Last Updated on July 30, 2018
If you run a digital marketing firm, then you’ve probably received the advice at one point or another that it is best if you pick a niche to focus on.
How do you pick a niche? Is it really necessary? Do you have to stick to your niche forever?
Honestly what are the benefits of picking a niche? Is one niche better than another?
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These are all likely questions you will have likely asked if you ever considered focusing on one niche or another.
Perhaps you have even more questions than this! If so feel free to email me mknorr (at) thatcompany.com once you finish reading this. Happy to help!
Shall we dive in? Let’s start.
How do you pick a niche?
What are you good at? What are you passionate about? What can you get paid to do?
These are the three guiding questions often referenced when determining what kind of business you should get into.
If you saw a Venn diagram you want something at the center of all 3 of those otherwise you’re headed for trouble.
So what are you good at?
Do you have experience in a particular industry? Do you know the ins and outs of how to running an accounting firm?
Will that be a value add to your customer? Does that help differentiate you from your competition?
I prefer to think with an abundance mindset, so it’s less about beating someone else, and more about making sure you provide the best in class service possible, because why do something if it’s not going to be excellent?
Next, what are you passionate about?
Who cares if you have experience if you’re going to dread getting up every morning to help a client work on their business!
What does your mind think about regularly? What are you reading lately? What could you talk about for hours and hours? Passion is important to any niche selection.
Now, what can you get paid to do?
Perhaps a better question for you might be “what can you get paid WELL to do?
If you are passionate and have experience in an industry that is simply outdated and isn’t doing digital marketing it might be hard for your organization to stay in business!
Is picking a niche really necessary? How did That Company pick a niche?
At first we picked the new home construction industry as that was our Founder, Ken Knorr’s, background.
He was a VP of Operations for a large retirement home community builder in central Florida for many years, so it made logical sense.
That was until the market crashed in 2008…. We had just started in 2007… Pivot time!
So even if you pick the right niche sometimes you have to change with the times.
I can tell you after that pivot we took anything that came our way, and ignored the logic of picking a niche.
Was that good? Maybe, I mean we survived right? We really started to thrive much later.
Could we be in a better place having picked a niche? Maybe.
Instead of going niche specific we ended up becoming service specific.
We focused on Digital Marketing – PPC, SEO, and Social Media Marketing and we started to dominate (thanks also to a few acquisitions such as SEOCompany.com and PPCManagement.com).
So in short picking a niche may not be entirely necessary, but just because we didn’t doesn’t mean you couldn’t get a leg up and grow faster by doing so.
As you can tell the “do you have to stick to a niche forever” there may come a time where you expand past your industry, but it can be a good launching platform.
When I think of picking a niche I don’t think just in terms of industry.
I consider focusing on geography as picking your niche, or focusing on a particular service and becoming really good at that service as picking a niche.
Honestly I probably should replace the word “niche” with picking a “specialty” in those instances.
All a customer cares about is picking the best of the best.
Some customers are oriented to picking a local agency so they can meet you in person (if you plan on white labeling and using an outsource firm maybe not the best option).
Some customers just want to know that you’re the best in your field.
Perhaps you’re best at being an amazing Brand Development firm, or the best at Lead generation Website Development for insurance agents, or you know how to manage tricky e-commerce platforms integrations.
All that really matters is you discover your “super power” and you leverage that. For any new agency being able to talk the talk and walk the walk is the most important part.
So what are the benefits of picking a niche?
- You’re able to specifically brand yourself as an expert in that particular field, service line, geography, etc. This adds to your unique selling proposition which in the beginning is incredibly important.
- If you focus on a particular industry that has a lot of geography bound customers, then you can replicate your proven process over and over and over increasing your efficiency, profitability, retention, customer satisfaction, etc.
- Once you have built a system of success you can create case studies (increasing your unique selling proposition with social proof).
- You gain references that are very valuable for your next customer to talk to. We’ve used raving fan references from customers that literally gushed so much they closed the deal for us. Having Raving fans is incredibly valuable!
- By being focused you can more easily train your team members and ensure regular success for each new customer you bring on.
Now, for the biggest question of them all is one industry better than another?
If you’re asking this question you’re likely focused on the financial aspect as your key motivator. Please don’t do that.
Yes, we all want to make millions, but picking something you have experience in and are passionate I would weight more heavily.
We only live one life. Whatever you do decide to do. Don’t do it just for the money.
Figure out the other two and if you can get paid doing it, then that’s good enough.
Don’t try to figure out which industry out there will pay you the most. Just figure out the other parts, and you’ll be more satisfied.
If you really want to know what industry I do believe to be the most profitable you can introduce yourself and ask via email – mknorr (at) thatcompany.com.
Again… In my humble professional opinion the answer I give may not be the most successful for you.
Experience and Passion are King! Prospects can tell when you have that extra spark that really makes you different and worth hiring.
I wish you the best of luck as you pick your niche/specialty and dominate the world!
If during your journey you need to scale, and need a fantastic white label provider that can take care of the headaches as you grow your business then we’d love to chat! That Company has built a culture of success and our people work hard to make you and your clients successful. Chat soon!
By: Michael Knorr, VP Marketing & Sales