The internet has offered companies increasingly easy access to market, and infinite choice to customers. Just about anyone can develop a product/service and sell successfully online through digital channels. The problem for companies is getting your customers’ attention in an increasingly noisy market place. Entertainment is a great example of infinite choice for customers – anyone can make a digital recording and put their production up for sale online.
The Tyranny of Choice
Friends of mine have begun working on developing a film production company here in Ottawa, and as they’ve begun to create content the discussion of monetization has come up. It’s fun to dream big, in this case the prospect of making feature films, but a very specific niche needs to be carved out and targeted to achieve success. In the film industry more than half of the revenue goes to the major players, while everyone else compete for the rest of the market share. This is the long tail.
So the question then, is how do you find your niche?
The Superstars and Everyone Else
The biggest realization that most companies need to make is that when you are starting out and self-funded, chances are that your company is not going to play at Carnegie Hall or Madison Square Garden before a sellout crowd. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a very good living doing what you love. However, there needs to be a reality check. You need to take a carefully calculated approach to dominating the market you want to play in and win by finding your niche. Figure out the exact type of audience (niche) you’d like to play for and become the best you can be.
Signal to Noise
Think of finding your niche as sending your signal on a single frequency. You want to zero in on the frequency where your audience is, rather than broadcast to all stations. When someone is looking for exactly what you offer, the internet is going to help them find you. There is a lot of noise in social media today so attempting to spread yourself out over a number of different frequencies when you already have limited signal strength is a recipe for disaster.
Find your niche, get damn good at what you do and generate revenue. It’s an easy thing to say, but a much harder thing to do in practice.