Posts

Why You Need A Niche: Advice for Up-and-Coming Businesses

Ever heard of the saying “jack of all trades, but master of none”? It’s the concept that people that dabble in lots of things never actually become specialists of anything. This is an important saying to keep in mind when building an online business because someone who is intending to start out as a ‘jack of all trades’, providing 101 different products or services, will likely find themselves on a treacherous and rocky road.

Beginning an online business with a clearer focus about what you are going to provide is a much more effective way of going about it. This focus will naturally mean your product or service appeals to a small or highly specific portion of the population. This is called having a niche.

Choosing a niche is going to make the process of building a successful business easier and faster. This is due to the fact that having a niche allows you to focus your entire attention on a single area of expertise. If you’re concentrating all of your efforts on providing this one thing, your product or service will likely have a higher quality; this is desirable and will increase demand. A niche does not only allow you to specialise, it ensures you aren’t stretching your limited resources thin by trying to cover too much ground.

An example of how niches are crucial can be understood if you imagine someone is starting up a catering company and decides they will provide all forms of catering, including all of the different cuisines and ranges (from high-end to casual dining). This person is opening themselves up to a huge variety of services. This will require increased resources to account for the many different recipes and their ingredients and would likely drain their time as they try to accommodate such variety. This is not sustainable or profitable for new small businesses.

Alternatively, if this catering company chose to only provide gourmet platter food or only provide woodfired pizzas, they have narrowed their target market down massively but have greater chances of gaining a stable place in this market over time by focusing their resources and specialising.

Having a niche is also shown to make your business more searchable online. Trying to advertise and perform search engine optimisation for dozens of different products or services becomes ten-times harder as you have to put all those different products in front of the right customers. The wide range of keywords you will have to target in your organic SEO will mean the process of getting customers to find your website through search results will be significantly slowed and thus, revenue will also be slowed. The only way to overcome this slowed pace is by resorting to paid advertising or by appointing more employees to the task which will demand a larger budget and use of valuable resources.

If you need any more reasons why selecting a niche for your business is a good idea, consider that a niche will simplifyyour marketing strategies going forward by giving you a clear message about features, benefits and purpose. Basically, it makes all the tedious processes of building awareness, interest and conversions for your business that little bit easier.

If this is all sounding rather depressing and like I’m knocking down all the product ideas you had for your new online business, don’t fret. You can expand your niche once you have an established place in the market. In fact, here’s a very extreme example of someone doing this:

A young girl named Jojo Siwa was on a reality TV show and was known for always wearing a huge bow in her hair. Upon leaving the reality show she released a line of eccentric bows which became a worldwide hit. Once she had an established place in the market, revenue and interested customers due to her bows, she began to expand her products to clothing, lunch boxes, perfume, bedspreads and backpacks (to name a few). She started with an incredibly specific niche which became an empire.

Overall, having a specific focus for your business, especially at the beginning, is an excellent idea. You are able to build expert status more quickly which in turn speeds up the process of gaining interested customers who are willing to trust and try your service or product. This is how you can begin building yourself a business with an interested market of paying customers.

It’s Time to Get Savvy: An Introduction to Email Marketing

Email marketing is a massively underrated segment of digital marketing that, when used in combination with other marketing channels, is a goldmine of opportunity. Think of email marketing as the Robin or Dr. Watson of digital marketing; it needs to work in tandem with something else to have relevance but when it does, it is highly effective, useful and fills a vital role.

Email marketing can be used to deliver specific content directly to the interested user’s email inbox. This content can include offers, advertisements and education. To break these down further and understand the different kinds of emails there are, businesses can specifically deliver things like:

  • Brand announcements: announcing your next webinar, event, or sale
  • Product updates: the latest features of your product or offered services
  • Newsletters: a summary of your latest blog posts, business updates or your latest content offers
  • Event invitations: informing users of an event you’re attending, or an event of interest to them (e.g. an event of a business partner)
  • Social media updates: letting subscribers know of your new posts and asking them to share or like your posts (there’s no harm in asking for a little help from your followers/fans)

Keep in mind that you should switch up the kinds of emails you are sending to your subscribers. If you are tracking the response of your emails, discovering which are generating website visits or higher engagement, this can give you greater insight in to which types of emails work best for your specific subscribers. Knowing your subscribers, to know what they need and why they need it, is the key.

Before you can send an email, you of course need to know who you are emailing and how you will reach them. You can form a subscriber list by placing offers to ‘join our email subscription” on your website landing pages, social media’s or other platforms. Enticing people to join your email subscription can be achieved in many different ways, but ultimately you have to sell the benefits of joining this subscription. For example, subscribe “to receive exclusive offers”, “be the first to know when our sales begin” or “subscribe to receive 10% off your first purchase”. Once they have subscribed with their contact information, you can begin sending out your marketing emails.

Manuel vs Automated Emails:

Both manual and automated emails are important for email marketing. Manually sent emails are those that you create for specific and unique circumstances (e.g. an upcoming sale, announcements, newsletters etc.). Automated emails are those which are sent when a user performs a certain action on your website which automatically triggers an email response. Some automated email examples include:

  • Welcome: sent when a user first registers for your email subscription
  • Onboarding: can be singular or several emails providing information about your services or products and gives a rundown of what they can expect from your business.
  • Confirmation: sent in response to a user signing up for an event/webinar or completing a transaction.
  • Form response: sent when someone has completed a form to obtain access to an offer you have promoted, it will usually thank them for their engagement and will include the details of the offer.
  • Abandoned cart: if the customer has added products to their basket but has not followed through with the transaction, you can send triggered emails to remind them that they still have items in their basket and can encourage them to complete their purchase.

There is so much more to learn about email marketing, but this is a good introduction to understanding how, why and when to use email marketing to boost your business.

Final Three Tips:

  1. Your emails should be mobile friendly as 53% of all emails are being opened on mobile devices. If your formatting and content is not appropriate and appealing on a mobile device, then you are potentially wasting some of your efforts and failing to fully target half of your email subscribers.
  2. Make sure your email arrives at the time that best suits the user (consider time zones and how an email notification for someone at midnight may hurt the way they view your brand).
  3. Personalise your emails, tailor them to each user by including their name and providing information or recommendations that are constructed for them based on past behaviors.