Getting Started in a New Niche
Philip Morgan and Rueven Lerner lead this week's podcast. They discuss Getting Started in a New Niche. Listen to learn more!
The problem, who does it affect, why should we worry about it?
The problem: You can have a focus, validate that it is good, be excited about it, and still feel held back by not having proof that you are a low-risk choice because you have never done work in that area of focus. So the problem is how do you change your focus; how do you start something new if you have no proven track record?
The who: Everybody at some point in their career; everybody who is trying to make a change in their business.
How to tackle this from a marketing perspective
There are three options that are proposed if a company wants to see your work.
Alan Weiss says that if someone raises an objection when you are speaking with him or her in a sales conversation, it means they are interested. People only raise objections if they are interested in what you are saying; it means you have their attention. It's a good sign – they're listening and you have their attention. If you have a company’s attention, offer a case study discount. Tell them that you will reduce your price for them because you know it is a little bit of a risk for them because you have no proven track record, but it isn’t a big risk otherwise you wouldn’t propose it. This can also be an important lesson about discounting; you are exchanging a discount now to get new clients later on. Short-term cash for long-term success.
- Adapt existing proof.
Proof could be case studies, testimonials, examples of previous work, or a testimonial from previous clients or professors. You should look for opportunities to adapt any existing proof so that it works for your new market vertical focus. Focus on your ability to mitigate risk, solve problems, and help influence outcomes in a positive way because all of these are constants.
- Produce content marketing that focuses on the problems of the market and how you would address them.
Five Examples of Problem Solving
- A Tear Down
This is where you go to relevant companies or their websites, and research what they are doing well and why. This helps people understand what is going on behind the scenes. It is easy to do and takes a little preparation. It benefits you because it helps you to learn more about your client.
Demonstrates that you are interested. You put in a lot of effort: plan, schedule, execute, publish, and edit interviews with people who are in the space. It demonstrates to clients that you're applying your intelligence in a way that can be very profitable for that potential client. It also shows you can get people interested.
- Educational resource center
This is a cohesive collection of content online that focuses on a single theme. This is easy to do and can link to someone else's content within context.
- Create an email course describing the process you would use to work with the client
This is not “a shell game,” it is not saying that you have more domain knowledge than you really do. It reassures clients that they aren't about to throw away their money.
Curate other people's content and link to it in a weekly email and/or send a simple tip each week. Keep the emails very short. They should be 200 words tops. This will contribute to your learning and will increase the familiarity of people who are on your email list, which will help marketing.
This has a subtle but powerful effect on people. It flatters people when you take an interest in what they are interested in and they take notice if you don't have experience. Gets your foot in the door.
List of resource centers: