Imagine. Living the life of an in-demand freelance writer, designer, or marketing consultant who is well paid and highly respected. Shaping your own schedule. Working at home. Giving yourself permission to take vacations when you want.
Now take it one step further and imagine freelancing for a niche industry that really stimulates your intellect and captures your interest. But don’t stop there.
Picture yourself reaping the respect and financial rewards that come with being one of the top freelance consultants in your industry niche.
Making this vision your everyday reality is well within your reach. All it takes is commitment, persistence, and some entrepreneurial moxy.
I am often asked by freelance marketing pros how to select an industry niche, and then dominate it – or at least do really well in it. So I thought it might be time to take a break from my usual sales writing secrets, and answer these important questions.
This post is all about how to select your industry niche, and my next post will focus on how to kick butt in your chosen niche.
Select Your Niche
Consider your background and experience
If you’ve been a sales representative for several years in the oil and gas industry, becoming a marketing consultant (writer, designer, SEO specialist, etc.) for this industry may be a natural transition, and your quick ticket to independent consulting success.
However, if your immediate career experience doesn’t translate as cleanly into a freelance consulting career, the answer could be to dig deeper into your past.
For example, perhaps the knowledge you gained from a high school or college job could be used as a springboard for developing your freelance consulting niche.
During my high school and college days, I spent several years working part time as a swimming pool cleaner in California. Had I chosen to, I definitely could have used this experience to gain a foothold in this industry as a B2B copywriter.
Bottom line, if your recent professional career doesn’t lend itself to choosing a freelance consulting niche, it may just be a matter of digging a little deeper into your background for experience you can leverage.
Gravitate toward your interest
Say for a moment you’ve always harbored a secret passion for the world of aviation, but you have absolutely no professional experience in this industry. You might think this makes it impossible to break into the aviation industry as an independent marketing consultant.
However, here is an action plan for getting around this obstacle – and you can apply it to any industry niche in which you have an interest. For this example, let’s assume you have your eye on aviation.
The first action you can take is to read a lot about the aviation market. Next, attend aviation industry events and cultivate new contacts.
Arrange interviews with these contacts and write special reports, articles and blogs about aviation industry news and marketing trends. Offer your content for free to aviation marketing professionals through your website.
Re-purpose your content as LinkedIn blogs that can be posted and shared in LinkedIn aviation groups, and suddenly you are a highly-recognizable fixture among aviation marketing professionals.
Blend a few aviation marketing spec pieces into your portfolio if your interest is in being a writer or a designer, and now you have all the credibility you need to position yourself as an independent marketing consultant in the aviation industry.
Allow yourself to fall into a niche
Sometimes you don’t choose a market niche – it chooses you. Or as I like to say, you fall into a niche. That’s how I became a respected B2B copywriter and consultant in the medical device industry.
Here’s how it happened.
I was in my late 20’s and I couldn’t sell my screenplays in Hollywood. At the time I worked as a computer operator to make ends meet. I asked the owner of the company for which I worked if I could write some marketing materials for his business. He said, “Yes.”
This allowed me to build a portfolio, which I shared with companies that were hiring in-house copywriters. At this point, I would have taken a copywriting job with a dog food company. But as fate would have it, I was hired by a healthcare company in Newport Beach, California.
This led to being hired as the Senior Copywriter at a medical device company in Santa Barbara, California. Five years after that I started my independent copywriting career, and 16 years later I’m still going strong as a B2B medical copywriter.
And it all started by falling into an industry niche when I couldn’t sell my screenplays.
In my next post, I will share some proven insights about how to create long-term success in your chosen market niche.
Please leave a comment! If you got a knowledge boost from this post I encourage you to share it with your crowd!
For more persuasive marketing content secrets, sign up for my free sales writing updates. You’ll also receive my free special report on how to develop Core Message Platforms.