410.235.7070 Join Our E-Letter
businessGPS Taking You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Go.

How to break into new your niche using a pre-launch

How to break into new your niche using a pre-launch

January 27, 2009

Before you get set to dive into your niche, you must go through the pre-launch phase, which consists of simplifying your message.

The best way to do that is to clarify who will receive your message. In other words, who are your hungry fish? Who are your end users? Most don't take the time to think this through. STOP. Take a few minutes and really get into the headspace of your prospect.

Those who will use your product or service ' your buyers or end users ' drive everything. And the more you can narrow your market to those who will benefit from your service, the better. The goal is NOT to reach as many people as possible. Rather, the goal is to first carve out a niche in your market and reach as many people as possible within that narrow niche. There are riches in niches.

'The more niche you are, the better your business is going to do,' says Christina Hills, the Shopping Cart Queen. 'Lots of people are afraid. 'I'll cut out too many folks if I niche too much.' I have a girlfriend she's a graphic designer and I tell her you're just like every other graphic designer. Pick a very specific niche and your business will go up. So for the new person getting started ' the new entrepreneur, it's kind of counter-intuitive that a niche is going to bring you more business.'
Like many successful gurus, she built her business around the needs she saw in the market.

'The mistake most entrepreneurs make is that they are so passionate about what they sell, they forget who their market is,' says chiropractor-turned-consultant Dr. Ben Altadonna. 'They put their product first and then they worry about who to sell it to later. Big mistake.
'The key to success is defining the market first, identify the perfect customer,' Dr. Altadonna says. 'Find out exactly what they already want and just give it to them!

'For example, as a chiropractor I used to do spinal screenings in shopping malls, in front of post offices, Wal-marts, at health fairs, boat, computer, and home shows, etc. I thought everyone was my market because everyone has a spine. I'd spend hours standing around trying to sell anyone who would talk to me on the benefits chiropractic has to offer. I'd get patients here or there but the ones I got wouldn't pay premium prices, were difficult to close, hard to keep compliant and rarely referred others.'

'The positioning was poor,' Dr. Altadonna says. He instead shifted his focus to direct mail marketing and narrowed his focus.

Instead of trying to appeal to everyone with a spine, he targeted people already suffering from conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, herniated discs, work-related and auto-related injuries, and so on. 'By doing so, I attracted only the type of patients that were already motivated to do something now. The key is 'already' and 'now,'' Dr. Altadonna says. He teaches the same approach to his chiropractor clients.
'The problem with most business people, including doctors, is they don't realize what their number one job really is: to attract pre-qualified prospects who already want what you have to offer.'

Craig Forte is another good example. He teaches real estate agents how to grow their business. He's simplified and codified his system into what he calls 'The Three Steps.' Real estate agents are overwhelmed with rules and instructions so Forte's system simplifies the process into three steps, which is very attractive to real estate agents who may feel overwhelmed when first getting into the business. More importantly, it has proven extremely successful for those agents who use his system.

So what will you offer in your niche that will set you apart? Try the Breakthrough Wizard.

The Breakthrough Wizard

Breakthroughs don't begin with your prospects. They begin with you. They come from those things you know best ' your Subject Matter Expertise (SME). Follow the exercise below to help you find your next breakthrough.

Define your SME as narrowly and in as much detail as you can.

(This is important so let's use myself as an example. It would not be enough for me to list my SME as a coach to business owners. My SME is much more specific and includes marketing and turnaround expert for small to mid-size business owners who are trying to attract more prospects, increase sales and achieve a balance between work and life. Narrow your niche.)

What processes or systems in your SME can you improve or make better?

What can you do to make things perform faster in your SME area?

What can be made simpler or easier to use by either your employees or customers?

How can something be changed to make it cheaper to buy or less expensive to produce?

Using this exercise, you should begin to see some breakthrough ideas that can make a difference in your niche. Write it down while it's still fresh and use that idea to begin to build your next breakthrough!

How one entrepreneur capitalized on her niche in the market

Christina Hills built her first online shopping cart when helping her husband build his business soon after she left her job in the film business to spend more time with her family.

'I discovered that my favorite thing of building an online business was setting up the shopping cart and the auto responder system.

'I just find it fun and challenging to figure out how I can use this tool, and turn this membership tool into a shopping cart system and how can I take this tool get the most out of it and how can I do this for other people.

'And because this is something I love to do, I'm going to niche in it and I'm going to become the Shopping Cart Queen.

'I also saw that what you need to do is look in the marketplace and find a need and fill that need. So when I was helping my husband set up his online shopping cart I didn't like the way the information was being presented. I didn't like the tutorials in the help area so I thought, 'You know I can do this better. I can do a better job teaching people how to get this set up.' Because lots of times a software company they write manuals and training from a computer programmer's perspective. And I said to myself, 'I can present this from a marketer's perspective' ' so I saw a need in the marketplace and I decided to fill that need.'