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How to: Find a New Niche

Tap into a fresh market that is just right for you.

Look for a niche that is a natural extension of a market you already work in. For example, maybe you do a lot of work with companies in the petroleum engineering field. A logical next step might be to target manufacturers that make the heavy equipment used in petroleum extraction. If you’re doing your job correctly, you’re already knowledgeable about the industry in general, which will make building relationships with prospects in the new niche easier. Plus, you’re likely to be able to leverage existing business relationships to connect with leads in the niche you are pursuing.

Go after a market that is related to your personal interests. Delving into a market that is tied to your likes puts you in an excellent position to gain loyal clients and accelerate sales. You’ll have immediate common ground with prospects, and it’s likely that you’ll have a stronger intuitive sense of how to appeal to audiences your clients want to influence. Plus, it’s also possible that you’ll be familiar with prospects’ brands. All this will help you be a better promotional consultant. You’ll forge tighter bonds with buyers. So, are you an avid hunter and fisherman? Then consider targeting rod and gun clubs, companies that make fishing and hunting gear, and/or retailers that specialize in selling outdoor recreation items.

Look for high-growth niches and develop a strategy for entering them. Do research to identify markets that are poised for substantial and sustained revenue growth. Google searches like “top markets 2016” can yield helpful results that get your research started. Also, promotional product industry publications like Advantages often include information on worthwhile niches. Some research firms create reports on hot industries, too. These reports are often available for a price, but could provide you with valuable information. IBISWorld, for example, annually produces a “Top 10 Fastest Growing Industries” report.

Once you have a market in mind, identify key companies in the niche that you would like to turn into clients. Comb your existing networks for contacts that may have connections at the companies; see if those people can help you build a bridge to prospects. If you have no “ins,” start executing a prospecting strategy that’s tailored specifically to the desired clients.

Cast a keen eye on the local landscape. Sometimes, the best opportunities for fresh success are just outside your front door. So, identify niche markets that are thriving in your area. If you’re not already working within a particular market, then start making inroads now, again being sure to see if anyone in your network can help you link up with a prospect. By way of example, say you live in the Portland, OR area. Greater Portland is a mecca for beer lovers, abounding with craft breweries and brewpubs. If you’re in or near the City of Roses, working with clients in this niche could be a smart – and lucrative – move.