Are You Niched Too Tight?
By Anne Marie Baugh
Niche Marketing: Niche marketing was the hot marketing strategy of recent years, and it worked. But to survive in today's economy, you may need to expand your markets and explore other niches.
The hot marketing strategy of 2001 was niche marketing. A buzzword that vibrated across the Internet for two solid years and proved to be a strategy that worked. However, as with all things, times change. In 2002 if you are niched in too tight, it may hurt or even fatally wound your business. Because environments change so do marketing strategies. Now is the time to widen your peripheral vision and begin to market to other niches.
As an example, many webmasters found success two years ago by specializing in a specific industry, say aviation. They became experts in that industry lingo, needs, and specialties which helped them to provide the best service for those types of professionals. However, it certainly goes without saying that a webmaster that has been niched into a specific industry couldn’t now open his services to a secondary niche group and become just as proficient. This is the value of diversifying your revenue stream.
Diversifying your revenue stream allows you to create tremendous stability for your business for obvious reasons. You will not be depending on one industry for income, which is smart business for long-term success. The fact is that every industry has its cycle. It may be four years up and four years down. If you don’t want to be stuck on their economic roller coaster, it’s time to seek out new adventures to explore.
Additionally, consider ways to expand your services or products. For instance where information was once freely handed out on the Internet, many sites are now opting toward membership sites. It makes sense, not just for the current economy but simply because your expertise is valuable. Service related businesses are now offering their services along with membership options to resource areas as part of their overall package. This type of diversification not only brings in regular customers for your standard services but repeat clients through the membership model. This stabilizes your entire financial picture.
If you are truly resourceful, which is imperative in running a business, you will learn to open your niche market to other avenues while widening your service venues as well. This builds a rock solid foundation in any national economical situation.
The key to making these tools work is creativity. You literally must step out of the box that we all put ourselves into, and build a plan that incorporates the wider vision. Planning takes research. Make a list of your number one competitors and spend time visiting their websites. Take notes of what they are providing that you are not and what they may be providing that could be expanded upon. Look at other niche providers in your industry to see what industries they have ventured into that maybe of interest to you. Once you have established which industry you want to venture into, make yourself known through their industry trade journals with helpful, informational articles that will pull them into your website.
It’s not that niche marketing isn’t still in, it’s that niches can easily be expanded to diversify your market and stabilize your business. Don’t quit niche marketing; just don’t get niched in so tight you can’t see the bigger picture.