Defining Your Ideal Customer in Your Niche

In Unit 8 of the Accounting & Marketing Crossroads program we talk about defining your ideal customer, but first it’s important to determine what your niche is. 

A niche is a small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer. Market niches do not exist by themselves, but are created by identifying needs or wants that are not being addressed by competitors, and by offering products that satisfy them. See also market segmentation.

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/market-niche.html

Why is it a good idea to focus on a niche?

In my article Referrals Make the World Go Round, I suggested that “we can’t be good at everything” and I think most people would agree with that statement. With that said, focusing on a niche or a specific target market is not only good for marketing purposes but it’s good for our business too. Here are a few reasons why focusing on a niche is a good idea:

  • We can hone our skills in a specific area of our trade
  • We can focus our marketing efforts on a specific target 
  • We can refer or collaborate on clients that are outside of our niche

How to define your niche

In 7 Steps to Defining Your Niche Market, the Entrepreneur.com staff describes the steps needed to define your niche. The first step, in my opinion, is the most important, “With whom do you want to do business?” If you don’t know who you want to do business with, you may as well stop right there. 

However, I would insert a step before that…

Step 1 in determining your niche is to figure out what you passionate about and what you want to focus on within your skill set? Click To Tweet

You may want to do business with Fortune 500 executives, but if you personally don’t have any skills that would benefit them it’s a moot point.

In my specific case, I am passionate about fatherhood and the family, and I’m an accountant with a strong skill set in internal controls. Now I’m getting somewhere. With this in mind I can start to define whom I want to do business with that will benefit from my specific passion and skills.

The remaining steps in the process of defining your niche involve clarifying the product or service that you want to offer and evaluating how that will fit in the market you want to serve. As you go through this process you will further refine your niche until you are ready to take your product or service to market.

How to define your ideal customer

In the Accounting & Marketing Crossroads program we go through a 5 step process to define your ideal customer or client:

  • Is your ideal customer a business or individual?
  • Are you looking for small, medium or large customers?
  • Is your ideal customer in a specific industry? If yes, what is it?
  • What are 5-10 specific characteristics of your ideal customer?
  • Of the characteristics listed above, what are the top 3?

By the time you answer those 5 questions you should have a pretty good idea of who you want to serve within your niche.

Conclusion

As you can see, defining your customer in your niche is a bit of a circular process. You need to define your niche before you can define your ideal customer. However once you define your ideal customer, you may need to refine your niche. This is something that takes time and care, but will be well worth the effort.

To Your Success,

Bob Swetz

P.S. If you would like to dig deeper into this topic you have a few options:

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