How to Scratch Your Niche (And Attract More Clients)
You already know that focusing your self-marketing efforts on a niche market is a good idea.
Things happen faster.
By promoting your services to a smaller group of prospective clients, you become known to that group a lot sooner. You get on their radar screens — and stay there. That's why my friend, Victoria, does so well. She's active in her local chapter of the American Marketing Association (a niche) and has become the go-to copywriter for its 220 members.
But once you've chosen a niche, what do you do next?
It's not enough to just hang a shingle and say, "I'm the copywriting king of the industrial valves industry."
There are three things you need to find out first, before you can succeed in, and eventually dominate, a niche market.
1. Find out where they gather
The best niche markets are made up of people who "meet" in some way. This could be at live meetings and events or in online forums (or both).
Let's say, for example, that your niche is the fundraising industry. Good news! Fundraisers meet all the time at numerous venues, such as The Association of Fundraising Executives. So you'll want to attend the meetings, contribute to the newsletters, volunteer, be a guest speaker, you get the idea.
2. Find out what they read
Every niche market has at least one magazine, newsletter, e-zine, blog, or other publication that everyone in it reads. Often, there's more than one.
You need to find out what these publications are — and read them.
These publications will help you understand the specific problems people in your niche market face, and how your writing services will be able to assist them.
In addition, you'll want to find out how to get into these publications. How do you get interviewed for an upcoming story? How do you contribute an article?
Getting your name into niche publications is one of the best ways to become known to the potential clients.
3. Find out who the players are
Every niche market has organizations and professionals that seem to dominate it. For example, in the world of business consulting for graphic design firms, there's Michael Huggins, Emily Cohen, and Cameron Foote, to name a few. There are also several companies and other organizations that are influential in that space.
Why do you need to get to know the players? Because they can be an excellent source of leads, referrals, partnerships, and other opportunities. Ultimately, you want to become a "player" yourself.
It even pays to become friendly with other writers — your competitors! — in the niche. I'm currently planning an audio program with a colleague (another copywriter) targeting a market we're both very active in.
The whole idea is to be seen and read by the people in your chosen niche. The more often that happens, the more clients will come knocking at your door.