The biggest mistake we small business owners can make is being too general and trying to be all things to all people. It seems counter-intuitive to focus your sales and marketing on one segment and appear to ignore or reject another.
But if you want to be successful, that’s what you have to do. Find a niche and serve it.
But how are you supposed to do that? This has always caused me frustration – and I do this for a living! So when I heard about this new book “Riches in Niches,” I had to get it. At first, I was giddy with anticipation to get the book because I always think that the next book that lands in my mailbox will be the holy grail of marketing. (I know. It’s a problem.)
When the package finally arrived, I ripped it open and quickly propped it on my nightstand. I started reading that night and had quickly run through a first pass in a couple of days. And that is one thing that you will like about the book too, it’s a quick read. There are some elements that I found very basic and just passed over, like the section on building your brand and name on the web. And other sections that I really focused in on such as “Being a Good Media Resource.” The book really takes a broad view of target marketing and I’m sure that you’ll find some chapters a little too basic and others will be just your speed – depending on your area of expertise and experience.
You’ll like the author, Susan Friedmann, because she is a lot like you and me. She started her career as a PR professional working with several different organizations. And after a series of job changes, she realized that a possible reason that she kept getting laid off was because she didn’t really stand out from anyone. Her employers didn’t really see or understand what set her apart from anyone else in the organization.
And that insight started her “Nichepreneurship” journey. Friedmann has built a reputation and a name around trade show and exhibit coaching, training and speaking. She helps companies put their best foot forward at industry events and her client list includes some of the best known companies in the world. She’s been a guest on several radio talk shows and a guest expert on CNN’s Financial Network. Needless to say, her niche marketing strategy has worked like a charm. So let’s dig in and see how she does it.
The book is grounded in Susan’s Seven Success Secrets which start in Chapter 5 and run through Chapter 11. The secrets are:
1. The Name of the Game: Create names the adequately describe your expertise and or a benefit that you offer.
2. Build Your Media Muscle: Learn how to help and interact with the media to build a name and reputation as an expert in your field.
3. Move the Movers and Shake the Shakers: Get involved in your community and in local organizations. Don’t just attend, become a resource to associations and clubs in your area.
4. Catch Writing Fever: Write articles, blogs, books – anything and everything that will give you visibility. There’s also a terrific discussion about whether to get a publisher or self publish.
5. The Triple “E” Equation – Experts Educate Exponentially: Don’t be stingy with your talent, skill and or passion. Share it with anyone and everyone.
6. The Expert is Always In: Creating information products is a wonderful way to write and market your expertise profitably. If you’ve ever considered creating an information product – you’ll love Susan’s just-enough-detail approach. It will inspire you and not scare you.
7. The Wind Beneath Their Wings: This is a section on coaching. It will help you decide if coaching is the right path for you and what’s involved in becoming an “expert” coach in your area.
Riches in Niches is peppered with real-life stories and case studies of “Nichepreneurs.” So you’ll find lots of examples and inspirational stories that will keep you motivated and give you ideas that you can use. The other element of the book that I liked was the “Susan’s Summaries” at the end of each chapter. I would literally scan a chapter and read the summaries, then go back and read the sections that I was really interested in or that I wanted to review for more detail.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or employee, “Riches in Niches” will give you the steps, ideas and resources you need to create a strong personal brand within a niche that you love.
An intriguing book review, as always. Could you compare Susan Friedmann’s thoughts on how to find your niche, what Timothy Ferriss describes in his book The 4-Hour Work Week (step III: A is for Automation) and his ideas on “how to become a top expert in 4 weeks.” (page 159.)
WOW – Martin – that’s a great question! Susan and Timothy are two very different people with two very different outlooks on the whole process. To me, 4-Hour Work week was about freeing up your time from work to do the things you love(which may not be related to your professional life) Susan’s approach was all about discovering what you love and what people want and spending your time doing it. In Susan’s case, your work is your love.
Thanks for your input. I wonder if you could get a mix of both of Susan’s and Timothy’s ideas and integrate it into one? I want to work with what I love and I strongly believe that your job and and career are core elements in your life. The thing is that you don’t have to work in a traditional “9-5” manner there your only put in time for money. I want to free up my time in the long run and do things that I enjoy in a higher degree. I want to create a healthy balance in my work-life, get more “structurized” and focus on positive things so my daily routine could evolve into a productive atmosphere, leading to great results! 🙂
I want one of my income streams to be generated by a residual (passive) income based on network marketing in the long run so I could imagine to have these mini-retirements that I think Timothy Ferriss is describing in chapter 14 of his book. (I haven’t read this chapter yet.) I want to create a “mobile lifestyle” so I could go on trips, visit new interesting places and at the same time to do business and pleasurable things. These activities I will record in different ways so I could blog about them, have podcast shows, write e-books, etc. I want to find a niche market and supply an (informational) product to this area. I have some different ideas in mind… 🙂
By the way: You “made me” purchase the book! 😉 I have now placed an order for the following books:
“The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff.”
“Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.”
“The Secret Code of Success: 7 Hidden Steps to More Wealth and Happiness.”
“Riches in Niches: How to Make It Big in a Small Market.”
I think this is a crucial topic, especially for small businesses. Also, I like the idea of how to build a media personality, which is certainly a great way to stand out in a crowded market as well as build credibility.
Thanks for the review. This looks like a very interesting book. Put this one on my list. Thanks.
That seems to be a good read Ivana… I’m interested with those real life stories that the author shared in her book.
Thanks for recommending this book, I would definitely add this to my bookshelf
Building a business around a niche is the most refined form of targeting your market. The real challenge is to find a niche you like, that customers like, and that you can make money at. Good review Ivana. Thanks
I really agree with you here Ivana that most of our mistakes is that we are trying to please everyone. When in fact, we can’t do that. I would also have to agree that there are really riches in niches. Of course, if you choose a specific niche to be an expert on, you’ll expect the best from you because you have your full focus to that niche which I believe we must all do in order to succeed.
Susan’s book is one of my favorites and so timely in this uncertain economy. One way to enter a niche is to partner with a credible firm that is already in it (and to reciprocate, introducing that business to a niche you are in)