Niching and Micro-niching
One of the hardest aspects of an Alpha 2.0 business, and perhaps the aspect I get the most questions about, is how to determine your market niche.
One of the traits of the Alpha 2.0 business is that unlike most companies, which try to sell a product or service to anyone who could want it, the Alpha 2.0 business only sells products/services to a very narrow niche. I describe this in more detail in my primary Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle book.
By only focusing on a narrow niche market, you:
- Can more easily find prospects and new customers.
- Retain customers more strongly.
- Get referral business more easily.
- Be perceived as an expert more quickly.
- Can charge more money.
- Often eliminate the entire concept of “competition.”
- “Own” an entire market.
The consultant who offers business advice might be successful and he might not. He also is going to run into massive competition from those who are much better than him. But the consultant who only offers inventory management advice to the brewery industry and no one else is going to skyrocket to success faster than even he might imagine.
It’s important to understand the difference between an industry, a niche, and a micro-niche.
An industry is a group of companies that sell an individual product or service. The auto industry is an industry, as are restaurants, architects, actors, and banks.
A niche is a market within an industry. I.T. is an industry. Consultants are an industry. But I.T. networking consultants are a niche within the I.T. industry.
A micro-niche is a niche inside a niche. I.T. networking consultants is a niche. I.T. networking consultants that only focus on Linux servers is a micro-niche.
When determining your niche, it’s your job to burrow into that niche as deeply as possible. If you just pick an industry, that’s usually not narrow enough. If you pick a niche, that’s good. If you pick a micro-niche, that’s fantastic. The deeper and more narrow, the better.
But Isn’t A Niche Too Small To Make Money?
Ah, that’s the question I constantly get. “But Caleb, micro-niching won’t work! If I just sell my product/service to Linux server experts, how can I make enough money? There aren’t enough of them!”
This is one of those questions that are based on emotion rather than fact. As always, you need to calm down, take a deep breath, relax your emotions, and turn on your brain.
Let’s say you’re going to sell a product/service (I’ll just call it a “widget”) to a particular industry. That’s good; at least you’ve narrowed it down to an industry instead of just to “everyone,” so you’re one level better than most people who start a small business.
I come along and give you some friendly advice, saying that an entire industry is way too big, and you need to sell your widget to a niche inside that industry. I go on to say that ideally, you should only sell to a niche inside that niche(!). A micro-niche.
You do some brainstorming and come up with a niche in that industry, and then a micro-niche. But then you tell me that only selling your widget to such a small group of people is scary and risky, and that you’d feel much better selling to a large niche, or even to an industry. “That way I can sell to more people,” you say.
I tell you to calm down and turn on your brain. With your help, I examine your micro-niche, and after Googling around for about 10 minutes, we determine that there are approximately eight million people in your industry, but only about 350,000 people in your micro-niche.
“See???” you say, “350,000 versus eight million!!! Eight million is way better!”
I ask you how much money you want to make. You tell me you would like to make the Alpha 2.0 minimum of $75,000 per year (all location independent income of course), but eventually you’d like to make more, like around $150,000.
I explain that $75,000 per year is friggin’ nothing compared to 350,000 people. I show you with a calculator that with 1,000 customers, you’d make at least $75,000 a year, probably $120,000 or more. 1000 people is literally one-fifth of one percent of the micro-niche you think is too small.
One of the beauties of the Alpha 2.0 business structure is that you don’t need a lot of customers in order to make a very nice living. Just about any tiny micro-niche you can come up with is hundreds of times larger than you’ll ever need for the rest of your life.
I then flip it around, and explain to you how hard it will be to market to a bigger niche, or to an entire industry of eight million people. If you try that, you will go into direct competition against some very powerful, entrenched, experienced companies and individuals who are going to beat the crap out of you. You won’t stand a chance (unless you get lucky, and you can’t emulate luck).
Whereas if you niche, and certainly micro-niche, you’re very likely going to be the only guy doing what you do. You’ll own the niche right from the get-go. Try starting an online business to teach people to lose weight, and you’re going to get smashed in about three seconds. But if you start an online business to teach weight loss only to Asian women over age 50 who have survived breast cancer, you’re going to own a niche and you’ll absolutely clean up. You’ll get business so fast you will shock yourself.
Again, all you need are a few customers. 100, 500, 1000, maybe 2000 on the outside, but probably not even that. You’re going to get those customers much faster if you niche, and double fast if you micro-niche.
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