What’s a niche?

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I own a Volvo. When it’s time for service, where will I take my car? I can take it to any number of service shops. Some are generalists. Others specialize in “foreign” cars. And a few specialize in Volvos. If I can, I want to take the car to a Volvo expert.

That Volvo expert has a niche. The expert knows more about Volvos. And that means he or she is more likely to be profitable.

Niche, sweet niche.

Niches are profitable for two reasons. One, obviously, is that an expert can charge more than a non-expert. And if you’re working a niche you have lower marketing costs, too.

Not just the target.

Some folks equate “niche” with “target market.” But a niche is more than that. Your niche is the very center of the target. To define your niche, and the kind of book you want to write, you need to decide two things.

The audience

Who will read your book? Sometimes this describes an industry, like people in wholesale distribution. Sometimes you can describe those people another way, such as executives in mid-sized and growing companies.

The topic.

Why will they read your book? What topic do you know well? What can readers learn from you? Put another way, what will they be able to do after they read your book that they can’t do now?

The intersection.

Your niche is the point where the audience and the topic come together. Your niche needs to be big enough to generate the revenue you need. If it doesn’t, you need to expand it. But for now, fill in the following.

I’m writing a book for ____________________ who want to be able to ____________________.

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