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Niching down...WAY down (with help from the Partridge Family)

Issue #137—August 25, 2021 I've been taking some time away from work to focus on a number of family-related matters. At the forefront of them is my 95-year-old father-in-law, who as of Monday, was given a 72-hour window to live. However, we are now near the end of that window, and he's still hanging in there. He truly is a warrior...a World War II veteran and Bronze Star recipient, no less. In any case, I appreciate all of the kind and supportive messages I've received over the past several days. But, as promised, I keep wanting to share my latest insights with you. Hence, today's issue! And today I'm talking about niching down...niching WAY down... This is one of the questions I often get asked, especially by copywriters who are just starting out. Should I "niche"? Which niche should I choose? etc etc... It's not just copywriters for whom "niching" can provide opportunities. Consultants, designers, and business/offer owners can all profit (and gain greater enjoyment and fulfillment) by niching down to a more targeted audience. I first learned this lesson at the age of 10: there's an audience for anything, however narrow. My friends and I had decided to put on a "concert" in one of my pals' basement. It was a mock Partridge Family band show. We each played a different character in the band. And I was David Cassidy, the lead singer. We played a record in the background while we lip-synced the words and mock-played instruments on our homemade stage. And in the audience we had at least a dozen 5 to 10-year-old neighborhood kids who actually ponied up 5 cents a head to watch us do so. So that proves there's a paying audience or "niche" for just about anything! (Next time you see me at an event, ask me for my rendition of "I Think I Love You"...I still know the words!)

My advice to copywriters is that it can definitely pay to specialize in a particular niche (or niches). However, there are pros and cons to doing so. If you're just starting out and are simply trying to get enough work to build a portfolio (and pay the bills), you don't want to just limit yourself to a particular niche. You want to keep your schedule full with paying clients. And working on a wide variety of projects when you're starting out can teach you many valuable lessons that you wouldn't get if you just worked on the same type of project again and again. I think it can help you develop your copywriting skills faster. At some point, you may get "known" for getting some big wins in specific niches...and more similar types of projects will naturally follow. A lot of time it's an organic process versus something intentional. At the same time, the same copywriting skills that have helped you be successful writing for one direct response niche (say, supplements) are completely applicable to other niches (like financial or skin care). The fact that you have some experience and depth in a particular niche will make you more attractive to clients. You'll also be able to charge higher fees (and in some cases, royalties). At the same time, if you get some winners in a few "hot" niches, your opportunities automatically expand to a wider field of potential clients. It can also keep you from suffering burn-out. I've been in the situation of facing my 7th or 8th supplement promo in a row and wanting to pull my hair out. I think it's good to bring in the occasional "wild card" project to keep things fresh and interesting. It's one reason in recent years I've strayed into writing copy not just for health and supplements, but financial (after a long time away from it), a scholarship program for college students, a high-end air purifier, and a taste-enhancing product for cancer patients. To sum up, NOT niching can keep things interesting and plenty of work coming in...but on the other hand, being seen as a specialist within a specific niche can bring with it benefits as well. So if you can, why not do both? (It's worked well for me!) For consultants, it's a bit of a different game. The way to ensure you stand out is to assess your own unique capabilities i.e., USP, match them with a pain point in the market for which there is not enough good competing solutions, and then find your opportunity or "niche" that way. An example might be a guy I know who puts himself out there as a fractional Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for companies who need short-term help and/or can't afford to hire a full-time person at his level. And for offer owners, it's clear that in this big giant world and worldwide web, there's a market for just about anything. The more you can pinpoint WHO that target prospect or avatar is and direct your copy and solution to uniquely solving that unmet need or desire, the more successful you'll be. Heck, it worked for me to fill up my friend's basement with paying mock-Partridge Family band customers! Yours for smarter marketing, Kim P.S. Have you decided to focus on a niche? Or not? Let me know your thoughts by clicking the link below and leaving a comment...it will take you to a similar LinkedIn post I did on this topic (or simply leave a "like" or "love"...or a "think I love" lol...)


To niche or NOT to niche...your thoughts?

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