How To Sell More By Appealing To Fewer Customers

In my first post I talked about validating your niche, this post will talk about narrowing your niche and defining your unique selling proposition (USP).

These two factors are critical if you want to really appeal to people. If you want your product or service to really stand out, you must differentiate what you have to offer from everybody else. Narrowing your niche and your USP both work very well at doing this.

A USP (in its formal definition) is a proposition that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique – either a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising.

Now that is very strong and bold. If you can make a brand or claim like that, great. Otherwise, try to think of your USP as the angle or way you position your product or offer to the market. Dr Mani’s post had some great points about USPs. I will go through some examples later, firstly we will talk about your niche.

Why Would You Want To Narrow Your Niche?

I know it seems counter intuitive as someone who wants to sell something to reduce the size of your potential customer base, but let me assure you it is very important. This can be the difference between failing and succeeding in your business.

You want to narrow your audience for two reasons:

  • You can’t please everyone.
  • As humans we love specific solutions.

We all know in life that we cannot please everyone, no matter how hard we try. The sooner you accept that it is OK that some people may not be interested in your product or like what you have to offer, the better. In fact it is much better. It will save you a lot of time and energy.

You want to talk to people who want to listen to what you have to say. Don’t waste your time trying to convert people or change their world views. Usually the most remarkable products or brands have very polarized relationships with the public. It’s love or hate, there is no middle ground. Look at Apple. You either are an Apple fanatic and usually own multiple products and love them or you’re not interested in them at all.

Basically, when you define what you have to offer – be true to it, even it means losing some people along the way.

For example, you may operate in the raw organic food niche. Does everyone in the organic food niche resonate with raw organic food? No, and that’s OK. You may want to try and convert people, but we all know how difficult it can be to change people’s opinions. That is not our goal as a marketer. Our goal is to speak to people who have a similar worldview and are already interested or open to the concept of raw organic food, and want to listen to what you have to offer on the topic.

Seth Godin covered the idea of marketing to customers, who shared a congruent worldview, extensively in his excellent book All Marketers are Liars.

“You need to realize that changing a worldview requires you to get your prospects to admit that they were wrong. This is awfully hard to do.” – Seth Godin.

Why Getting Specific Can Help Your Appeal

Narrowing your niche is vital. If done correctly, it separates you from the crowd and that means more chance of getting noticed. If you are in the weight loss niche and you just go out there promoting another weight loss product, you will get hammered, you will get lost in the ocean of all the other weight loss products. You need to narrow that niche down, you need to get more specific. You want to provide a specific solution to a specific set of people.

Let’s talk more about specific solutions and why specificity is good. Let’s take some casual examples.

When you go to a restaurant and they serve Chinese, Thai, Italian and Hamburgers on the menu (don’t laugh, I have seen it in Thailand), do you think the quality of the Italian will be any good? What about when you go to an Italian restaurant and all they sell is pasta, in fact they specialize in pasta. Do you have a little more confidence in their ability to dish up a good carbonara? The Italian restaurant knows that it is not pleasing everyone. If you want something else besides Italian pasta you don’t go there. But if you want a good authentic Italian pasta you will probably go there.

As humans we love specificity. Take pain killers for example. If you have a headache and you went to the pharmacy, would you just buy a bottle labeled with “Medicine”. Probably not, it is in the general category of what you want, but too broad. What about a bottle labeled “Pain Killer”? You would probably buy this, unless you were presented with one labeled “Pain Killer for Headaches”. With a headache and given a choice between the last two options, you most likely will go for the one that specifically addresses your problem.

Specificity Can Also Be Part Of Your Unique Selling Proposition

Let’s look at a real life example of how you would develop a product with a USP. We know health and fitness is a huge market. Let’s break it down a little:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Exercise routines
  • Exercise routines for women
  • Exercise routines for women who don’t want to become muscle bound
  • Exercise routines for women who want a slim, feminine physique like those we see in the movies

Now that is a USP, it’s not for men, it’s not a weight loss product, it’s not a female bodybuilding routine, but a specific exercise program to achieve a desired look. Very targeted. It doesn’t appeal to everyone, but you can bet that it will have the attention of women who are interested in getting a Hollywood type physique. You can see this USP in action: Visual Impact for Women.

Most of the top selling ClickBank products have a great USP. Tinnitus Miracle claims to be the “only holistic system in existence that will permanently eliminate the ringing in your ears”. Talk about a strong USP. Straight away if you are not interested in a natural non-drug approach, this product is not for you. But if you are open or even a little bit curious about how a non-drug and non-surgical approach may help your ear ringing, then you will probably read on.

The Hook for Affiliate Marketers

You don’t necessarily have to develop a product, it can also be how you present the product. This is handy for affiliate marketers. Some marketers call the special way to present the product “the hook”.

To craft a hook you need to know the product. And you can choose an angle that promotes one of the product’s unique strengths. Or you can think creatively about how the product can be used in a very unique way. Now when you present your offer against all the other affiliate marketers, your offer stands out. The way you present the product and talk about it is different and attention grabbing.

My Favorite Unique Selling Proposition

One of the best USPs I have seen in recent years is Mast Brothers Chocolate. The brothers, Rick and Michael, are craftsmen. Their style is decidedly “old school”, in fact it’s more like last century. Everything is handcrafted, each block of chocolate is individually made and wrapped. They are so involved in their “craft” that they travel via a wooden sail boat to the cacao farms to pick the beans up and bring them back to America for the chocolate making process! Now that’s a USP.

In their own words from their website:

“We thank you for sharing our love for craft chocolate. My brother and I, our staff and our families have put everything we have into the handcrafting of this chocolate […] Craft chocolate depends on world-class execution. With artful roasting, careful winnowing, stone grinding, patient aging, and flawless tempering, truly one of a kind craft chocolate can be made […].”

So if you are someone who appreciates the craft of chocolate or believes that chocolate is more than just a junk food treat, then the Mast brothers message resonates with you. Not everyone wants to pay $8 for a block of chocolate, and the brothers are OK with that. But for the small market who believe chocolate is a bit more than a Hershey’s bar, when the Mast brothers talk, they will be all ears.

Don’t be afraid to narrow your niche. As long as it is a valid niche, hone in on a section and ignore everyone else. Speak to your selected narrow niche. If you try to tip toe the line and please everyone, you will miss out on the opportunity to really get your message across and truly resonate with people. When you miss out on really communicating and resonating with an audience, making sales is hard work.

Yaro Starak

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  • Hi Leevi,

    all goods points AND… make sure your niche has the potential to support a business.

    Some niches are more lucrative than others.

    With that said, how to you evaluate a niche?


    • Research it and see if anyone else is selling anything. If not, you might have hit a goldmine (probably not) or it’s because no one is making money meaning it’s not profitable.


    • Hi Ivan

      Great point. I spoke about niche validation in my article mentioned in the first paragraph of this article.

      Basically if people are advertising on google or yahoo and there are good selling products on clickbank then that is a pretty good indicator.


  • This series is quite informative. My insight into this subject matter is increasing with every article. I have a lot work to do on my site. 🙂
    Thanks Leevi! and Thanks Yaro!

    • That is great Eddy and it is my pleasure, glad you are enjoying it!


    • That is the beauty of coming across on materials such as this Eddy. You get to derive ideas that can make your output better.

  • I have always had trouble with USP. This has been eye opening for me, I think I’ll be re-examining my selling propositions and how I am talking to my niche.

  • Hey Leevi,

    This is quite an interesting topic.
    I do agree that being ‘specialized’ in a product/service does make your company seems more professional and expertise. However, i dont think this can apply to all business because some niches are just so tiny where it will be a waste of time if we dont branch off or tag along with something else.

    Any inputs to this will be appreciated. Thanks.

    • I too do not think that having a USP is always something easy. Especially if we talk about affiliate marketing when it comes to products people look for by name. In that case, I would see the USP in a bonus offered but this is somewhat a little bit limiting in my opinion. I know that you said that an affiliate marketer can focus on one aspect of the product. However, for a product that is coming from a known marketer, I wonder how a person can really have a USP?

  • Specification is a good thing, but it is necessary not to forget about the market laws.

  • You mention something really important, narrowing your niche can make you look like an expert in that specific niche

  • Hi Leevie,

    Others may think that it isnt a great idea to narrow down the amount of customers to gain more sales. But what you are actually doing is targeting your niche, so that those who do visit your site, for example your e-commerce, will then be more likely to purchase an item.
    It also makes you appear as an expert in the field, as the previous contributor pointed out.

  • Keeping your niche narrow, will allow you to serve them all better, great point! as you can give your customers your full 100%

  • I think having a small niche that patronizes your product so much is better than having a huge crowd and making no sale out of it. 🙂 Thanks for this post Leevi I’ve learned a lot. 🙂

  • Hi Leevi,

    There is no doubt about the fact that your niche can prove more useful than selling to everybody, end of the day, there will always be only a certain segment in the market that your product would appeal to. Therefore, rather than wasting your time and money on marketing to the whole market, it’s always sensible to drive all your marketing efforts towards people who are already interested in buying your product. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

    Riya Sam
    Training for

  • Excellent points – I have been making great efforts to offer products that are different from my competitors. Now I need to find ways to advertise them so they really stand out.

  • Your Message
    Targeting the best possible clients is what we aim to do and you need to know who your customer is. You also need to keep up with things and offering them the best possible product. Without that you are potentially wasting a ton of money and man power.

  • By narrowing your niche and specializing in it, you’re able to convert more of your visitors into costumers, by not being a jack-of-all-trades but a master of one.

  • i couldnt agree more

    if you try selling and appealing to everyone you will end up selling and appealing to no one

    its very important to only tackle a niche market or a specific problem

    also a great way to find out exactly what your customers or prospects want and need is to do a survey on them get some feedback and then create a product based on that information

    good post



  • Very interesting article and some major shifting for me if I take you advice here. I come from the school of pitch everyone and their dog. Thanks for posting this.

  • Thanks for sharing this. In my industry this applies too as it is all about finding the right profile client/prospect.

  • It might be good USP for “Mast Brothers Chocolate” but as a business model it would be very hard to scale, everything hand-crafted, how do they expect to maintain same level of quality if they decide to make more money by selling more chocolate? Good USP is a must but it also should have the ability to scale if you plan to grow your business mainstream.

  • Hello Leevi,
    I did get a lot from your post and had a question: Does this also work if you’re providing a service? At some point I’ll also have a product for the market I’m targeting, holistic health practitioners, but currently it’s providing content specifically for their use in marketing.

    Are there any particular quirks that come up with providing a service rather than a product?

  • Great post, completely agree with the idea of being a master of one trade rather than mediocre of many. Thanks for sharing!

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