Here’s the bottom line, friends. Bubbles are bad, niches are not. You’re free to stop reading now. 🙂
When I say “Beware of the Bubble, Not the Niche,” I refer to the term people throw around about any industry. For example, I hear the phrase “the WordPress Bubble” thrown around a lot – like this article written by my very good friend, Kevin Hoffman.
— Kevin W. Hoffman (@kevinwhoffman) September 27, 2017
The truth is that any industry has a risk of a bubble, not just WordPress. I saw it often in the sixteen years I was in construction.In business, a niche is a good thing; a bubble is not. Click To Tweet
Any business needs a focus. That’s a niche. A bubble is what happens when you only talk to people in your industry. Inside baseball is great, but if that’s all your input you won’t really know your audience — or the market.
What’s a Niche?
A niche is a focus. If everyone is your customer, no one is your customer. Find a focus, or three, and stick with it. For example, I specialize in business-to-business relationship marketing. That rules out retail. But the industries I specialize within that B2B world are franchising, tech, and construction.If your business doesn't have a niche, find it. Everyone is not a customer persona. Click To Tweet
What’s a Bubble?
A bubble is a risk of any industry. It’s what happens when we only talk to people in our industry. Sometimes I refer to this as inside baseball. It’s good and serves a purpose. I can be one of the biggest offenders. I love inside baseball. I love talking about the ins and outs of our industry.Inside baseball is great, but if that's the only opinions you hear, you won't really know your audience -- or the market. Click To Tweet
How do you break out of the bubble?
The first step to overcoming any problem is acknowledging that it exists. Do an audit of your inputs. Are they all in your industry?
- Who is your mentor?
- What do you read?
- What do you listen to?
- What are your hobbies?
- Who do you meet?
Then find out some of your interests that you can explore. Start watching some documentaries, read nonfiction, get a different podcast.
All good ideas come from cross-pollination. Innovation thrives upon open thinking.
Keep your mind open to trends outside of your industry and you’ll have the vision to take your business where it needs to go.
“The great driver of innovation… has been the historic increase in connection.” Steven B Johnson