Where Can I Find My Niche? Finding Your Ideal Prospects

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Most marketing experts will tell you that you need select a niche or a target audience. That you can’t just market to “whoever is paying attention” and be successful.

Why is that? Think about it this way: if you are having a conversation with a total stranger, how do you know what to talk about? Unless you are able to find some common ground, the conversation will probably be short-lived.

Because neither of you have an understanding of the other, you must find a way to make a connnection to involve each other into the conversation.

The same holds true for marketing. You must make a connection with your audience if you want them to pay attention and stay around to find out what your product or service is all about.

And, in order to make a connection, you have to know something about them. You have to know what problems they have that you can help to solve. You have to understand them.

That is why it is so important to select a niche or clearly defined target audience. Because once you’ve selected a distinct group of people you believe you can best help, you can research them so you begin to understand them.

Then and only then can you really communicate effectively with them. And that’s what marketing is; communication.

But once you’ve identified your target or niche, you must also be able to find and market to them.

The first step in doing that is to define them more specifically. How?

My suggestion is to ask yourself the following 10 questions to help develop a very clear description of your target. Then it will become much clearer to you where you can find them.

You may need to make some educated guesses when answering these questions and that’s okay. It’s a start and you can always refine your answers as your business grows and you begin to understand your target more.

As I go through these 10 questions, I’m going to use an example of a client of mine who is a life coach who wants to help adults who are childhood victims of maltreatment or victimization, improve their health and wellness.

Why am I using this example? Because it is a clearly defined group, BUT these people do not wear a sign around their neck advertising who they are. So, they can be difficult to find and market to. Therefore, it makes a great example.

You can apply these same 10 questions to your business or niche, regardless of what they are. They are universal questions that apply to any type of business or target audience.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL INTERNET BUSINESS

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1. What is their primary problem you can help solve?

Our life coach needs to clearly identify the current problem her potential clients are dealing with as a result of their childhood maltreatment. That is the problem she can position herself to help them overcome. Is it relationship issues? Is it job issues? Be as specific and focused as possible.

2. Are they primarily male or female?

Our life coach has identified her target as females.

3. How old are they?

Our life coach says they are high functioning professional women. In that case, I’d say we’re primarily talking about women between the ages of 25 and 45 years old.

4. Where do they live? What type of community or neighborhood; urban area; suburban area? Also, do you have any geographic limitations (real or self-imposed) regarding where you can market or deliver your services or products?

If they are high functioning professional women, they likely live in a nicer suburban neighborhood or perhaps an urban area. Our life coach will need to identify where she believes the majority live in her area and whether she only wants to work with women in her immediate geographic area, or if she wants to do distance coaching.

5. What type of work do they do? And where do they likely work? Their type of business as well as geographic location.

Professional women could be corporate professionals, doctors, attorneys, entrepreneurs or solo-professionals. Our life coach will need to identify the fields she wishes to focus on, taking into consideration the ones she feels include the greatest number of her target clients.

6. What is their socio-economic status or annual household income?

High functioning professional women are probably enjoying financial success, making them of a higher socio-economic class. They probably earn a good income and enjoy the finer things in life. Money is probably not an issue.

7. How do they spend their leisure time?

Do they belong to a gym or health club? Do they go to the movies or out to dinner frequently? Or, do they have young children and spend their time at elementary school functions, family picnics, children’s birthday parties or weekend soccer tournaments? Our life coach may need to make some assumptions here based on what she knows about her target. Again, that’s okay to start with. She can always fine-tune this later as she begins to understand these women better.

8. What is their family structure or home environment?

This niche of professional women probably includes single women as well as those who are married and have children. Therefore their home environments may vary. They may have no support or family network. They may have strong family support. Or, they may be having issues with their family based on their past. Our life coach will need to keep this in mind when she selects marketing avenues and writes her marketing messages. She’ll want to focus on what they have in common and steer away from areas of abiguity.

9. Do they belong to any associations or professional organizations?

If our life coach selects one or several industries to target, she should be able to easily identify associations or professional organizations these women belong to. Once identified, these are excellent venues for networking and speaking opportunities.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO TO KNOW START A SUCCESSFUL INTERNET BUSINESS

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10. What are their media habits?

Do they read the newspaper or magazines? If so, which ones? Listen to the radio? If so, which formats do they likely listen to? Do they watch TV? If so, which programs do they likely watch? Do they spend time on the Internet? If so, what kinds of web sites do you think they are visiting? Where do you think they are currently getting their information about health and wellness? These are all potential places to reach your niche with your marketing message.

Yes, again our life coach may need to make some assumptions. However all of these media can provide you with detailed demographic profiles of their audience. So if we’re looking for professional women in a certain geographic area, we’ll be able to find out if they are among the audiences for these different mediums.

Answer each of these 10 questions to the best of your ability. Talk to current clients to get insights. Or, talk to friends or colleagues who fit your client profile to gain a better understanding of who and where they are.

Once you build this target client description, you’ll have a much better sense of where you can find them.

The next step is putting together a marketing message that speaks directly to them and what they are dealing with. The more you understand them, the more you’ll be able to craft a message that will hit home with them. That message will become your magnet, attracting the people who you can best help.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL INTERNET BUSINESS

How to Make Money Selling Other People’s Stuff

In affiliate marketing, an affiliate marketer doesn’t need to have their own products and services to sell. All they need to do is to refer people to the merchant’s business site for them to buy the products and thereby, earn a commission. Affiliate marketing is great for beginners new to the internet business as well as those that want to add to their current business.

That sounds a great idea – what do I need to be good at Affiliate Marketing?


Well, obviously a computer, but also a web site will make life a lot easier, but mostly you need a great affiliate program and an efficient and detailed marketing strategy.
So how you choose the right affiliate program for yourself? Here’s Some Tips

Information: Join affiliate forums and learn some tips and get suggestions from experienced affiliate marketers. Find a program that suits your interests and experience.

Quality of the Program: As an affiliate marketer your goal is not only to make visitors of your site click the link to the business site; but more importantly, to promote the product so they buy it. They don’t buy – you don’t earn. Make sure the products you are endorsing are worthwhile or in the business context, saleable. Ask yourself: if I were the customer, would I buy it? Would I recommend it to my family or good friends? If you can’t convince yourself or your family and friends to buy it, take a look at your next option.

Compensation Level: Carefully study the company’s compensation plan. Your purpose for joining the program is to earn, so make sure you’ll be paid for all.

The Biggest Secret to Making Money Online

This one is so obvious yet most beginners don’t seem to get it. Here’s the secret… You only make money when you sell. That’s it. No matter what type of marketing you’re doing, you ONLY make money when you sell something. You could be doing affiliate marketing or ecommerce or product creation… Whatever it may be, you still only make money when you sell.

Even for those providing services such as graphic design, content creation, etc. You make money by selling your services. You must focus on selling! Like they say, “Always be selling.” There’s just no getting away from this fact. No amount of learning or buying products and software will ever make you money online if you do not sell. Read that again.

It is so important. You must avoid getting infected with shiny object syndrome. What’s shiny object syndrome?
‘Shiny object syndrome’ is a term commonly used in the internet marketing scene to refer to marketers who keep buying new products that hit the market but never take any action on the info that they buy.

All they seem to do is buy and buy and buy, but they never apply what they learn. They may give some of the methods a try but before anything can gain traction, they quit and start something new. In the make money online space, thousands of products keep coming out. They have flashy sales pages, sales copy that’s hyped up and promises easy profits that will give you the lifestyle of a celebrity rapper.

In reality, most of the products are rehashed and untested theory that just don’t work. However, thousands of beginners have spend a ton of their money on these products and never make a cent in return. Shiny object syndrome is one of the biggest reasons why most people online fail to make money online. They are so busy buying that they never do any selling.

The 5 tips below will help you to vaccinate yourself against this ‘syndrome’ that kills your chances at online success.

Most of it is noise

That’s right. Most of the products are released by serial product creators who do not practice what they preach. You need to watch what these marketers are doing instead of what they’re saying. The money is in product creation and selling these products. Forget about the hype and loopholes that their systems promise. If their methods were so good, they’d be doing it themselves but most of them never practice what they preach.

Focus on just one method

Pick a method that is sustainable in the long run. For example, affiliate marketing, ecommerce, etc. Pick just one method and stick to it till you make it work. Only get products related to what you’re doing and nothing more.
The method you choose must be a proven business model and not some sneaky loophole that may never work.

Stick to proven products and reputable sellers

Do your research and only buy infoproducts or software that has been proven to work or are created by credible sellers. Ask around for reviews and see if anyone has actually benefitted from using these products. The hard truth is that the majority of products have a very short shelf life because they’re neither useful nor effective.

Get the right tools only

It’s inevitable to reach a point where you need tools to run your online business. You may need membership software, autoresponders, ecover creators, etc. Always choose one that is good.
Even if the good ones are a little pricey, you should invest in them. Cheaper alternatives may be unreliable and break down. In some cases, the products may not even deliver what they promise. So exercise due diligence and stick to proven products that have stood the test of time.

Segment your emails

As a marketer you’ll be inundated with emails from other marketers. All these emails will usually be for offers screaming for your attention. Unsubscribe from lists that offer no value… and for those lists that you are on, do segment the emails to go into separate folders. You can check them once in a while when you’re free. You’ll be less tempted to splurge on new products that you don’t need.

Other than these 5 tips, do your best not to buy products that you won’t use immediately or within a short while. Do not buy products that you might use ‘one day’ in the future. In most cases, that one day won’t come.

3 Ways to be a Person of Influence

There is a real buzz about influence in the business world at the moment. People want to know who is influential, who does not have influence and why influence is really necessary. If you believe that you are not as influential as you want to be then you can do something about it.
The fact is that you will have more influence than you credit yourself for. What you are not doing is identifying the opportunities to use it. A lot of people do not have the confidence to use their influence as they may feel that they do not have the right authority to do so. This is especially true in organizations.
But running scared is not a good option. There have been cases where children have asked innocent questions that have resulted in government’s making changes to their policies. It doesn’t matter where you fit in the scheme of things – you have an idea and it needs to be heard.


3 Steps to become a Person of Influence


You can always make improvements to enhance your powers of influence. To be a sustained person of influence we recommend that you follow the 3 steps below. Change will not always be easy so you need to stick at it.

  1. Be Consistent
    If you are not someone that walks their talk then it is going to be really difficult for you to influence others. People want to see that you stand behind your values and practice what you preach. You are not perfect so you are likely to make some mistakes. But as long as there is consistency with what you say and do you are on the right track.
    So if you say you are going to do something then do it. If you agree to be somewhere at a certain time then don’t be late or not show up. Integrity is essential for influence. By stating that you live your life against specific values you must demonstrate that you do this – even in your private life.
    Consistent people are transparent. They do not have hidden agendas. Over time others know that they can trust them to deliver the goods. Others will listen to you a lot more when you achieve this and it will be easier for you to influence them.
  2. Use Empathy
    If you want to be a person of influence then you must listen to others. It is essential that you are able to understand the point of view of others. You may not agree totally with what they are saying but you certainly get the gist of it. Using empathy is a very powerful way to gain trust and help you to influence.
    When other people feel that you understand them they will be very likely to listen to you. They feel that you take their views into consideration and have their interests at heart. So use empathy to your advantage.
  3. Be Courageous
    It is essential that you have the courage to get your point of view across. When an opportunity presents itself then you need to take it. Back this up with research and the facts to present your opinion.
    A more difficult situation is where you believe that existing ideas need to change. You are going to need even more courage to stand up and say what you feel here. But if you don’t say anything when you know things are not working then you will let yourself down as well as others.

7 Ways Social Media Can Change Your Life

The advent and wide usage of social media have in the past sparked debate and also led to research on the impact of these platforms on our lives. Moving from being just an unusual hobby to being a daily part of people’s lives, social media has grown to become the usual way for reaching potential customers, circulating information, agenda‐setting, preaching, you name it. There is so much to gain from social media without a doubt. The platforms are changing lives more than many of us would like to admit. However, we are mindful of the fact that some of its effects have been negative. This is how embracing social media can change your life

  1. Creating a personal brand – social media has become one of the best ways to market one’s skills. Various social media platforms offer listings of jobs available all over the world which can be narrowed down to your very own location while your personal information is readily available for potential employers. Social media allows job seekers to create accounts that make it easier for the employer to have access to more information about the potential employee, which could not be included in the resume. This makes job hunting a lot easier although competition is also constantly growing. Some job seekers have shared stories on social media about how much they needed jobs and were lucky enough to get responses directly from their soon to be new employers. There are greater chances of finding a job for a social media user than there is for a nonuser. Talents have been identified, developed, and publicized as a result of a simple video or audio shared on social media.
  2. Marketing your products and/or services – social media can help you grow your business. The platforms have made it easier for companies to be found by or to find and interact with customers, thereby increasing the companies’ reach. With billions of people accessing social media per day, companies are guaranteed that their adverts will be seen by many at a very low cost. This allows companies to bridge the gap between them and their customers. However, while as a business person you enjoy these benefits, you should also be ready to deal with unhappy customers too. Voicing out concerns has become easier and such information spreads fast. On the same hand, clip sharing on social media has become a popular way of drawing attention to television shows to increase viewership. Use social media to amplify your brand.
  3. Getting business ideas – there is so much information shared by businesses and entrepreneurs on social media. It is easy to get business ideas from all over the world and implement them in a way that suits you. It is also possible to find people to collaborate with and make a more profitable business than you would make individually.
  1. Networking with a group of similar‐minded people – social media has made it easy to find people with similar interests. This has led to what has been widely known as virtual communities where people of the same ‘culture’ from different places meet virtually to share information and support each other. Sometimes it can be hard to be completely open and share information with people who know you personally due to differences in personalities. Also, social media can help you create relationships with people you would have otherwise found it impossible to communicate with
  2. Motivation – with many people sharing their success stories and their struggles, following
    and connecting with the right people can help you understand life for what it is for others too, and help you realize the possibilities that are there even in the midst of struggles. Knowing how much people are achieving and how they continue to strive and use obstacles as stepping stones can motivate you to keep moving toward your own dreams. You must, however, try to avoid people who live a fast and flashy life while it is not clear how they how or where they started. It often puts people under unnecessary pressure and makes them feel more like failures.
  3. Learning – social media has led to an increase in social learning, a better understanding of the world and other cultures, and has made it easier for students from various places to connect and learn from each other. Some concepts are explained as people engage in discussions on different topics.
  4. Staying informed – social media provides has all sorts of information one can ever think of and has features that allow you to sort or filter content according to its relevancy to you. The discussions help you understand the information better than you would if you just read on your own.

However, it is important to note that social media can be addictive and distractive. It is easy to get caught up in the discussions or following trends at the expense of your to‐do list. Therefore, you should be able to control and/or limit usage in order to be productive. Also, there are many cases of misinformation, negativity, and cyberbullying. This requires one to be careful regarding the type of people to interact with, posting personal information and, filtering information.