This past week I was talking to an agent and of course the regular questions came up, “You Busy?”, “Whatcha working on?”, “How’s your business?”. Then she said something profound. She said, “I am not waiting anymore, I’m going to Create a Market!”. The more we discussed it, the more concentrated her market became, until she had a laser point focus on what her niche was going to be. While I don’t want to give her hard work away, I will share the process. And next week discuss what I see my Niche may become.
As a professional you have to separate yourself from everyone else. You need to determine what YOUR focus is going to be…YOUR niche. By targeting your business to a few markets you not only protect yourself from the competition, but you shield yourself from the state of the economy. If you do this successfully, your clients won’t now what they did without you. I know of an agent in our area that was/ is the “short sale expert”. Even when times are good you will get referrals for your specific market. In an arena of generalists, people in need will seek out the specialist.
What is your Niche? First ask yourself, what is the competition NOT doing? Is there a Niche they have failed to fill? It is very easy to become the expert of something no one else is doing. Then determine if what you are currently doing relates to this “prospective niche”, you can’t be an expert in one area one day and a completely different area the next. Then ask yourself, how can I differentiate my business from others? How can I create the perception that my market simply cannot live without me. What do I have to offer?
Time to Focus…Decide what your client looks like, define who they are, and more importantly where do you find them. Too many times people stop focusing before they reach their client. “First Time Home Buyers” is not a niche…”Young, Married, plant workers in the Ascension Parish Area” is a niche. You know who they are, you know where to find them, and better yet, it is easy to ask other people to market your niche. Make sure your niche is different, and make sure your niche is viable. No point going after “Young, Married, plant workers in the Ascension Parish Area” if all the plants are laying off workers.
The Unpaid Sales Rep… Ask yourself where is you client? Does your niche have an association? Where do they gather? How do you get to as many of them as you can, efficiently? I know a Disability Insurance sales rep whose niche is dentists, at the end of each graduating class guess who is making presentations at the state school of dentistry? As you position yourself as THE expert, the leaders of these groups will seek you out.
The only constant is change… Re-evaluate your niche, when it gets old go through the process again. Look where you market has been, how it evolved (and it will) and where it is going. Develop new products and services to add to your Business, competitors will respond to your success and you will need to grow to stay ahead. The secret to niche marketing is being able to evolve with time.