.
This is where, regardless of your industry, finding a niche market and establishing yourself as an expert in that niche can help you establish a strong foothold in your market.
What Is a Niche?
A niche is the specific area in which you specialise and appeal to a market segment. Your niche is also where you focus the majority of your efforts to market your business. If you can master your niche, you can separate yourself from your competition.
A niche is important because no matter what field you are in, there will always be competition. As an online startup, this is especially true. When you specialise, you hone in on a specific market and target that market. If you can master this segment of the market, your customers will respond primarily because you have separated yourself from the pack.
For example, if you sell widgets; rather than trying to sell all types of widgets, you might focus your efforts on selling medical widgets. Your marketing and sales efforts should be focused on attracting the type of customer who would buy medical widgets.
After you grow your business in this direction, you can always branch out. By then, you’ve established a track record of trust. Other customers are more likely to purchase other types of widgets from you.
Plenty of successful startups have followed this path. Amazon used to only sell books, now they sell everything. Zappos started off with shoes, and now sells a variety of clothing and accessories. Establishing a firm foundation puts you in a strong position to build later.
How To Find Your Niche
There are a few different ways to find your niche. Some important ones include:
- Figuring out the best way your product(s) can be used and to what audience they appeal to.
- Finding a solution to what doesn’t work based on what you observe by the pain points in your industry and then capitalising on that. Identify key pain points, or service gaps, and solve them.
- Provide data that shows evidence on how you are helping customers save money, save time, etc when buying your product.
Regardless of your industry, if you can establish yourself as the “go to” company for a specific niche, customers are willing to buy from you, and also to grow with you. Don’t be just another company. In an ideal situation, your customers will need your products as much as anything else.
As you grow, you can branch out into other areas and start to take market share from your competitors. At this point, they won’t know what hit them, and your customers will come along for the ride. Be true to your core values, and don’t forget your initial purpose either. Amazon is still the #1 place for books, they’ve just evolved their offering.