When you are first starting out as a freelance copywriter, it’s tempting to grab any client who is willing to let you write for them. But time and time again, copywriters who pick a niche (or two) and focus on those clients prove that it is a faster way to grow their income and their business faster.
So how do you pick a B2B copywriting niche that will not only provide a steady stream of high-quality clients but also be one you enjoy? Sure, it’s easy if you’ve spent 20 or 30 years working in a particular niche. But what if you have a variety of work experiences and interests – how do you choose?
In this article, Kellie Craft walks you through a step by step process that will help you identify your best B2B niche. She then gives you some tips and tricks for finding your ideal prospects in that niche.
Give Kellie’s process a try and soon you’ll have your own clients in your chosen B2B copywriting niche.
The opportunity to be successful in the B2B market is HUGE. But, believe it or not, it’s even bigger when you become the “expert” in your field.
This means you need to choose a specific niche. But not just any niche. You have to know your stuff.
While attending a B2B event recently, I overheard a few people saying they’d like to break into this market or that market. A colleague of mine asked them if they knew anything about that market. Often the answer was something like: No, but they’ve always been interested in it.
I have to be honest here, and the experts at the B2B Copywriting Intensive emphasized this …
Prospects know right away if you don’t know what you’re talking about … especially if the topic is their product or service. And, if you don’t know their product or service, there’s a good chance you won’t land the project. Prospects are more inclined to give a project to someone who knows their business versus someone who’s an “expert” writer but knows nothing or very little about it.
Finding Your Niche
So, if you’re a B2B copywriter looking for a niche, there’s a proven formula to help you figure out what that niche should be. Copywriting experts throughout the industry use a process like this. Nick Usborne follows a similar process to pick Money-Making Website topics. And, Pam Foster will take you through a more detailed series of steps in her Niche Yourself and Thrive program.
It all boils down to this: Go with what you know and what you’re passionate about.
Always remember you’re dealing with real people. You’ll have the most impact and do your best writing when you have a niche that you know and that drives your passion.
Use these eight steps to find your niche. As part of this process, you’re going to be making a spreadsheet, so grab a yellow tablet or use something digital, like Excel® or Numbers®.
- Make one column for your passions and likes and one for your education, experience, and other things you’re knowledgeable about.
- Fill in the first column. Write down anything and everything that you like or have a passion for. This could be gardening, dogs, computers, motorcycles, etc.
- Next, in the second column, write down every job you’ve worked at (including any summer jobs you had while in school), your education, and your life experiences. Write it out and be specific. Write down what you did at these jobs, and what you learned over the years of working there. This may take some time, but it will give you a great list of what you know.
- At this point, hopefully, you have a long list. Look closely at the items in the passions/like column. Start crossing off the items that you wouldn’t include in your top 10. Once you’ve narrowed the list to 10, rewrite it in a fresh spreadsheet.
- Now look at these top 10. Look at them seriously. Ask yourself, “Is this category one I would be able to work in every day, and still have the drive and passion?” Use this step, to reduce the number down to 3-5.
- Of these 3-5, imagine yourself working with people in this niche every day. Again, is this something you would enjoy? If your answer is “No,” cross that niche off the list.
- With what you have remaining, compare your short list of passions and likes to the things in your knowledge and experience column. Can you see where your knowledge and/or experience will tie in nicely with your passions/likes selections?
- When you find an entry on your short list of passions and likes that is complimented by your knowledge and/or experience, then you’ve found your niche!
Finding Your Prospects
Now that you’ve selected your perfect niche, let’s find your prospects.
First off, if you know anyone who works in your niche industry, contact them. Let them know what you’re doing and offer your services. Or ask them for the right people to talk to, i.e., marketing managers. Have them help you get the word out. Enlisting support from your family and existing network is a great way to find prospects because they already know you.
In addition, one of the simplest places to start outside research is Manta.com, a website specializing in collecting information on every business in the market today.
- When you visit Manta, you’ll find a search box in the upper left-hand corner. Click on it and type out a key phrase, like “motorcycle products.” This will bring up a list of every company in their database that has anything to do with motorcycle products. For that term, you’ll get around 600,000 results.
- If you want to revise your search so it’s not so broad, use the “Refine your Results” section on the left side of the page. Go down to company revenue and select what you’re interested in. A good place to start is the $2.5M to the $10M range. Once you’ve made your selection, the program will automatically refine your search.
- In this example, we narrowed down our results from over 600,000 to around 100,000. You now have a huge selection of companies to begin researching. These mid-size companies are large enough to understand the importance of your good copywriting skills. Start by picking around 25 to focus on.
- Click on each company you want to research further. Find their website, check them out, and then contact them.
Now, go find your niche and become the “expert” in the field your prospects are looking for!