Starting out – and choosing a niche already? Why not stab yourself in the foot instead.
For those of you wondering, Niche: A specialized faucet within a larger market – i.e.”Weight loss for christian women” would be considered a niche of the weight loss market.
Look, there’s a lot of fantastic arguments for specializing in a niche. Here’s some of them:
- When you work in a niche you can charge more
- It’s easier to research the market since you’re familiar with the niche
- You can go to niche conventions and meetings and become the ‘go to person’ for the service you provide in that niche
- You can come up with deeper arguments and ideas since you understand the customers on a more intimate level
So logically, you think I’m crazy or I’m going to say to you “Aha! Yes, that title was a trick to lure you in here and harp on about the benfits of a niche!”
I’m serious, when I say you need to think twice before you chose a niche.
For all the good benefits they bring, they’re not for everyone. And certainly I don’t recommend them to newbies – especially not newbie copywriters.
3 Reasons why choosing a Niche can be a bad idea
1) It limits your ability to play the field.
While choosing a niche means you attract specific people, it also locks out other people. So it makes it a little harder to diversify and get a feel for other businesses. Heck, who knows, you might enjoy the painting industry more than the auto industry you’re currently specializing in. Remember, I didn’t say that you CAN’T work on other businesses if you choose a niche. But just like having a niche will attract certain businesses to you, it will repel other businesses.
And one of the best parts of being a ‘general copywriter?’ People pay you to study their business from the inside out. Most copywriters I’ve known use copywriting as a stepping stone to build a business or start marketing. Now, later on, it may make sense to choose a niche – when you figure out what market you want to grow a business in. But when you start out, sampling different markets and styles will give you a much wider range and marketing perspective.
2) It can make your work stale.
I mean, there’s only so much you can write about one thing before you start to Google information on how to tie an effective noose.
That doesn’t mean that when you specialize you can only work within that niche… but when your mind is always in a certain realm, it’s easy to get stuck in certain patterns of thinking.
Gotta keep things fresh, yo.
3) You may choose niches for the wrong reasons.
Some people choose a niche because they already know a lot about it. That can be a good reason to choose a niche… but also a bad reason. If you worked in finance for 20 years and hated it, you might know a lot about the niche… but what’s the point in running a business you hate!
Others choose niches because they heard they could make a lot of money in them. Let me tell you something buddy – money won’t buy you happiness. But it will buy you a good length of rope.
So the answer then is to never specialize and always be a “business handyman”… right?
WRONG – look. Although I have several awesome reasons for not choosing a niche fast, there’s also those great reasons for choosing a niche.
The key? Even if you’re in a niche, make sure you step out of your comfort zone now and again. If you do a lot of Internet marketing, write something about bunnies. If you’re a medical copywriter, take some time to check out the software niche.
We grow by taking on new challenges and keeping our minds fresh.
It’ll make you learn new styles, reach new markets – and help you grow as a copywriter, designer, business owner – and person!