The internet has changed everything. It’s changed the way we do business. It’s changed the way we connect with people. And it’s also changed the way we find people with similar interests. On some levels this may seem very basic, but the internet is only 27 years old, imagine what it will be like in 30 more years. The reach that the internet has, and will have, will be much more advanced.
Think about it, the internet allows people to interact with each other and meet people that may have never met face-to-face. The internet has, in Wellman’s terms, caused “glocalization”. At one point we were all restricted to our social group that was only local to us: friends, family, co-workers, people that were a short distance away. The internet has allowed people and businesses alike to connect on a global level.
Finding Your Niche
Let’s talk about finding your tribe, your avatar, your audience, your niche – whatever you call them. Who are your students? What type of students are they? Do you know where they came from or where they will come from? Where are you going to find them?
Let’s think of an example: Genetics. Let’s say that you are looking for red-haired, green-eyed people in Anchorage, Alaska vs the entire State of Alaska vs The United States vs multiple countries – once you start reaching out your audience gets a lot larger.
Or perhaps you have one blue eye and one green eye (one can only hope) and you feel like you are the only person in your town that has this genetic feature (people are jealous) … once you expand your reach and expand your audience, you will come to find that you aren’t the only person with this awesome gene.
This same thing happens when you specialize your course and you narrow it down to serve a niche. Don’t think that you are the only person out there with one blue eye and one green eye, it’s more about finding similar people – because they are definitely NOT in your backyard.
You need to understand your customers. You need to know who your target market is. Once you have established that, you can broaden your reach to see: where they hang out and how you reach them. They’re out there, it’s just a matter of finding them. As you look for these people, your people, where would they be?
- Specialty clubs,
- Members of specialty websites,
- Some type of professional association,
No matter where you end up finding or reaching your customers, the important things to know are that: 1) they are out there, 2) you can find them, and 3) if you don’t know who they are, there is no way that you are ever going to be able to find them.
Understand your niche and your customer avatar. Write them down. Just because this image may be in your head, it needs to be written down. You could have three TOP avatars, but three top avatars in your head is different than three top avatars written down. The avatar and niche that you serve and the “ideal profile” are all the same thing. Essentially it’s who is in your cross-hairs, who are you targeting?
If you pay attention to your customers and analyze their data, whether that is through Google Analytics, through a survey or another tool, start paying attention to see if there is any kind of a geographic concentration.
Let’s say you have 1,000 students and 400 of them are based in New York City. Now that you understand where a lot of them are from, it could be possible for you to find other people in that same area.
Is there some reason why your course, How to Make Specialty Jalapeno Hot Sauce has 20% of your users from Maynard, MA (because that’s where the “World’s Most Influential Pepper Grower” runs his business from) or why your course on How to Train Your Pet Micro Pig has the most users in Cleveland, Ohio (because some of the best breeders of micro pigs come from Ohio).
If you can understand where the highly concentrated groups of people are within the market, all of a sudden you can find a whole lot more customers and better ways to serve them, grow your business, and have better wins.
It’s important to understand the nuances of the culture surrounding your students who are taking your course on, How to Use and Make the Best Brisket (with a large majority coming from Meridian, Texas). Maybe it’s just that bbq’ing is most popular in Meridian, Texas because that is where the National Championship BBQ Cookoff is held every year, and thousands of people go there and half of them are local and it’s a tradition, that’s why there is a higher concentration of customers in Meridian, Texas. .
Understand where those concentrations are, and you can better serve your niche.
The reach for customers who are looking for what you have to offer is no longer just local. The internet has made it possible to interact and find people in ways unimaginable 25 years ago. Your business can become global. Understand your niche/avatar/customer and then dig deeper into your customers, and understand what characteristics are there.