Don’t Niche Too Early

Would you rather be a bug zapper or a dog catcher?

Think about what each does. A dog catcher sits and waits for a call. They then have to pack up everything and drive around until they find the dog. They then have to try to manipulate to dog with treats, soft language, or anything else to get the dog to come over to them. Occasionally the dog becomes skittish and runs away.

Now lets look at what a bug zapper does.

It gets plugged in .

Animals come to look.

It zaps the ones it does not like.

That is it. No travel. No getting bit. No chasing.

I spent most of my career as a dog catcher. I would sit around wait for a call (or a lead email) before going after a client. Or, even less effectively, I would drive around and try to find stray dogs. I would then try to chase the prospect down. I would send dozens of emails, leave voicemails. I even sent pizzas.


No dog.

It was painful and frustrating. It seemed like the harder I worked, the worse my results tended to be.

Then I met some people by the names of Mike O’Connor, Ira Bowman, and Mike Ashabraner through Service Professionals network. They changed my perspective.

Rather than chasing stray dogs. I now just create a system where dogs come to me. I create content with a very broad appeal and then narrow down from there.

I turn on the light and “zap” the people I don’t want to work with.

See the problem was I was following the wrong advice. I was trying to niche down. I am a fan of Russell Brunsen, but I made the mistake of listening when I was not ready to.

Russel Brunsen advocates creating a “blue ocean” niche. You need to create a market where you are the absolute expert. And yes, that is great advice. You don’t need to be like everyone else. However, if you niche too soon, you will get no one.

Let’s say I have a niche that appeals to 1% of the overall population. That is a pretty solid demographic to make a living from. So I start talking about their problems in depth. I use hyper focused language in order to attract my ideal clients. So what happens?

Wet raspberry noises

You cannot niche before you build an audience. It is pointless. IF you have 500 followers and your product appeals to 1%, you get 5 customers tops. That is if they are active on social and actually even see your post. Odds are they won’t. Maybe there will be one other person who will see it and think of their buddy who is going through an issue like you described, but it is not likely.

By niching down to early, your content is basically worthless. Only one or two people ever see it and unless you have a great message it probably won’t do much for you. There goes an hour of careful writing and editing out the window.

Stop trying to niche with all your content. Cast a wide net and narrow it down occasionally from there. Your posts will be much easier to write, will appeal to a wider audience, and will attract new customers.

THEN once you have enough people, that is when you start niching. NOT BEFORE. Only 20% of your posts should talk about the problems you solve for clients. The goal is to catch a wide net and then throw out anything that is not a fish. Sure, broad content will catch some boots or old plastic bags, but you will also end up with more fish in the boat.

It is easy enough to throw out the books and plastic bags later.

Don’t chase and scare people off.

Attract and zap the people you don’t want to work with.


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