With Steve Martin co-hosting the Oscars, his old phrase “Excuuuuse Me” has been popping in and out of my head. I have said it several times recently in this context: “Excuuuuse me…What happened to your niche?”

I’m not sure what’s happening, but I have noticed that individuals and groups that I work with are NOT focusing on their niche. Perhaps it’s because the word has been overused and people have stopped paying attention to it. Maybe it’s a “shoot from the hip” reaction to the economy. I don’t know, but it’s time to re-focus and re-think about your niche and how you can service it better.

For those with small budgets, niche marketing is the way to go. Niche marketing is cost-effective, allows you to focus on your specific  customer and speak directly to those who want to hear from you – not the masses that are not interested.

When you use a niche marketing philosophy, your marketing budget stretches so much further allowing you to advertise and market with greater frequency and possibly in a wider variety of ways.

3 questions to ask yourself to help you focus on your niche:

1. Are you meeting the needs of your niche? What can you provide to your niche that they can not get somewhere else?

2. Do you understand the main issues that affect your niche? If you don’t understand them, you’re not going to connect.

3. Do you know how to communicate with your niche? What time of day works for them, email, Twitter, Facebook – what is best for them?

Finally, one last item on niche marketing that is very important and truly pertains to social media (and this is something I read months ago on Twitter and it has worked for me) – Alienate those who are not in your niche. I know that sounds harsh, but in this age of Twitter and Facebook, you need to get rid of those who do not fit in your niche.

Nine months ago I experimented with a free service on Twitter that promised me new followers each and every day. Well, it really worked and I was bombarded with new followers. However; these new people had nothing to do with marketing or public relations and all they did was take up my time as I read what they had to say and it was totally irrelevant to me. Good lesson learned there – I wiped out the majority of those followers and solely stick to those who I can learn from, interact with and have common ideals. There are those who will argue about this approach, but it has worked well for me.

So excuuuuse me, but let’s get back on track and focus on your niche!