Where’s the Demand?

I just got back from speaking at the Copywriters Bootcamp in Florida. What a wonderful event. (Not to mention wonderful weather!)

I got a chance to chat one-on-one with dozens of business writers and copywriters. Some, old pros who have been in the game for years. Others, talented people who are just starting out.

Infographic 1I met one copywriter who has had tremendous success in the past couple of years targeting and writing for Microsoft Partner companies.

Another writer I had coffee with writes for the gardening industry – a niche I wouldn’t have guessed was viable. She does very well.

What those writers have in common is that they have “found the demand”. In other words, they have discovered a niche or target market where there are plenty of companies that need and, most importantly, want copywriting help.

Legendary sales trainer Stephan Schiffman once said in one of his books that if you’re targeting a niche where there is a strong demand for your services, you can overcome just about any obstacle and succeed.

But – and this is a big but – if you target companies for which there is little or no demand, then you’ll just be banging your head against the wall. You might as well be selling penguin traps in Nunavut. (As you may know, there are no penguins in Nunavut.)

I can’t think of anything more frustrating, discouraging, disheartening, maddening than putting a lot of effort into a particular niche only to find out months or even years later that it’s a crappy market.

So how do you determine, in advance, if there’s going to be a demand for your copywriting services?

One way is to research a cross-section of company websites in the niche or industry you’re thinking of targeting. What you’re looking for is an indication that they produce a lot of marketing communications to help sell their products and services.

Say, for example, you visit a website and discover that the company has dozens of product pages, a press release section, a blog, something to sign up for (like a special report), and an active social media presence.

That’s good news. That means the company probably needs and seeks writing help, at least occasionally (if not frequently.)

In other words, there’s a demand.

Another technique is to see if other writers and copywriters are targeting the same type of companies. If you want to focus on writing for dental practices, for example, you’re going to be encouraged to know that several other writers also target this niche.

That’s a good thing! If other writers are making a good living writing for a particular market, chances are you can too.

The lesson here is simple. Don’t blindly target an industry or niche until you do some research and find out if those companies actually need your services.

As I said, you can overcome any obstacle to growing your business so long as there’s demand. But if there’s no demand you can never succeed, no matter how hard you try.