It’s All About The Niche

Niche MarketingIn my early years of business, I first viewed marketing as a seasonal process and quickly realized that a successful business doesn’t stop marketing. It is a continuous cycle.

My solution was print ads. Let’s faces it that is one of the easy ways to market a business. Pay a graphic designer to make a pretty picture with your product, toss in some well-crafted text, and let the ad run for several months.

I’ve tried this and failed. The world of print media is much more complicated than tossing an advertisement in a paper. You have to know the readers’ demographics, the location of the ad, and you need a call to action that generates leads or sales.

I questioned myself. If advertising needs to be done continuously, how does a small business achieve its marketing goals with limited resources?

Several years later I found that to be successful in advertising you need to have a marketing plan.  Define who is your target audience. Is this a seasonal product? What are my customer demographics? Once I learned about my customer’s background demographics, a picture of who my target markets were developed.

Targeting a demographic creates a single target to go after. No longer are buckshot flying all over the target. You now are actively targeting a niche.

After carefully analyzing my entertainment business, I learned that I needed to niche market my business for entertaining at private events to birthday parties. I needed to go further. So I looked at the data. Where are my customers coming from? What is the age segment I am serving? Which gives me the greatest joy? Scanning my Google calendar, I realized that 1st birthday parties were the largest segment of my clients. I had found my niche – 1st birthday parties.

I learned that niche marketing is beneficial and profitable for small business.  I find that my website, copy, and marketing material are more comfortable with producing just because I can be particular on what I say.   I found that I spent a full day trying to make one advertisement work in multiple situations. I have seen that spaghetti web page that has no focus, and I struggle to figure out who is the demographic that they are trying to serve. I found my marketing, but apparently, they didn’t find their niche market.

Things I did to improve my niche marketing

  1. defined my audience
  2. defined my niche market
  3. became an expert and active in that niche market
  4. establish whether I could make a living off that niche financially
  5. I surrounded myself with other experts in that niche market
  6. committed resource/money to that niche industry
  7. made sure I addressed the niche’s core conflict

The Process of Giving Love to Tumblr Followers

At night, I play on my phone checking out different parts of my social media sites.  I look at who is following me, read comments or look for things of interest.

One day I was playing around in my Tumblr account, and I was looking at the people that follow me.  I was curious about who was following me and decided to check out my followers’ blog sites.

Over the evening I found a lot of things that I liked. I liked so many that Tumblr sent me a graphic and a message… “Good things come to those who like. ”

I liked 50 blog posts in that sitting.  I never knew Tumblr sent this email. Bonus, it gave me a graphic to reblog.


Tumblr tracks the number of hearts (likes) that you give. I started to think if I’d like 50 people, why not like 100? What would Tumblr do? Another image was waiting in my email inbox saying “Looks like you’re starting to get the hang of liking stuff.
This is good news for your overall happiness in life. ”


I wondered how many people have posted the Tumblr achievement award.  It reminded me of being friends with Tom on MySpace.  Everyone had Tom as a friend.

Using Tumblr search, I looked for “100 likes” and “Tumblr milestones” and found hundreds of people who had posted a Tumblr award image.  As I searched these blog posts, I noticed that nobody had liked them.  On Instagram, I posted an image indicating “500 followers”. People liked it and responded by giving it alike.

Some people have thousands of likes on a blog post. But what about these award images? Very few of them had any likes.  I want to be recognized and not be lost in the other thousands of people who liked them. So I decided to like the Tumblr award images.

I spent the next 15 minutes giving love to those who had an award image.  What did I get for my charitable efforts? One reblogged and four started following me!

I expanded my search and learned that 250, 500, and even 100,000 award badges existed in the world of Tumblr.  WARNING – you may see adult content along the way.  Tumblr is an open blogging system, and adult material is out there in plain sight.

Print this out and put it on your refrigerator to remind yourself how good you are at liking things.

My process is simple.  Every day thousands of followers ignore the milestone posts. I’m going to like them. By liking that image, I will stand out from the pack. If I’m going to spend time leaving a comment or liking something I might as well stand out from the rest while doing it.

It’s just a matter of time before the process pays off and an award milestone blogger reblogs one of my posts. It wasn’t time-consuming and took little effort, but the outcome can bring me a new audience of millions. This process is a unique, creative way to spend my evenings playing with my phone while standing out amongst the crowd on Tumblr.

How to Creatively Brand Your Message with a Game

Creativity is 95% of the work, and the message is the other 5%.   This weekend has been the epic battle to get my son to take responsibility and clean his room.  Being he is eight years old – it’s easy for him to pull out all his toys from a closet, but it is impossible for him to put them back.

Balloon ScrabbleWith all the toys scattered around the bedroom, I noticed my old Scrabble game on the shelf.  Board games are all but obsolete with all the people playing online games nowadays.  There it was.

Scrabble was sitting on the shelf.  Here was an opportunity for me to create an image that would brand a message. I pulled down the game and pulled out my trusted cell phone camera and quickly took several pictures.

Balloon Scrabble Tiles

I also found an older game from 1971 in the closet, Scrabble Sentences, and strategically created an image.  The message may not scream balloon entertainment, but I’m planting a thought in the viewers’ head that says, laughing, balloons, they’re associated with fun, and so am I.


Not all brand messages need to yell or be bold.  Look around your house. The next prop that will help you brand your message may be sitting on a shelf. Give it a try; you cannot fail; it’s marketing.

An Easy Marketing Solution to Finding New Prospects

Each day I plop into my tattered pleather chair and look at my computer screen – who and what will I focus my marketing on today?  Many times I am just looking for a new connection, a new ear to bend, somebody who has a relationship or position that can land me that next sale.

Marketing to new clients is costly, time consuming, and leaves me feeling unfulfilled as hours go by gazing at websites and data mining directories for new contact names.

Today is not one of those days – I’m going to use one of the oldest forms of network marketing that has been around for centuries. It has helped people get a job, buy a house, get kids into schools and helped others reach a status that they could not achieve alone.  I’m talking about the college alumni connection.

I just completed a post on LinkedIn geared at marketing for award banquet entertainment, when I clicked Connection on the LinkedIn menu; a selection appeared … Find Alumni.

Click. Seconds later I am scrolling down a list of Governors State University alumni.  “Light bubble,” I hear Gru’s voice from Despicable Me echo in my head.

Then I realized that I have a personal connection with these people – 120 of them to be exact.  We may not have graduated in the same year, but we attended the same University.   I can now network from one alumnus to another.  So, my goal in the next 90 minutes is to network with these people and build a working relationship. I found my new marketing candidates at my fingertips today.

How are you spending your next 90 minutes marketing?  I found a way to do it … can you?

How to Make Your Shares Powerful in Facebook

Facebook Share PowerfulHave you ever considered how we recommend, share, or network information? The average Joe on the street shares, copies, or pastes a URL, and doesn’t think about the call to action.

Studies have shown that positive recommendation generates more likes and shares.  People are willing to share positive articles more than a negative story. Motivational text, images, and videos are the most popular posts on the Internet which generates interaction.


Developing the Call to Action Recommendation

My friend, Bob, wrote a fascinating article about marketing which had some excellent takeaway points that I hadn’t considered using.  Here’s the article… URL

Analyzing the post above

The post starts with showing the relationship, “My friend, Bob.”

Adding a personal association establishes credibility in a post.  Words like friend, colleague, co-worker, brother, sister, father, wife, son, daughter create a personal connection to the article/product/service that you are recommending. As we know, a recommendation from a friend has more credibility and trust than one from a stranger.

Next comes an adjective – interesting.  I look for an identifier that gives life to the topic.  I could have easily said humorous, short, fact-filled, disturbing, educational or bewildering.  The adjective should bring emotion into the call to action. That is the way I’m sharing this post with my readers.

Some good takeaway points in this segment of the sentence express my opinion about the subject and give the reader an insight as to why I’m recommending this article.

Here’s the article that is the soft call to action.  If my first line was set up correctly, the reader should feel comfortable and secure and will click the link, as I recommended.

Let’s build another post using this same technique.

My son Carter created a fact-filled website on Fishing.  I found the design and layout easy to navigate.  What do you think? URL

The marketing madness behind a posting of this type is to generate awareness and gain feedback while creating a discussion possibly on fishing or web design.

Personal connection: Son
Adjective: Fact-filled
Subject:  Fishing
The reason you’re sharing: Design and Layout easy to navigate
Call to action: What do you think?


A crafted call to action will generate more likes, shares, and retweets than a quick post. Using personal connection, descriptive adjective, subject, and reason on why you’re recommending something increase the likes and shares in your network.

Developing the technique to craft a call to action generates a response and gives a marketer great power and influence in networking.  Failing to use these skills to construct your recommendation makes it mute.

Simple Way to Prevent a Major Marketing Mistake


I have tried developing marketing material without pictures; it’s not easy.  I have learned very quickly in my career that capturing the moment was well worth my time and effort when it comes to marketing.

In the early ’80s, I produced a national newsletter and struggled to find images.  What I would have given to be able to tell people to “snap a picture with your cell and send it to me.”

Here we are, years later, and I am amazed that people forget to snap a picture or grab a quick video.  It may seem trivial at the time, but when it comes time to do marketing … images are valuable!

Pictures can convey ideas, moods, and show reactions that help sell a product or service.

Major Marketing Mistake – Absence of Pictures

Not getting that quick picture with a celebrity holding your product, a corporate leader praising your work, not capturing the image that helps sell your marketing story.  Marketing is all about conveying a message and having the picture helps sell it.

How does a photographer see the world?

  • Close up
  • Angles
  • Distant
  • Objects near and far
  • Blurred
  • Colorful
  • Abstracted

The boys playing

Use your creativity when taking pictures and create exciting images. Combining it with excellent copy builds interest to the marketing piece, giving the readers more than words, giving them an experience or adventure.

It’s Digital – Keep Clicking

I wish I could take one picture that told the perfect story, but I don’t.  So I make sure I take a lot of pictures.  There have been events that I’ve taken forty pictures and only two that make it into my marketing.

Each year my cell phone camera is improving and allowing me opportunities to capture beautiful pictures. Innovative software allows me to edit and post instantly. One of the most powerful marketing tools I carry now fits in my pocket.

I’ve taken 90 minutes to play and figure out my cell phone camera, have you? Don’t let a powerful marketing tool sit on the sidelines.  Use it today.

A Quick Powerful Way to Get Massive Marketing Research


I have a confession to make…

I’m AWESOME at finding network groups … and terrible at actually finding useful connections.

Networking to me means dragging myself to an event where I may, or may not, meet people who are willing to exchange information or develop a mutual interest, all to further my personal goals.

I know this goes against the popular teaching of “we should be looking to help others before ourselves.” But let’s be honest.  We are coming in with an agenda and let’s not ignore the elephant in the room.

I have read books, created elevator speeches, and given presentations at these types of events, and all I come away with is a handful of business cards and no real connections that can advance my goals.

Why I Network

I attend networking events to learn and meet people in an industry that I want to sell a product or service.

I am seeking to understand prospects better

  • business niche
  • needs
  • problems
  • wants
  • desires

Once I know these things, I can now build a marketing campaign that addresses the prospects’ issues that they grapple with each day.

In 90 Minutes, I Reverse Engineer the Problem

Let us tap into all our networks; LinkedIn, Facebook, personal and business relationships. Let’s extract their knowledge and have them help us get answers to our marketing questions.

I email, message, and set up luncheons and ask questions.  I use their experience and knowledge to help draft my marketing campaign. In a 90 minute lunch, I can learn more about an HR department on how it hires trainers, entertainers and how they seek out information for different departments then I could if I went to 100 networking events.

Networking to Introduce

I hear you saying … “my friends are not the people who I need to connect; I need to talk to other people in another department.”

I have not met anyone who has rejected joining a colleague for lunch to help out a friend who needs to talk to an expert.

It’s working for me; it might just be able to work for you, too.