Step 1 (pt. 1): Selecting Your Niche
Avish: So Fred, we have gone through the seven steps at a very high-level, summary style. So now let’s dig in deep in each one starting with step number one, and that is selecting your niche.
Fred: Yes, I think that selecting a niche is a lot of times one of those items that get pretty short shrift. And it shouldn’t because, you know a lot of people will recommend a lot of other, you know, information marketing gurus, will recommend that the sole reason why you should go after a niche is because you make a lot of money doing it. My contention is, that is, if that is your sole reason for doing this, I think that your ability to stay motivated will be slim-to-none.
Meaning to say that if this is the only reason you are doing this business is to make a lot of money and you pick a niche that you have absolutely no interest in, even if you make a lot of money, you are going to start to, or well before then, you are going to start to get bored and not really feel the enthusiasm that you have to sustain it. Because this is not a business that is going to be built overnight, nor sustained overnight, so I think it is really important for people when they are considering a niche to understand that this is something that they want to consider living with for the next three to four years.
Avish: Well they do that, um, what are you saying, they should do that at the — Is it one of those things where, do what you love and the money will follow. Should they just pick a niche doing what they love and not worry about the money aspect?
Fred: No, not quite. I think it’s, it’s really a little bit more than that. It should be a combination of, there should be an overlap between passion and profit. In other words you should take a niche that has real interest to you, that also uses some of your background either personally or professionally. But that can also show some promise in terms of to making money. So we want to just not be, I just saw a documentary on Ben and Jerry. You know we are not going to be really ‘60s-ish in our approach to this business, where all we care about is like making peace, love, and harmony. It’s ok to make money, but I think you should combine that, you know, desire to do something you really love with something that has a strong profit potential. So it should have both. And given the number of niches out there, it’s really not that difficult to eventually come up with something that’s viable that satisfies both those requirements.
Avish: Ok, well how do we go about looking into ourselves, so to speak, and figuring out what we might be good at or what we pretty good at that could become a niche?
Fred: Good question. I mean you really have to sort of start listing down and I would encourage everybody listening to this program to do is to develop sort of two lists or one list and split it with a, you know take out a piece of paper and put a line down the center of it. On one side put “personal” and on the other side put “professional” and write down all of your background elements. For example for me, as you know I played a lot of golf as a kid, so golf for me would be an area in which I had a natural tendency to move in that direction with one of my niches. And my background, well my background in terms of professionally, is that I have been fired a lot working for other people. Which by the way, would be something that I could consider creating an info-product on. You know, “How Not to Get Fired” or “How to Get Fired Effectively” or something like that.
But you should list everything you can think of. This is a brainstorming session where you don’t want to screen anything out. So list everything you have a background in, professionally or personally, and put all of those down and then afterwards, you can start taking a look at pairing, you know, some of those things or putting them together in a way in which you can then, after you’ve done all that. Then naturally we would want to do some keyword research to find out whether or not those niches are viable.
Avish: Ok, I want to get to the keyword research in a minute, before we get to that though, a couple more questions about just this broader sense. I know lots of people struggle with this, wouldn’t even think that they could create an information product, because they are not some world celebrity or number one leading expert on some topic. And what would you say to someone who would say that to you?
Fred: Thanks, for bringing that up. That is a really good point because a lot of people, something that I would call the “imposter syndrome.” They said to themselves, “what right do I have to be talking x, y or z topics, after all I have not been in a written book, I have not been on Oprah, you know I am not the leading expert in the field.” The answer to that is quite frankly you are right.
Now, the thing about it is that no one, when they are preparing an information product, should necessarily have to be or think they have to be the knowledgeable expert in the world. Now, I am not saying that somebody with no knowledge or expertise on the topic should get involved in a niche. But what I am saying is that if someone has than say 90 percent of the people out there in that topic of field. If you are in the top ten percent in terms of knowledge about a topic, I think that give you the right certainly to get in there. So of course that begs the question, you know more than 90 percent of the people, there would be 10 percent of the people that know more than you. And the answer is, the answer to the question that everybody is asking is, if some one buys the product from you and is dissatisfied, obviously you will give them their money back, give them a refund. But there is a difference also, so with certain people, let say you are in the 90th percentile in a topic and 10 percent of the people out there know more than you, if someone buys it who is more knowledgeable than you they may want a refund.
However, there is a difference between knowledge and communicating knowledge to others, or teaching. So that even though you know, say for example you Avish. You may not be the foremost expert in the world on improv comedy, but you might be one of the better experts in the world on improv comedy but you may have a stellar ability to teach improv comedy. Therefore anyone that is listening to this program, if you happen to be in the top 10 percentile in whatever your niche is and you have good teaching ability, you now have the perfect right to create information products.
Avish: Ok, so if someone is looking, the first step to select a niche is they need to find their passions by making a big list, with their expertise as well, figure out which among those passion will also will potentially profitable, and where there maybe no more than about 90 percent of the population on.
Avish: Alright, one final thing on this, I don’t know if we touched on it before, I know we didn’t touch on it right now, is that there are some people listening to this who are going to resist this advice about selecting a niche because they said, “well I am an expert on leadership, you know this topic like leadership and anyone can use that. And if I say anyone can use it, then my market is a hundred million people, not this small slice.” So I don’t know if we talked enough about why selecting a niche when that seems to make your market smaller.
Fred: Yes, I think that you need to select a niche because in the end there are so many people out there trying to sell so much stuff online that you need to become an expert. Or you need to start selling information products and become an expert in a niche that both has enough people, but where there isn’t too much competition. So that you could become the king or the queen of your particular niche. Because the key to succeeding in information products is to have customers who find you, perceive you as one of the top experts in the field. Now let’s say you are dealing in the topic you just mentioned, leadership. So rather than dealing with leadership as a general topic, if your background was let’s keep it the law example here, if you have a legal degree, you may want to say “leadership within law firms of less than 25 people.”
So rather than saying that leadership in general, you have now sliced down and targeted your niche a little more carefully and combined it in such a way that your background was included along with your knowledge about leadership. And it made the niche much more easer, much more easy to attack, and made it so that you will be that you could become the king of the queen of that particular niche.
Avish: Now what I know people are going to feel, because I certainly felt that way in the past is, when you say that, won’t somebody think to themselves, or won’t somebody say to you, well what if somebody comes to my website who is not a lawyer who wants leadership or someone comes to my website who has got a law firm that has got 100 people, which is more than 25, aren’t we cutting out potential clients that way?
Fred: Yes . The answer is absolutely we are and we are doing so intentionally so as to be targeting one particular group and increasing the probability of us becoming the acknowledged expert in the topic and increasing the probability that somebody will buy from us. Because think about it, although you have excluded the people that have law firms of a 100 or more, the people that go there that have 25 people or less in their law firm are going to be much more to apt to buy, one would think everything else being equal, if you marketed it yourself that way.
Avish: Ok, so by creating that smaller niche in excluding some people we are going to be even more appealing to that target group?
Fred: Yeah, so like I always say, one of my lines is “try to sell to everybody then you sell to no one.” So it’s ok small down your niche as long there is sufficient number to make it a viable niche. So for example, in this country I would assume that there are plenty of law firms with under 25 people in them. Therefore, that niche is certainly large enough to make a good living at. Now if you small down your niche to such a point where it really wasn’t viable there was not enough buying units, or potential buying units, not a good idea.
Avish: Ok, I think in the next section we are going to talk a little bit about how you could figure some of those numbers out as well.
Fred: Sounds good.