Like any self-respecting comedy fan, I adore Amy Schumer. Her movie, Trainwreck, has done well at the box office and the critics almost unanimously praise it.
In case you’re not familiar, this movie is a story of an unapologetic promiscuous, alcohol-swilling woman who finally falls in love. Although she doesn’t sound like it from that description, Amy’s a very feminist comedian.
She’s even more stridently so in her TV show, Inside Amy Schumer. In the midst of all her comedy, she tucks in some pretty scathing social commentary.
Mainly about men! How they incessantly judge women on their looks, how they treat women like objects, etc.
You’d think this would be a dangerous strategy for an unknown comedian trying to grow her fan base. You’d think a comedian would worry about alienating an entire half of her audience and entire gender — all men!
But she fearlessly does just that, and with incredible success!
Not only is she the most famous female comedian right now…she’s arguably the most famous comedian of 2015 overall!
By picking one authentic voice and theme and staying to true it, Amy has made a name for herself and has completely triumphed. She never panders to men to get them to like her more.
(Interesting note: Men really love her anyway. One particularly epic episode of her TV show starred esteemed actors like Paul Giamatti and Jeff Goldblum. Seems everyone wants to work with Amy!)
Why am I telling you all this? Because her success actually reminds me of niche marketing — and how scared so many business owners are to try it.
It seems counter-intuitive and even like “business suicide” to purposely narrow your potential market. Shouldn’t we all be trying to get as many people as possible to buy our goods and services?
No! When you try to be everything to everyone, you dilute your marketing efforts drastically. You’ll end up making an anemic impact and you’ll end up being nothing to no one. It’s okay to niche. It’s better than okay…it’s smart!
Here are a few compelling reasons to consider finding a niche and marketing to it.
1. No More Spreading Your Efforts Too Thin
When you narrow your focus, you are taking the guesswork out of who you are marketing to. No more throwing your net wide and hoping against hope that someone in that big blue sea will notice you.
When you niche your marketing, you will be able to almost literally visualize your customer and talk directly to them, in their language, on their favorite platforms.
2. You Know Where They Are
When you narrow your audience down, you don’t have to guess where they are. You’ll know exactly where they are! You can zoom in on specific social platforms, groups, magazines and communities.
With a little research, you will know exactly where your market’s eyeballs are and you will be able to get in front of them.
Think about it…is it more attainable to get coverage in or to buy an ad in widely-read Time Magazine? Or is it easier to do the same in a smaller trade magazine for a specific industry?
3. You Can Easily Establish Yourself As An Expert
If you try to position yourself as, say, a dog expert, good luck! You will be competing with big names like Cesar Milan and other celebrities.
But if you instead call yourself the “organic dog treat expert” you have a greater chance of being respected as such. The more narrow your niche, the more likely you’ll be to dominate in that space!
4. Less Competition
Not only will there be less competition for that top expert spot, there will be far less competition for the whole market. There will be less competition for SEO keywords, pay per click listings and so much more.
5. Word of Mouth
We all know rabid fans who like to talk about their interests. Fans of something specific (think comic books) tend to find other super fans of the same comic book. Or product or service.
This works in the customer arena as well.
If you attract a very specific kind of customer, chances are they know other potential customers of your product and service and –since you have successfully positioned yourself as an authority in this very specific field – that super fan is more likely to refer their super fan friends to you!
Okay great, so now you understand why it’s a great idea to niche market. So how do you successfully market to your niche? Here are a few must-do tactics:
Blog well and blog often. This goes right back to establishing yourself as an expert. You need to talk to your niche market and demonstrate to them that you really are an authority.
Wondering what to blog about? Easy! Find those trade magazines or special-interest magazines I mentioned before and borrow topic ideas from them.
Or try doing some keyword research with your main keywords and see what other tangential phrases are also getting some search volume. Those can offer a goldmine of potential blog topics.
In fact, if you blog often and include those keywords, you’ll not only be establishing yourself as an expert. You’ll be building keyword-rich content that will help your website rank organically in the future.
Speaking of keywords, to really do niche marketing correctly you must have a pay per click campaign.
As I mentioned earlier, you will enjoy much less competition (especially from the big brands) so really spend some time developing a smart, robust campaign. One you monitor and constantly improve.
It’s a very important facet of niche marketing.
And dive deep when doing your keyword research! Don’t stop at targeting two or three keyword phrases. Instead, find a dozen.
The niche customer is going to be getting very specific with his or her Googling, so make sure you are there when they type in their specific keyword.
Now that you know who makes up your specific market niche, you should have a nice and specific idea of what they would value as a giveaway.
Get creative with your giveaways – they are a great way to introduce yourself to your new target market. And to make them like you and refer you all the more!
What to give? It can be anything, but you’ll get a bigger bang for your buck if your giveaway is related to your product, service or business.
Sure, everyone would love a $50 Visa gift card! But you’re not really communicating to your niche that you “know” them with a generic gift like that.
Not to mention that you’ll attract folks outside your niche (who may never spend a penny with you) with a generically attractive giveaway.
Instead, try giveaways like a free 30 or 60 day trials of your service or free samples of your product line.
A great side effect of giving out free trials or samples is that you are also creating some potentially great new customer testimonials. Great marketing material, great blog post fodder, great social media content!
9. Take Care of Your Niche
Now that you have carefully cultivated your reputation as an expert in your niche and you have attracted super (and super specific) fans to your products or service, you need to take exceptional care of them.
Because you’re more specifically addressing their niche, you are tapping into their passion. And as such, they are going to assume you are just as serious about this niche as they are. They’re going to trust you a lot more than they would a big, generic brand.
To keep them loyal and keep them referring their friends to you, you need to answer their phone calls. Return their emails in a lightning fast manner.
Monitor Twitter for mentions about your company and tweet them back! Be their BFF and they will reward you with loyalty.
So how niched are you? Have you ever tried marketing directly to a specific niche? Did it work? What did you do wrong or what did you do right? If you have never tried it, why not? What’s holding you back? Tell me the comments below!
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