Phase 3: Picking Your Winning Niche

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VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ: In this tutorial we use the Facebook Audience Insight Tool: 

To use it, Facebook now requires a Business Facebook Manager Account. If you don’t already have one, please create one first. If it asks for a website URL, you can enter any dummy URL address – we can add infinite URLs in later, including your new store URL which we will create in Step 3. You can create a business manager account here: https://business.facebook.com 

On this step, we’re going to use data to narrow down our 5 niches that we’ve picked in the previous video and we’re going to choose our winning niche. Our goal here is to analyze each of our 5 niches and to see which one meet our criteria of being big enough to sell to and scale to and which ones don’t. 

And we want also to double check and make sure that there’s an active buyer base on the niche. Once you’ve eliminated your losing niches, you can then take your winning niche and then to choose the one that you want to build your store around.

We used to use a method where we utilize search results on Facebook and look for previous advertisements. Unfortunately, Facebook search bar often glitches so I wanted to give you a more stable, timeless way of analyzing demand and audience sizes.

So take the first niche on your list of five and we’re going to analyze it now.

What you want to do is go into Facebook Audience Insight. To do this you may need to create a Facebook Manager Business account. And I have a link to the video on Step 5 that will teach how to set up one for free. This is a fantastic free tool that let’s you search all the different audience you tap with Facebook ads.

So when you come in the Audience Insight, you want to make sure that you are targeting people in the USA. It doesn’t matter whether you live in the USA or not. I recommend all beginners to be selling in the USA first. Why? It’s because customers in the USA likes purchasing products online and the conversion rate is very good. Plus the USA have easy shipping options for products that are beginner friendly.

Since we’re either going to be using dropshipping products from China or using USA based fulfillment centers to sort and ship our products for us, it makes no difference whether you live in the USA or not.

So go ahead and type in your niche. For me, I’ve gone ahead and typed in Coffee. What you want to see is that there’s at least 1 million people you are reaching. As you can see, we’re reaching well over 1 million people. We are reaching 70 million  people and that’s because this is pretty broad interest.

I’m going to go ahead and search for something more specific and I’m going to try to search for Latte so that I’m going to reach people who don’t just drink coffee but people who take the time to drink a specific espresso coffee, in this case latte. As you can see, we’re reaching 6 million people. This niche is an easy big enough niche to target.

Now this test here is important. Let’s say that you love birds, and you really liked ostriches so you listed that down as one of your potential niches. When you try to search for an interest in ostrich, there’s only one type of ostrich we can select. It has a reach of only 3,500 to 4,000 people. We know that this is not a big enough niche. 

It is important that you do this test. Let’s say, for example, you like bugs and you think grasshoppers are cute. I’ll make a store about them. You have 350,000 people to advertise. Well, hold up. Let me show you something.

So let’s go to the Facebook ad creation tool. In the Step 5 of this series, I’m going to show you how to set up Facebook ads and the first phase for our ads campaign is to run the ads to the most passionate fans in our niche. To find those fans, we need to do cross interest tagging or cross niche-ing. Let’s say I want to sell these mugs.

It will be people who love their coffee and dogs. So the first thing I will do is to make sure that I’ve chosen United States. Then I will choose latte so that I can target specifically someone who likes a type of espresso coffee.  And then on the narrow audience, I will choose an interest that relates to people who love their dogs. 

And when I do that, you can see that now we have a very specific target audience about 390,000 who both love their dogs and are latte drinkers. So when creating a target niche, your goal will be to reach at least a 100,000 people that meets the criteria.

Now, let’s try grasshopper. So we choose to cross niches grasshopper with latte. When we do this, take a look. It’s not even close to reaching a 100,000 passionate fans.

If we come to Facebook Audience Insight, we’ll see that there 1.5 million people in the USA who are interested in polar bears. 

Now let’s go back to Facebook ad tool and swap out the grasshopper to polar bears. We’re going to reach 160,000 people which is exactly what we want. So it’s good to stick to niches where the base interest starts at least 1 million people as this will give you more opportunities to advertise and target specific customers within that niche while still having room to scale.

Get the first niche on our list and see if it passes this test. And you also want to see if it passes another test. The store test. What you want to do is to see if there’s any store that have been selling and advertising products within your niche that had been open for at least one year. If you can find a dropshipping store or selling print on demand products in the past year that is active, then that’s great sign that yes, this niche is indeed making money for those who target it correctly. 

There are several ways to hunt this stores down. You have to go to Facebook and type in the product that you want to see. So for me, I’m selling coffee mugs. What you want to do is to click on Pages and look for pages that are either dropshipping from Aliexpress or creating their own print on demand products. 

A good idea is to look for Facebook pages with at least 1000 likes to help cut down with research time. So this one here, Coffee Coffee Love Love, this one looks to me that this page could fit the criteria and it’s got more than 1000 likes. And indeed it is a store that is dropshipping and selling print on demand products.

But when we tried to open the store up, you can see that the store no longer exists. So I’ll go back to the list and look for more potential sample stores that are active. And this one here, Coffee Drinkers Gear has more 1000 likes.

So now, we come and click on the Shop Now button you will see that they are still active and selling. And on their profile, it says they had been around since 2014. 

When you scroll down on their Facebook page, you can see that they have engagements and lots of share from their fans. And so while we can’t know the exact sales figures for the store, we know that it’s making enough money for it’s owner that it continues to keep the store open for the past five years. So that’s one way to look for active money making stores. 

Another way is to go into Instagram. Type in keywords related to products that you want to sell. 

If I were to type in coffee mugs I’m going to get a lot of results. So I’m going to type in funny mugs. And then usually, what you want to do is to look at the top posts and see if any of the name pages would indicate a page that could potentially be a store. Now, please excuse the language here but this is a perfect example. 

If you click on it, you can check their Instagram account. As you can see they have well over one year worth of post, more than 900 posts. With most of these being funny, novelty coffee mugs showing focusing on people that enjoy collecting fun funny mugs. And as they say on their bio, they have a huge Facebook page too. If we come to Facebook and do a search, you’ll see that they have 800,000 fans who still interact with their posts that they make regularly.

And because their Facebook page doesn’t have something that explicitly says coffee in the name, so we’re unlikely to find doing search on Facebook. And so by looking at social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, you can track these successful stores down within your niche. You can also use other social media sites like Pinterest but the highest density will be found by searching in Instagram and Facebook by looking for related keywords to find related profiles. 

Now, don’t rush this process. It will take a while to source different keywords in Facebook and by browsing through different hashtags in Instagram but it will be worth it to create a list of stores that are still active. 

You can also come to Google and do a search of stores for your niche. So let’s take polar bears as an example. So you come and search for something like polar bears and then browse through the results. I recommend that you sort at least 10 pages worth of results.

A lot of stores will be poorly optimized for search engines like Google and so while they may be successful stores, they are not showing up highly on the search results. However this one here, showed up pretty highly. Now, I’ve already done research on the store and yes, this is a profitable store that has been around for over a year. 

This here is a profitable store and so if you are searching the polar bear niche, this could be a store that you note down. And that’s what you now want to do, to go and see if you can find one successful store in your niche that shows that there can be an active buyer base that can be tapped into. 

Now, the chances are more than one niche in your list of 5 is going to meet this criteria. And in that case, you’re going to have to decide between them. What I suggest you do is that you look and see if there are any niches on the list that you like the most. And if so, choose that one. 

If you have fun setting up that store by selling products that you like then you’re going to have a way easier time staying motivated. However, if none of them speaks stronger to you or maybe you just like all of them and you can’t decide then what I’d recommend you do is that you choose the niche that has the most successful stores in it. 

And also, if you somehow fail to find a winning niche in your list of 5 that meets the criteria then what I’d recommend you do is you go back to your list of 20 niches and that you choose another 5 and that you research those. You’re almost certainly going to find one niche, out of your 20 that meets the criteria.

So go on, and choose your niche and I’ll see you on the next step!