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Marketing is the backbone of any creative entrepreneur. This article focuses on one specific type of marketing – niche marketing for creatives.
As a creative, your product (regardless whether it is a creative product, service or information product) is fundamental and is your defining quality. However, as a creative professional who produces a creative product for money, the right approach is to first examine your market viability and potential business opportunities.
It is the understanding of your market opportunities that guides the creation, presentation and marketing of your product. Most creatives work the other way around.
The most common approach is for a creative to work on a creative product first and then try to find work with the product. This is the traditional way.
The problem with this approach is that there is a large possibility, especially in today’s market, that you might have an excellent product but no viable market to sell it to. You want a market that will give the desired financial returns for all the time, effort and skill required to produce your creative product.
This is one reason why some creatives are not as successful as they can be or why some businesses fail in general. They fail to research the market and end up creating a product that does not have a place in the market or does not add great value to the market.
One key to being successful is to identify a niche market that is unsaturated and try to own it.
A niche market is a specific market within a larger general market that has specialized needs. It is a subset of the general market, also known as a small segmented market.
Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other product or service providers.
That is an important characteristic – niches do not ‘exist’ but have to be identified by you.
As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. It is also known as micromarketing.
An example of a niche market product is the hundreds of cable TV stations as well as thousands of podcasts and websites that target specific audiences of specific interests and tastes. Each audience represents its own niche market.
Some specific examples of creatives include podcasters who produce a show for a specific audience or on a specific topic. So, all the podcasts on the Internet form the general market. However, podcasts discussing sports is a niche (subset) of the general podcast market. Podcasts discussing a specific sport such as mixed martial arts is an even more niche market.
Freelance writers who specialize in financial news and markets know this niche well and will have much higher value to this market than a general writer or one who specializes in lifestyle and entertainments.
Photographers who specialize in a specific type of photography or subject matter and market to clients who are interested in their specialty is another example of niche marketing.
Fashion designers who design clothes for a specific target market, gender or demographic profile are also niche marketers.
My book for entertainers, “The Showbiz Master Plan”, in itself is targeted at a highly niche market. Business and marketing courses target a very wide general market. But a course written specifically for entertainers based on the specific needs and nature of the live entertainment industry is a highly niche market. The book is highly valuable to the consumers in this niche market yet has little value to people outside the market. But, that is the nature of a niche market.
Your job is to identify a potential niche or segment that is untapped. Look for markets that creatives in your field have not explored or do not have high competition.
Remember, niches do not ‘exist’ but have to be identified by you. It is possible that a niche market has been created by someone else but they are not serving the niche adequately. You can take advantage of that and bring more value to the niche market and potentially “steal” it away.
This does take some creativity and thinking. It may not be intuitive and may require much effort for you to consider all types of angles. You are literally trying to identify an opportunity that no one has capitalized on before.
The good news is that as a creative, you are a creative individual – duh! That means you have the capacity to identify a niche market if you gear your mind towards it.
If you do not seem to be able to identify a viable niche market, that is fine. Seek experienced experts.
Speak to marketers, entrepreneurs and successful business owners in niche markets, inside and outside of your creative field, and see what ideas they might have. Experienced marketers often can identify niche markets almost instantly and give you some ideas that you can research on.