Choosing a business
Ready to get started? Here’s your first step: deciding what your business is going to be all about. Of course, you’ll need a product or service to sell—but it should be something people want to buy. Generating enthusiasm for your products or services will sell them better than anything else.
It’s the catch-22 of Internet marketing—to be successful at sales, you need something that sells itself.
However, there’s another aspect to this secret of success, and it’s what allows so many Internet marketers to run profitable businesses. Here’s the thing: your products or services don’t have to sell themselves to everyone. Remember, you’re only targeting a fraction of a percent of the Internet community. That’s where niche markets come in.
Finding your niche
Niche marketing is one of the most powerful strategies available for online businesses. Creating a niche allows you to focus your efforts and offer products and services people will want to buy.
Why does niche marketing work online? Internet businesses have one big disadvantage when it comes to sales: there is no personal contact with the customer. Online shoppers can’t pick up and examine your products, nor can they see your services in action (unless, of course, you’re a website designer). The deciding factors for most people when they make Internet purchases include:
- The known factor: online merchants such as Amazon or eBay
- The professionalism and appearance of the website
- Testimonials or recommendations from other customers
- Price, options, and speed of delivery
- Whether or not they can get the products or services elsewhere
Since you’re not Amazon or eBay, you’ll have to rely on the other four factors. The first three go a long way toward Internet marketing success, but the fourth is often the deciding factor. In general, you have three to ten seconds to interest a potential customer before they click away from your website. If you can offer them something different, they’ll stick around for a while.
There are two steps to finding your niche: choosing an industry you love, and determining what that industry is missing.