The Power Of Niche
- June 23, 2014
- Posted by: Rochelle
- Category: Niching, Personal Brand
I’ve heard all the arguments against “niching”—creating a specialty area of expertise and building a highly engaged audience around it.
“Niching feels like career suicide.”
“I’ve tried it more than once and I just can’t get enough traction to make it work financially.”
“I like the idea, but just can’t envision focusing on one thing—I think I’d go mad.”
And yet some of the very same people who made those statements not only went on to niche, but enjoyed immediate results from their focus. One PR expert who struggled to nail down one client in three months signed contracts with four in a week after changing her message and her methods.
But don’t just take my word for it.
A recent study by Hinge Marketing found that local experts who created a successful niche bill 2-3 times more an hour than their peers. Rising national stars command 4 times as much as the local guy. Industry and global rock stars? Their hourly rates soar to 7-13 times higher than their counterparts.
Would doubling or quadrupling your rates (never mind by a factor of 13) change your work and your life?
Know that we’re not just talking about revenue here, although that’s plenty compelling. Niching can dramatically simplify your marketing, selling—even your media outreach.
Case in point: When I met “Frank”, he had just published his second book on a similar theme. He had respectable book sales, but wanted to grow his speaking business, which consisted primarily of one-off engagements for $500 here and there.
Our first mission: zero in on his exact brand/expertise and start crafting consistent, focused messaging and content around his theme.
Our second step: pitch his three to four monthly articles to several premium media outlets to get fast, broad distribution to his target audience (we also built his email list by reposting his industry articles and creating subscriber-only add-ons). We said no to media requests that were off-point and after about 12 months morphed from pitching media to fielding frequent media requests.
Our third decision: maintain a consistent, rational approach to speaking gigs and consulting fees. We worked out a speaking strategy and gradually raised fees—we put a stop to those $500 speeches. Two years later his going rate is $15,000 a pop. And, we developed a consulting business model that delivers an average $1,000/billable hour in fees. His revenue went off the charts—up by a factor of 5 after 18 months.
You can do this too.
It starts with a (small) leap of faith. The belief that you can GROW your influence, your impact and your revenue by STRATEGICALLY NARROWING your audience, your specialty and your sweet-spot.
Side benefit? You get to do what you love with people who value you. You make a real, measurable difference, have some fun and earn what you’re worth.
What could be better than that?
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