Find your niche & embrace it
Running a successful business is hard work. Creating the product or delivering the service you want to sell is one challenge, but actually getting a steady stream of customers is quite another. This is a challenge that should be addressed in the early stages of business development through research and in your business plan. However, in reality things don’t always go as planned. Faced with competition and limited resources small businesses need to find a niche market and embrace it now more than ever.
Target your niche wisely
Before we get into what you should do to lure your customers let’s look at what you shouldn’t do. Targeting people that have little to no interest in your offerings is one of the quickest ways to blow through your marketing budget. Have you ever tried talking to someone who just doesn’t care? Regardless of how convincing your argument is, it just isn’t relevant to that person so you are likely to be ignored. Do not waste your time and money by trying to be everything to everyone.
Your target audience should be the group of customers your product/service is designed for. It should be the group that is most likely to not only be interested in your offering but also make a purchase. You may have to tweak your target audience over time as your business grows and evolves but it should always be a well thought out group that is specifically targeted. Any customer you get outside your target audience is a welcome bonus.
Promote your unique selling proposition
You are in business because you have something to sell that people want to buy. You also know that people can buy it elsewhere. Competition is real and customers have a choice. So why should they buy from you? You need to answer this question before your customers have a chance to ask it. Knowing your unique selling proposition allows you to know what sets you apart from the competition. A lot of new businesses try to differentiate by price to break into a market; do so with caution. Low prices attract bargain hunters but may not be sustainable and may even affect the perception of the quality of your offerings.
Know what really differentiates you from the competition and use that to your advantage. If your quality is better customers may not mind paying a higher price for higher quality. Do not just assume. Do research or use existing research to help with your decision.
Build a community around your niche
Now that you know what differentiates your product/service and exactly who you want to sell to,what’s next? You must find a way to reach that market. You must appeal to the people you want to target. To do this you must find an effective way to connect with these people. Merriam-Webster defines a niche as “a specialized market” and this is the group of people that you need to appeal to.
One of the advantages of a specialized market is that it is easier to build a community. This is an important step in growing relationships and building trust. You have common goals and common problems so it is natural to form a deeper relationship than regular transactional relationships. Niche markets are great for sharing ideas and communicating freely in a way that may be more difficult in stricter more corporate environments. It is also easier to get to know customers personally and cater for their specific needs.
Address common problems
Most products/services are purchased to solve a problem. People can relate to others with similar problems. Therefore, you need to have in-depth knowledge of the problem your offering solves. Know the pain points that people looking for the solution may have. Find out the pain points that they have with competing products/services. Tailor your offerings to solve certain specific problems that make you stand out from other businesses.
Unite with common goals
People can relate to others with similar ambitions. It is easier to understand someone trying to accomplish the same things that you are. You realize the sacrifices and obstacles involved and can relate to their drive. Your customers are no different. If your goals align with their goals it can be easier to foster a relationship. This is why it is important to have a goal and vision that is easy for customers to see and identify with.
Show that you care
It is important to show your customers that you genuinely care now more than ever. The important point is to be genuine. Your message of caring should be consistent with your brand message and actions. This boosts the sense of community and understanding between you and your community. As a problem solver you should be empathetic to the emotional state of customers. This goes a long way in building brand loyalty, but more importantly it is simply the right thing to do..
niche. 2020. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved April 20, 2020 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/niche