Overflowing with creative ideas, but can’t
decide which ones are essential for your new print-on-demand business?
Then you’ve come to the right place! In this video, I’ll tell you how to focus your ideas
by finding a niche market for your online store.
What is a niche? A niche is a specialized market that attracts
a specific audience. With a niche-oriented business you are able to meet the demand of
a smaller section of the population whose interests aren’t addressed by mainstream
providers. Why sell to a specific niche? From a pragmatic point of view if you start
with a niche store you’ll be able to create much stronger branding.
This will play an important role in the long run. With an established brand, you can build
a loyal customer base and expand your product catalog with products that match your brand’s
personality. To give you a better understanding, I’ll
show you stories of two different stores and then go through the key points that connect
them. First up, we have Joe Kim from PAL Campaign.
He founded his company back in 2008 and this is how it all started: A worker at my church was going to a conference,
and this was the time when church t-shirts for conferences were really bad.
Many people could argue they’re still pretty bad. So she knew I was in art school and asked
me if I could design a t-shirt. I reluctantly said yes. Then after the conference, I heard
that the group was bombarded by other groups saying “Where did you get that t-shirt?
How can I order one?” And then the students started wearing the shirts on weekends, parties,
and over and over again. So the shirts weren’t just relegated to the pajama drawer. And I
knew there was a market for well-designed Christian t-shirts. I think it’s really
important for new (store) owners to find a specific niche that they’re a part of or
really passionate about, to be successful with Printful or any business for that matter. For our second example we have a brand called
Classic Dads and here’s what co-creator Daniel Stone has to say about it. I think what sets us apart from our competition,
is the variety of products and also the original content that we create.
Our designs, we have a lot of dad-isms and dad-attitude designs, and we get our inspiration
from our dads and “dad” father figures we had growing up.
So Classic Dad has developed a pretty active and lively community. We didn’t really plan
for, it just kind of organically and naturally happened. We have a great Instagram and Facebook
presence, we spend a lot of time curating the content.
There’s a debate of what type of shirt does your typical dad want and who is your typical
dad. The new dads want the trim, more athletic fit. And then we have a lot of older dads,
and the older dads kinda want the comfort and the room to stretch around and be able
to wear the shirt while they’re watching a football game, or grilling at home. Despite how different these two stores may
appear, here’s what both of them have in common: an idea behind their brand that resonates
with an existing community confidence in the individuality of their content
a belief that they represent this idea better that anyone on the market by providing high-quality
products Most importantly, both of them have their
own niche. What truly separates one niche from another is the people who buy these products.
How do you find your niche market? Look at it from an existential perspective.
Before you open a store that sells products, give it a reason to exist.
As Simon Sinek wrote in his book “Start with Why”: “People don’t buy what you
do, they buy why you do it.” Find a reason why you’re doing this besides to make a profit.
A profit is an outcome; you need a deeper why. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes
and think about it from their perspective: ”What would motivate me to buy this specific
product?” The content on your store should be united
by a single idea that relates a like-minded community that would buy from you just to
support that idea. So here’s how you can approach this.
Identify personal interests You should pick a niche that relates to your
passions and personal experiences, like you’ve seen on the example of PAL campaign and Classic
Dad. There’s no golden rule that will guarantee
success, you’ll just have to try. Just remember that if your target audience is everyone,
then your niche isn’t defined enough. If it’s too small, then you won’t have that many customers
or sales. Identify your competitors
Next, find out what’s already happening on the market. You might find that nobody
else out there caters to your niche, which could be a golden opportunity for you. Or
you might find that your target market is already a little crowded.
Don’t be afraid of competition. Not only does it validate the profitability of your
niche, but it leads to innovation as well. New ideas will resonate with your customers
and drive them to you. Competition does mean that you’ll have to
work harder to give people a reason to choose you. It might be product quality, outstanding
customer service, or the number of products you offer—whatever it is customers in your
niche care about the most. Which brings me to the next stage.
Perform an SEO analysis of your niche SEO is the process of making your website
rank higher in Google in order to bring in visitors. Take advantage of our marketing
tools page and pinpoint what is it that people are searching for online. Tools like Ahrefs
and Semrush will help you find the data behind Google searches. You need to start by identifying the main
keywords that are relevant to your niche. Come up with a list of words that you would
use to search for that specific niche. After that run an SEO analysis on each of them.
I’ll show you how it looks in Ahrefs in a moment. One of the most important metrics that evaluates
profitability and audience interest in your niche is search volume. This is an estimated
number of searches for a particular keyword in a given timeframe. A high search volume
means that there’s a lot of interest in your niche, but there’s also a lot of competition.
That’s why you should also to pay attention to keyword difficulty, that describes how
difficult it would be to rank for a keyword or search query.
The higher the difficulty, the bigger the competition to get in the top 10 search results
for that keyword. Let’s look at this keyword “1980s” as
an example. As you can see it has high search volume,
which indicated its popularity in online searches. Next to the search volume, you can also see
the keyword difficulty. This means that there are a lot of other sources that rank for this
keyword, so if you want your store to show up you’ll have to invest a lot in advertising. The top 3 Google results receive 75.1% of
all clicks per search and for a starting business it’s going to be hard to compete. When starting out, it’s best to focus on
keywords with low difficulty and high search volume. If I am planning to open a store that
is inspired by 80’s aesthetic, I can narrow it down to something like “synthwave art”
that would still fall under that category. Let’s compare the results. The keyword difficulty
plummets, however the search volume is relatively high. This will be an ideal keyword to target
for my niche. SEO will be the greatest foundation to build
your store on, so it’s best that you familiarize with it at an early stage. That’s why I
recommend visiting our blog and going through our SEO beginner’s guide to better understand
it. Come up with a solution to your niche audience’s
problem Lastly, once you’ve narrowed down your interests
to a profitable niche with enough online interest and little competition, start looking at what
your potential customers need. Browse public forums like Quora, Reddit, or
specific Facebook groups and look at what problems people in your niche experience that
can be solved with your unique product. Always remember to approach the niche-searching
process with this in mind: It’s not the product or service, it’s the people who
use it that defines a niche. Act in your audience’s best interests. Keep
tabs on your market and find new ways to interact with your audience to remain their one-stop-shop
in the long term. I hope this video will help you put your thoughts
together to find the right niche for you. Now you just need to experiment with your
niche and products that might appeal to them. And the good news? With Printful you can test
new concepts without investing in massive amounts of inventory. There’s nothing stopping
you, so go for it!