3 Big Bodacious Benefits
of Niche Marketing Your Writing Business
“Resistance is futile.”
I love that line from Star Trek, spoken by the evil Borg to their Federation adversaries.
It reminds me that I once resisted choosing a niche market for my web copywriting business. But when I finally followed that advice, I attracted more clients, more regular work, a steadier income, and projects I truly enjoyed.
A niche market is nothing more than a particular industry or type of business. For example:
- Green/eco home goods
- Commercial construction
- Baby products market
- Senior healthcare market
- Education market (colleges and universities)
- Home repair and renovation market (fewer people moving)
- Home cleaning and other family services
- Sports and video gaming
- Jobs market
- Solar/alternative energy market
- Commercial or residential furniture market
- And so on
And although it seems counterintuitive, narrowing the type of clients you’ll work with can actually make you more successful.
I resisted choosing a niche market for three years or so because I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough work in any one market. I was afraid of limiting my potential success. And I thought the only viable niches out there were alternative health, financial newsletters, or self-help, which didn’t excite me.
Not to say those aren’t great markets for writers who like those topics, but they’re not for me.
So instead of focusing on one business category, I stood my ground as a web copywriter ready to work for any business that happened to come my way.
Therefore, I couldn’t see all the major advantages of choosing a niche market.
The problem was – it wasn’t working.
Being a web copywriting specialist wasn’t enough because there are lots of talented web copywriters out there. So it was nearly impossible for me to stand out in that crowd and attract great work on a steady basis.
But then I found that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of niches out there. And once I found the niche that best fit me, the pet industry, and positioned my services with 100% conviction … my success accelerated.
That’s because the pet industry is booming – with thousands of companies who need help with their marketing. But to be certain it was a good way to go, I investigated the strength of this industry to make sure it was a “hot,” growing market despite the wacky economy.
The web had all kinds of articles and information about this growing field and how much pet owners are spending these days. (A ton.) And on Monster.com, I found that pet companies are hiring, even today.
I also used all my AWAI resources to pull together a marketing plan for myself; a plan that was 100% focused on the pet industry. And while I still worked on web projects for a wide range of clients/industries (I rarely turn projects down) …
… within about 7 weeks of announcing my niche market focus to the world, I got more clients, more money, and more work that was FUN!
This is entirely possible for you too … once you establish yourself as a specialist or expert in a certain niche industry that you’ll enjoy. Here’s why.
1. Great clients will find you!
Once you stand out as a writer in a specific field or industry, you might be the only one who shows up on the radar at trade shows, business meetings, and even in your referral network. For example, let’s say you’re a fitness writer and you’re helping a local gym with their marketing materials. That gym refers you to a colleague running a gym in another town. You’ll be an instant hit!
Plus, in Google, when a client searches for someone with your skills, you may be the only writer that suits their needs. Yes, the only one … or one of just a few.
Let me explain.
If you’re a direct-mail copywriting generalist (for example), when someone types “direct mail copywriter” into Google, dozens if not hundreds of qualified direct mail writers show up in the results.
It’s very hard for you to stand apart from them, and you may end up on page 67 of the search results. That equals invisible, I’m afraid.
Now, let’s say you’re a writer for the alternative energy industry, and a marketer from that kind of company types “alternative energy writer” into Google.
This time, only one or two qualified writers show up in the results. (I looked.) This means there’s a terrific chance you could be in the top results in Google!
Instead of being lost in a giant sea of writers, you’ll get noticed by great prospects.
And as I mentioned above, aside from Google, when a potential client asks industry colleagues for writer recommendations … your name might be the only one that comes up.
See the golden opportunity here?
Once I focused on my niche market (the pet industry), I was being found and approached by marketers from fantastic companies I didn’t even know existed.
No more hunting for good prospects … they find ME.
This can happen for you too once you find your niche.
2. Clients will value you as a peer (and pay for that value)!
If you’re bouncing around as a general writer working for a wide range of industries, it could take time to build a strong portfolio in any one industry. This means it can be difficult to show clients a sample that’s relevant to them.
But if your marketing materials indicate that you serve a specific niche market and have a background and passion for that market … your prospects will be RELIEVED and THRILLED.
Everything about you will be relevant – and exciting. Here’s what they’ll think to themselves:
- “Wow, this person understands my industry!”
- “I won’t have to educate this writer about my target audience, competition, etc.”
- “Here’s someone who knows about the jargon we use.”
- “I can partner with a writer who’s a peer, not someone we need to bring up to speed.”
- “This person speaks my language.”
- “This writer knows about the challenges of our market today.”
This is called Instant Credibility.
Clients place a high value on someone who already knows their market. Your samples, client names, testimonials, referrals, association memberships, and other indicators will show you truly ARE the most experienced and knowledgeable writer in that industry.
Your niche experience will break down barriers for the client, removing concerns about hiring you as an “unknown.”
That’s what happens to me. For example, new clients tell me, “I’m so glad you know about veterinary diagnostics,” or “You weren’t the cheapest, but we chose you because you’re the only copywriter who understands pet owners and their needs.”
All it took to get this kind of instant credibility with prospective clients was to position myself as an industry insider, showing that I work side by side in their trenches.
As a result, I’m respected and valued for my relevant background in their world.
You can do this too in an industry you enjoy … and reap the rewards.
3. Your work will be interesting and fun, in addition to being lucrative!
If you’re immersed in an industry you truly enjoy, you’ll end up working with a variety of clients who need you to conduct industry research, look at marketing trends, evaluate what the competition is doing, write about various topics in that field, etc.
Because you’re interested in the topic, this won’t seem as much like work.
For example, if you specialize in the gardening and landscaping industry, you’ll be immersed in the gardening world.
You’ll be focused on projects for businesses that sell gardening supplies, offer garden tours, promote gardening travel adventures, provide gardening lesson books, articles, videos, and programs, provide landscaping services or “how to” materials, etc.
You may end up attending special gardening industry trade shows, conferences, and other events.
You’ll subscribe to gardening magazines or online sites that focus on that industry. And you’ll read gardening books and websites to continue gaining industry knowledge.
If you’re into gardening, that sounds like fun, yes?
That’s what I do in the pet industry. Every project is a complete joy to me, and I enjoy learning something new every day.
Here are two examples that illustrate how a niche focus can help you enormously.
Roy Furr is a direct-response copywriter who really wanted to break into the financial newsletters market.
He started approaching financial publishers, and he’s an excellent writer, but he didn’t have any financial samples.
The clients he was hoping to work with were repeatedly overlooking him.
In a recent AWAI article, he explained how he made it his mission to find a financial newsletter client, write a great sample, and be able to say, "Yes, I've written a financial promo. I'm part of your niche."
Once this happened, suddenly he had an “in” with the financial publishing clients he wanted to work with.
He said, “Now that I’m in their industry, it gives me credibility to do projects with them. In fact, because I'd done that one promotion, they were taking me seriously enough that they wanted to snag me up for $16,000 in projects!”
He attributes this positive shift to:
- Making the decision to start working in the niche, whatever it would take
- Proving that he could do work in the niche
- Focusing and then doing what it took to start moving in the direction he wanted to move in.
Eddie Adelman is a direct-response and web copywriter … but recently he realized his true passion is telling stories.
He’d like to focus his writing specialty on professional storytelling.
But what is his niche market? Who exactly is he telling stories FOR?
Based on his passion and his past experience as a screenplay writer, he discovered an exciting, very specific niche for himself: writing life stories for people who want to capture their personal histories in a book, CD, or both.
Eddie knows exactly what his clients want at the deepest level: to create a personal recording of a life, and leave it as a treasured legacy for family members.
Wow, that’s a pretty specific niche market.
And here’s where it becomes a powerful focus for Eddie.
Every day, Eddie knows who he’s promoting himself to. His website and other promotional materials are focused on that single desire of his prospective clients: to create a lasting legacy through a life story.
And he knows how to set himself apart from other life story writers because of his unique background and interview style.
This specific niche market focus makes Eddie’s self-promotion efforts super easy. He isn’t distracted by trying to determine who his ideal clients are or what they need. He knows exactly.
Wouldn’t you love to have that kind of certainty about your prospective clients and what they need from you? And bonus … doesn’t it sound like more fun to know you can deliver what your clients need?
As a niche-focused writer …
You’ll be diving into a business world that feeds your soul.
You’ll be attracting fun, rewarding work.
And you’ll be getting paid to do work you love.
How to Choose Your Writing Niche – Your step-by-step blueprint for finding a niche that’s right for you
Need to pick a niche for your freelance business? Learn how to do it once and for all, and watch your business grow. Learn More »