“The Perfect and Profitable Niche Could Be Right Under Your Nose And You Don’t Even Know It”
So you’ve decided to start an online business. That’s a big first step towards financial freedom. As an Internet entrepreneur, you can escape the drudgery of the rat race and make your own destiny, bringing in a high income but enjoying a flexible schedule and ideal work/life balance.
One of your very first steps to becoming a successful Internet entrepreneur with a profitable online business is to pick a niche.
Essentially, a niche is the industry you will be in and the types of products you will sell; it’s what you specialize in.
For example, Tony Robbins is in the personal development niche. Robert Kiyosakiʼs niche is financial education. Emeka Obi (Elite) is in the digital marketing niche. There are thousands and thousands of niches out there.
There are people who help their customers eliminate personal debt and adopt better financial habits. Fitness & Weight loss is a huge niche. You also have: online money making… gadgets and technology… getting the most out of your relationship… learning to live a healthier lifestyle… the list is endless.
The key is you want to focus on one specific market that you can serve, over and over again, rather than spreading yourself too thin by trying to operate in multiple niche markets.
Not all of the niches out there make for a profitable online business. And not all will appeal to you. But in this post, you’ll learn how to match one of your passions or interests in life with an Internet venture that makes money.
That way work doesn’t seem like work.
→Why You Must Pick a Niche Online ←
Picking a niche has a lot of benefits. Being focused on one area allows you to concentrate your efforts in one direction. You know what appeals to prospects in your specific audience… how to approach them with your marketing with laser-focus so that they are more likely to buy.
At the same time, you build expert status, which speeds up the process of your prospects coming to know, like, and trust you. That’s essential to turning prospects into paying customers.
One common mistake among budding online entrepreneurs is believing that a website offering a large variety of products, something like Amazon.com, is the way to go. At first glance, it makes sense. If you have products and services that at least somebody in the marketplace is willing to buy… you can’t go wrong, right?
First, you don’t have the start-up budget that an Amazon has. Next, if you have 100 different types of products on your site, how will you advertise? You won’t be able afford the time and money it’ll take to put out ads, create email marketing campaigns, optimize web pages for SEO, and more for so many different topics.
Secondly, you’ll simply be overwhelmed, trying to keep track of so many aspects of your business – you’re a one-person operation.
Finally, if you focus on just one niche, you can keep selling the same customers different products and services over time, increasing the amount of money from each new customer. Rather than constantly trying to chase new customers all the time you can spend more time selling to your existing customers, which is much easier to do.
The great news is that by focusing on one niche, your start-up costs will be lower, and your path to success will be much quicker. There is also less risk. And if the niche doesn’t work out, you can move on to different one easily.
And even if you focus on one niche, that doesn’t mean your business can’t grow. You start small and then, once you have a proven marketing strategy, you sell more and more of your niche product. Then you add other similar products. And that means more sales. If you want to build your business even further, you could get into other niches… and start the process again.
→ How to Pick a Profitable Niche – Research, Research, Research ←
So you understand why picking a niche is so important. Now we’re going to look at how you figure out which niche is right for you based on your interests and the demand in the market.
- 1. The first step is to make a list of possible ideas for your business. Go crazy here. Don’t analyze or think too much about it yet. (By the way, I always recommend carrying a notebook around to jot down ideas – you never know when inspiration will hit. The voice memo function on your smartphone is also good for this.)
Here are questions to ask yourself as you go through this brainstorming process …
- What niches are you a customer of?
- What are your biggest passions and interests in life?
- What are your hobbies?
- If you could have a dream business, what would it be?
- Do you have any previous work experience that could potentially turn into a business?
- Is this a profitable niche for me?
Write down anything that comes to mind. We’re going to narrow down the list in just a moment.
- 2. Now, you’re going to pick your top five niches. Focus on the ideas you would most enjoy as a business. Remember that you are going to be pouring your heart and soul into this new venture so you want to pick a topic that you are passionate about. If you don’t enjoy the topic… you won’t be motivated to work hard to make it a success.
- 3. Once you have your top five it’s time to look at them closely and determine if there is profit potential. Most of your research can be done online. Once you’ve found a niche that you are both passionate about and has profit potential, you’re ready to move forward and start making money on the internet.
→ Narrowing Down Your Niche to #1 ← Profitble Niche
For each niche topic you will go through the steps below. And to help illustrate these steps, I’m going to walk through the process myself using the niche of weight loss as an example.
- 1. Do a Google search of keywords related to your niche. Search for the broad topic, as well as more specific aspects of that niche.
In our weight loss example, you could search for “weight loss,” but also “weight loss tips,” “weight loss exercise videos,” and “weight loss pills.” You’re looking for a robust search results page. Websites dedicated to the topic, articles written about the topic, blogs… and, of course, other online businesses in that niche. Competition is a good thing – it means there is a market interested and ready to buy. If you don’t find many results for your topic, there probably aren’t many potential customers online. Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “nobody else is doing this so I’m going to dominate the market”. The reality is in 99.99% of cases, if nobody else is doing it, it’s because there isn’t money to be made.
- 2. Do a keyword search…. Use Google Keyword Planner
There are several services out there. But I like to go to the source and use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. It’s free although you do need to sign up for AdWords if you haven’t already. There you search for those same keywords. If you see above 10,000 searches per month for your “main” keyword and 50,000 total for the other related but more specific keywords that’s usually a good indicator of a winning online business niche.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner remains my best tool for getting keyword volume ideas when picking a niche for my clients.
In my example, “
- weight loss” yielded 1.2 million searches,
- “weight loss pills” – 128,500,
- “weight loss exercise videos” – 49,200, and
- “weight loss tips” – 11,400.
These are good numbers. There is a ready market out there for my niche.
As a side note, Google Adwords is also a great way to advertise and grow your business
- 3. Check out Amazon.
This behemoth online retailer is a great research tool, too. (Just resist the urge to buy something while scanning the site!) Here you’re going to search for those same keywords, as well as others related to your niche. When I searched for weight loss-related terms, there were a ton of results, from instructional DVDs to weight loss supplements and so on. It’s another great indicator that a weight loss business will work well. Amazon is also a great place for you to make money selling your own digital books on Amazon.
- 4. Finally, go to affiliate marketing sites like Clickbank.com.
This particular site specializes in information products like ebooks. But there are plenty of other affiliate sites out there. Do a search for your niche. If there are many products available, that means a ready market.
As a bonus, you now have a source for some of the first products you can sell with your online venture. As an affiliate you will promote the products and get a commission on each sale. It’s a great way to start up your Internet business because you don’t have to take the time to create your own products.
Again, it may seem counterintuitive to start a business in a niche that has plenty of competition. But having so many other companies means there is a large market of customers ready to buy products in that niche.
Picking a niche can take a lot of effort. But it’s well worth it as you’ve laid the foundation for a successful and profitable online business. Now, the real work begins. It’s time to launch that business by getting your products sorted out and begin your marketing campaigns. Having a clear niche makes that process so much easier and much more profitable.
Once you’ve picked a good and profitable niche market and have your own products or affiliate products to sell you’ll want to start to build your audience and make money with your new niche market.
See you in my next post!
How to Start Advertising Business In Nigeria
What does it takes to start advertising business in Nigeria today? For me, it takes a careful understanding of how advertising business in Nigeria works. This starts with you the would-be Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company having a sound understanding of the workings of this business in and out.
Sound knowledge of the technicalities involved in advertising business in Nigeria, the cost, how to raise a team and their portfolios, how to get clients, etc. is a MUST if you must do well in this business.
One good way to acquire these skills is to become an intern at a functional and long-established advertising business in Nigeria. This would equip you with the nitty-gritty of this business; it will help you to understand the nature of this business, the pitfalls to avoid, and how to overcome these pitfalls if your agency falls into them accidentally.
Yes, you need this knowledge even if you choose to hire someone to manage this business for you. It is always important that you understand any business that you want to do very well before venturing into it.
But wait! I almost missed the most important point here. Did I explain what advertising is? No. Sorry. Let me explain.
So, What Is Advertising? What Does Staring A Successful Advertising Business in Nigeria Entail?
Advertising means communicating to people in the language that they understand. It is the science and art of speaking to reflect or reconfigure the mind of the target audience to accept what you are offering them.
To achieve this, you need to reach them at their level of understanding and advertise to them in tandem with their culture. This means that from idea conceptualization to production and then release of an advert, you must be clear in your message, keep it engaging, and entertaining. These will help you to achieve grand success in this business.
Advertising is more of psychology than philosophy. This is because advertising influences or changes the perception of the target audience to buy or subscribe to what you are offering. That is why you create the awareness in the first place –to sell an item or an idea to the public. Hence, it is very important that you properly understand your target market before setting out to advertiser create an advertising business.
To understand the business sense and ethics of advertising business, proper training is a must and this is what I mentioned earlier when I talked about going for internship. What follows this is a proper market research on Nigerian advertisement industry so that you understand the rules, the ethics and what sells here.
Steps To Start An advertising business In Nigeria
Acquire A Business Name For Your advertising business And Get It Registered
Acquiring a business name that resonates with your agency’s goals is important. This step is the first you have to take in the process of establishing your own advertising business. The name should clearly show your purpose and people should be able to figure out the services you offer with asking little or no questions.
After figuring out your business name, you have to get it registered. This business name must include Board of Directors one of which has to be an Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) certified member.
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) was established by the Advertising Practitioners Act No. 55 of 1988, as amended by Act No. 93 of 1992 and Act No. 116 of 1993 (now Advertising Practitioners Registration Act Cap A7 of 2004).
In a case where you already have a business name, you would still be able to add a new member with APCON certificate as a board of director, this step is very essential in approving your application through the registered government agency.
If you do not have this certification, it should not be seen as a setback owing to the fact that there are other ways to bypass this situation. What you need to do is explained below:
Get enrolled to get your diploma certifaction while you seek out an individual that already possess this certification, formally include him/her as a board of direction in the shares of the company. This solves your problem.
Have Suitable Budget For the Business
Capital is very essential for the success of any business. Although for startups, getting capital to start might seem to be a herculean task. Small ad agency can be a low-cost start-up since you primarily offer services rather than final products. But you would most likely need to get loans or investments. You can turn to two choices when faced with this challenge.
Banks – You file for a loan in the bank for a few months to a few years which will cover the cost of startup and even keep you running for the mean time.
Private Investors – There are people out there who want to make an investment in a business that looks promising. They can be friends, family or even other business owners. You should draw up a contract that clearly defines if they are just providing a loan or they are buying into the company. This will prevent problems in future.
Also getting freelance copywriters, graphic designers will help you reduce the overhead cost even further. As your business grows, you can get some in-house employees to offer you primary services.
Get the Essential Advertising Business Materials
We live in a technological world where almost any business needs to have an online presence. This is why you need to build a standard website for your business.
You should include your contact information on the website and also keep it updated. Hiring a professional to help with this task is your best bet, he would be in charge the hosting and maintenance of the site regularly.
You will need to get the following done, before starting your advertising business.
- Gather media kits that list advertising rates, demographics and specs.
- Make yourself known to sales representatives at the media outlets you plan to use regularly
- Put together a portfolio of past work you have done in advertising, if you have been in the industry, this will be your selling point to your potential clients.
Here is a list other technological gadget you should consider getting:
- Digital cameras
- Office Telephone
- Photo Scanners
Other things you need include your company’s business card, stationery, tax certificate, high-speed internet service etc.
Business Management and Specialization
Management should encompass setting and policing of revenue and profit targets while also paying attention to the operational coordination skills which will drive the establishment to success
The advertising industry has a broad spectrum and you should be clear from the start where you want to specialize in. Specialization will make you more focused and thereby making your goals easier to accomplish. Here are some types of advertising:
- Print media
Draw up A Business Plan For Your Ad Agency
This is one of the essentials for your business, you will need to make short- and long-term plans. This will assist you in securing loans and investment, it will also help you see a clear path that your business should follow.
You can pay someone to write a business plan for you, there are a couple of writers online willing to do this and should not cost much.
You can also consider writing it yourself, watching a couple of videos on how to do it or getting a template should do the trick.
Your business plan should include:
- Executive summary
- A clear description of your business
- Profitability projections
- Operations plan
- Financial Plan
- Market Analysis
- Market demand
- Competition analysis.
Join Advertising Industry Trade Associations
There are many Advertising Agencies in Nigeria most of which have been in the business for decades before yours. So, being a part of an association, or belonging to an Advertising Industry Trade Union holds its perks.
It allows you to be constantly involved in what is going on in the industry, with the association holding regular meetings and seminars to keep you up to date. It will also create an avenue where you can brainstorm with like minded people and get new ideas on how to run your own agency.
Source Clients For Your Advertising Business
Having set up all the essentials for your ad agency, you need clients to stay in business. This requires employing certain strategies that will help you attract the right kind of audience to your agency. Start by creating a list of business you want to work with.
You should make sure your website is well groomed and presents a good online presence for your brand. Create some social media pages to further extend your brand awareness and make people interested in what you do.
Make sure you include your contact details on your posts so people will be able to reach you easily.
Advertising mediums can also serve as a means to advertise your own agency. Running targeted ads will help you gather the right amount of audience that would be interested in what you offer.
It is essential for you to have a database of your prospective and existing clients. This will make it easier for you to send out quick advertising campaigns.
You should also make sure you keep adding new clients contact details to your data base. There are a bunch of online tools that can help you with this task.
Market The Business, Especially On The Internet!
We live in an internet age. Even though it is quite essential to have a physical office, not having an online presence for your business can set you at a really great disadvantage. With the internet boasting of over 4.6 billion members, on the internet especially the social media is where your business must be. Becoming a virtual online agency can be done in two ways;
The first involves having a web presence where you control the clients account and offer them superb customer service and account management.
Another way is to set up your website in such a way that enables the clients to be able to build their own ad campaigns. They would have the flexibility of choosing the media format, frequency and even the budget. After this is done, you can now start managing the account on their behalf. However, this second method involves a lot of website programming and database management.
Starting and growing an advertising business in Nigeria is one that is more than just good concepts and ideas. This is because of a lot of complexities it involved. Meaning you really need a certain level of experience before you can perform well in this industry.
It is good to start small, choosing to specialize in a part of advertising which is very lucrative but many has seemed to ignore. An example is the digital advertising arm.
Regularly updating yourself with what is going on in the advertising industry will keep you in the game. Subscribe to trade publications that are targeted towards ad agencies. Attend conferences and seminars in advertising and related fields, this will give you opportunity to expand your network and see new trends in the industry.
How to Boost Your Business with Webinars in Nigeria
Webinars are a sure-fire way of getting a business, especially a small business seen by a lot of people. As a business owner, you want to increase your brand awareness, expand your reach and customer base. One way to do this is through webinars.
Webinars have now become a choice tool business owners employ in the publicity of their business. Technology gives business owners and entrepreneurs alike a chance to communicate with their existing customers, and attract new prospects to their businesses.
Below are the top 10 steps you should consider while trying to host a webinar to reach more people and drive sales to your business today.
Ensure Flawless Interaction with Your Audience.
Quality interaction between you and your audience is very important. However, in Nigeria, a lot of factors like lack of electricity and internet issues can hamper your interaction with your audience during a webinar. Whatever the situation, you owe it a duty to your audience to contain any eventuality and have a smooth webinar at the end of the day. Make sure that you put in place the necessary tools and processes that could counter any occurrences that would make you and your listeners unable to properly connect with each other during your webinar.
Pick a Suitable Platform.
There are many webinar tools available on the internet, giving you many options to pick from. Before picking your tool or platform, consider the size of your expected audience and the level of technical knowledge that each platform requires. If you have an audience of less than 500 people, you can pick a webinar platform like Teams by Microsoft or Zoom. If your audience is running into thousands, pick YouTube Live or Easy Webinar.
Choose a Suitable Topic.
When choosing your webinar topic, do not go for something regular. Go for something interesting or new that is related to your business which your audience can easily relate to. For example, you can choose a topic on affiliate marketing and as the webinar goes on, you show them reasons to partner with you as an affiliate. This makes it a win-win situation for the both of you. As they become affiliates, they would increase your sales and bring in more cash for you while earning commissions based on what they learn from you during and after the webinar.
Invest in Email Marketing.
Against the popular saying that email does not work in Nigeria, the truth is that you can use email marketing to reach a lot of potential customers here in Nigeria. When people sign up for your webinar, they drop their emails. It is now your duty to use these emails that they left in your sign-up forms to send a confirmation mail, updates, and reminders about the webinar and your product(s) and service(s).
You can send out a summary of the webinar a few days before the webinar date On the D-Day, you would send out the webinar invite link an hour or two before the webinar commences. Introduce yourself and what you do immediately you begin anchoring the webinar. This will give you free publicity.
Maintain an Active Audience
To make you webinar a successful one, make sure that you do not have a dull moment; make it lively from the start to finish. Let it not just be all talk. Instead, introduce some humor, games, and fun in-between activities to keep the users engaged. This will loosen any tension that your webinar attendees might build-up, give them some relieve, and make the session more rewarding.
Increase Your Webinar’s Publicity.
Publicity and promotion is an important part of ensuring the success of your webinar. Use social media to increase the awareness of your business and use relevant keywords to advertise your webinar for free. Also, ensure that you use an effective digital marketing strategy which can really encourage people to join in.
Give Your Attendees Gift (i.e., a free e-book).
You might want to give all participants of your webinar a gift at the end of a webinar. This could be a free e-book or a recorded version of the webinar. This should be a summary of all that you taught in the webinar to serve as a reference material for future use by the webinar attendees. Some pages of the e-book or video sections can contain information about your business and your products. With this gift in the hands of all your webinar attendees, you are giving your business free publicity.
Host an Influencer, if you can
You can invite an influencer, not necessarily a mega influencer in your niche, to come and talk to your audience during your session. This might require some money, but if you do not have any money to spare, it is still okay. However, the presence of an influencer in your webinar would generate a lot of publicity and engagement for your webinar. So, you should plan towards this.
Give Your Attendees Bonuses and Discounts.
During the webinar, offer your attendees discounts on your products as a way of saying “thank you for joining”. Also, you can give them bonuses for any purchase made within a certain period, or a coupon code that is only active for some time. The short period offer would create scarcity in the mind of your attendees and will lead to an increase in sales in your business.
Provide A Question and Answer (Q & A) Session.
At the end of the webinar, you can include a question and answer session which will address any questions your audience may have. It helps in fostering interaction among your audience. It is during this session that you would be able to find out if the participants gained a thing or more from the session, if the webinar was useful and if the audience would welcome a repeat session.
This article outlined some steps which are guaranteed to help you host a webinar that would improve your business. If followed correctly, you would experience double or triple results in your business shortly after the webinar. Remember to practice the points I outlined in this article till you get results. Good luck!
How To Advertise Your Business on Nairaland
Nairaland, a Nigerian community platform, has stood the test of time as one of the most popular websites in Nigeria. It ranks 7th on Alexa, beating popular blogs like LindaIkeji and Bellanaija as one of the most visited websites in Nigeria. The only websites ahead of it on the rating are top sites like Google and Facebook.
A lot of people have seen the potentials in Nairaland, and would want to advertise but do not have the resources to do so, even though ad rates are cheaper now than before. If you are a regular Nairaland user, you will notice that the site is not friendly to any type of promotional content and will issue a warning when you want to post one.
Advertising on Nairaland could be rewarding, in fact, 8 out of 10 times, it is. You can pay to advertise on the platform or do so for free by following a legal retinue some of which I cover in this article.
Promote Your Content.
Instead of directly putting up your product or service for sale, find out the knowledge gap existing in the mind of people and curate contents around that. Try to make your post informative and educative, and people will definitely want to find out more.
Rather than make it appear like you want to sell, go all out to teach, educate, inform and entertain the forum users. This will keep them hooked to you and begin to develop interest in your market. So, when you want to sell, they will be willing and ready to make a purchase from you.
Many people will contact you to know more, and that could be a huge boost for your business even though you do not make it to Nairaland’s front page.
Take Advantage Of The Adverts Section.
Nairaland’s owner, Seun, set aside a portion of the Nairaland website for people to advertise their products absolutely free.
Since Nairaland is a very high-ranking website, any advert you post on it, would appear in the top of search engines. Whenever a search is made such a product or service your adverts could display among the search results.
Also, your advert on Nairaland may even be better than the one on your site. This, however, depends on how your web content is optimized.
Leave Your Signature.
Your signature is another way you can attract potential clients to your business. If you usually post and comment on a lot of terrific articles in Nairaland, people naturally would want to know who is behind such posts and check out your profile.
Some users might even go a step further to message you privately or click the link in your signature, which should, of course, contain or direct the visitor(s) to your personal contact information, like your WhatsApp number.
Please, this is not for those who make negative or dumb posts as they run the risk of tarnishing their and their business’ name. A lot of people would also keep you in mind when they want to order a product or search for a service.
Drop a Blog Post Link.
Post engaging and informative articles in Nairaland. Then, drop a link to your blog post under the article. If it is a post that is generating a lot of traffic, the moderators or Seun himself could bring it to the front page of that category. Try to be as original as possible with your posts. The moderators will only pick those contents that bring in much traffic, even if they are similar.
Offer A Solution to a Problem.
Many people go to Nairaland to ask how a particular problem that they are facing can be solved. Someone might ask “What can I do to remove pimples?” As a beautician, that is a good opportunity for you to post a solution to this problem and go a step further to recommend your products or services under that post. Subsequent users who search that same question on Nairaland will see your product and might be interested.
Always make sure you show samples of your work, and a method a potential customer can use to contact you. Be careful not to place your business under every post, as people will classify you as a spammer and would not want to associate with you or your business.
Offer Good Customer Service.
Good business people know that it is far-cheaper to keep a customer than to start sourcing for a new one. Answering customers’ questions and inquiries will always guarantee that your customers are satisfied with your business, and they would want to keep patronizing you.
Nairaland is a bubbling community, and any user that throws out a question, no matter how technical, is anticipating answers. Answering user’s questions on Nairaland is a way to provide customer support. By offering good customer support, you put your business in a good light in front of thousands of people.
Place a Targeted Banner Ad.
So far I have discussed mainly free ways to advertise on Nairaland. If you want to see quicker results in your business, placing a targeted banner is highly recommended. It is a great way to advertise your business to a targeted audience, especially if you are new on the forum or have less time to build a name on the forum for free kick-backs.
Paid advertisement on Nairaland is arguably the best way to reach your target audience as it is guaranteed to produce leads for your business. Besides advertising on Nairaland would provide you and your business more reach at a lower cost compared to advertising on some social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although rates vary from section to section, a thousand Naira can get you a good ad in some sections.
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