I’m a huge believer in “owning a niche” rather than “owning the world”…
Today I want to share with you an interesting perspective on this idea with a couple of real life experiences that may convince you of the same…
I would love to know what you think after watching the video below.
P.S. Many of you have written me over the past few months that you are interested in learning more about this “new medium” called direct mail…I assume most of you have heard of it?
And many of you have also asked me about the availability of the most important book on the subject ever written…which is extremely hard to find.
Secrets of Successful Direct Mail by Dick Benson
It is a lost classic and written before the Internet…yet very relevant to all media today.
I talk about Benson in the video above as one of my mentors
And if you are interested in buying a copy see below.
And for anyone who decides to snatch up a copy, I will also throw in a second book from another mentor of mine which is titled:
Confessions of a Direct Mail Guy by Gordon Grossman.
Gordon was the architect of Reader’s Digest in the 1960’s and virtually invented sweepstakes. I have limited inventory of his classic as well.
I agree with you to start from a niche with the expertise/experience you have.
And than later on, if you want to, to broaden the target-group.
Thanks again for your instructive videos and sharing your insights.
Pertinent information. Thank you. As a salon owner of multiple locations the information applies to our industry. Some salons specialize in “EVERYTHING” while I chose to specifically work with my avatar whom needs haircolor corrected. Correction meaning brassy, broken off from incorrect coloring processes, highlighting, reducing frizzy hair for mixed textures. What we do is specialized with high profitability. Thanks for validating my path. I appreciate all your commentary.
Glad its helpful Kimberly!
Such an important lesson for business people. Maybe the most important.
Apple started as a niche business. They wanted to make computer kits for the 50,000 hard core geeks they estimated were their market.
Facebook was focused exclusively on colleges even well after they moved to Palo Alto.
I like to use a military analogy: You’ve got to hold – and really hold tight – a piece of ground before you can roll out and take more territory.
I think if people think about it in those terms, they won’t forget the principle. An army that tries to take over the world without a solid base somewhere is not only is not going to get anywhere, it will also probably get obliterated.
Luckily, there is a simple solution to the problem. Identify a base, grab it and nail it down and then grow from there.
Almost every client I deal with starts “too broad”…
The soldiers who learn the point Ken McCarthy made will have made many choices that illustrate his example of tactical thinking.
When joining the military what’s the first decision – when a choice is offered – that a recruit might make? They will choose a specialization or some other breakdown of a niche.
From a different walk of life myself than the military, I have had to think of myself as a recruit of sorts and use a “military bearing” of sorts applicable to writing for a living to get a handle on writing for a living.
Am I going wide to soon here? Excuse me while I air a few more thoughts.
My strongest academic influencer, mentoring me in creative writing also said what Picasso said in paraphrase: “…you have to learn the rules before you can break them.” He was talking about grammar, etc. and I learned. Yes I can “artfully” break those rules now.
Also I’m learning the “rules” Picasso was referring to, possibly, now from an artist who essentially starts everyone out with that same thought. “You have to learn the mechanics of turning form, cast shadow, medium, dark, and highlight etc. as you begin in order to do this (draw well, paint well).
So far all niched “intake.”
Among other, unusually broad work experience I’ve been able to work for a lawyer as a paralegal. I truly understand your advice while knowing it doesn’t work that way for non-lawyers.
No niche there. I keep sifting.
Always exceptions to everything Jen…
Brian, I love your insights bro… awesome stuff.
You have an original way of being true and real that most people “TODAY” just don’t have, or carry… everyone is so instant gratification and undisciplined that it’s actually “sad.”
But, I guess that’s what modern “technology” dose to this new spoiled generation… they just think they are entitled so they don’t try as hard!!! But, whatever… I just keep on rollin and rollin and following the leaders.
People today have become just to damn sensitive to openness and being original… they seem to be influenced and controlled by so much (I need expectance that they are really just being manipulated, rather than just outspoken and original).
Anyway, I love your style man it’s cool…
I like the way you’ve validated the usefulness of an online presence, choosing to add reach to your grasp of effective public speaking here.
Do not know you, only of you. And through you I see value in bringing to internet limelight a pleasant personality with lots of experience such as yours.
From what I can grasp about list building and you, you can play at this because you’ve developed a following that also must turn to email to follow the course doing business is taking.
That you can do this simply and directly is powerful and in your case renforces your worth. It may even be that you must do this to scale and hold current your understanding of building lists,
I’m glad to be included on your list here, it helps me follow the leaders and I’m grateful and glad your leadership appears here.
How is it, though, you have my name? Did someone you collaborate with or mentor give you my email?
Again, I’m glad you have it. It’s probably the only thing I have to trade for your insight into what really matters to direct response professionals and a list builder’s lean use of email.
You had to have opted in to this list, Jen…and I am glad you did!
Your comment about Dick Benson’s phone style of hanging up as soon as he
answered your question rang a bell. He used to do the same thing to me!
CU had him on retainer as well for a few years.
Dick was a direct mail genius. Just about every test he suggested we try
beat the control.
I keep bouncing between two niches. Every time I decide on one, I get several projects from great clients in the other! 🙂
But even narrowing it down to two has helped me get better clients, and I’m certain it’s a major reason business is going so well these days.
Always enjoyable and informative. Steve
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