Some Totally Random Niche Ideas For Freelancers Looking To Be More Imaginative With Their Pitching
Here’s one: if you want to look different, stop saying that you specialize in B2B tech
I’ve written plenty of verbiage recently about how I’ve moved away from positioning myself as a freelance writer and onto … my next professional iteration.
Should Writers Start Branding Themselves “Content Entrepreneurs” To Escape Freelancing Suckydom?
Some thoughts on a piece that rages against the broken gig economy. And why I personally believe the answer is a…
What can I say? Words matter. Branding matters. And how you present the value you can bring to your potential clients can make the difference between squabbling over $100 and landing a comfortable monthly retainer that also provides you scope to do way more than simply take in briefs and spit out words.
Nevertheless, freelance writers tend to do one interesting thing and I think it has application far beyond that neck of the marketing woods: they’re very focused on niches. Niches matter, too. But you can be more clever about which ones you zone in on.
Why I’ve Stopped Identifying As A ‘Freelance Writer’ — Or A Writer At All
Why I (Sadly) No Longer Think Freelance Writing Is A Good Space To Be In
The niche-du-jour right now?
B2B technology. I’ve been helping technology companies to market since I first managed marketing communications for one about 8 years ago. And you know something? I’ve still never figured out why whether a business sells to other businesses (B2B) or direct to consumers (B2C) matters should be your first point of differentiation. The only explanation: it’s a good keyword.
But let’s put that aside for the time being. If everybody is chasing after the (relatively few) potential clients who happen to be AI startups or purveyors of some new IoT tool…. you’re going to facing some stiff competition.
Why not take your random hobbies and life observations and try to go after somebody who’s possibly never been randomly pitched for work … potentially ever. Somebody like.
Why Should Should Start Pitching People Like Specialist Purveyors Of Vexillology Solutions
I’ve mentioned two things here before.
I was diagnosed, not so long ago with ADHD. And I briefly went through a flag kick (yes, you read that correctly).
Now here’s a little more in the way of explanation (I’ll take any chance I can get to break down stigmas and explain things):
ADHDers tend to go through intense periods of fascination with niche subjects and to commit to them with an odd overmeasure of focus. This is known as hyperfocusing (it can last for hours, days, or months). I’ve also mentioned that — in pre-diagnosis days — I once developed an inexplicable ‘thing’ for flags. Thankfully, the only fad I’ve been through since — video — is both more normal and seems to have weathered the test of time. Now you get the connection.
Thankfully — or actually quite sadly — I never started my own variation of Fun With Flags.
But I did build up a collection that might give your local foreign affairs department a run for its money.
Now here’s the thing about the flag industry.
You know who needs flags and flagpoles?
A lot of people:
- Governments at all levels
- Large corporations
- Anybody involved in the world of public affairs
What to these entities all have in common?
- Probably pretty stable
- Likely very cash buoyant
Did you ever hear anybody prophesying that the era of flags and flagpoles is about to come to a screeching halt?
You didn’t! Almost nobody is writing about flags.
Are flags trendy? No.
A trend somebody is going to write about and attract a whole flood of excited newbies?
Are flags going anywhere?
Maybe eventually when we’ll replace them with laser projections of countries’ colors but probably not for the foreseeable future. Governments are monoliths and don’t tend to do things like scrap their national collections of flags because they felt a whim to do so.
These may seem like elementary questions to ask but they’re potentially not the worst way to screen a potential niche for profitability and long term potential.
So perhaps you should market to flag companies.
Really- they exist- literally in every country on the planet. I’ve bought a few fixtures from my local one.
Did you ever wonder who schools and embassies and government departments buy their flags and flagpoles from? They don’t drop down from the sky. Flag companies. B2B sales. It goes on every day without anybody noticing because … it’s not trendy.
Dear Rosehill Flags,
From the moment I first created my own crest, as a mere child of five, I have been enamored by the world of vexillology.
My connection now encompasses more than 500 flags, including every member state of the UN, hobbyist designs, and some of my own output. But whenever a flag catches my eye, I still feel that same childish energy that first magnetized me to this vital field that dignifies states and officials with the protocol befitting their stature. There’s something about the sight of our nation’s flag fluttering in the breeze that sets my heart on fire. Still.
As you can tell, I’m also a writer. A vexillological verse-spinner. And I couldn’t help but notice that you have never created a blog! Did you know that if you did you could be reaching X many more views per month? My flag fanaticism. Your blog blackhole. They could do great things. Together. As one.
I’m enclosing a photograph of me and my latest design which I’ve also had couriered to your office. I know all about flags, flag brackets, and I think there’s a lot that could be said about how symbolism is still relevant even in this pressured era.
You get the idea.
How may cold pitches are you likely to be competing against? Maybe none!
At the least, my experience has been that people who have weird hobbies — flags hasn’t been my only pit-stop — love to hear from other oddbods.
Creating a human to human connection is easier when it’s blatantly obvious that you really care about and get what the business is doing.
Generally, true subject matter expertise is hard if not impossible to fake.
So companies can distinguish pretty easily between wannabees who are targeting a niche because it’s “hot” and those who are generally interested in the space.
You may think that you’re managing to “convince” your pitch list that you care about IoT.
But if you actually don’t, you’re probably actually fooling nobody.
Some more ideas for people you could pitch and get yourself to the front of a very short or non-existent queue:
- Whatever other weird hobbies you have that you know not many people are into. I used to be really into Turkish coffee which is still kind of the undiscovered gem of the coffee world.
- Fertilization solutions.
- Indispensable medical devices.
- A good one: aspects of the technology world that are slow-moving and don’t tend to be flooded with discourse about surface-level developments by very eager startups. Networking is, in my opinion, a great example. The move from IPV4 to IPV6 but vitally important. Ditto the 5G rollout or When stuff really matters to billions of people in the world, the ecosystems that surround them tend to actually be quite slow-moving. Slow-moving is good. It means stable.