I had a few different topics I was considering for my post today, but then a conversation with a colleague clarified my decision.
Everybody talks about the importance of finding your niche. But often, this is simply a phrase that is thought of in generalities rather than specifics.
Many people consider that finding their niche translates to deciding what area of business to work in. And yes, this is the definition of a niche.
But how you work with your niche goes much deeper than the basic definition.
To get to my point, let’s take a brief look back.
As many of you know, I have been working in the marketing field for over 30 years. And a lot has happened over these 30 years. When I started marketing, there was no internet or online marketing. Then, in the early 90s, the internet became accessible to most people, and by the mid-90s folks were starting to recognize the untapped potential of utilizing this technology to help market their products and services to an audience that was very difficult, if not impossible, to reach in the past.
As we all know, the era of internet marketing was upon us and opportunities exploded. Then, in the 2000s, social entered the scene. Suddenly there were even more ways to interact with prospects and clients, often in real time.
But successful marketing doesn’t lie in any one delivery mechanism. Sorry, but there is no magic bullet.
So let’s get back to the present and the topic at hand – finding your niche.
In the 80s and 90s, as things were evolving, there was a strong demand for people to become generalists. Due to the fact that internet marketing was a new, untapped, and unknown resource, people had to educate themselves about this new technology. As a result, marketers became resources who knew a little bit about a lot within the emerging and transitioning workspace.
To some degree, this persisted into the early 2000’s, as social platforms evolved and became opportunities for brands to interact with their clients and prospects.
But now it would appear that the pendulum has swung back. The era of the generalists seems to have passed, and now more than ever, it is important to identify and stick to your area of expertise.
The internet and new technology have created the opportunity for the global marketplace to be right outside your door. We have access to information that has been unparalleled in its growth and its reach. As I often say, we now live in a world where answers exist at the click of a mouse.
Therefore, in a sense, we have all become generalists. We can research everything from how to build a lamp to medical sites to help identify health issues.
So now, any of us can learn how to do nearly anything. But just because we read it on the internet does not make us an expert in that area.
Medical sites are great for researching and finding answers to questions you may have about your health, but to self-diagnose can be harmful to your health. It’s still important that you see the expert – a medical professional – to accurately diagnose and treat any symptoms you may have. And the same is true of every other market.
So find your niche. Stick to what you know; stick to your area of expertise, and create trusted alliances with those who support your niche. Stay true to your path and you won’t lose your way.
Until next time…
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