After a career working with direct response agencies, hundreds of diverse clients, and many, many copywriters, I know a thing or two about niches.
One notation: I wish I could offer examples for each of these… but my former students would recognize themselves and kill me!
1. There are hidden niches where there’s very little competition. These hidden niches come to light when a coaching student and I are working on finding the “perfect” niche for him or her. It’s almost always a shock, and it doesn’t happen routinely. But when it does, it’s like hitting the mother lode.
Most copywriters go for the obvious. But if you commit some time, you just might find a niche that has only one or two other copywriters. They’re out there!
2. A vertical niche is easier to work in. In a vertical niche, like software, all of the businesses tend to market the same way. If you know how they market, you can build your website around keywords that are powerful for that niche.
For instance, for software you might list some of your copywriting services as “Webinars,” “White Papers,” and “Case Studies.” When looking for copywriters, marketing directors tend to use keywords that describe the project they need immediate help with. Specificity wins!
3. You can create your own niche. This one is tricky but it can be done. It does require a decent amount of research. To make this work you have to find a segment of the market that is under-served, but that already exists. This seems similar to #1 — hidden niches — but it isn’t. This one is about using your creativity to imagine a niche that would match well with your talents and experience, and then see if it exists.
4. You can become the guru in an emerging niche. Some people “see things coming” and get out there before others. I’ve done this myself quite a few times, and the advantage has always been huge.
If you actively cultivate a habit of looking ahead and seeing opportunities before others do, you can also recognize when new niching opportunities are about to hit. Not only can you clean up with the amount of work you can cull from such watershed moments, but it’s easy to position yourself as the “expert” in that niche. First mover advantage!
5. You can sometimes match your niche to your passions. Marketing directors and business owners are in love with their niche, and if you can convincingly demonstrate your passion, it can often make up for a lack of experience.
Most copywriters feel they have to match their niche to their past work experience. And that does work best. But if you have a passion, and you can deftly convey your infectious enthusiasm, it can definitely win you the business.
6. Local is good. Most copywriters don’t want to waste time attending on site meetings. But everyone wants what they can’t have, and clients love it when copywriters say they want to be “part of the team.”
If you’re just starting out, it is a great advantage to let the potential client know that you’re willing — even enthused — about coming down to the office. In fact, targeting local (as long as you have the right local prospects), is a great way to get your business off the ground.
7. The self-improvement niche is not that good. There are niches that are traditionally lucrative for copywriters. The most famous are health, financial, bizzop (business opportunities), and self-improvement.
Copywriters are, by nature, “learning nuts.” many copywriters really love the idea of working in the self-improvement niche. But it’s not that good. There are only a few large companies in this niche with decent budgets; the rest are very small businesses with paltry budgets. Think twice before targeting self-improvement.
© 2016 Chris Marlow, All Rights Reserved
P.S. — did you know that the Marlow Marketing Method™ for Copywriters Client Acquisition Course contains the most complete niche-finding system for copywriters ever created? It’s true, and you can access it by becoming a member of the S.S. Treasure Hunt — a fast moving community of copywriters.