Picking a niche is one of the toughest, yet most important things to get right.
It can make or break your entire business.
People obsess over niche selection .. reading blogs, watching videos, taking courses ..
However, it’s rare that I see people get this right.
When they do though .. it leads to explosive results.
Your message becomes clearer and cuts through the noise ..
Your market starts paying more attention to you ..
You can charge premium prices because you specialize in a certain area ..
You find it easier to generate leads and close new customers ..
All because you pick the right niche.
It’s really freaking important that you get this right.
Tip #1 – Pick ONE vertical niche
A vertical niche can be thought of as a specific industry, market, or group of people.
For example ..
- eCommerce stores
- Roofing companies
You can even go one layer deeper ..
- Personal Injury attorneys
- B2B SaaS companies
- Commercial building remodelers
- Marketing freelancers
When selecting a vertical niche, you first want to ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Are they clearly defined?
- Are they accessible to you?
- Do they have money?
Let’s take the vertical niche I used at GrowthResponse.io for example.
We targeted B2B SaaS companies.
They were clearly defined .. the Founder was accessible through LinkedIn, email, and Facebook .. and they have money from investor funding.
You’ll be working with them a lot, so make sure you pick a vertical niche that either you have experience in or are interested in.
Tip #2 – Choose ONE problem to solve
Once you’ve selected a vertical niche you want do research to figure out what their biggest problems are.
Quora is one of my favorite places to do this because you can find virtually any industry there and see the questions they are asking.
Other great areas to do research are Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, forums, YouTube videos, blogs .. basically anywhere that groups of people with similar interests are gathering.
You want to find ONE problem that based on your experience you know you can solve well.
In order to determine if you have a problem worth solving, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it a problem that you know you can solve?
- Is it a painful, urgent, “house on fire” problem?
- Is it something that people already pay a lot of money for?
For GrowthResoponse.io, that problem was Lead Generation.
My experience is in direct response marketing and lead generation, so I knew I could solve this problem.
It’s a ‘house on fire’ problem that needs to be solved.
Without leads, you don’t have sales .. and without sales you don’t have a business.
I also knew that people already pay a lot of money for lead generation services, whether through an agency, in-house, coaching/training, etc.
Make sure that you are only choosing ONE problem to solve otherwise you’ll dilute your message.
Tip #3 – Pick ONE horizontal niche
A horizontal niche is related to the “how” of what you do.
It’s a specific offering, product, or service that serves as the vehicle to solving the problem for your vertical niche.
Again .. you should pick something based on your personal skills/experience or something you are heavily interested in and willing to learn.
Examples of horizontal niches are ..
- Facebook ads
- Google PPC
- Content creation
- Social media marketing
- Web design / development
- Email marketing
- Computer programming
You get the idea.
GrowthResponse.io’s horizontal niche is LinkedIn prospecting.
Now .. this is really important to remember ..
Your horizontal niche must matter to your vertical niche and help them solve their problem.
For example .. let’s say your vertical niche is realtors.
What problems do realtors have?
Building brand awareness, generating leads, and getting clients are the main ones I can think of off the top of my head.
Now .. let’s say your background is in Ruby on Rails web development and you decide to make that your horizontal niche.
You might say, “I help realtors with Ruby on Rails web development.”
The problem here is that realtors don’t care or don’t know what Ruby on Rails is.
It doesn’t matter to them, and it doesn’t help them solve their problem.
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make with their horizontal niche.
They pick something that isn’t relevant to their market, try to force it down their throats, and then wonder why they can’t get any sales.
Make it easy on yourself by choosing a horizontal niche that your market actually cares about and can help them solve their problem.
Tip #4 – Leverage other people’s platforms (OPP)
With all the technology and platforms out there, there’s no reason that you need to go out and try to invent or create something from complete scratch.
You can leverage OPP for ..
- Finding a niche
- Building a Productized Service
- Selling a Productized Service
- Delivery of a Productized Service
For example, at GrowthResponse.io we leverage the LinkedIn platform and software automation tools to do all 4 of those things.
Look at mature ecosystems like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Shopify app store, Salesforce Appexchange, Apple app store, Google Play store, Podcasts, etc.
Brainstorm ways that you can use these existing platforms and ecosystems to do one of the 4 things mentioned above.
A few ideas for Productized Services leveraging OPP might be ..
- A service that helps podcasters edit and publish their episodes
- A service that helps realtors get more seller leads through Facebook Ads
- A service that helps restaurants build brand awareness through done-for-you content creation
Most people think they need to build their own SaaS product, get investor funding, and spend years getting off the ground.
Today there is opportunity everywhere .. and no reason for you to have to create something from complete scratch.
Get your thinking cap on, do your research, and find ways to leverage OPP to build your own empire.
Tip #5 – Use the value proposition formula
Once you have your vertical niche, one problem to solve, and horizontal niche, you can use this simple formula to create a powerful value proposition.
Here’s the formula ..
I help [Vertical niche] to [Problem] through [Horizontal niche]
Here it is in action for GrowthResponse.io
“I help B2B SaaS companies generate more leads through done-for-you LinkedIn prospecting.”
You might have noticed throughout this article that I’ve focused on the word “ONE” a lot.
The reason why should be clear now.
By reading my value proposition, you know exactly who I serve, what problem I solve, and how I solve it.
If you’re a B2B SaaS company that needs more leads .. and you aren’t using or getting results with LinkedIn .. you’d feel compelled to at least have a conversation with me right?
That’s the power of focusing on ONE.
Your message becomes insanely clear and cuts through the noise like butter.
You can always add more to the formula later.
Dominate one niche first, then move on to others.