Cindy Battye | CindyBattye

Membership Niche Selection Tips

Jul 26th 2010 at 1:23 PM

 

In order to make sure your membership business is profitable, you have to select the right market. Here’s how.

First – Look for Fanatics

If you want your membership business to be profitable, you have to find a marketing with fanatics in it. Simply put, a fanatic is someone who’s willing to spend time and more importantly money on a topic they are interested in. Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s talk about how to find them…

  • Here’s something you may not have considered – magazines! We’re so internet-based these days, it’s easy to forget about them. In today’s economy, running a magazine is tougher than ever – some of the best ones are going out of business. So if it’s on the shelves, it’s making money, which means there is a big market interested in this topic. That doesn’t mean definitely that it will make a good membership business, but it’s a good starting point.
  • Pay attention throughout the day in your regular activities. See what people are talking about on the radio, TV, at parties, in public, etc. If people are talking about something, they probably want to know more about it. And this means there may be a market for information about it.
  • Again, looking in the physical world for clues you can tell there are lots of people interested in something if there are clubs and organizations around the topic. By the same token, if enough people are interested to hold a convention on a certain topic, you can definitely find enough people to build a membership business around that same topic.
  • And of course there are all the things you have an interest in, too! If you’re interested in something, it’s highly likely others are, too. Making money is fun and it’s even more fun if you can do it in a niche you’re excited about.
  • Google Trends. This is a great way to figure out what people are interested in. This service shows you the current most popular search terms. The reason people are searching Google for info on these topics is because they are interested. And the fact that it’s made it into Google Trends tells you LOTS of people are interested. These are the niches you want to be in – lots of people actively searching means lots of opportunity.

Step 2 – Determine the financial feasibility

OK, so you’ve got a great idea for your niche membership business with lots of fanatics. But will they actually spend money? The quickest way to find out is to determine if others are profiting in your potential niche.

OK, how do we figure that out?

  • Are there blogs or forums in this niche? Take the name of your niche and search for “niche name blog” “niche name forum” in Google to see if there is an active group of people talking about and interested in the niche. This means there is a large group of people already assembled for you to market to.
  • Search Amazon, Google shopping and eBay to see if people are creating and selling products in the niche. If other people are creating and selling products in this niche, it means there is money to be made.
  • Monitor Google Adwords to determine if people are running the same ads for weeks in a row. If they are, this means they’re making money on these ads – otherwise, they’d stop running them. Which means there is money to be made in your niche.

Finally – Figure out your barrier to entry

After figuring out a good niche and determining that other people are making money in it, the last thing to do is decide if you will be able to enter the market. How do you gauge the ease of entry?

  • Product types. What kind of products are being sold in the niche? You’re looking for a niche that sells info products. Membership websites based on information are the easiest to start and maintain.
  • The last thing you want is a marketing filled with tons of competitors. A few means it’s a profitable niche, but too many means you won’t be able to take a piece of it.
  • Unless the market is just so big that it doesn’t matter how many competitors there are, you want to limit the competition. So evaluate the size vs. the competition.
  • How ready is the market for marketing messages, and how willing are the fanatics to buy. Some niches are made up of people who require lots information and have a very long lead time, and some markets are filled with people who will spend lots of money right now.

Putting it all together

So far, we’ve talked about exactly what it takes to pick a great niche: One with a hungry crowd of fanatics, who are ready to spend money on information about their topic. And you’ve determined your barrier to entry is small enough to give it a go. If you’ve done your homework, your business will be a success because you already know your market is a profitable one with room for you. Learning how to run a membership website is a topic for another article…

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