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May 6, 2009

SEM Synergy Extras – Niche Services Stand Out

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One of my favorite things about planning and co-hosting Bruce Clay, Inc.’s weekly WebmasterRadio show, SEM Synergy, is getting access to the top minds in the Internet marketing industry. Every week is a new adventure into a special field, be it local business with Patrick Sexton, interest-based ads with David Szetela, analytics with Richard Zwicky, or information retrieval with David Harry. Even if slightly intimidated, I’m always awed by the depth of my guests’ knowledge.

Search & Social logo

Today my guest was Jordan Kasteler, co-founder of the Internet marketing company Search & Social. After working as an in-house SEO and SEO director for several companies, Jordan decided he had collected the experience and expertise needed to start a new company specializing in, what else, search and social media marketing. Jordan is also a host for the WebmasterRadio program Mobile Presence along with Cindy Krum and Kim Dushinski. Jordan has found the niche marketing platforms that he excels in and has made a name for himself there.

This isn’t intended to be a post all about how totally cool Jordan is — although there’s no denying that he is — but rather, it struck me that Jordan has figured out the secret to successful marketing, not only for clients, but also for himself.

cluttered desk
Photo by Nai. via Creative Commons

There are a lot of Internet marketing companies that offer to do it all. It makes sense because it’s common for an SEO client to say, “Hey, can you add some link building to that contract of ours?” or “I was reading the other day about Facebook. Is that something you can manage for us?” The needs of each client are different and so every project evolves with its own unique demands. It doesn’t make sense to reject a client’s request if the request makes sense, right? And the tight economy has increased the frequency of such dilemmas because turning away work just isn’t an option.

But this kind of necessity can lead marketers down a precarious path where they spread themselves too thin amongst services that aren’t their strong suit. Contrary to intuition, the best thing for a marketer in this position might be to narrow the focus of their services rather than broaden them. By specializing in one field you can devote more time and energy into being the very best.

At Web Marketing Today, Dr. Ralph Wilson wrote a great guide to finding and defining your niche. Although it was published in 2004, the lessons it holds are evergreen. Ask yourself what you enjoy most. Brainstorm a list of keywords that describe those fields. Research the supply and demand of those keywords and the average bid price. And, finally, check out the competition in that field. If something jumps out that you like to do and are good at, that is a newly emerging field with great potential or that isn’t saturated with competitors, you’ve found yourself a winner. Then again, you can flourish in even the most established and competitive fields if your determination and expertise rise above the rest.

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One response to “SEM Synergy Extras – Niche Services Stand Out”

  1. Dave writes:

    aw there U go again being so suhweet (or is that ‘awe’?) – Enjoyed the show and have known Jordan for a few years now, always fun to talk shop with (and has an unhealthy addiction to Sphinn). I met Dave (Spider) Snyder last year and they make a great team fer sure… thanks for the heads up, mighta missed it (just never enough hours in the day huh?).

    Ciao m’lady…and keep up the great work!



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