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How To Capture Your Niche Market in 2011

Niche marketing is about making the strongest offer to the customers most likely to value and pay a premium price for your products or services.

Since introducing new services to my roster last fall, I’ve been trying to re-evaluate the type of industries I work with to figure out if they’re still a good match for me going forward.

Depending on your industry and your budget, a more extensive market research may still be critical to your business. But there is a simple yet effective technique to help you establish your target market in order to improve the results of your promotion, pricing and distribution efforts.

There are two parts to this exercise. The first is this:

  • Use a simple spread-sheet to assemble your data in a table format;
  • There will be 7 columns and as many rows as you like. Label the first column ‘Industry Type’ and underneath it, write down all the different industries that could use your services. Don’t be conservative, write down whatever comes to your mind (accounting firms, web developers, government agencies…etc)
  • Create 6 more columns titled: Business potential, Reachability, Credentials, Connections, Enjoyability and Total score.
  • You will use a ranking system of low, medium or high to evaluate each industry based on the 6 categories above;
  • Look at the industry listed at the top of your first column. Supposing that industry is ‘Government Agencies’. Based on its ‘business potential’ (how much work you expect to get from that type of industry) give it a score of low, medium or high.
  • On the next column (Reachability) think of how much access you have to that industry either geographically or simply by telephone or online access. Rate accordingly. If you work in the Baltimore/ DC metro area for example, you would have ‘high’ access to government agencies.
  • Similarly, rate each industry type based on the other categories – your credentials (whether your education or work experience is a good fit for that industry); your connections (do you personally know someone in that industry); enjoyability (how much fun you would have working with that industry type – for example some people enjoy working with government agencies because they award big contracts and pay well).
  • Finally assign a score of 3 points for high, 2 points for medium and 1 point for low. Add up the total scores for each industry and see which one scored the highest.
  • The industry with the highest score is your target or ‘niche’ market and provides the best match for your services.

Once you have established your target or niche market, you can then move on to the second part of the exercise.  Using your Chamber directory, Linkedin, Google or resources from your local library, find all the organizations that fall under that industry and  prepare another spread sheet of actual prospects.

You will need to find the company name, name of contact, title, address, email and phone number. Try to create as expansive a list as possible – the more the better.

During the year you will use this list of highly-targeted prospects in your niche market to initiate long-lasting business relationships. We’ll talk about that soon.

If you find this technique to be interesting and useful, please share it with your friends or leave a comment in the space below.


  1. Wow – I love this. So practical, and so telling. I think I’ll be trying this later this week.

    It’s amazing how hard it is to truly commit to a focused niche. We all know that the more focused it is, the more effective. And yet, in practice, it’s so hard to turn down “potential” business.


    • Sorry it took a while to respond Brett. I was away on vacation and just got back. I have to admit that even after learning this little Ninja trick this year, I still find myself wading towards less targeted markets from time to time – it’s human nature I guess. I’m glad that you’ll be putting this information to use and I’m pretty sure that you will reap some remarkable benefits. I can’t wait to hear your experience. Let me know if/how I can help. Happy New Year!

  2. Well said. Thank you.

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