Here’s a great book on the best practices for marketing your business on the internet.
I like this book because it gives the business owner specific internet marketing tactics to both establish authority in their chosen field as well as providing tried-and-true methods of promoting their service-based business on the internet. Best of all, all the information in the book is communicated using easy-to-understand terms and language.
The book is called Own Your Niche by Stephanie Chandler.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Develop Your Niche Identity
Once you have identified your niche focus, everything you do must convey that to your new audience. That means changing marketing materials, website content, advertising, and sales scripts. Some companies will need to change their entire brand identity as a result (for those who never really had one to begin with, this will be a powerful exercise in improving your focus).
Using the general contractor as an example, if the focus becomes kitchen remodels, then lettering on the company vehicles need to be changed and/or added. Assemble a new portfolio for your website and sales calls, along with marketing collateral that explains the benefits of our services along with photos and testimonials.
Identifying Your Unique Difference
Within your unique niche there will no doubt be competitors in our field (if there aren’t, then your niche night be too narrowly defined). In order to really stand out and Own Your Niche, your need to understand what sets you apart from the rest. You could consider yourself to be the best in your field, but you need to know how you will convey that to prospective customers.
Consider the success of Zappos, and online shoe retailer. There is no shortage of places to buy shoes, yet Zappos quickly grew into an empire because it was different. The company’s inventory is unmatched. You can find shoes from $20 up to $2,000. Zappos also revolutionized service by offering free shipping both ways, removing the risk for buyers. If buyers discover they don’t like the shoes, they can ship them back at no charge, no questions asked. This liberal return policy combined with an enormous inventory made Zappos a favorite for shoe lovers everywhere. Without those policies, it simply would have been another online shopping site.
Recently, I met a business attorney who said she specialized in what she called “the usual stuff.” During our conversation, she mentioned how much she loves writing contracts. Bingo! She could differentiate her practice by promoting her expertise in contracts. Sure, other attorneys write contracts, but this woman loves them. Her passion and experience with contracts could differentiate her business.
Many of the notes and ideas for this book were kept in a Circa notebook by Levenger. While there are thousands of notebooks available in the world, the difference with Circa is that the pages are heavier stock and most importantly removable. I can easily pull out pages and move them to a different section. Because of its unique function (its differentiator), a Circa notebook is more expensive than most.
Chapter One: Why Niches Rule
Incidentally, Levenger (http://levenger.com) as a company is distinctly different in its own right. The company tagline is “Tools for Serious Readers.” What you’ll find here are high-quality lap desks, pens, books lights, tote bags, and related items. This company could have been just another office supply source, but it’s focus on the niche market of people who love to read, and its differentiation of unique, high-quality products makes it a favorite source for people like me.
For months I’ve been hearing ads on the radio from a local car dealer that has carved out a niche in serving people with sub-standard credit. The Paul Blanco used car dealership runs ads featuring their “Fresh Start” credit program bur buyers with scores below 640. At a time in the economy when automotive dealerships are struggling to survive, the Paul Blanco dealership has found a way to stand out in a very competitive market.
What makes your business different from your competitors? The ability to answer that question in a powerful way can put you on the right track to Own Your Niche.