When establishing a niche, most firms look at the marketing angle, jumping into discussions of how to leverage customized web pages, brochures, LinkedIn, industry seminars, published articles, trade associations, and other communication tools. Before you get that far though, consider whether or not you and your firm are up for the challenges, cost, and time commitment needed to really grow a powerful niche practice.
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In order to market your industry expertise, you need to first demonstrate your ability to deliver specialized services within the niche. For example, if working with medical practitioners, ask yourself what you know about medical practice management, billing and coding, office policies and procedures, or physicians’ contracts. If you are not familiar with most of the key aspects facing today’s physicians, you probably don’t have a niche.
You can learn everything you need to become an industry leader, but that’s where the time commitment and cost comes in. The firm must be ready to invest in getting someone ramped up – which takes some time - or possibly consider hiring the experts and bringing them into your firm to short cut the process.
In any case, marketing the niche requires a mix of activities and a significant amount of time to build your firm’s name in any targeted area. As critical as the marketing “tools” are, building relationships will be one of the keys to the niche’s success. Get to know all of the players in the industry market you have chosen and begin to demonstrate how your and the firm can be the first place to go for industry issues, trends, ideas and solutions.
When you are confident that you are indeed industry experts, the marketing and branding will evolve naturally as a result of your ongoing involvement and networking in the niche.