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AP 0779: Is It Better to Niche Down or Target a Broader Market?

AP 0779: Is It Better to Niche Down or Target a Broader Market?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 779 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up, everybody? Pay Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 779 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. We have a great question today from Brian, but before we get to his question I do want to mention that next month at the end of February I will be launching my brand new course, which is called Smart From Scratch.

I’ve already helped hundreds of students go through the course and now I’m launching it publicly at the end of February. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s called Smart From Scratch you can find it at Sign up for the waitlist there, and what’s cool is it’s for people who are literally starting from scratch, or even those who have started and maybe just didn’t get the results that they wanted or have found roadblocks along the way.

It’s gonna help you validate your business idea, test it out through a number of different litmus tests to make sure it’s one that’s actually worth moving forward with. Even to a point where you can even collect your first customers even before you create that product, so validation is what it’s all about. If you want to check it out is where you go. And now let’s get to today’s question from Brian.

Brian: Hey Pat, my name is Brian. I want to thank you first for listening to my question. It really means a lot to me that you’re here every day answering our questions. I’m working through my concept while reading your Will It Fly? book, and I have a question about niching down my avatar and niching down my courses. My business is Saas Junkie, it’s and I help small businesses weed out the confusion when they’re trying to pick the right cloud platform, or cloud software. I teach them the basics of what to look for in the right software product, and how to match those features to their needs. I also help them target those pain points and time wasters within their business. I plan to develop some self-paced courses targeted at specific industries and help guide them through choosing these software platforms and what to look out for. Basically my question is if I’m targeting my course at, say, contractors, should I niche down as far as making a specific course for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or should I make a broader course and a broader avatar for the construction industry as a whole? That’s basically my question and thanks for being here, Pat.

Pat Flynn: Hey Brian, thank so much for the question. I love this sort of question because I know the tendency to want to serve as many people as possible. I mean that’s what we want to do right? The more people you serve the better results you’ll get. However, the more broad your start the less likely you are to succeed. Again, at the start. And why I emphasize that is because you can always start small and go bigger. You can always start narrow and go wider. I’ve done that before myself.

However, I will say that when you are staring out if you do want to stand out from the crowd after you’ve done your market research you’re probably gonna find that there’s a lot of other people serving this audience as well. The more broad you are the less likely you are to stand out in those particular niches. The example I like to use comes from Jason Van Orden who I remember speaking on this when I was in my early days listening to Internet Business Mastery. This story stuck with me all the time, and that is this sort of mall. If you go to the mall you might notice that there are a number of different shoe stores. There’s a walking shoe company, there’s The Foot Locker for athletes, there’s the more fancy shoes place. There’s a bunch of them. There’s even one for specifically sandals I think, and Crocs. They all have their specific niches.

If I’m a runner and I’m serious about running and I want to succeed with my running I want to go to a running shoe store for my shoes. I know I can go there and get the best advice. Get the right shoe that’s for me. Especially when you think about injury and things like that that’s specifically related to running. I go to a running store because I want the best running shoes and want to do really well. That’s what I’m looking for. In the online business world you want to be that niched store so that when a person has a pain, or a problem, or a need typically people are searching for very narrow solutions. When you go to Google, if you’re looking for the best dog food for your golden retriever, are you typing in “best pet food”? No, you’re typing in best dog food, and likely best dog food for your golden retriever of a specific age. You can get very very narrow obviously. The more narrow you get the easier it is to connect with your audience, the easier it is to stand out, the easier it is for you to get on a phone conversation and really have a narrow conversation about something very important that’s going to help you with finding these solutions.

I would pick one to start with, Brian and try to become that expert. Try to become the one that they all talk to and recommend when it comes to resolutions related to that topic. If you can master one then you can perhaps sort of stamp it out into other, or cookie cutter it out and use a similar formula in other industries too. Here’s the thing: one of the main reasons you want to narrow it down into a specific niche if you were targeting contractors, the language you use for a plumber is going to be different than the language you use for a carpenter or the language that you use for an electrician. If an electrician, or a carpenter, or a plumber is looking for a soft resolution specifically for their industry then if you aren’t speaking their language and if it’s not obvious that they’re in the right spot because it’s too wide of a solution then you’re not going to get any conversions. They’re going to somebody who’s just for them. You might remember episode 46 with Dane Maxwell of the Smart Passive Income podcast, one of the most popular episodes, where Dane came on to talk about soft resolutions. And how he comes up with different ideas; and how you have to target very specific niches so you can speak their language. so you can have conversations with them. and build a solution that’s just for them.

Now once you build that solution for them, or give them the information they need you can like I said cookie cutter that out to different niches that are similar. There’s one more story that I want to talk about really quick.

I think it was Perry Belcher. I can’t even remember the name but I remember the story and it stuck with me ever since. It applies in many cases, but not always but it does apply in this one, Brian. Especially since you have a solution that seems to be very similar across all these different niches. It kind of goes along the same lines as that mall story that I talk about. I don’t even remember the details of it but basically there was a guy that came up with this bug spray that killed every bug known to man, or every nuisance of a bug that there is for people that lives in homes. Instead of selling it as the all in one bug killer he packaged it into different products based on different bugs that were bothering people. He took the same solution and put it in a can and said here’s you ant killer, here’s your roach killer, here’s your spider killer. He was able to get more sales that way because people, when they’re looking for solutions, are looking for specific problems to that specific solution. If somebody has an issue with spiders they’re going to get the best thing they can to kill those spiders.

I’m not condoning killing animals or insects of any kind. I do call my wife when there are spiders in the room. That’s a huge fear of mine as many of you may know, but that’s not the point here. The point here is that you can, with a similar solution, share the message in a different way and be more impactful to really hone in on the problems and pains that those specific niches have. Brian, I hope that makes sense and I want to wish you all the best. Start narrow then you can widen from there. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thanks for all the support, I appreciate you. I appreciate all of your questions that are coming in.

For those of you that are listening if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured on the show guess what just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much, I appreciate you.

Here’s a quote to finish off the day by Lucille Ball and that is, “I think knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can do of that.” All right, take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat.

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