Your niche and target market are both important to building a successful internet business. But even though the phrases are often used interchangeably, your niche and target market are not the same.

It’s a waste of time trying to sell a product or a service to any group of people until you have established the niche, or industry, you will be working in. On the flip side, you won’t be very successful in any niche without focusing on a specific target audience.

Your Target Market

These people are the “WHO” part of your marketing formula. You’re marketing to a certain group of people who you think will benefit from your products and will want to buy them.

As an example, let’s say you’ve decided that your target market is women over 40 years old who want to lose weight. This is reasonable audience and you’ll to do better than if you were targeting the whole female population. But, when you also define your niche, you’ll reach a much better level of success.

Your Niche Market

If your target market is the “WHO” of your marketing endeavours, your niche is the “WHAT”.

What problem or solution are you offering to your audience? Going back to our example, there are probably hundreds of different types of target markets within the weight loss industry.

So, if your target market is women over 40 who want to lose weight, your niche could be women over 40 who want to go from couch potato to marathon runner in less than 1 year.

Determine Your Audience First

Remember, determine your target audience first. This is “who” you will be marketing to. Then make your business different from your competition by pinpointing a particular problem or need you are resolving or fulfilling. Create your brand around that niche. This is the “what” that makes you unique when compared to the competition in your market.

The Big “WHY”

Research your audience as much as you can. For example, if you know their “why” for losing weight you will be better placed to provide a solution to their problem. It could be health reasons, a special event, to improve how they look and feel about themselves or any number of reasons.

Don’t just ask them if they want to lose weight. Ask them why and keep digging down to the core emotional need. When you satisfy this deep desire for change, rather than what is expressed as a surface desire, you’ll have a customer for life.