Just the Facts
These are the facts.
- The blogosphere is doubling in size every 5 and a half months.
- On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day.
- Municipal Wi-Fi Networks are becoming a reality. Anaheim, CA; Arlington, VA; Brookline, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO;, Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Grand Rapids, MI; New York, NY; Philadelphi, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; Tempe, AZ; and others are already planning or building Wi-Fi networks to be ready in the next 2-3 years.
- The Technorati Filter By Authority slider gives readers the power to filter out all but the most important blogs in any niche. Will other Search Engine follow?
Business Meet Blogs, Blogs Meet Business
Sounds great. Doesn’t it? Bloggers read blogs. I’ll have more readers. Right? But those readers will have more blogs to read. With new blogs coming at such a stunning rate, it’s reasonable to think that blogs in the Magic Middle might be pushed aside as younger, shinier blogs appear. It’s also fair to assume that readers will limit the searches to only important blogs, leaving me out. What’ll I do to capture their attention?
The wisdom of the Long Tail–that as business moves on line, less and less of what is offered needs to be “one size fits all” and delivered via giant outlet–leads me to niche-brand marketing. I review this list often for my blogs and for my business, or Liz Strauss Consulting wouldn’t be consulting much longer.
- Define a niche for your business. Choose a niche you truly care about. Find a place to stand. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Do one or two things that play to your strengths and passions. Do those things better than anyone else.
- Find out everything about the customers in your chosen niche. First and foremost, make sure that said customers exist. Then don’t just get information. Fall in love with everyone of them. Figure out how to crawl into their skin and feel their pain. Know their loves and their wishes. Find their needs and desires. Learn to read what they’re not saying.
- Define your brand through your customers’ world view. In reality, you don’t define your brand, your customers do. When you understand your customers intimately, find a way to state your brand–what you and your customers stand for–in less than one sentence. Write those words everywhere your customer will see your name, your blog’s name, or your business name. Let them know you mean it.
- Use your brand to test every decision you make–large or small. Be your brand. Live it. Make your brand show in every detail, every action, every move you make. If you live your brand, and test every decision against it by asking, Will this help my customers see my brand? your customers are more likely to buy into the brand you’ve chosen on their behalf.
- Be authentic; never skimp on quality; never go against your brand; and you will set the standard. You won’t just be different; you will be unique, irreplaceable. Authenticity cannot be “knocked off and done more cheaply.” Attempts to copy you will only be poor facsimiles. Quality and authenticity are the birthplace of brand loyalty. Customers will know where to find the real thing. Once they find it. They stick with it.
- When your customers recognize that you care about their needs, value them and the relationship that you have with them. Relationships will always be everything in any human endeavor. Never lose sight of the fact that you and they are people–not users, not clients, not numbers–but folks with thoughts, feelings, and ideas that make you and your business better.
Why Customers Love Niche-Brand Marketers
We are a fascinating species. When we don’t know where to go, we’ll go where everyone else goes. But give us one reason to come to you, and you’ve made a customer–a reader–possibly a friend forever.
We think that people who think the same way we do are smarter than other people. So when you choose a niche that we care about, we think that you’re highly intelligent. We trust your judgment in other things too.
When we find someone who tries to solve our problems and who values us. We’ll go out of our way to do business with you. It’s just not that often that we get that kind of service.
That’s how small niche-brand marketers get to be great niche marketers one customer at a time. That’s how I plan to make this a place where I can put down roots. I want want to be here for a long, long while, making relationships with some really great people.
How about you?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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