How to Become a Market Leader in Your Niche

We've talked a lot about Serving Your Market lately, both here at ClickNewz and also on the various webinars & podcasts I'm involved with. It's a concept I've subscribed to since the beginning of my 12 years in business and one that has played a very significant role in my success.

It's also a topic that Ed Dale covered at the Over the Edge conference (aka OTE2). He spoke in detail about dominating your niche by becoming a market leader. This was during Monday's session, and Ed's ideas and implementation of this concept really resonated with me.

In this post we'll look at the real reasons why you should serve your market, and specific ways that you can do that in your own business model...

What does it mean to Serve Your Market?

Serving your market means that you are actively involved on the micro-level and have an obvious vested interest in that market. It is about going the extra mile to find solutions, and coming up with innovative ways to deliver those solutions.

A Market Leader stands above and apart from other solution providers in their niche simply by listening more, providing higher quality, leveraging various elements in the market, simplifying processes, etc. But the bottom line is to become the "go to guy" in your industry, and to establish trust and rapport with your target market.

One of the keys to becoming a Market Leader is to examine your competition and determine what they are doing right. How can you do it better? And even more powerful is to determine what they are doing wrong (or not doing at all), and then to capitalize on that space between them and the market.

Obvious benefits to serving your marketing include: increased exposure, higher response & conversation rates, and gaining unsolicited word-of-mouth referrals across the social media landscape. That last point being the absolute best type of exposure you can possibly get. You simply couldnt buy better marketing.

Becoming a Market Leader is the result. Not the goal.

Becoming a Market Leader is not about having the largest mailing list, the highest priced product or the biggest profit margin. Many people will approach their market from that angle head-on, not realizing that all of those things are a result of market leadership.

If you properly serve your market then your list will naturally grow, and your products and services will ultimately be in higher demand.

There is a difference between trying to "dominate your niche" purely for gain, and making every effort to truly serve your market. That difference is obvious to your clients and customers, and it dictates whether your success will be long-term in that market - or a flash in the pan.

The Marketer's Mindset

We all want to make money online. That's why we're here. That's why I am writing this piece, and the very reason that you are reading it.

That said, when we are creating solutions or writing our marketing plan we have to set our own wants and needs aside and focus on our target market.

You're familiar with the acronym WIIFM I'm sure, which stands for "What's in it for me?" This is the exact question that your website visitors are asking themselves, and one you need to be able to properly answer for them.

Instead of looking at a niche and asking yourself how much money you could possibly earn there, look at a niche and determine ways you could serve that market.

Obviously you will create a profitable business model by doing that. I'm not suggesting that you become "a non-profit organization with a greater cause" but simply that you approach the market as a solution provider - and not a cash-vacuum.

Simply providing real solutions with a vested interested in the results is a good start. Keep in mind that most of your competitors are lazy and they are only in it for the profit. It doesnt take much to stand above and apart in most niches...

Serving Your Market

To give you some ideas on ways you can serve your market, and ultimately dominate your niche by doing so, I'll pull from my notes on Ed Dale's presentation on Market Leadership at OTE2 and also include some of my own suggestions:

  • Become actively involved in your niche. On your own sites, and also across the web. Reply to emails. Respond to blog comments. Create social media profiles and actively participate at those properties. Join niche discussion forums and contribute value there.
  • Create a customer follow-up strategy. Go beyond "making the sale" and create a follow-up strategy that encourages your buyers to consume the material and to experience results. Your vested interest and continued support is what will turn those buyers into a loyal customer base.
  • Build a community, not a list. Dont just build a list you can constantly market to, build a community within your target market. Being a Market Leader means being a market listener - and then taking action.
  • Follow Market Trends. Dont be stale with your offer. Be proactive, and move forward consistently. LEAD.
  • Dont Respond, Initiate! While you should always respond to issues and conversations within your niche, you want to be the person to start those conversations whenever possible. Market Leaders initiate relevant discussions.
  • Be Proactive, not Passive. Reading a blog post is passive. Writing a blog post is active. Listening to podcasts is passive. Creating podcasts is active. Get actively involved in your niche by publishing content in a variety of formats across various web properties.
  • Communicate Frequently. Dont just email your list when you have something to sell them. Provide quality content on a regular basis to stay fresh in their minds. Serving your market consistently will build rapport and trust with them.
  • Act on feedback. Show appreciation for the feedback you receive by taking action on it. Acknowledge complaints, and make necessary changes. While you dont want to become a slave to your market, you should open yourself up to serving that market when they make it a point to let you know how you can best do that.

How many of your competitors follow even half of the points on this list? How many of these points are you using in your own business model? Take these ideas and dominate your niche, simply by better serving your market.

Consider this: If you keep your market encouraged, inspired and achieving results... they will continue to purchase products. If they become discouraged or dont achieve results, they will not continue to buy. It is in your best interest to keep them actively involved by serving your market.

Best,

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Charles Moore says:

    Great post Lynn. Lot of good advice we should all be doing.

    Thanks,
    Charles

  2. Excellent post Lynn. You truly practice what you preach. I'm honored to be learning from one of the best.

    BTW, I have hundreds of reports, ebooks, videos, etc. on my hard drive that I received as bonuses when I purchased different programs from various gurus that were supposed to teach me everything I need to know about making money online. These bonuses are "valued" at over $250,000. None of them - not even the Net Effect - cuts to the chase as effectively as your Fast Cash Strategy which I began implementing as soon as I received it earlier today. It just makes perfect sense.
    Have a great day!

  3. Lisa Marie Mary says:

    This post reminds me so much of the great direction/instruction/guidance you were giving me at the Elite Webinar Thursday in regards to MyVeryOwnMail.com. It kind of just takes everything you were saying to me ten steps further. Thank you. Thank you for teaching us all so much. Now if I can just quit getting so distracted and focus and TAKE ACTION on the stuff you teach everyone! That's seriously got to be the hardest .....ooh, a shiny new social media site .....oh, look at this cool new forum I found - uh, yeah, as I was saying - the hardest part! LOL!

    The teachings in this blog are just pure gold. And they don't even cost $2000, like so many products!

  4. Hi,

    Everything I read in this article is absolutely right. For example : I have accounts on different social networks but I intensively use Twitter. I found out that it's not enough to share what you read with your followers (here you include your articles too) . All this has to be something like 50% from your posts. The other 50% you have to be a HUMAN. And just like a human, when you meet with your friends you don't just talk about work or about yourself : you just talk over a beer. This is what you have to do on social networks also : just be human.

  5. Chris Kellum says:

    Spot on. One very interesting line that I heard from a local SEO contact of mine is this:

    Create + serve x community = wealth

    Looks like a very simplified version of what you said! :) So true, though . . .

    Oh, and I must ask - when you wrote "The Marketer’s Mindset," were you thinking about my blog? :)

  6. Lynn,
    This is an awesome post. I've printed it off so I can read it again and again! So much for a Thanksgiving holiday - after I eat some turkey, I'll be working on some of the points you mentioned!

    Stefani

  7. Lynn, I have just saved this post to my "Instructions" files. Excellent, excellent, excellent post!

  8. Lynn,
    Great to be reminded of real function of marketing. Identifying and satisfying customers' needs and wants. In order to be rewarded, we must first serve.
    Identifying areas where customers have not been adequately served and creating solutions for them will push us to the forefront.

  9. Great practical, applicable thoughts, Lynn. I think having an others before self mindset is becoming more rare these days. Not only is it good for your business, I think it's great for your soul. :-)

  10. Dymphna Boholt says:

    Great Post. Succint and Effective.

    You often get very simplistic advice like, build your list, and the money is in the list. Which just gets so annoying.

    This is more along the lines of actually building and sustaining a "Business"

  11. Simon Wallace-Jones says:

    Wow Lynn, thank you so much. I just woke up to finish writing my strategy for leading my market having spent the last few weeks wrangling with it since OTE2 and then I am greeted by your wonderful article.

    The list of of your and Ed's points on how to serve your market is now in pride of place on my notice board just above my monitor.

  12. First time here and I really LIKE your post! GREAT! Will check out your blog often. :-)

  13. James Guske says:

    Great topic, maybe the best from ote2. May I add the following practical steps to clarify from going from market understanding to market leadership. Listening to podcasts; Creating podcasts. Going to conferences in your niche; holding conferences and setting the agenda. Following people on twitter; creating valuable tweets for people to follow you.

    Another important thing to point out is you don't necessarily have to a complete expert in the niche. Just by gathering together other experts in your affinity group or tribe is market leadership.

    These apparent long term market leadership efforts really do work. There are some great real world examples as you know.

  14. Chuck Morgan says:

    Great post Lynn, these excellent points can carry over to my other businesses as well, not just in the context of IM.
    Thanks

  15. DeAnna Troupe says:

    This was an excellent post, Lynn. This was a good reminder of the things that I need to keep doing so that I can achieve the goals I have set for myself. Keep up the good work, Lynn.

  16. Deb Gallardo says:

    Lynn,

    Now I know why I've been feeling dissatisfied with just having people sign up to be on my "list." I'm a people person. I want to connect with them! Right now I don't really have a way to do that except through my blog. I'm definitely going to have to get the audio thing going, because I think that's where I'll make the real connect with people, where who I am and what I'm all about really will manifest themselves.

    Sometimes I wish I could just take my Lynn Terry groupie friends with me over to my site, but I realize that this is YOUR tribe, Lynn, and I need one of my own. I've got to figure out the best ways how people who visit my blog can get to know (and love) me like you guys do. I want my tribe to be as loyal and "in love" with me as we all are with you.

    I'm trying to take notes and pay attention. With only a few weeks left in 2009, I need to "get crackin'!"

    Thanks again for one more stellar post.

    Deb

  17. Seems like a list of great ways to gain credibility in your niche. And, of course, credibility makes it easy to sell.

    I like: "Follow Market Trends." If you are talking about the newest trends, it lets people know you are watching the niche very closely.

    Cheers!

  18. TheMoneyac says:

    Great points. This made me thinking...

    Cheers,

    The Moneyac

  19. Another important thing to point out is you don’t necessarily have to a complete expert in the niche. Just by gathering together other experts in your affinity group or tribe is market leadership.

  20. WebSuccessDiva Online Business says:

    This is such an excellent post! Everything you're saying is so important for all online entrepreneurs, regardless of their niche. Great stuff!

  21. Hi Lynn, great article. we are interested in speaking to you more on understanding the purpose of communities. Can we contact you via email?

    Cheers.

  22. Another wonderful post Lynn. I can't thank you enough for sharing this insight with us!

  23. What a Great thorough post. Excellent points and advice and so well communicated. Thank you!

  24. Great post Lynn!! You explained what Ed spoke about very well. Orlando was a fun and we all learned alot. Lets all be market leaders in our niches and serve our markets. We can't wait for OTE3 in the UK.

  25. Sorry to take so long responding, especially considering I suggested "respond to blog comments" in the original post, eh? ;)

    Of course, most of you know I was traveling last month - and preparations, then 2 weeks out of the country, and returning to 2 holidays in a row - wowza lol.

    John - do you know the date & details for OTE3?

    Deb - use me as an example ;) I'll try to be a good model for you, so long as I'm not having one of those "killjoy" days! heh

    David Lee - Welcome :D

  26. Gail J Richardson says:

    Lynn, You offer such good information and you are right when you say start to profit because I have given up many times and guess what I got the same results the next time . I am finally learning how true that comment is.Start To Profit. i live by it now and even though I am not to profit yet I am enjoying the journey. Thanks Lynn for all you do for us.
    Gail J Richardson

  27. Sean Breslin says:

    There is a lot of information there on been a Market Leader... I also like Ed Dales approach. Applying the advice in my gogvo business is difficult at times. More hours in a day would be helpful!

  28. Wow! Talking about an a-ha moment: "Becoming a Market Leader is the result. Not the goal." This post is so on time for me! I have a spirit of 'serving' therefore, I understand how important it is to respond to potential customers needs opposed to just making the sale. Definitely going to print this one ~ thanks!

  29. In March 2011 your post is still as pertinent as ever, & always will be. I have to get it into a kind of mantra:
    "Serve your market, build a community, start conversations".

    Um, doesn't exactly rhyme :p

  30. Hey Lynn,

    I just wanted to start off by saying that I found this article while doing some online research.

    All I can say is you really know your stuff, and I will definitely be checking out some of your other posts.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    Cheers,
    Sherman

  31. Lynn,

    I've heard you talk alot about niches and I believe you need to be in several niches to really earn a substantial income. (...I've heard nearly every online marketer talk about 'other' niches and 'pen names', etc.

    I guess my question is...how on earth to you stay up with (or become a 'market leader' in numerous niches?!?) I have 3 and my head is spinning...I can't imagine 10 or 100's like Rosaline Gardner!

    Advice?

    Rob

Trackbacks

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  6. [...] guess my question is… how on earth do you stay up with (or become a market leader) in numerous niches?!? I have 3 and my head is spinning. I can’t imagine 10 or 100′s like [...]

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