Thursday, January 10, 2013

W02.04 Four Fundamental Niches That Embrace It All

Let’s explore some different ways to select your niche…

In Japan, research shows that 6% of the population play music. “People-who-play-music” is a niche, but it’s size qualifies it as a horizontal niche (see yesterday's blog). Way too large for one solitary Alexander Technique teacher to tackle, so let’s plunge down the vertical well of the micro-niches: Classical Musicians are a niche within People-Who-Play-Music > Amateur Players are a niche within Classical Musicians > Wind Players are a niche within Amateur Players > Horn Players are a niche within Wind Players. The final niche? Amateur Horn Players. However, Professional Horn Players, French Horn Players, Trumpeters and quite a few others will definitely be peering in to your niche activities too…

Basil Kritzer, a horn player, was the first person who really listened to my coaching while he was training at BodyChance - then ran with it so fast, I am still puffing to catch up. He started blogging directly to Amateur Horn Players to gather together more students to help support his training. Now the top orchestral players in Japan know him, comment on his blog and accept him into their circle as an authority; meanwhile, so many of them joined BodyChance, we recently investigated sound proofing our studio!

At the end of 2012, within a one month period, Basil got four book offers. Recently, invitations to guest teach at music schools all over Japan have started to flow in. Was it quick? No, he has been blogging almost every day for the last four years! He had already produced enough content to fill four books - which is partly why he got the book offers. Publishers can read blogs too.

So if you have some ideas for a niche, start by breaking it down into all its sub-categories or micro-niches. The smaller the unit, the easier to become a big fish - because it is easier to find and attract people. Too small, and you can’t make any money. Find the balance.

At some point, as you offer your niche-specific “solution”, you will pull the “Alexander Technique” rabbit out of your hat. Once you have drawn them in, Alexander Technique becomes an asset - an “under the hood” factor that spikes their interest. And it’s a sensational sell once you’ve got their interest - if you think I down play Alexander Technique all the way, you’ve misunderstood me. It’s about timing.

These are the four main niche related markets that produce billions of dollars every year - pick up just a few crumbs and you’re rich.

Four Fundamental Niches

1. Getting & keeping money: property, shares, gambling, entrepreneuring, coaching etc.

2. Getting & keeping relationships: with self, with others, dating, counseling, dogs and cats etc.

3. Getting & keeping healthy: eyesight, back pain, nutrition, weight loss, fitness, yoga etc.

4. Getting & keeping active: golf, swimming, scuba diving, dancing, performance, playing music etc.

Combining Niches

As you drill down, you will start to see combinations occurring. For example, people passionate about a skill or hobby (golfers, swimmers, dancers etc.) also have health concerns. So your niche could be: Golfers with yips or Dancers with injuries or Musicians with stage fright.

Alternatively, gender has been a basis for community niching in recent years: fitness centres for woman only; Father and Son relationship residentials. People living in cities like London, New York and Tokyo can thrive in these kind of micro-niches, but they won’t suit people living in rural areas. There are no hard and fast rules - use your common sense.

Do keep the concept of “community” ever present in your thinking. These people need to be bound together in a geographical location near you. Alexander Technique is a service, you eventually needs direct contact, so your niche community needs to be large enough to support you supporting them.

More on this next week as I start to explore  Step 3 “Location” with you.

TOMMOROW: Case Study on Jp Watkins - he almost walked away in disgust from the place where all the money was waiting for him!
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(BTW For the nerds out there - use a keywords analyzer (e.g. google adwords) to discover the most expensive search combinations in your niche. It gives you a clue of how much money (if any) is available. The higher the CTR, the more money must be out there. If no-one is buying adds, you have to ask why…)

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