In this changing world, many budding entrepreneurs are wanting to transition into the online arena. Getting there isn’t always easy, particularly when it comes to finding that Holy Grail in business – The Niche.
Dan Farrant is the CEO and founder of Hello Music Theory, the online hub that provides digital teaching resources for anyone studying for their ABRSM music theory exam. Recently, I had him on the Anomalous Educator podcast to talk about this education-specific niche.
Find Your Niche Through Other’s Pain Points
Dan is first to admit that Hello Music Theory is a particularly niche business. While he enjoyed teaching music after completing an undergrad at the Royal Academy of Music, his desire to transition into the world of Tim Ferris- like, four hour work weeks and online freedom, was just too tempting.
Dan’s inexhaustible love of music kept him tied to the industry, and his attention turned towards music theory. “It was a pain point a lot of students would be struggling with, having to pass grade 5 music theory. I was like, ‘I want to help people solve that problem.’
Using past exam papers, Dan created printable exam packs filled with practice questions for those about to take the ABRSM music theory exam.
This simple, but hugely beneficial product ensured he was reaching not only local audiences but also remote global communities that don’t have easy access to such resources.
Entering into a niche market essentially means identifying a pain point that hasn’t been addressed by mainstream providers and finding a sellable solution. Some may find these niche golden nuggets hard to come by, but the most effective way is to pursue what you love and draw passion from – the rest will follow.
Catch Your Marketable Data
In the beginning, Dan was allowing his users to access the exam preparation materials completely free. Arguably, this is a great marketing tactic, but it has meant he missed a huge data-gathering opportunity.
“At first it was no barriers, you could just take them,” he joked, “I could see them going to each page and downloading it and I didn’t even find out anything about them.”
When you opt-in to collecting data, even if it’s just an email address, you can create a consumer database. This broadens your outreach and allows you to offer new products and services without being too intrusive.
Draw Traffic To Your Site
To drive the initial paying traffic, Dan used GoogleAds to up his footfall. “I’m not very good at GoogleAds,” he admits, “especially starting such a low price product, I couldn’t make that quite yet.”
Instead, he’s been channelling his inner Hemmingway and writing informative blog posts. “On the website, I have a page which is just called Learn, and I’ve posted a lot of free guides.”
“Now it’s getting about 500 people a day, a lot of them are coming via those posts, which is really cool.” This blogging method allows organic traffic to find you through keyword searches and search engine results.
When I asked if he’ll try again with GoogleAds, he just chuckled, “I’m just focused on putting out information for free and then leading people on to the end product if they want.”
Stay At It – Go In For The Long Haul
Patience is a virtue for anyone starting an online business from scratch. “For me, it took a long while,” Dan iterates, “I wouldn’t even say I’m very far along today. It’s been a long process.”
So, what kept him going? “I saw the opportunity to do well when I made over $100 in a day,” he laughed while also pointing out they’re only small PDFs, “It was literally bits of information that people download.”
There’s a misconception behind becoming a success – you either need that multimillion-dollar company to strike it rich within six months or else you may as well give up.
It just isn’t true. Just show up every day, keep at it and the rewards will come.
To hear the full conversation with Dan Farrant click here.