Many successful people speak about being leaders in a ‘niche market’. What this means is that they found a group of people who are willing to invest in their products and services. If you desire being a leader in your niche market, you need to go beyond doing something that you love. The search for where your niche market is begins well before you start the creative process and involves the various steps below.
Of course, one of the first things you must do is figure out what you are interested in and passionate about. This may involve things you know, things you have experience doing or things that people are constantly seeking your advice about. It’s one of the most enjoyable steps of this process; after all, you’re bound to become excited doing homework about a subject you love.
To gain a better understanding of how this works, perhaps, we can use the following illustration. Although you were born in Thailand, you have since moved to the UK. At present, you find your job in the sales department of a paper company dull, but it pays the bills. If only you could leave this job and still make enough money while spending your days cooking delicious Thai food for your friends and family. You’d love to publish a collection of all your treasured recipes.
With this basic information in place, the next thing to do is to find a market that relates to your interest. Think about where you are likely to find people who have similar interest to yours. For example, since you’d like to publish a book, become involved with the publishing industry. Become a member of a book club in your genre and visit bookshops regularly. As you network with various others in the industry, you will come across printers, photographers and designers who will help you understand the costs involved in publishing a book.
In this digital age, you cannot ignore the power of the internet. If possible, start a blog. If you need some inspiration of how this can work for you, think of the story of Julie & Julia. In 1949, Julia Child was in Paris wondering how she was going to spend her days. She took cooking lessons at Cordon Bleu and wrote down over 500 recipes which were later published. In 2002, Julie Powell was about to turn 30 and was feeling depressed. She decided to master the art of French cooking (which was based on Julia Child’s book) in one year. She also blogged about her experiences and stories. This, eventually, becomes the basis of the movie.
If you like this idea of creating and maintaining an active blog, then you can consider investing in Raspal Seni’s eBook ‘The 50 Biggest Blogging Blunders and How to Avoid Them’. Madhavi Ghare has written a set of articles on how to set up blog. She can also help you set up your blog if you would prefer that option.
That’s the fun part of this project. As you begin to collate all your ideas, remember that you are also planning to leave your job and still earn a living. So, the next step is to do a little more research into what products or services you can provide. Look at existing businesses that are similar to what you are planning to do. Look at what cookbooks are selling at the moment. What are they like? Do they have lovely photos? Are the authors giving their customers ancillary services such as cooking classes?
An important point to note here is that you must know who your potential customers are. It’s not good enough to say they’ll be working women. To help you, here’s a technique that writers use that may prove useful: close your eyes and imagine the customer who is buying your cookbook. Keep your eyes closed and describe her. Start with general information like age, marital status and appearance. Then, look for details like ethnicity, income bracket and cooking ability. Your aim here is to be as precise as you possibly can when identifying your potential customer, thereby, helping you to determine the credibility and perceived value of your products and services.
To refine any research further, a trick many people find useful is to observe what people are complaining about. For example, from newsgroups, discussion boards and chats with people, you may discover that many people complain that the size of cookbooks today are cumbersome that they don’t have space to use them in their small kitchens. Or, many Europeans may love Thai food but cannot obtain essential herbs and spices for Thai cuisine, like lemon grass, easily. When this step is completed, you may have narrowed your ideas to the following:
- You will write a cookbook focusing on Thai Cuisine.
- Your cookbook must fit a specific size that is easy to manage in the kitchen.
- You plan to self-publish your cookbook and will sell it via your website/blog.
- One of the added features you can offer your readers is that you can arrange for fresh spices to be delivered to them.
Ultimately, establishing a niche market hinges on choosing products and services that people already want. Therefore, when you do the necessary research, you will certainly save a lot of time and money in the long run.
Aneeta Sundararaj followed her dream of writing full time. In her eBook, ‘Website Makeover’, she shows you how she created and managed her website (‘How to Tell A Great Story’) on her own for under US $100.00.