As we enter the final quarter of 2012, our focus should be on ending this year strong and setting ourselves up for success in 2013. In order to ‘leave the field behind’, you want to focus on setting yourself apart from the competition. You want to be the one they choose to do business with.
I am passionate about new business development (fishing) for new potential business in two areas:
- Where the fish (potential customers) are!
- Where other people (our competitors) are not!
One effective way you can find your ‘pond’ to fish in is by creating your niche (specialty). A niche market is an area in the business that best suits your greatest quality and skills. An example of that would be if you were once a college athlete, you may look to college athletics and their meetings/events as an area of specialty for you. By finding your niche you are then working in a business or association in which you have firsthand knowledge of. You will know how to speak their language. You can directly relate to their needs and provide relative solutions.
5 Ideas You Can Implement to Create Your Niche
1. Establish your personal brand
- Establish the services and value adds you will offer as part of your value proposition that will set you apart from your competition.
2. Determine your niche
- What do you like to do? What are you passionate about? What are you involved in? What are your family and friends involved in? Where do you have experience and expertise?
3. Research and become an expert in your niche
- Do some research and find out where and when these groups meet and then show up. Check with your Chamber of Commerce to find out if they know of specific meetings in your area. Also search on Google for national and local chapters of trade associations that cater to your niche and get involved in their local activities.
- If you are seen as the expert (via industry organizations, work history with similar organizations, LinkedIn, etc.)…customers will call you.
4. Network and build relationships (so you get referrals instead of cold calling) within your niche
- You will have an opportunity to meet them on a personal and professional level and develop relationships. These relationships will turn in to both customers and referrals which will lead to more relationships and will help you build your business.
- Who do you know that will get you to the person you need to meet?
5. Attend meetings, events and tradeshows within your niche
- The key to being successful with this strategy is consistency. You have to be at every event and you should get involved. You have to build relationships and friendships before you sell anything.
- Be seen as someone who adds value and is willing to help other people.
Adopting a niche market strategy takes away the ‘numbers game’ approach and gives you a more solid foundation to build your business. This is a great way to separate yourself from your competition. I hope you will put these ideas into action today.