So you want to start an online business, do you? Well, excellent. You’ve made it past the first step in the process. Congratulations.
Now that you know you want to start an online business, what you next need to figure out is your niche market—more importantly, what your business is going to, eventually, offer that niche market.
Your niche market is the specific group of potential customers your business is going to target when you launch. An online business that resells used video games is probably going to, purposefully, attract gamers who don’t necessarily have the extra cash to buy new games off store shelves.
Here are a few examples of niche products to get you thinking about which direction you might want to take your online business.
1. Sell that one thing everyone hates shopping at a store for
Even if you really like to shop, there’s always that particular kind of shopping you don’t particularly care for. Do you love shopping for clothes, but not for groceries? Do you love to wander around garden shops looking for tools, but hate when you have to do the same thing when hunting for furniture?
Use this mindset when trying to come up with something to sell online that’s easy and convenient to shop for. Thinks of Barnes & Noble’s online store. It’s targeted specifically toward people who love books but don’t want to walk around a bookstore looking for them. As a niche marketer, you should always be thinking about solving a problem or making something more convenient for your audience.
Sell a product that already exists, but make it convenient for users to browse, select and purchase. Add your own variations, if you can.
2. Distribute series of ebooks
What do people generally do when they don’t know how to do something? They Google it, obviously. Think a little more deeply about the results people get when they do Google a question, though. More specifically, think about the kinds of websites and products that come up in web searches.
Customers aren’t customers until they purchase something that is going to solve their problem or meet an urgent need. One thing you can do to be the answer to their prayers is to create something that’s similar to a blog, but much more profitable: an ebook showing someone how to do something, which they will find when they search their question or concern online.
3. Put together a webinar series (online training programs)
A lot of people create online videos. Many of those people only get paid through advertisements, which really only helps if you have a lot of viewers. You can create online video, too, but you can do it in such a way that will bring with it the financial stability your online business needs.
If you’re a professional or an expert in a particular field, that should be your niche market. If you have the training and the authority, you’re technically qualified to pass your knowledge and skills on to those who might want to learn. Webinars and other types of online training programs are great products to sell if you want your online business to revolve around your expertise.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a great place.
4. Offer a specific professional service
If you’re going to monetize your expertise, but don’t want to offer education, consider providing a service instead. Services can easily be targeted toward a target niche market or audience so your skills and creativity will match the needs of those searching for something specific.
For example, if you are going to market yourself as a freelancer, choose a specific kind of work depending on your skill set (writing, design, etc.) and target your services specifically to those in that particular niche market. Websites need content creators. Other businesses need logos. If you can provide it, offer it.
You can pretty much turn any skill into something profitable if you’re aware of who is in need of a particular service. You just have to be willing to reach out and go looking, because they won’t always find you first.
5. Fulfill the obscure desires of the internet
The internet is a big, sometimes weird place, but if you look hard enough, you can find a niche target market no one else has found yet. People aren’t afraid to voice their opinions online. If they want something, they’ll voice that desire, and if you’re quick, you can ride that wave and turn your business into something amazing.
Steve Kamb did this when he created Nerd Fitness. He eventually began creating training programs for “nerds” who wanted to bulk up and live healthier lives. Pretty unique, but that’s why his business has been so successful. He found a group of people with a wish, and he granted it.
Look for the “I wish this kind of thing existed” comments on forums and across social media. If you can figure out a way to make that happen, you’re, literally, in business.
What makes an effective niche product?
- Something ahead of trend that hasn’t been done before
- A product that solves a problem or makes an already existing process easier
- Anything that allows a potential customer to learn or gain something much more valuable than the product itself
Once you have decided you want to start an online business, figuring out your niche market and the product or service you want to make a profit off of is the next step.
The best niche products are those that are specific and relatively unheard of, such as rentacoop.com, created specifically for people who want to raise chickens in their own backyards.
Whether you want to provide products you can’t normally get online, educational or professional services or cater to a group of people who just hasn’t had their needs met yet, finding and satisfying your niche is your ticket to a successful online business.