In my last few podcasts I have been discussing the importance of marketing to specific niches, groups, and demographics as a way to separate yourself from your competition. I think for many this is a hard task to do, as the thought of narrowing the possibilities of clients sounds like the opposite of what one would want to do. However what you will find is that it actually makes finding clients easier.
Its easier because….
I had the fortune of seeing Seth Godin speak about his new book, The Dip. Seth talked about how picking what you are good at and becoming the best in the world at it is an unbeatable marketing strategy. You could be an internet marketer who caters to everyone, and then battle over price to pick up each client. Or you could become the best in the world in a niche of internet marketing and those who fall in that niche come to you every time.
For example, you could pick museums. If you can develop a strong portfolio and expertise in marketing museums online all the museums would come to you over a generic internet marketer because you know exactly the sites, places, forums, and methods to get more people interested in their museum. Even though you are cutting off a huge portion of potential clients, you are opening yourself up as the only choice for a large section of another.
Focus my son, Focus
Niche marketing also gives you the added benefit of focusing on what clients you hope to pick up. I have the pleasure of working with The Kirkwood Group, a detroit real estate marketing company on a lot of projects. Watching principal Tracy Koe Wick find clients effortlessly truly opened my eyes. Instead of struggling to figure out what client to target next, what networking events could have someone who might be interested in her services, or waiting for clients to find her; she simply looks at what developments are in the works right now, distinguishes which of those she would like to work with, and contacts them. That kind of focus cuts out lots of blind time and effort trying to randomly find clients. Once she does contact them, her experience which fits their projects to a “T” is enough to convince them to hire her company.
How do I Find my Niche?
This is tough, and it requires planning. If you have a head start in any niche that is always a good place to start. Anyplace you have contacts, previous work, and experience is a good candidate. However you want to pay close attention to the size and profitability of the niche. You might want to target home cleaning services for example, but only find out that those companies tend to have very small marketing budgets and would not bring in enough revenue to keep your company afloat.
Write down all possible niches that you are considering, and estimate the average marketing budget based on how much they were willing to pay for your services previously. Then look at the size of the niche, and possible competitors. If a competitor already has a handle on the market it might be a bad choice to try and go head to head with them. Finally write down a list of the niche leaders and estimate how likely you would be to get them as a client. If you can get a few industry leaders as clients, their referrals and name in your portfolio is likely to be enough to get you started.