If you want to witness the strength of Niching, you need look no further than the publishing industry. In a time when dour economic news hangs over the horizon, the publishing industry, always very sensitive to the public’s buying habits, has responded by offering more and more niche-oriented titles.
An example of this can be seen in the recent flurry of science-themed magazines. These publications, aimed at an audience interested in high tech, home hacks, and basic life sciences, are experiencing a resurgence: good news for established titles Scientific American, newer titles such as Discover Magazine, and even titles once thought long dead, like Science Illustrated.
Publishing news can often help us identify trends. In this case, publishers are responding to “a renaissance of interest in science”, and the results show up on the magazine rack. In fact, savvy entrepreneurs know that magazines and other time sensitive publications can serve as a barometer of public interest and the relative strength of trends. Right now, when knitting is as hot as hot can be, there are dozens of knitting publications on the shelf — yet you’d be hard pressed to find a crochet-specific title. Careful attention must be paid, if you truly want to understand the substance and the nature of a trend.
Successful Nichepreneurs look for the overlap between their professional skills and personal passions. Look to the media — especially quick paced media: newspapers, magazines, and especially websites — to see if opportunities exist for you to stake you ground.
It’s good to consume media critically. A devoted aficionado can put together a top notch web publication in their home office without incurring a substantial expense, creating an impression of more substance than really exists. However, print media requires more capital investment — if publishers are willing to throw substantial resources into covering a trend, there’s a good chance it has ‘legs’.
Watch the number of publications focused on any particular market segment to gain an idea of that niche’s relative health. When Poker was enjoying record popularity, there were dozens of magazines devoted to the game: now that legislation has curtailed online gaming, interest has dwindled and publications have folded.
Part of developing your Nichepreneur mindset is the assessment of opportunities. Critical perusal of the media can be a vital tool to have when developing that Nichepreneur mindset.
Consider not only what publications are appearing that are relevant to your industry, but who’s publishing those magazines. Who advertises in them? Who creates the content that fills the pages: who writes the articles, or more importantly, who is quoted in them?
The answers to these questions may present opportunities for the savvy Nichepreneur to market themselves. Writing an article — or even better, a regular column! — in a publication devoted to your industry can do an unbelievable amount of good to establish you as an expert in your field. Companies that advertise heavily in these new publications may be viable partners in strategic alliances, or willing to sponsor your speaking appearances at trade shows or conventions.
Commit yourself to keeping a close eye on the media devoted to your niche. Changes in the publishing world often act as a barometer, helping you identify profitable trends before they become fully established.