“Often, their best chance for success comes from striking out on their own, finding a small market niche, and filling it more cheaply and sensibly than older-run businesses…”
William Strauss & Neil Row in Generations
Last week, I highlighted the importance of fresh content in your website ranking in Google. But let’s take a step back to what the fresh content should be around. Content needs to be built around a well-defined niche. I tell this to my clients over and over. Your website will never rank for consulting work in Missouri. But you’ll probably rank high for consulting work for medium-sized food banks servicing downtown St. Louis.
It seems counterintuitive to target a smaller audience, but if you become known for servicing a unique niche, it will help people needing that exact service to find you. You can always expand later, but once you’ve built a strong presence for a particular niche, you’ll have a greater chance at success.
In my 20s, I used to go to networking events and tell people I was looking for a job in international business. That usually ended the conversation. Later, I began attending networking events telling people that I wanted to help U.S.A. music bands do concerts in a specific Latin American country. This was still a very broad idea. I could have narrowed it down even further to helping 80’s hair bands meet their fans in Santiago, Chile.
What I found out in better defining my niche is that people want to help you when you have a defined plan. When I shared helping U.S.A. bands go to Latin America, I would hear things like – Oh, you should talk to my uncle, he’s in the music industry. Or, you should talk to this person about travel logistics.
The same idea applies online. The further you go down into your niche of service offering, location, and target client, the better time you will have ranking high for your unique niche and skill set. It’s scary at first, but it’s the surefire way to get noticed.