Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Who Are Your Markets?

I know a lot has been said about niche marketing. For some people, it's really easy to specialize. For others, specialization is a difficult beast.

Personally, I'm a generalist at heart--but I really like to think of myself as more of a Renaissance woman. Many people believe the old adage "jack of all trades, master of none." I don't. I believe that having a diverse skill set is a good thing--because certain skills inform other skills. As a writer, my online sales writing is better since I learned how to write for direct mail--I better understand basic sales writing concepts that can work in both areas. I feel my understanding of SEO is informed by social marketing. Both are subspecialties of web marketing, but you get the idea.

But everyone knows specailists make more--and they also have an easier way to differentiate themselves and select businesses to market to. I need to narrow down my marketing efforts as well--so here the several niches I'm targeting.

Web designers. Web designers often have clients who need writing, and some of them want to expand and offer writing services as well--if they could only find the right writing partner. The trick here is to find a designer whose business model matches yours. Look for a web designer who serves businesses with larger budgets--don't bother applying to those "website for $199" template shops. Look for designers with rather marketing-savvy clients who understand the need for copywriting. To them, I'm marketing myself as a web writer who understands both writing to sell and SEO.

Recruiters. I got a tip-off from a pro resume writer I knew to try marketing to recruiters--according to him, some independent recruiters rely on resume writers to make their candidates look appealing to client companies, who may pay them only if their candidate gets hired. I've heard back from a few recruiters who say they wouldn't use a resume writer, but then again they worked directly for companies instead of freelancing. I've just done a big mailing to a group of recruiters in my area--so we'll see. Here, my pitch is that I'm a professional resume writer with over 95% success in getting clients the interview within the first 30 days.

Law marketing firms and law firms. I'm partnering with a writer who just happens to be a lawyer--so that gives my company a unique qualification to write for law firms. I'm looking forward to seeing how I might be able to break into this market.

Who are you targeting--and how do you position yourself?


Kimberly Ben said...

I've been toying with the idea of specializing in real estate since I used to be a real estate account rep and tab coordinator at my old newspaper job. I know, I know: the industry is really suffering right now, but I've noticed some brokers and agents in my area looking for writers to help them integrate online marketing and social networking into their marketing campaigns. Beside, now might be a good time to get my foot in the door.

Jennifer Williamson said...

Why not give it a shot? I've been toying with the idea of specializing in writing for law firms as well since I'm bringing on a partner with a law degree. Send out some letters and see what happens!

Lori said...

Ooo! LOVE the recruiter idea! It's a great way to transfer these resume skills. ;)

Lori said...

Oh, to answer your question - I target people in insurance, finance, and risk management. I get these industries, so I reach out to corporations (risk management), insurance companies and brokers, and people who specialize in finance areas, such as investment advisors. If I get what they do, they feel a bit better about hiring me.

Devon Ellington said...

Quite frankly, the fact that I'm a generalist meant I wasn't hit as hard by the recession as a lot of specialists I knew. Their work dried up; mine didn't.

I go after whatever interests me. And get paid for it.

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Myric said...

My market is entertainment, specifically those of us who work behind the scenes (editors, graphic artists, tech support, etc). My writing work in the biz has always been part-time, since (until my recent layoff!) I've been a full time behind the scenes person as well.

For me, three to six big writing projects a year make for some nice extra cash, good networking as I research and a chance to keep my name on people's minds around town. My articles have landed me both more writing work as well as work in my usual post-production field, so they're often paying me twice, which is awesome!

Though now that I have nothing but time, I might try to pick up another project or two to keep me working until after the holidays.