Module 1: Foundations
Defining Your Niche

micro-nicheYour niche is what sets you apart from other online communities and social networks.

Your niche is the major definite purpose for your site, it defines your site, is your key to a thriving community, and will be the reason moms want to be part of what you create and why brands will want to advertise with you.

Action Step 1.

Write down a running list of words and phrases that describe your community, simply brainstorm, the more the better, i.e. isolated, beauty surrounds us, artsy…

Action Step 2.

Write down a running list of words and phrases that describe your future members, i.e. mothers, dedicated, educated, adventurous, …

Action Step 3.

Go back and circle the words from each list that resonate the most with you.

From Step 1 write a sentence that best describes your community.

From Step 2 write another sentence that describes your membership base.

Inspiration & Learning

A simple Google search for “define your niche” will give you a plethora of business articles, real-life examples and step-by-step guides. Here are a few articles I found helpful:

Personal Branding: Have You Identified Your Niche?

Grow Your Niche Business By Keeping it Simple

Ah-ha Moment?

Share your niche community and member descriptions below in the comments. I think we’ll find we have more similarities than we realized!

Next Step

Congratulations on completing Lesson 3!

To go deeper and get some professional outside coaching, next I am going to introduce you to Richard from FeverBee.


Leave A Reply (19 comments so far)

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  1. MelissaUtley

    Kalispell in a rural MT town located in what is often referred to as the Flathead Valley. The valley is surrounded by mountains and houses the largest fresh water lake West of the Mississippi. It looks like you are driving up to the ocean as you approach! It is beautiful. Kalispell is minutes from a plethora of outdoor activities–fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, boating, etc. We are also a short drive to Glacier National Park. Kalispell is growing tremendously right now and at least 50% of the people I meet are from out of state.

    Because Kalispell is growing, there is a consistent stream of new moms looking to connect and find activities for their little ones. This I believe is the primary membership base of KMfM. I would like to continue to reach out to these moms. I would also like to connect with moms that have lived in Kalispell their entire lives. I would like to find something of value for them so they find the website relevant to them.

  2. VirginiaEdelson

    Aspen is an active town full of culture and beauty. It is modern but deeply rooted in history. It has a versatility to it such that one’s life here can be exactly what you make of it.

    Our future members are friendly, curious, active, engaged, adventurous and last but not least intense. Intense in the most positive form of the word: having or showing great strength and strong feelings.

    Janine Reply:

    You beautifully describe your niche of mothers and the Aspen community. I love your writing and word-smiting. Descriptive and persuasive writing is an integral pieces of running a successful MFM site to communicate with the members and clients alike. And you’re right, intense is a perfect word for Aspen!

  3. TracyHolcombe

    Living in Carbondale, CO I have found the community to be warm, welcoming, active, artistic, connected, involved and engaged. This town is tucked away from the main drag, but not so far as to feel isolated. Pretty much paradise.

    As I think about the member base for this site, I want to do the same as the community, I want the site to be welcoming to everyone interested. The member base are mothers looking for connection and information, support and inspiration. Truly. And in this town there are active moms, and artsy moms, and well educated moms. There are also moms that need to feel welcomed, connected, involved and engaged. This website should be a place for all of them.

    Janine Reply:

    Tracy, Men’s Journal should have interviewed you for their Carbondale article on 50 Best Places to Live! Your description of our members and community feels spot on. With this mindset, CMM will feel exactly as you describe. Continue to use your same words and description as you speak to businesses and new members alike.

  4. IaFaraoni

    Aspen, Colorado is a breathtaking, exhilarating, stunning small town situated in a remote area of the Rocky Mountain’s Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains. This magical place was named “Aspen” because of the abundance of Aspen trees in the area.

    Aspen is known for the best ski resorts. One of which is The Buttermilk, which is famous for hosting the X-Games. The Aspen area is also one of the few US Resorts to offer terrain for mountainboarding.

    In summer, Aspen offers a variety of outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, fishing, biking and hiking, world class golf, great summer jazz and food festivals, and even hot air ballooning.

    Aspen is an old Colorado mining town rich in history and character. This vibrant community has a colorful downtown streets with a casual attitude.

  5. IaFaraoni

    A community of ALL Local Mothers… From a new Mom, to Moms of teens, to stay at home Moms, to working Moms, to Natural Birth Moms, to C-section Moms, To moms that just moved, and even Grandmas- each wanting to connect, to make friends, to seek or provide supPort, want our kids to discover friendship, share laughter and creating close community ties…

    Janine Reply:

    Ia, The description of your membership base is perfect. Its great that you are being inclusive of all types of mothers.
    Please write back a sentence for Step 1: Describe Aspen.
    Great job so far!

  6. Sandy Raley

    A small community settled in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains in every direction. The community is filled with people who are very active in outdoor activates, church, volunteering, non profits and social events. This town always has something going on!

    Being the third owner I feel my biggest challenge will be reaching out to members who may have joined before and didn’t feel like they fit this group. I want all moms who believe in all natural way of life, fast-food mom, working mom, stay home mom, religious or non-religious and the list goes on to feel welcomed and to get connected with other moms who can be a support group or simply a friend.

    Janine Reply:

    Sandy, Beautiful description of Grand Valley! I love your mission to create a place where all mothers are welcome and included – just say that loud and clear any chance you get around the site, FB, e-blasts, and moms will feel your love!

  7. AndreaOwens

    The Kalispel Moms for Moms is already well established because I am the second owner. However, here are words I came up with to describe the people and area. I do hope to pursue new groups, events and possibly take a few things I love about a few blogs I follow and adding it in.

    Kalispell is absolutely stunning. Surrounded by many lakes and of course Glacier Park, we tend to be outside all the time. The people are very helpful and friendly. The town is small enough that almost everyone knows everyone but is growing rapidly. A lot of people are moving here from out of state and M4M has served a tremendous purpose in introducing new Moms into what the town and people have to offer all year long.

    Janine Reply:

    Hi Andrea,
    My apologies, I missed your comment here earlier! I love your description of Kalispell, it rings true for so many MFM communities. Your community site is a beacon of connection and valuable information for all the new families moving to town, as well for the locals to get in tune with their community.

    Janine Reply:

    I will include your added description here of Kalispell to the MFMC website on your town, thanks for adding to what Gretchen had done before.

  8. SiennaSolberg

    My long winded community niche “sentence”: We, in our urban/rural blended, family friendly, quaint, charming, river town named Missoula, tend to be proud, supportive, involved, local, involved, active, spirited, innovative, tight-knit, sustainable and laid-back.

    My member sentence: Missoula Moms for Moms members are moms of various stages seeking connection, each bringing their own life experiences to share and provide support to other moms, creating a tight-knit community.

    When thinking of my mom members, I started to think of possible groups that could be created, and how to target a variety of moms. As a mom of an 18 month old, I’m already realizing there are SO many stages, all stages needing support and connection with other moms. My list includes: new mamas, breastfeeding moms, expecting first time moms, already moms expecting an addition, student (we have a University) moms, working moms, stay at home moms, moms of teens, grandmas, moms who adopted/foster, empty nesters or soon to be empty nesters, family members acting as moms, step moms, single moms…

    Janine, can you offer some advice or suggestions about which groups to target and how? Or perhaps this comes later in the training 😉

    Janine Reply:

    Sienna, your list of mom categories/groups is perfect. Keep brainstorming more as your site grows. To target them and make them aware of your site and invite them to join, think about how you can reach them. For example breastfeeding moms. I know your local hospital is very involved in the community. Get in touch with the RN or lactation consultant who runs the breastfeeding support group. Invite her to coffee, or make an appointment to visit at the hospital. Come from a place of collaboration and see how you can help each other. (Bring your little girl!) They want moms to know about their classes and offerings, and you are hoping to reach the moms who attend to feel welcome and invited to your online community. Ask if they would pass out flyers each week, include flyers in their packets to new moms, add a link on their website to MMM as a free resource to moms. You can post their events on your calendar and highlight them in a future e-blast. Its about building relationships with the community leaders. Now repeat with each subgroup! Have fun 🙂

  9. SiennaSolberg

    I had a question…
    In the Personal Branding article it was mentioned that many people make a mistake by pursuing all of their wide range of customers. I’m wondering if you suggest focusing on a few “types” of moms, or if our customers/members are already narrowed down to moms, and therefore, we can “pursue” them all?

    Janine Reply:

    Great point Sienna. Your mom niche is narrowed by geography, ie. Missoula, or Bitterroot. But there are still a wide range of “types of moms” within your community. Its true that our most common members are mothers of newborn through preschool, because those mothers seek out the information they need, and they are yearning to connect. So targeting that demographic will yield the best results. Then widening that range by targeting pregnancy up through Elementary school age are the next best groups.
    We say the sites are open to all mothers pregnancy through grand-motherhood so all feel welcome. The wonderful fact is that your members will grow from type to type over the years. Your membership will evolve and so will the content. But the new moms will always be joining. Our members only leave the site if they move away.

  10. LauraLawyer

    Mothers of all ages that want to connect, learn from one another and help each other be the best mothers, grandmothers, sisters and wives we can be

    Janine Reply:

    I love the all-inclusive nature of your description Laura. Which ever niche the moms find themselves in they will be able to find a piece of your site to connect with mothers “in their boat.”
    If your site doesn’t have one yet a “Grandmothers Group” is fun. Perhaps call it the “Wisdom of Grandmothers” and make a place where younger moms can ask our elders questions or get perspective.
    The wives piece is big too. I know I let that role slip when my focus is on the children and my community. A forum topic on how to “Not forget about our husbands” could be fun and offer simple reminders and ideas to keep our connection with our partners.