How To Understand Your Niche Better Than Your Competitors (Part 1)

Finding a niche is critical to the success of your business.  You know who I mean, that select part of the population that not only needs, but craves your products or services.

In fact, skipping this step and trying to sell to anyone and everyone on the planet is one of the most common – and deadly – mistakes that a marketing newbie can make.

Further Reading:  9 Killers of a Network Marketing Part Time Business

There’s no doubt about the importance of identifying your target market and attracting your ideal clients.

But what comes next?

You’ve identified your niche, now what?

How do you boost the odds in your favor so that your target prospects will buy from you and not one of your competitors?

The key is to understand them, to get to know them better than anyone else in your market.

How do you do that?

The Fastest Way to Better Understand Your Niche Market

Plain and simple, the best and fastest way to figure out what your target market wants and needs is to ASK!

Sounds simple, but most marketers don’t take this step — they ASSUME THEY KNOW what their ideal prospects want and need.

understand your niche child

Don't Assume.... ASK!

Take the example of a crying young child.

If your child comes into the house crying, what’s the first thing you do?

Do you assume you know what’s wrong and give the child what you think he needs?

NO!

You ask the child… “What’s wrong?!”

The child will quickly tell you what’s bothering them, and you’ve got a clearer picture on how you can help.

It’s no different when dealing with your target market.  You can’t assume, you must ask!

Find Out Where Your Niche Prospects Hang Out

Before you can ask questions of your target market, you first need to FIND THEM, right?

Ask yourself, “Where do these people hang out?  Where do they search for answers to their problems?”

The answer for us — and most online marketers was SOCIAL MEDIA and FORUMS.

Our target prospects are Part Time Network Marketers who are struggling to find the time and energy to grow their business.

Here’s where we find most of our niche prospects online, and how we ask questions of them:

  • Facebook - if you’re not using Facebook to find your target prospects, you’re really missing the boat.  It’s free, and an invaluable resource for your business.  The best way I know of to find potential niche prospects is to search for Facebook Groups that apply to your market.  Join the group and ask questions.  Use Facebook’s new QUESTION APPLICATION to take a poll and gain invaluable insight into the needs of your market.  Below is a Question I recently asked on Facebook using this new Application, to get a better understanding of my target audience.

ask a question on facebook

  • Linkedin – similar to Facebook, LinkedIn is the place where Professional people tend to hang out online.  And just like Facebook, Linkedin has lots of groups for you to join.  But be selective here.  Only join the groups that are relevant to your target market.  You don’t want to be seen as a spammer.  Again, ask questions, listen in on the discussions and learn about the problems your prospects are experiencing.
  • Forums - these are a great place to find your niche prospects.  If you don’t know of any forums in your niche, go to Google Search and type in a keyword for your niche + forum.  You’ll likely find what you’re looking for.  When you find a forum that looks interesting, join it and start interacting with its members.  Ask a question of it’s members and learn from the responses.  Our favorite forum is BetterNetworker.com, and we routinely ask questions that generate a lot of responses.

better networker forum

  • Your List - if you already have a list like we do, you can use survey software like Survey Monkey to ask questions of your subscribers.  We do this quite often. TIP: Always offer an incentive for people taking the time to answer your survey.  We often use a free coaching session as an “ethical bribe” and it’s been quite effective.

There are dozens more places like this to find your ideal prospects online.

What are your favorites?

So now that you’ve found out where your prospects hang out, it’s time to ask your questions.

But what are the best questions to ask?

Great question!  :-D

Watch for Part 2 of How To Better Understand Your Niche in my next post.

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33 Responses to “How To Understand Your Niche Better Than Your Competitors (Part 1)”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Kristina L. from Oakley Signs Coupon Code says:

    Hi, dr Bob,
    you are right, it should be very easy, if we just ask. The power of the question is to find out the answer. Lot of us do not even remember that rule of simplicity, while it is very important to get the opinion of people, and to find out what the market wants in order to act accordingly to it.
    Kristina L. invites you to read..Oakley Signs Coupon CodeMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Kristina, seems simple, right?

      But you’d be surprised how novel a concept this is to some. I mean, if you don’t ask then you have assume. And assuming is always a risky proposition.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Ian Belanger from Network Marketing Success says:

    Hi Dr Bob and Rosemary,

    These are some excellent tips for locating prospects in your target market. I personally have used each of these techniques with good success.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Ian Belanger invites you to read..YES | How To Get More of Them By Using Just One WordMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Glad to hear you are using these techniques and having success, Ian. That’s awesome.

      As you know, locating your prospects is just Step 1, then you need to find out more about them and understand their needs. But I’m sure you’ve done your homework on that, as well.

      Great to have you here again, Ian!

  3. Sybil Kramer says:

    Thanks so much for this insightful post. I have a site up for about 2 months and am struggling to redefine my niche because my current one is a bit to wide and not deep enough. I am trying to redefine it to one that is less wide and very deep. This may cut down the competition that is inteferring with my attempt at search optimization.

    • Bob says:

      Hi Sybil,

      I think your strategy is a good one. One of my mentors, Cindy Schulson always emphasizes how its much better to start with a very small, well defined niche and work out to the broader niche once you start to see some success.

      This always has made a lot of sense to me.

      Good luck in your efforts in redefining your niche. Keep us posted!

  4. Not everyone is our target market. If we think we can market to everyone then we are going to loss a lot of money. We need to focus on a target market or problem and find a solution for what they need or need help with.
    Thanks for sharing this important message. I can not heart it enough.

  5. Hi Bob,

    I think I’ll try to boil it down to the analogy you use with the crying child. “If you’re not buying, you must be crying” Sounds like a good approach for some people. Sometimes the simpler the process is, the better. Thanks for sharing that idea, Bob.

    Lou

    • Bob says:

      Simple is always better, I think, Lou!

      I’ve found that the more complicated you make things in business, the less likely people are to take action.

      Thanks for your insights, Lou. Great to see you here again!

  6. Mavis Nong from Free Marketing Training says:

    Hey Dr Clarke,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s important to find out what people are looking for to see if your offer matches their problems and needs.

    When you identify a target market, you’d be in a best position to attract the right calibre of prospects and cater for them. Find one specific niche and master that niche.

    Excellent suggestions you’re sharing – simple but effective. I loved the analogy of the crying baby :)

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    All the best,
    Mavis
    Mavis Nong invites you to read..Ask Mavis – What’s Your Favourite Social Media Platform and Why?My Profile

    • Bob says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Mavis!

      Sales and marketing is so much easier when you know who your ideal clients are, right?

      Appreciate your insights, Mavis!

  7. Bob, Rosemary hello

    This is really quality advice it’s so important to ask and just as important there after to listen.
    What would you like or how can we help goes a really long way when building relationships.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many companies talk at their clients. France is shocking for this especially the people who cold call!

    I say we have two ears and one mouth for a reason… it’s becoming a catch phrase!

    I will be reading part 2 next! :o)
    Sadie-Michaela Harris invites you to read..By: SadieMy Profile

  8. Hi Bob,

    thanks for sharing this. The most common mistake is indeed making assumptions and thinking we know what our customers need and want. I say: Don’t assume anything. We don’t like it either when someone else makes assumptions about us, do we ?

    I like your clarification at the top: We want to work with people who not only need our products and services but also want them. There’s difference between need and want.

    Take care

    Oliver
    Oliver Tausend invites you to read..MLM Success With Think And Grow Rich And Oliver Tausend Pt. 8My Profile

  9. Dev from Elegant Themes Review says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for inviting me to your Blog form Blokube community.

    Very well said, many marketers don’t take action of asking their readers. Facebook, linkdin, forums are some great sites.

    Another way would be mailing your email list and asking them directly or may be you can use survey forms..!

    Thanks for sharing. Great work, Bob.
    Dev invites you to read..How to Add Author Box in WordPress PostsMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Dev,
      Email marketing is another great way to understand your niche. I use surveys from Survey Monkey quite extensively, and I’ve gotten some great feedback on how to better serve my readers and the members of my niche.

      Thanks for your insights, Dev!

  10. Hi Bob,
    Very informative article – you’ve really done a great job of explaining how to find and communicate with a niche market. I read a lot of blogs and I’d have to say I agree with you that many people don’t take the time to do that critical research … though in all fairness when starting out there’s so much to learn it can certainly feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s so helpful to do things like connect with professionals and participate in forums and groups of people going through the same process. Thanks!
    marquita herald invites you to read..One Day in the WorldMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Marquita… great to see you here.

      I agree, information overload and overwhelm are rampant in our industry and its no wonder… every day I am inundated with new offers and emails about this and that that I should try. I am experienced enough to know what to check out what to ignore, but for the new guy or gal on the block, it’s really tough to figure it out.

      Researching your niche or ideal clients is always a great place to start, in any opportunity. This knowledge will work for you regardless of what company you represent or what product you sell.

      Thanks for the comment, Marquita! See you again soon!

  11. Joe Young says:

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for the post. Assume nothing, but ask – great advice. I used a survey creator once to create a list of questions and then posted the survey to FB and some other places. It brought feedback. But, like you said offering an incentive is a great way to have people give in exchange. I used the info I got from the survey and created posts on my blog and made some FB ads from them.

    Best,
    Joe
    Joe Young invites you to read..Guest Blogging- An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of CureMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Joe,

      Its a great idea to take your survey results and make blog posts from them, or share them on FB. Why not get some extra leverage from your hard work? I’m all about leverage!!

      Thanks for the ideas, and great to see you here, Joe!

  12. Jayne Kopp says:

    Hi Bob, you are right. As tough as it is to not market to everyone and everything… it does not work.

    You really do need to get in touch with your niche and learn to feel what they feel. It feels at first like you are excluding people, but the truth is, you’re not. You can still often attract people who are outside of your niche. For example, I work with a lot of moms, stay at home moms who wish to earn, and those who wish to become stay at home moms and wish to earn. Funnily, niches can be tweaked too, I find I talk to a number of single moms, I guess they pick up on my past … so I’ve gone with it.

    This doesn’t mean to say I don’t have the opportunity to work with men too. I do. I just focus most of my efforts of people with a similar experience to mine. Ie: moms, starting out who wish to make some changes.

    I have used Survey Monkey quite successfully, however I have never offered a reward. How silly of me. I will, perhaps that will improve the results even more.

    Thanks for your suggestions. You are fast becoming a wealth of info in your part-time marketing endeavour.

    best regards

    Jayne
    Jayne Kopp invites you to read..Missed the Boat on Starting an Online Business?My Profile

    • Bob says:

      You’re so right, Jayne… your point about at first feeling like you’re excluding people from your business is exactly what we felt when we first started. Somehow it just seems wrong to NOT try to recruit everyone… after all, didn’t your upline teach you that ANYONE is a prospect? (Worst advice ever).

      I bet that when you really focused your attention on moms like you, your business really took off! Congrats on recognizing this early on, rather than wasting a lot of time on people who just don’t resonate with you. It took us a while but we figured it out, too!

      Great to see you here again, Jayne. Thanks for your insights!

  13. Catarina says:

    Good suggestions Bob, not only for peoplegetting into MLM but any business actually.

    Didn’t know about Facebook’s new Question Application. That’s handy. Actually wonder how long they will keep it. Almost every week they change how things are done which is over the top really.:-)

    • Bob says:

      Hi Catarina!

      Glad you found this information useful for you. I LOVE the new FB Question application! It’s a great market research tool, and especially effective if you make it fun!

      Thanks for stopping by, great to see you again!

      Bob

  14. Great job Bob! As you know, I’m a huge advocate (and teacher) of not only finding your niche, but also researching your target market and your competition.

    Too often, we make assumptions about what our target market wants. Or we assume that because we know what they need, this is something they actually want. It’s far easier to sell people something they really want, and are actively looking for. As the saying goes, “Give them what they want, then give them what they need”.

    Thanks for sharing!
    warm wishes,
    Cindy

    • Bob says:

      Hi Cindy!

      I had a feeling you might chime in on this discussion, since quite frankly, much of what I wrote about I learned from taking your Niche course. I’ve learned a great deal from you about attracting your ideal client!

      Thanks, Cindy for contributing your insights to this discussion!

      Appreciate you stopping by!

  15. Tosin from Home-based Business Coach says:

    Hey Bob,

    I had to run here from facebook.lol

    Good topic and I love the analogy of the crying baby.

    The ‘question’ feature of facebook makes asking the prospects easier. Though I am not really a linked-in freak, I have seen people become successful therein.

    Such a useful list of asking people for what they need. I absolutely love betternetworker too and that question of yours ran for so long in the forums attracting the very top guys.

    Let’s get another question there, Bob. ;)

    Cheers!
    ~Tosin
    Tosin invites you to read..Facebook Traffic: How to Generate Tremendous Traffic from FacebookMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Tosin, my friend!

      I love BN too! There is such a wealth of information to mine from the forums. Whenever I ask a question, I get great involvement, both from people looking for help and from those that have experienced success and want to help. It’s a great place to hang out!

      Thanks for the kind words, Tosin. Glad you found this information useful!

      Great to see you here again!

  16. Bob says:

    Hey Uri,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    There’s no need to leave it to luck, Uri. With a well thought out plan, consistent effort and working through obstacles, you WILL see the results you covet. Guaranteed!

    Thanks for stopping by!

Trackbacks

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    [...] We got together with our business coach, Cindy Schulson from AttractYourNiche.com, to map out a plan for more thoroughly understanding our niche prospects. [...]

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  4. Blokube.com says:

    How To Understand Your Niche Better Than Your Competitors…

    There’s no doubt about the importance of finding your niche. How do you make certain that your prospects will buy from you and not your competitors? Here’s how….



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