There are three main components to keep in mind when you’re building your Portable Empire:
1. Building your list
2. Building your relationship with your list
3. Making products and selling them to your list, and through Joint-Venture and affiliate arrangements, to the universe.
Let’s talk about choosing your niche. This is the playground where you’re going to play- so keep it interesting and fun.
According to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary, niche means:
2 a : a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted “finally found her niche” b : a habitat supplying the factors necessary for the existence of an organism or species c : the ecological role of an organism in a community especially in regard to food consumption d : a specialized market
When we talk about our “niche
in internet marketing, we’re referring to “d: a specialized market,” although the other definitions are relevant.
It’s important to target all of your efforts to one specific, specialized market. To develop a large, loyal list of subscribers, you need to offer a solution to a problem that is shared by a large group of people.
Over time, one of your most valuable possessions will be your list of people who are not only interested in the solution to their problem, but will also pay you for solutions.
If you choose your niche wisely, it will be deep enough to include a lot of related problems. For example, my niche is education, specifically in the area of internet marketing for beginners.
That’s a big playground. I can talk about the mindset of success, the inner game of marketing, how to create a PDF file, video editing, and hundreds of other related topics. I can provide the information as an e-book, an audio download, a CD, a streaming video, or a DVD.
You might want to jot this down: “Every problem is a product.”
As my customer solves one problem- hopefully with a solution they buy from me- that leads them to the next problem. My job is to make sure they know about the problem, and make it easy for them to buy the solution from me. At that point, the client will weigh how important the problem is to them, how long it would take them to solve it on their own, and, hopefully, purchase the solution.
Over time, I’ve created a lot of solutions. As I solve each problem for myself, I turn that solution into a product.
To the people who are behind us on the learning curve, we’re the experts.
Over time, I’ve left a trail of solutions, and gathered a list of people who are on the same journey I’m on. This is how you create multiple streams of passive income.
As you read the instructions below for choosing a niche, keep that in mind. Be sure to pick a niche that has a long learning curve, with lots of fun problems.
Let’s take this to the real world.
One of the best tools for communicating with your subscribers is a blog (web/log). I advertise mine as “unedited and uncensored,” and do my best to keep it real and relevant, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Here’s an excerpt from my blog:
Recently, one of my mentoring clients asked:
Could you please explain how you coach people to success? I have been down this road before trying to come up with a product to solve a problem. It didn’t come up with anything. ! I don’t have a clue in coming up with a product. Do you have a specific process to come up with profitable ideas??? I hope so, I need the process you go thru.
I suspect that he’s not the only one asking this question. As a matter of fact, my domestic partner Betsy and I were just talking about this over dinner. She’s struggling with the same problem.
I think we can sort this out.
First, you need to chunk the question down and simplify it. Right now, the problem I’d like to solve is breast cancer- a very dear friend is battling this demon, and I’ve lost several loved ones to it. Another problem I’d like solved is political- I’m afraid that Ike was right when he warned us to beware the military-industrial complex. Then there’s hunger, homelessness, global warming, and the fact that there’s not a real first-class Mexican Food restaurant in Wimberley, Texas.
Realistically, I’m not an oncologist, a political scientist, social scientist, or first-class Mexican Food chef. We need to find problems we can actually solve, and hopefully in a niche that we can stay interested in.
To me, that’s the real danger- finding a niche that’s profitable but boring. I think it’s important to find a niche you’re passionate about.
For example, I’m passionate about self-actualization, and I don’t think that’s something you can achieve working 40 hours a week at a job you’re not passionate about. I think humans were created in God’s image, and she didn’t intend for us to spend our brief time on this spinning globe in mind-numbing tedium. I’m convinced that we’re living in an infinite universe, and that there are enough resources for everyone. My solution is the “Portable Empire” concept, which allows you to travel, think, meditate, and grow to your full potential without having to punch a clock.
So, when I’m looking for a problem to solve, I limit my search to the niche of “Your Portable Empire.”
That simplifies the problem, and also simplifies finding the solution. I promote seminars, videos, audios and e-books that teach people to create multiple streams of passive income.
A lot of my products start out as conversations with my mentoring clients.
So, step one is to identify your niche.
How do you do that? You need to find a subject that you’re a) passionate about, b) knowledgeable in, and c) is broad enough to have a large customer base.
In my case, I’m passionate about freedom- and you need financial freedom to acquire intellectual freedom and freedom of mobility. I’m knowledgeable about the subject- I make a healthy six-figure income doing what I teach. And finally, there are more than enough people interested in the subject to make it profitable for me.
One way to work your way through the niche-finding problem is to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side, write down all the subjects you’re knowledgeable about. An example could be:
Raising happy children
Getting a good deal on antiques
Art (painting, drawing, collecting, etc.)
Music (playing an instrument, promoting a band, making a recording)
Stock market investing
Take some time with this- you know a lot more than you think you do.
Then, in the second column, make a similar list of things you’re passionate about. PASSIONATE! Not just interested.
Then, see what turns up in both columns. On another sheet of paper, make another list of just the things that are in both columns, with the most fascinating (to you) subject first, the next most fascinating subject second, etc.
Now, starting with the most interesting subject, do a Google search to see who else is marketing to your future customers.
If you turn up a blank, or just a few results, go to the next one. Just because you’re passionate about under-water stamp collecting doesn’t mean it’s a good business model. Call that a hobby and move on.
If your Google search turns up page after page of commercial sites- congratulations! You’ve just identified your future Joint-Venture partners. You’ve found your niche.
Now, let’s say you’re the kind of guy who plays 18 holes of golf every morning, and another 18 in the evening. You’ve got zirconium encrusted drivers and a putter that’s been blessed by three popes. Your golf cart has a hemi. Your wife would like you to kindly shut up about golf, because that’s all you ever talk about.
You’re a golf nut.
Now, let’s also postulate that you’ve spent a few years reading every book you can get your hands on about golf, studied with Tiger Woods, and the local golf pro asks you for advice.
You’re a golf expert.
You do a Google search on “golf” and discover that there are thousands of people marketing to golfers.
You’re in luck.
Your niche is golf.
Now, to monetize your niche, you need to find out what pressing problems golfers are having and provide them with a solution. You want to identify a problem that really, really hurts them. I live on a golf course, but the last golf course I played on had a windmill, and I was still in Junior High School at the time, so I’m going to wing it here…
Do they slice? Do they get tired on hole 17? Hole 3? Is their stance too wide? Are their pants too tight? Have they lost their balls?
How do you find out what THE pressing problem is for golfers today?
Back to Google.
Do a search on “golf forum.”
There should be plenty. Join them. Lurk. Read the posts.
I do this with “newbie” internet forums. It’s a gold mine. Somebody will post a question, several other people will join the conversation, mentioning that they’ve had the same problem. Somebody will post a wrong answer.
Gold mine. Home run. Hole in one.
So, hang out in the forums and identify the one biggest problem that golfers have. Obviously, this will work in any niche.
Sell them the solution.
Initially, you’ll probably frame your solution as an e-book. They’re free to make, free to deliver, and you can put them on clickbank – and clickbank will handle the accounting, keep up with affiliate sales, send your affiliates their money, and send you your money every two weeks.
You may discover an olde Scottish tome that is in the public domain that is just chock full of golfing wisdom. Turn that sucker into a PDF and sell it.
Remember, we’re selling information. You can also package the information as an audio MP3, which you can also put on clickbank.
Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun with video. The internet is just too slow to deliver professional video online. That will change. About half the country, and a lot of the rest of the world, is still using dial-up, which is way too slow for video. That will change, too, but we’re in a hurry, so, you’ll have to deliver DVDs. This introduces a level of complexity to your Portable Empire that you may want to avoid for now.
Imagine that your niche is golf. That’s a great niche, because it’s got a lot of very interesting problems.
You could create an “Introduction to Golfing.” Then, an e-book on how to choose the right golf clubs. Follow that up with “27 Things To Ask Your Golf Pro.” “Reports From the World”s Best Golf Courses,” would be my next choice- and would lead to a nice tax-deductible vacation.
Over time, you’ll establish relationships with a large group of people who rely on you to provide solutions to their golfing problems- and pay you for those solutions.
Get the picture?