Have you ever taken tried something on in the dressing room only to find out that not only is it too tight, but you’re stuck? And now everyone in the store will hear your cries for help as you try desperately to loosen the zipper and release yourself??
… yeah. Me neither.
Well, something similar happened the other day when I announced my shiny new niche. I said, “I specialize in writing daily emails for people in the personal development industry.”
One of my email subscribers, MC, said that it doesn’t sound like me. He said, “It seems like you’re scaling back somehow (and maybe that’s what you’re trying to do).”
Before I go deeper into the feedback that he gave me and how I used that to revise my niche, I want to let you know why I felt it necessary to choose a narrow niche. Because I believe doing so can make it easier for me (and you… so pay attention) to market your business.
Many of my business mentors have given me the same piece of advice: Specialize and choose a target market. Doing those two things makes it possible for you to be the expert in your field, and it also makes it easier and more affordable to reach your ideal clients.
Joshua Boswell is a copywriter and coach who described a good target market as a group of people who are 1) easy to find… there are online groups, mailing lists, associations, etc. 2) they are interested in the products or services that you sell and 3) they have the money to pay your full price.
A wonderful thing happens when you identify this target market. You know where they are. You can start to create a mailing list. You can research their needs and find out how to talk to them. You can learn how to speak their language.
All those things make it exponentially easier to sell.
Ans while I’m already questioning whether “personal development” is the RIGHT target market, I’ll tell you how choosing a group might help me (and anyone else who cares to try) find clients.
OK. In the personal development niche, the first question I have to ask before I can find a client is “what kind of person am I looking for?”
One possibility is an author of a personal development book. An author could use my help because I could write an email series selling the book to people who opt into their list. I’ve seen authors in this industry hire copywriters like me. It’s only a question of finding them and attracting out the ones who can afford my services.
Once I have a direction, it was easy to go onto Facebook and search for groups of self-development authors discussing their books, how to market those books and get the word out about them. BINGO. All I have to do is get to know them and make an offer that would be appealing to them.
It is a step in the right direction, to say the least. Because without identifying a group, you’re staring into a sea of prospects… and you’re standing there chasing your own tail.
MC didn’t think that my niche sounded like me, though, and so I had to ask how he would describe what I do. (I got to say, I really appreciated the feedback. It’s hard to describe what you do, especially when you’re not sure how others perceive you.) He said: “Wordsmith and publicity guru for small businesses.”
I told him that I’ve been getting a little stressed out, and spread too thin. But he didn’t see it as a lack of focus, but rather a strength. “You are the type of person who wears many hats, so to speak. You don’t fit into the so-called experts’ categories, and that’s okay (I think). I have watched you expand your influence in this town, greatly, during the past two years. You take new things on and actually do them, which says a lot about you as a person.”
Well, shoot, now I’m blushing…
But after hearing that it seemed like a good idea to expand it to “personal and business growth.”
So to make a long story short, I’m still tweaking things. But I want you to see the value of narrowing it down. Doing that makes it easier to move forward with your marketing. It makes it possible to buy more targeted ads and write something that hits home. It makes it possible to create a mailing list full of people who will respond to your message. It instantly turns overwhelming marketing ideas into doable tasks.
Feel free to call me if you want help narrowing down your niche… or if you want to add your two cents on how I should narrow down mine.