Find a niche, fill the niche and kill the niche

The sharpest marketing advice I’ve heard came not from some marketing guru but from a small town photographer, one who built a global business from a home base in a small town.

Mike Klemme
Mike Klemme found a niche, filled it,
and killed it. And that is how he
built a global business.

Mike Klemme is a professional photographer from Enid, Oklahoma (population 47,000). He said he built his business on the Red Adair model: be the one to call. That niche marketing has taken him around the world to do what he does best: photograph golf courses.

I heard his marketing advice at a photography event back in 2010.

Find a niche, fill the niche and kill the niche, Klemme said.

Here’s how he outlined the process:

  1. Pick a niche without an existing specialist, one that capitalizes on your skills and abilities. 
  2. Start learning all you can about it; read the trade publications. 
  3. Network, meet everyone involved, know the industry players and become a guru in your specialty. 
  4. Get beyond the obvious; develop your own perspective and your own style. 
  5. Slam the door on that niche by being the absolute best.
  6. Find your tribe of people who are passionate about the topic. Communicate directly with them.
  7. Build great partnerships. Find compatible professionals, and grow your work together. 

Klemme may have been thinking about photographers when he put together his points, but I’m thinking about how many different small-town professionals could use these ideas to build their own global business and kill their niche.

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About Becky McCray

Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband own a retail liquor store in Alva, Oklahoma, and a small cattle ranch nearby. Becky is an international speaker on small business.

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  1. says

    Oh yeah, I’ve done it once before, and now I’m gonna do it again. Believe me, when you become the “go-to” you’ll always be able to name your own price, have a full bucket of customers, with more wanting your services or your product.