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Finding, Developing and Prospering From Niche Markets

(December 2006) posted on Fri Jan 05, 2007

Discover tips and techniques that can help you profit from untapped niche markets.

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By Mark A. Coudray

If you really want to drill down, go to your local library and settle down in the reference section for a few hours. There you'll find a remarkable reference book called SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service) that will help you identify and obtain mailing lists and advertising demographics on every published magazine in the US. The information in this book is fascinating. You can find out exactly how big any market is by simply looking up the topic. Chances are if there is a magazine for your topic, there's enough base to support a niche.

Your afternoon of work at the library has led you to determine that there's more than enough interest in bird watching. Your next step is to obtain several of the magazines in your interest area. This is where your personal interest comes in. If you're already a bird watcher, you have a jump start on the process. Now you need to expand your reach by becoming an expert in your field. This step is very, very important. You must be absolutely believable in your efforts. If you create designs around the current migrating species and you get the colors wrong—or, heaven forbid, the species wrong—you're dead. Niche markets are passionate. Potential buyers know all the details. The more details you know, the more believable you are. This knowledge makes you special. You will sell product.

Study the magazines cover to cover. The more work you do here, the better off you are. You're interested in the articles and the advertising. You want to know what the hot buttons are. It could be conservation efforts (saving wetlands or endangered species). You're looking for anything that will create an emotional connection with the reader—your potential customer. If you see the same kinds of information in several different books, it's probably important.

Of course, don't forget the Web. You'll find an incredible wealth of information online. The Web offers even finer resolution of information and markets. You can find very, very specific sites on just about any aspect of your market. The Web is a wonderful research tool for narrowing focus and obtaining very detailed and specific information that's laser targeted to your market.


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