Dial In Your Niche

Deliver fewer, highly-specific, highly-targeted products.

You’ll make more money, invest fewer hours, carry less overhead, have fewer things taking up attention in your head, and you’re spouse will thank you.

Nicheing-down allows you to:

  1. Build processes that are specific and profitable.
  2. Narrow your product offering so it’s more valuable.
  3. Decrease your headaches 100-fold.
  4. Deliver a 5-star product that people will rave about.

Case Study: Matt Wilhelm, BMX Superstar

Matt is super-duper niche.  

He’s in the anti-bully grade-school assembly performer niche.

And he’s crushing it.

Matt Wilhelm performs for the 10-and-under crowd and wows ’em EVERY SINGLE TIME.  I’ve been at his shows, and it’s like the friggin Beatles arriving at Wembley!

He pitches something simple on his website: “The Amazing Anti-Bullying BMX School Assembly”

Seems like a good lead-in. 

But some deeper diggin reveals the most amazing resume I’ve ever seen:

Found buried at https://www.mattwilhelm.com/about-matt-wilhelm/

“Anti-Bully” Is a More Compelling Message Than “National Champion”

So what if Matt delivers  the most entertaining show you’ve ever seen.

What people are buying is his anti-bully message.  (Fwiw, Matt was bullied as a kid, so his message is personal.)

But he didn’t always sell bullying.

Back when he was starting out selling his talents, he would sell his bike riding show to high schools, tv shows, sports teams, and even Disney World for cripes sake! 

Anyone who might hire him was his target market.

Matt Wilhelm Promo Video

He learned over the years from experience that:

  1. Don’t sell bike riding.  Not only is it more rewarding to deliver an anti-bullying message, it’s more profitable
  2. Focus on grade schools.  There are more grade schools than high schools.  So more $$$ to be made. 
    +If he did grade schools and made more money, he could travel less (and be home more).
    +Grade schools share budgets, so there’s a bigger pool of money to pay him (i.e. There might be 5 grade schools in a local school district but only 1 high school.)
    +Because of shared budgets, he can upsell like crazy.  As in, “If you book 5 shows today, I’ll give you a 10% discount.”
    +Bigger districts mean less business overhead for billing, networking, sales, etc.
  3. He built a more effective business by saying no to most bike-riding events

Respect Your Time By Saying, “No.”

“What if we get a customer that wants X, Y, and Z that our current product offering doesn’t support?” My teammate asked me this morning.

Actual hypothetical question from a teammate.

“You won’t get that question, because they wouldn’t have signed up in the first place,” I replied.

My reply to the above hypothetical question.

If you try to be all things to all customers, you are going to suck it up.

At best, you’ll be Meh.  (like I was)

Confession: My products serve what I think is too broad of a niche: small businesses without web teams.

I would love for my biz to cater to divorce lawyers or dentists or dog-walkers in New York City.

But for the record, I used to cater to creative agencies, single-owner small businesses, large corporate-style non-profits, and fortune 500 corporations.

The problem with serving all these drastically-different businesses is that each requires drastically different processes for sales, invoicing, expectations, communication, generating buy-in, project management, and for doing the actual work.

So now I serve only small businesses without web teams. 

And I’m still working on narrowing my niche.

Because every time I’ve ever narrowed my niche, my profits have increased and my waste has decreased.

Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO and WordPress Guru. He also writes for WPTavern.com.