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  1. #1
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    Scratch that Niche! Focus on a Niche for Local Search Success

    ScratchNiche


    Most consultants, when they think of a local market niche, think of all the usual suspects.
    Dentists, Attorneys, plumbers, carpet cleaners, etc.

    But those niches are saturated - with scammers ringing their phones off the hook, promising page one rankings for $200. So it's tough to even get past the gate keeper.

    You guys know I'm big on becoming a specialist in an industry. Positioning yourself as a leader in a field makes prospecting easier and establishes more value when you can show results and case studies from others in that industry. It makes it easier to scale, easier to market and you can command higher rates. You are a big fish in a little pond, not the other way around. I could write a book about all the advantages... but I'll spare you AND my carpal.

    Inspiration for this post came from Justin Eckrich's Google+ description which perfectly outlines the benefits of being a local NICHE specialist.

    Occupation - Appliance Repair Marketing Specialist

    NICHE Introduction

    Unlike other marketing agencies, we eat, sleep and breathe appliance repair.

    We know your market, your business, and your customer.

    We already know what works and what doesn’t.

    If you’re going to hire an agency, make sure your budget is going toward your marketing, not their learning curve.


    Bragging rights - The Appliance Repair Marketing System is currently profitable in more than 100 cities nationwide.

    Isn't that an awesome, well thought out intro? Really does a great job of highlighting the advantages to working with Justin's company, over a generalist agency.

    If you are newer to this business, consider focusing on a niche that is not totally hammered with competition AND where expectations are super high, because they may have already been through 3 SEOs, like many attorneys have.

    Think about a smaller niche that still gets searches or a sub-niche of a niche - like Sedation Dentistry.

    Here is one local niche idea I shared in my Private Pro Training Forum a couple years ago.

    If any of you are looking for a new niche industry, this may be one to consider...

    Home security and alarm systems. The reason I thought of it, is back in my affiliate management days a big nationally known company - the leader in that space hired me to do promotion for their affiliate program. They paid $130 per sale! That's SUPER high for affiliate commissions, so they must have profit to spend on marketing.

    Another I think likely has high margins and is probably not beat to death with local telemarketers is Solar.

    Below is an older post I did that shows some awesome stats from YP about different industries. It breaks down top consumer searches for various local business types. THEN shows the top SMB advertisers based on ad spend by industry:

    Pick a Local Search Niche - Top Ad Spend and Top Searches Stats

    Here's another YP study covering: Top Searches By Industry in the Top Searched Cities.

    That last one may be good to even show current prospects how popular searches are for their industry.

    Now I think those are both a couple years old. There may be newer stats out there. But my point was so show you lists of industries that get a lot of searches AND have money to spend so you can dig deeper and find a niche to scratch.

    One of the biggest reasons to specialize is something I went into detail about in this post:

    Jumpstart Your Local Search Consulting Business

    When you focus on a niche, you can find niche forums, G+ Communities, Facebook and LinkedIn groups where those industries go to network, learn and get help with problems.

    Be part of the solution. Become part of their network. Share your knowledge freely!

    Become known as the expert in that field and businesses will call YOU - instead of you having to chase them. (My experience building my Dental niche business is outlined in the post above.)

    Happy niche hunting!

    What about you???

    Do you specialize in a niche??? If so why?

    If not - why not???


    PS Hi Justin. We haven't met yet, but you just joined our Pro Community, which is how I came to read your awesome G+ description. Hope you don't mind me using you as an example. A great example at that!

    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  2. #2
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    Re: Scratch that Niche! Focus on a Niche for Local Search Success

    Just scanned Google+ and here is the 1st post I see. Right on target.

    From David Kutcher:

    Don't lament an unfilled need; fill that niche yourself Have you ever found…

    Lots of people express their desire to one day start their own business, or are looking for new services and products to provide, but feel that they haven't found "the Idea" that will lead them to the Promised Land of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Ownership. What most people fail to realize is that the Idea doesn't have to be amazing, it doesn't have to be entirely unique, and it doesn't even have to be grand in scale; the only business requirement is that it fills a Need
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  3. #3
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    Re: Scratch that Niche! Focus on a Niche for Local Search Success

    Great Post Linda and perfect timing. I'm in the middle of this process now.

  4. #4
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    Re: Scratch that Niche! Focus on a Niche for Local Search Success

    Haha Justin. I was thinking of you when I wrote this because I know you currently specialize in a Dentistry sub-niche.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  5. #5
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    Re: Scratch that Niche! Focus on a Niche for Local Search Success

    Well, I'm working on some other ideas as well, but this has sparked more ideas in my brain.

  6. #6
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    Re: Scratch that Niche! Focus on a Niche for Local Search Success

    Great stuff Linda! I may have to "borrow" some of Justin's language in his elevator pitch!

    My agency was taking on all types of clients for about the first 5 years and it worked, but it just seemed like we were reinventing the marketing wheel every time we took on a new industry. It was hard to retain clients because we were really not experts, and it was hard to learn the industry quickly. Things like keyword research, buzz terms, competition, etc., was a steep learning curve. We were also spending tons of money trying to market ourselves to every industry.

    We decided to form a new agency targeting only dental practices, while keeping our other agency in place for current clients. We already had about 10 dentists as clients and found that we were getting them good results and they were very loyal to us, so it made sense for us to jump into that niche.

    It is so true what Linda says about dental being a very saturated market in terms of competition, they get hammered with calls, emails, etc. We did have a heads start in the niche which helped, but I can tell you that if you go in to one of these competitive niches thinking you are going to do outbound marketing and kill it, you may be disappointed.

    We hired a couple of appointment setters to try to call into practices, sometimes even after sending them a few mailers and had very little success. As Linda describes, you really need to create an inbound marketing strategy by creating really good content, something of value, promoted it, nurture leads that come in and earn their trust.

    We have had our best luck with forum posts, webinars, ads directing them towards content, etc. We have built a good list and nurture that list. As a disclaimer we are a small agency so we don't need (or want) tons of new clients each month to be successful.

    When you go to a niche model, you will find that your life becomes a little bit less stressful, business is a bit simpler when you can focus on one industry and become an expert. Your clients will appreciate this as well!

    Just my $.02....
    Chris Pistorius
    KickStart Dental Marketing
    www.KickStartDental.com

  7. #7
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    Re: Scratch that Niche! Focus on a Niche for Local Search Success

    Quote Originally Posted by iFuse View Post
    It was hard to retain clients because we were really not experts, and it was hard to learn the industry quickly. Things like keyword research, buzz terms, competition, etc., was a steep learning curve. We were also spending tons of money trying to market ourselves to every industry.

    We have had our best luck with forum posts, webinars, ads directing them towards content, etc. We have built a good list and nurture that list. As a disclaimer we are a small agency so we don't need (or want) tons of new clients each month to be successful.

    When you go to a niche model, you will find that your life becomes a little bit less stressful, business is a bit simpler when you can focus on one industry and become an expert. Your clients will appreciate this as well!
    Thanks so much Chris. Thought about you as well as I wrote this, because I know you just started your new Dental focused company not too long ago.

    Could not agree more and the things you mentioned in that top paragraph I quoted, are a few of the reasons it's much harder to scale when you try to be Jack of all trades.

    Thanks for the valuable 2 cents!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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