In times past, copywriters typically wrote for niches with a high need and heavy respect for copywriters. The obvious places to look for work were direct marketing agencies, corporate marcom (marketing communications) departments, and publishers, to name a few.
But today, work opportunities for copywriters have expanded greatly. That’s because clients became tired of unaccountable general advertising and pushed their agencies to do more direct response. Over time direct marketing became mainstream and shed its image as the “ugly step sister” of image advertising.
And while there’s still a tendency to look to traditional markets for work – insurance and banking, technology and publishing, non-profit and health – it really pays to think out the box.
For instance, one of my students is blending her literary talents with her copywriting skills to offer a unique solution to a market we’ve dubbed “the passion marketers.” This group of marketers can use her considerable ability to craft stories that sell.
Another coaching student lives in Belgium, speaks several languages, and has a rich understanding of cultures. For him, we’re developing a target list of multi-national corporations that will value his unique ability to write copy that’s “localized” to different cultures and countries.
Each of my students niches into a market that will value their unique talents, backgrounds, education, knowledge, and/or experience. Sometimes that experience leads us to a “traditional” niche rather than one we create ourselves. In this case, my students often niche “deeper” into the niche in order to make the connection between their unique talents and the needs of the potential client.
A great example is David A., who recently finished my coaching program. David came to me with the desire to build a copywriting career that would allow him to pursue his passions for fine wines, cultural foods and European travel.
David’s copywriting style and philosophy made him an excellent candidate for niching into the publications world. However, there are an incredible number of publications treating as many subjects. By looking at David’s unique interests, talents, and background, we determined that he should niche more deeply than just “publications.”
Today David is building a unique business as the copywriter for publishers, marketers, and organizations that sell fine foods, wines, and entertaining.
When new coaching students come to me they often think they must pull from past experience when determining the right niche market for them. This is only partly true. Some of my students loathe the idea of using skills and knowledge from previous careers because that’s what they want to get away from.
I explain that we can pull from three areas of their life to structure a profitable niche market: their past work experience, their passions, and their copywriting talents.
For instance, Gary C. wanted to niche into the diet aids and nutritional supplements markets. For him, we focused on a special copywriting talent this niche would value highly: that of being able to get and use extremely powerful testimonials.
Another past student didn’t want to use her advertising background, so she decided to follow a passion: that of quilting (she’s a fifth generation quilter). Although I’m not sure if she continued her path, we did determine that the quilting market is very large, and we also agreed that she could very well be the only copywriter in the entire world serving that niche.
Niching into a desirable market not only allows the copywriter to position him or herself as an expert, and therefore gain better clients at higher pay, but it also provides that thing that so many crave, but that so few have: meaningful work that fuels the imagination and feeds the soul…while also growing the bank account.