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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 Caleb Jones
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.
“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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Fmx 2019-01-02 08:24:02
Hi Caleb, Niching was for me one of the big insights from your video course. I realized that the niche I chose years ago for my online business is not "micro-niche" enough. Probably somewhere between a niche and a micro-niche, so I still have some big competition there. I already have a small and trusting audience, that I managed to get through SEO. How would you refocus to niche a bit further without confusing your existing audience ? Thank you.
Caleb Jones 2019-01-02 10:26:56
How would you refocus to niche a bit further without confusing your existing audience ?Your existing audience won't care as long as you continue to provide value.
Eddie 2019-01-02 19:36:42
Happy New Year, Caleb. Would you say, in the Personal Development niche... a micro niche, would be... Confidence or Focus or Discipline or Habit...etc...?
Caleb Jones 2019-01-02 22:25:46
Would you say, in the Personal Development niche… a micro niche, would be… Confidence or Focus or Discipline or Habit…etc…?That's the widget niche, not the market niche. You need to ask, Discipline for whom?
Investor 2019-01-03 02:41:23
If working with companies, for example as a consultant, I understand part of the niching is chosing not only industry, type of company but also the company size. The first two are perhaps determined by my offering but how does one chose the company size? Is that arbitrary?
Freevoulous 2019-01-03 07:03:19
If I have two or more micro-niches to cover, would it make more sense to start 3 businesses, or one business with 3 separate departaments? Im asking from organisational and financial perspective.
Caleb Jones 2019-01-03 11:00:21
If working with companies, for example as a consultant, I understand part of the niching is chosing not only industry, type of company but also the company size. The first two are perhaps determined by my offering but how does one chose the company size? Is that arbitrary?No, it's based on the logistics, your preferences, and your business goals. For example, I generally prefer working with small companies because there is less bureaucracy and I can talk directly to the guy with the power for immediate decisions instead of farting around.
If I have two or more micro-niches to cover, would it make more sense to start 3 businesses, or one business with 3 separate departaments?One business with three separate departments, assuming you're selling the same thing to all three niches.
andrew 2019-01-03 21:25:59
Awesome advice. Loved your alpha 2.0 business course. heres to 2019, Cheers!
1T 2019-01-04 08:53:26
Great article BD
Dandy Dude 2019-01-04 12:53:50
When determining your niche, it’s your job to borrow into that niche as deeply as possible.I think you misspelled burrow.
Caleb Jones 2019-01-04 14:44:37
I think you misspelled burrow.Fixed. Thanks.
Sonny 2019-01-05 02:01:53
I like the concept of niching in theory but one big hurdle. Isn't niching difficult because the product / service you are selling also have to be unique/ different in order to justify the higher cost you are charging. Example if you are targeting asian women with breast cancer for weight loss what novel or propertiery weight loss information are you providing that you cant find in a generic weight loss website / service which will justify the niche positioning or pricing. Niching a target market is easier but Providing a differentiated product from a generic one is rather difficult it seems to me.
Caleb Jones 2019-01-05 09:10:18
Example if you are targeting asian women with breast cancer for weight loss what novel or propertiery weight loss information are you providing that you cant find in a generic weight loss website / service which will justify the niche positioning or pricing.I can't answer that question directly because I know nothing about fitness, but it doesn't matter. You will be able to charge more, at least a little more, even if your services are near-identical (and they won't be).
Alex 2019-01-07 12:08:01
Hi Caleb, this is a little unrelated. Reading your podcast on consultancy you write about the importance of branding and deciding what you wanna be an expert on. But then how do you decide what you wanna be an expert on and how many things can you be an expert on? Have you written about this?
Eddie 2019-01-16 07:50:15
Just as a quick follow up for clarity... you mentioned that for Personal Development... discipline would be considered a widget niche..... to burrow down.... if I would say, Discipline for Entrepreneurs or Confidence for Kids... would that be more apt for, getting rich in your niche?