July 11, 2017
“How did you pick your niche?”
Earlier this year, I took my own advice and focused the marketing for my mobile consulting business (i.e., jonathanstark.com) down to a specific target market (i.e., credit unions).
The “word of mouth” benefits of this were immediately apparent. As soon as I made the change, I had multiple people offer to help me out by sharing their direct experience with credit unions, or introducing me to their contacts at credit unions, or sending me breaking news articles relevant to mobile technology and credit unions.
These sorts of things continue months later, with zero effort on my part. I simply changed the messaging on my site.
When I share this story with people, the top question I get is:
Q: “What led you to choosing credit unions as your niche?”
A: I basically just picked them out of a hat. I had a couple of recent clients in the credit union space so I had a little experience and a few contacts. I could have just as easily picked mainstream media brands, the photography businesses, or the travel industry. I have a fair amount of experience in those as well.
Credit unions have a unique combination of attributes that swung me in their direction:
- I like the type of employees that credit unions tend to attract (they’re like the hippies of the banking industry 😊 )
- I believe in the basic mission and concept of the credit union movement
- I have a strong interest in the intersection of money and technology
- They know that they are at risk of disruption, like newspapers and taxis
- The regulatory environment offers some interesting constraints
- Their mission, strategy, and financials are all public
So, mostly personal reasons. Your reasons for choosing a vertical market would be different but perhaps just as personal.
My point in sharing these is to illustrate that I didn’t use some magic formula. I didn’t exhaustively research every potential market and ruthlessly whittle down my choices until I had identified the perfect vertical that would make me rich beyond my wildest dreams.
If you’re not sure what to pick, just pick something you’re passionate about. Picking something - almost anything - is better than not picking at all.
P.S. Still not sure what vertical to pick? This one of the things I work through with folks in my mentoring program. Learn more here: https://jonathanstark.com/mentoring