One of the earliest lessons I was taught as a student of Internet marketing is one that I haven’t shared with you yet… so let’s share it now:
To Get Found Online, Dominate Your Market Niche
Almost every day, I talk with business owners who are trying to grow their businesses. One of the avenues many of them pursue is developing their Internet presence — working on improving the way their businesses look online, where they rank on the search engines, and increasing the likelihood that people searching for what they have to offer will find them. The problem is, most of these business owners haven’t given enough thought to what distinguishes their businesses from their competitors. As a result, they face an uphill battle.
Launching a new dental practice
I met a dentist last month who is opening a brand new dental practice in his town (let’s call it “Anytown”). He has very little money to spend on advertising and marketing because the cost of opening the practice has nearly exhausted all of his resources. Yet, if he doesn’t get found online, he’s not going to grow. When patients needing his service perform a search on Google, “dentists in Anytown” returns a long list of established dental practices. How will he compete? One way he could compete very effectively is by thinking about what makes his practice different than the other practices in town, and focusing on dominating that niche. For example, perhaps he provides “painless dentistry for children in <Anytown>”. That’s a far less crowded field, and one that he could dominate.
Growing an established photography studio
I’m hoping to work with a photographer I met recently who is extremely talented and passionate about her work. She is interested in launching a new website, improving her Internet presence, and getting found online for what she wants to get found for. Since she is looking for clients who want to find the best photographer for their special day, wedding, or event, she isn’t interested in price shoppers who simply want the lowest price. Competing on search engines when someone looks for “photographers” in her area isn’t what she wants. What makes her photography practice different than others? Perhaps “personal service photographer” or “passionate wedding photographer” are market niches she wants to dominate.
Commercializing the Internet
W hen I began studying the commercialization of the Internet back in the late 1990’s, one of the first lessons that I can remember was “dominate your market niche”. The lesson was simple: it was far more beneficial to dominate a small market niche on the Internet than it was to be one of many in a large field. Consequently, when I first engage with most new clients, I ask them to think about their business and how it differs from the competition.
A partner in a law firm said it best to me recently, “We don’t want to show up on a list of law firms in our town; we want to get found for what we want to get found for.”
For help deciding on the market niche you want to dominate, call me at (646) 532-6700 or (203) 548-0070.