Step 1 (pt. 5): Niche Trending
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Avish: Alright, let’s talk a little bit about this idea that I don’t really hear a lot of people talk about, which is thinking about what direction your niche is trending in. What do you mean by that and why should we care about it?
Fred: Well, one of the things you don’t want to do, for example, recently I’ve been reading a lot about e-books versus traditional books, and for years I’ve been telling people that eventually, publishers are going to be out of business. And there’s more and more proof to that. So, if you were to get into a business, targeting people who are creating print books, I think that would clearly be a market that’s trending downward as opposed to electronic books, etc., that are trending upwards. So when you consider going after a niche, you want to go after something where the wave is just starting or hasn’t come. If you’re surfing, you want to be paddling before the wave gets to it, as opposed to paddling to catch the wave that’s already going towards the shore.
So you want to be conscious of the fact of which direction your niche is trending. Now, one of the reasons why I brought this up too is because Google has a search tool. I think it’s trends.google.com which you can put in various types of industries and niches and determine which direction a niche is trending to help you decide, not only just based on your gut, but based on some actual numbers that Google has.
Avish: OK. Now, is this similar to turn-over, the turn-over rate of the industry you’re targeting?
Fred: You know what? I’m not really sure how they’re using turn-over. You know, to me, it’s very much sort of a gut level kind of thinking. Just like when I was talking about the whole idea of e-books versus the physical books. I think you really have to ask yourself, is this the market that is going in a positive upward movement direction, or has it already peaked and is going down? So I think it’s just more of an additional sort of gut check to determine and decide whether you’re in a market that really has somewhere to go as opposed to someplace else. If you’re talking about right now, obviously elder care and health care issues, given the number of baby boomers soon to retire, is going in a positive direction. If you’re looking at issues of debt, most people, including the government, are looking at having less debt, so that’s trending in the wrong direction. So just ask yourself in general this additional question when thinking of selecting a niche: which direction are you going?
Avish: OK. A few more things that I’m really holding in on that niche and whatnot. You ask people, I mean you suggest that we find a niche where it’s easy to find a target market, right?
Fred: Yeah. In other words, we don’t want to go after a niche where it’s difficult to locate and see where people congregate for something.
Avish: So what are some of the things we’d look for to see if it’s an easy to find niche?
Fred: Well, I mean I think that if people are, again, given the fact that we now live basically in a Google world, Google is going to be able to tell us, whether or not people are searching or looking for something. So that if you go on to the Google External Keyword Tool, and you find that nobody is looking for what it is you’re trying to target, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to have a heck of a time trying to sell something to that niche. Because they may be, they may have an intense interest in this, but they’re not really looking for the stuff online, and that’s where we’re going to be doing our marketing, so it may be wise that you stay away from that niche.
Avish: OK. And like you said it’s all about doing a good research, like you have this story I’ve heard before, it’s very entertaining, about napkin folding?
Fred: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if we’ve told that before, but I think it’s a great example, where I went to give a presentation in Oklahoma and the woman who took me up to the airport and took me out the night before, to entertain me, she was sitting there at dinner and we went to this restaurant where they have the fancy cloth napkins, which by the way is a restaurant that I’ll very infrequently go to. So she was taking her cloth napkin and folding it and I was asking her something about what niche are you going after, etc, etc., and she was just sort of playing with her napkin. She’s all for example “I’m sort of the Martha Stewart type and I can fold this napkin in 21 different directions or 21 different ways.” I said “wow, that sounds interesting.” I mean, frankly I don’t know how many people are interested in that. S
So I used, the next day in the presentation, I was actually online, and I used her as an example. I put in the term “napkin folding.” Before I hit the enter on the keyboard, I said to her out loud in a group of 50 or 60 people, I said, “well, by the way, don’t be upset if we put in ‘napkin folding’ and just not have any result because you can always try another niche.” So we put in “napkin folding” and I hit return and 19,600 people that month are looking for ‘napkin folding.” So clearly I was not part of her market.
Avish: Right. That’s why you got to do the research and not just make assumptions.
Fred: Exactly, and the whole idea, just remember, that number 1: you are not your market. Often times, you may know your market a little bit, but you aren’t them. You don’t what people are thinking, so it’s good to do the research and not just do it based on your gut.