The narrower your niche, the wider your opportunity. After I wrote that story, Darrell Hyatt asked a great question:
|Sheila Scarborough and Darrell Hyatt
share a laugh at dinner
at BlogWorld Expo 2010
When you narrow your niche, how do you find the clients inside it?
Let me walk you through an example, from my own business Tourism Currents. My co-founder Sheila Scarborough actually drew this out on a big sheet of paper, and it really helped clarify our thinking.
1. Build your business at a knowledge intersection.
We focused on tourism and social media marketing.
2. Draw the center 10 ring. Fill it with your target market.
The primary people who market in the tourism business are Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus, also called Destination Marketing Organizations.
3. Then draw the concentric circles of the bullseye. Who else has responsibility for this? Who else does this along with their other things?
There were many other groups who do some marketing of tourism, as some part of their jobs.
- Chambers of Commerce, Main Street and Downtown Development Associations
- State and city governments that do marketing and outreach related to tourism
- Conference and convention centers, festival and event planners
4. Who needs to know this to help their clients?
This helps reach out to professionals who might be potential customers and might help you connect to large groups of potential clients.
- Marketing and Public Relations professionals who do tourism work
- Associations for tourism and destination professionals
- Tourism and hospitality professors and students at colleges and universities
5. What is the fundamental goal of what we do or teach? Who else is using this same skill set?
The fundamental goal of what we teach is to draw people to a destination by social connections. Lots of other groups are using this same skill set.
- Historic preservation, heritage trails, historic highways and scenic byways
- Attractions, museums, parks, agritourism, gardens and nature preserves
- Niches like culinary, arts, culture, sports, adventure and educational travel
- Bed and breakfasts, inns, lodges, hotels and motels
As you start brainstorming like this, you’ll think of plenty of other people to put in your circles.
|Sheila Scarborough with her local CVB
Director Nancy Yawn, at the Texas
Association of CVBs conference in 2010
Now that you have a detailed list of the organizations, groups, or types of people, you can start attracting them. Rather than go buy an email list and send a blast email to every convention and visitor’s bureau in the USA, we searched our networks for people already working in these places, and connected to them. We went to tons of local events in person, and followed distant events via hashtag. We started creating the exact content that they told us they needed. In short, we immersed ourselves in the niche, and we made ourselves the go-to people in tourism and social media.
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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 have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.