Most people have heard you can make lots of money online by selling information products. Although this is true, it’s important to lay a proper foundation to get optimum results.

Understanding your unique selling proposition, analyzing the market, and identifying your target market – or ideal customer – are the steps to take before launching a marketing program. They will save you time, money, and frustration over the long run. Many people think they are saving time by immediately trying to gain market position, but doing this can derail your efforts. Let’s take a look at who your market is, what your expertise is, and what your market’s challenges are.

Step 1. Identify Your Market

You’ve probably heard this before: When everyone is your market, no one is your market. Often the people you want to sell to are people like you, so you imagine you know them well. But this is not always the case.

Target Market Analysis

Target market analysis tells you who needs and wants your product and who can afford to buy it. Plenty of people may want and need your product, but that doesn’t mean they can afford to buy it. Matching your products to specific groups of people, and knowing the difference between each of these markets, is critical to penetrating existing markets and developing new markets. You must be able to match the product you offer to specific groups of people who are willing and able to buy the product. You must also know the differences of these target markets.

Don’t limit yourself to one market; you may have several. Recently during an intensive VIP Day, my client discovered that she had three very unique markets – men and women who dream of starting a business, established small business owners, and franchise owners. Each market was unique, and she needed a different marketing strategy for each. You may have one product line that is more generic and less costly than another, so different people will buy that product than those who buy your more exclusive product – thus you have two different target markets.

Don’t forget to assess the actual size of your market. Your market must include enough customers able to afford your product and willing to buy it in order for your business to thrive.

Niche Markets

A niche market is a narrowly defined group of potential customers that usually evolves based on demand for a specific product. Niche markets can arise from changes in society, technology, or fashion.

Product development for a niche market is the process of finding and serving pockets of customers in a profitable way by designing products custom-made for that market.

Niche markets can be more profitable than broad, generic markets even though they are so much smaller, and especially if you are viewed as an expert and go deep into the niche market with your offerings. Here are some examples:

Broad Market Niche Market
Health products Expert health services for those 100 or more pounds overweight

Dog training Guard dog training

Caterer Expert in catering weddings for 500 or more guests

The examples above hopefully spark ideas for how you can narrow the way you define your expertise and offerings.

Take time upfront to analyze your market to gain the greatest benefit when you do launch a product and/or service. The payoff will be worth the extra effort.