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How to Niche, Even When it Hurts

Updated June 29, 2017
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How to Niche

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

Hook Agency is now a full-fledged S-Corp. I’ve hired my wife, and we now have salaries.

I added social media marketing, and am considering adding paid search and paid social into our offered services.


The importance of niching

I’ve had high and mighty ideals about only having one core service and being the definitive specialist, but what I’ve found is specializing in one industry might be more of my preferred speed.

Construction companies.

Right now, construction companies of various types make up a lot of my portfolio, so it’s a natural transition – although I also have a few realtor groups and tech companies.

For me going niche, even though it hurts, is crucial. I’ve done this once before, saying “I only do WordPress,” and now I’m looking for a way to say “I only do construction” in my marketing without alienating existing clients.

Why niche?

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A perfect example of a highly niched competitor in town is Findlaw – who only works with Lawyers and Law offices. If you had to go against them competing for business with a law office, you’d be pretty frustrated I presume – because all of that experience in one niche is rather convincing as a client.

All of that accrued collective knowledge, facing the same problems lawyers and their marketing have day in and day out. Rather than being 10% aware of your problems, and 10% aware of every other big industry digital marketers are tackling. You can also tailor your ad targeting, social media following, and imagery specifically to those people – which makes it more effective. 


Three ways to practically niche now

Now that I’ve demonstrated its importance, what do we do and how do we do it, if we have a particular niche of customers we want to serve?

  • One way is to create new marketing collateral, which I am in the process of doing with a new landing page, targeting my ideal clients in that niche.
  • The other way is to take the existing sets of ads you have out there and get more granular with the job titles you have targeted and their interests. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, allow you to micro-target people according to many variables, it can be extremely easy and effective to narrow it down to the new niche.
  • When you’re regularly interacting on social media, you can go crazy on the people who’s attention you want to grab. Look at the hashtags those potential customers use, and regularly engage on pictures in those hashtags.

It’s kind of funny how many of us spend time liking and interacting with people in our industry – “our tribe,” trying to get (some small online version of) famous with other people that do what we do. Often, this means we neglect to go after all the people “out there” that might be part of our ideal customer or client base.

It might be because we don’t know where to start – it is a wide world after all, and we might not get that much interaction back! That’s one problem that niching (at least with your mindset to start) starts to pay off immediately. If you know that a certain type of customer, buys more on average than let’s say any other industry – or that you have specialty knowledge that seems to pay off when applied to their problems, that might be the beginning of a new understanding of what your niche is. 


On the drawbacks of niching, and the possibility of making exceptions

Ideally, you could say without a doubt that you don’t work with anyone outside of a particular narrow description. Why is that ideal?

Because it looks amazing to people that are inside that narrow description.

So many people are looking for every piece of business they can get, and don’t specialize or have expertise in any vertical – by pushing outside of that norm, you make yourself look unique.

Specialized experts. 

That’s what we want people to perceive us as, as professionals. 

So you’re telling me you only do law for drunk driving cases?

You’re saying that you do sales development only for software companies?

You’re saying that you only build luxury homes?

You mean to say that you only do roofing for hail damage?

Yes. I only do that kind of work, because I’ve determined that’s where I provide the most value. The key is – specializing somewhere where there is tons of revenue to be had, and somewhere where spending more time could allow you to drive up your value to that particular niche of clients over time and become amazing in a unique way.

Yes learning how to niche can be ‘hard.’ Now get to it. 

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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