Gardening can be very relaxing, and potentially very lucrative. With both the increased interest in alternative therapies and the demand for locally grown and organic foods, an herb farmer can find plenty of customers, particularly if you’re in an urban area. While this does require some space for growing, herbs are fairly small and nearly any home can be slightly modified to allow for an extensive herb garden.
Even the portrait and general-interest options, though, aren’t really for beginners. Photography businesses can be complex operations, with lots of equipment required and years of portfolio and relationship building necessary to really get steady income flowing. Still, if you’re a hobbyist already, starting a photography business as a side operation is a great way to make some extra money and possibly begin a career change.
Once you have a match between niche and product, test-market it. “Give people an opportunity to buy your product or service—not just theoretically but actually putting it out there,” Falkenstein suggests. This can be done by offering samples, such as a free mini-seminar or a sample copy of your newsletter. The test shouldn’t cost you a lot of money: “If you spend huge amounts of money on the initial market test, you're probably doing it wrong,” she says.
Hold a yard sale. If you have a yard or garage and plenty of items to sell, you can have a yard sale as early as tomorrow. By advertising your sale on local Facebook pages and Craigslist, you can also skip the paid newspaper ad and keep all of the profits for yourself. If you don’t have time to price everything, try asking patrons to “make an offer” or grouping similar items on tables with an advertised price (e.g. everything on this table is $5).
Tailor your content to your audience. Use targeted, “insider” terms for keywords in your marketing messaging, content, and social media. Think of words and phrases that your target customers would use while they searched for a solution like yours. This is one of the few times I will tell you that a bit of jargon can work wonders. Use words your customers would use – and use them correctly – to connect with your audience. This strategically placed jargon might even earn you a little “street cred.”
You don’t have to pay rent. Other than possibly upgrading your internet service to allow for more speed, working from home won’t cost you any more than your current living expenses. Find an unused corner in the basement, work out of your guest room, or clear off your dining room table. Your apartment rent or mortgage payment won’t change, and you’re utilizing the space you have anyway to actually make money.
For the musically gifted, offering lessons to others who want to learn an instrument can be a great source of extra income. Unless you're teaching piano, students can bring their own instruments to your home for hour-long lessons. Stock up on sheet music or songbooks in varying genres and aimed at various skill levels so you can offer a wide selection for your potential clients. Voice lessons can also bring in a lot of money if you market yourself to local high school and community theater groups.
One important part of effective digital marketing is identifying and understanding your audience, which requires an investment of time and money on data and analytics tools. The benefit of niche marketing is that because you are confined to a specific person and a specific need, less focus is required on digging into your data to understand and keep up with their needs. You will also be doing less trial and error with your methods, which also can be resource-heavy.
Every product cannot be defined by its market niche. The niche market is highly specialized, and aiming to survive among the competition from numerous super companies. Even established companies create products for different niches; Hewlett-Packard has all-in-one machines for printing, scanning and faxing targeted for the home office niche, while at the same time having separate machines with one of these functions for big businesses.