Finding your niche

Whenever I think about creating a marketing niche, I think of the song “Who are you?” by Pete Townsend, popularized on CSI.
Knowing who you are, and what kind of writing business you want to create is an essential first step in starting your writing business. It’s about creating a writing “niche.” So what’s a niche?

A niche is defined by wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) as “a narrowly defined group of potential customers.” It’s also described as a focused section of a larger market which can be targeted by advertising. The idea is that if you can define your market more specifically, it will help you determine how to advertise to that market. If your market for writing services is publications for young adults who are active in sports, then you will be able to figure out what types of advertising would work best to reach them. The more specifically you define your niche, the less wasted advertising you have trying to reach people who you’re not interested in serving. In other words, niche marketing is more effective in bringing in clients and less costly than trying to market to everyone.

For example, look at gift baskets. This is a huge industry, with many competitors in a local market. How does one local gift basket company stand out from others? What makes it unique? How about fruit baskets for health-conscious givers? How about diabetic gift baskets? How about pet gift baskets (the pet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry)? If you get this idea, then you understand niche marketing.

In contrast to niche marketing is mass marketing, where you reach out to everyone. Yellow Pages ads are mass marketing, and advertising on TV is also mass marketing, because you can’t control who will see your ad, assuming you’re writing for a local market. If you are advertising nationally with no specific message other than, “here I am,” that’s mass marketing. In other words, mass marketing creates a lot of waste (meaning advertising dollars spent on people who won’t ever be patients.)

Of course, as you start your writing business you may not be too picky about types of clients, but you’ll soon develop preferences and you will rule out certain types of clients or writing assignments. The key is to continue to refine your niche as you go along to the kinds of clients you want to work with, and the message you want to create. Then you can do a better job of targeting your advertising and promotion efforts to these people.

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