The Power of the Niche

If there is one thing I do not understand, it is why you would run a WordPress agency without operating in a niche. If you are running a business selling WordPress based websites, you literally run the most common online based business in the world. Why would someone choose you? How would they even know that you exist?

Today I want to talk about that. Niches. Last week we talked about leveling up and productizing your services and this is very much related. Side note: I originally thought this blog had to be about Git and GitHub, but I guess there are really no rules. Whatever is relevant to people running a WordPress based service business is relevant here. Back to niches. I’m obsessed with them. They are so powerful and if you haven’t realised it, I want to convince you. So please continue reading, okay?

An analogy

Ever been at a restaurant where they had every single imaginable dish that someone would ever consider ordering on the menu? Quite suspicious, right? Here’s what I think when I see a menu like that: This is either going to take a very long time to produce, or very soon I’m going to hear that awful sound of a microwave oven done heating frozen food. The “chef” at a restaurant like that is probably not great at making anything that’s on that menu. Get where this is headed? YOU are not great at making websites for every single kind of client.

I once heard a story about a bakery who sold only one kind of bread. You want to know why I heard about them? Because they only had one kind of bread! That was the whole point. That’s why they were mentioned in the news. They had one bread and they said it was the best bread in the world. That was their niche. Have you ever been to a restaurant that only had the dish of the day? Only having the dish of the day is such a show of confidence. I trust that. But it doesn’t have to be that extreme. A simple menu is great! You want the meat or the fish? It’s simple.

The #1 rule of marketing

What’s the number one rule of marketing? You don’t talk about… No, just kidding. Know your customer! That’s the single most important part of marketing. You need to know who you are trying to serve with your business. Otherwise you can’t find them and they can’t find you. Here’s how Noah Kagan defined marketing on the SPI podcast: “Who is your customer? Where are they?”. I think it’s a beautifully simple way to put it.

[Tweet “”Who is your customer? Where are they?” @noahkagan”]

When answering those two questions, marketing becomes a lot easier if your answers are not “everyone” and “everywhere”, but instead “boat retailers” and “a lot of them are in this online forum”.

5 reasons you definitely want to niche down

Here are five compelling reasons why you should niche down:

Generic agency Niche agency
Branding So many generic web agencies have the same kind of boring logos, landing pages etc. If you operate within a specific niche, branding is oftentimes super obvious. Doing websites for churches? You probably want a church in your name and logo.
Cost of acquisition If you are trying to appeal to everyone, it’s very difficult to target your marketing efforts. Cost of customer acquisition goes up, because you are all over the place. The great thing about niching down is that you most probably know exactly where your target customers are. You can be much more specific which lowers the cost of customer acquisition.
Expertise What are you telling your clients you are good at? Making websites? Like everyone else? If you work with 1 kind of clients, you quickly become an expert. You know exactly what they need! Maybe even better than they do themselves. Selling them becomes easier and turnaround is quicker, because you know what you are doing.
Pricing Price is one of the very few differentiators you have to play around with here. Lowering the price will potentially give you more customers, but it’s a rat race. You are an expert and so you can charge more! Also, the pool of direct competitors is just a lot smaller. Because you are the one that does websites for tax accountants. You are the obvious choice, so price is less important.
Cost of production If you are doing websites for customers across different industries, your production costs will naturally be a lot higher. It’s more difficult to reuse stuff, and the discovery process takes longer time because you don’t know your customer well enough. All your customers are very similar, so your processes are streamlined. Maybe even to the extent where you can outsource a lot of the work.

[Tweet “If you work with 1 kind of clients, you quickly become an expert. You know exactly what they need!”]

What to do next

Action time! Your favourite part.

You don’t have to jump head-first into your new niche business. It’s something you can easily experiment with, before you double down. First question: Do you already have a client you think is ideal and would make for a good niche? If the answer is yes, then I’d recommend you talk with them. Tell them you’re looking at doubling down on helping businesses in [their niche] and try to figure out more about them and their needs. I’m sure they can also help recommend you to their colleagues and peers in their industry. If you don’t already have someone who’s your ideal niche client, do you have someone in mind? The idea is you need to talk to people and find out what they need.

Once you start talking to people, it’s nice to have a place for them to refer back to. I’d recommend setting up a few landing pages on your website, tailored to that niche specifically. If your niche is somehow enterprise’y, offer to download everything as a PDF file. Corporate people love PDFs that they can print out. Feel free to get inspired by my WP Pusher for agencies landing page. These landing pages can also be used if you want to experiment with paid advertising. Ads on Facebook and Google is a great way to learn how competitive your new niche is, without investing a lot of money. If you already have a relevant case, this is the place to showcase it.

I hope this article inspired you to double down on a niche. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on Twitter! Thanks.

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Peter Suhm

Peter is a web developer from the Land of the Danes. He is the creator of WP Pusher and a huge travel addict.


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