Web Design Niche, Dunking, and My Fave Way to Find Client Hangouts

Web Design Niche, Dunking, and My Fave Way to Find Client Hangouts

Of all the ways, there are many, to find out where your potential web design niche market hangs out, here’s the one I’d do first (fyi, I use the term hangout as the various places where potential clients are gathering, reading, talking, etc – any place you can go to “get in front” of them so they can now who you are).

Web Design Niche Dunk Tip

Me dunking on poor Kiwis – showing the New York love.
Read on to find the one slam dunk move for finding where your clients hangout.

It’s probably the most obvious one after I tell you.

It’s probably the most uncomfortable if you’re more of a shyer web designer.

It’s the one that will get you to their hangouts the fastest.

Before I tell you, let me ask you a quick question (yes, I’m trying to prod your inner genius to come up with the answer before I lay it on you, and I think I can do it!).

The question is, what is one thing you are good at? A hobby you love doing? A past role you’ve played in life that you loved? Chess player? Hacky sacker? Poet? Camp counselor? What? Anything will do.

For me, three easy ones would be basketball, dungeons and dragons, WordPress. Three things I like doing.

Think of one for yourself. Go ahead, take a moment. Now that you have one thing you like doing, have you ever hung out with other people who do the same? Online or offline? In a class taught locally, online? In print materials like a magazine, book or newsletter of some sort?

Somehow you were connected to others who had the same interest. You got info, you read, talked to, listened to or somehow was in contact with others who had a similar interest.

You, as a specialist or avid enthusiast in your one area knew the various ways to connect with others, information, tips, etc.

Bear with me here …

For me, an avid basketball player, since the age of 8 (41 at this time), have played every since. That’s a lot.

If anyone, while I was living on Long Island, were to ask about basketball, I could almost point to a place to play every day of the week. Just ask me. (hint, hint, hint). Let me repeat, if anyone would ask me, I would know where to go.

I’ve gone abroad to other countries, not knowing where the local games were, and was able to find a game. The itch to play drove me. It took a little work, but I quickly found a game.

Soo ….

I hope you’ve figured out the one quick way to find where your market hangs out … and I’m about to lay it on you …

There was one fool-proof way for me to find other basketball players when I wet abroad to other countries. And that was to open my mouth and start asking.

ANYONE!

I was in France, walking down the street. Saw a guy with a basketball and ran him down and asked. We actually played right there on the spot.

I went to a basketball court, and whoever was there, I asked.

I went onto Facebook and messaged a few people, and asked.

In New Zealand, a big rugby/cricket place, I was even more comfortable asking, I asked anyone who seemed to have something of an athletic build, anywhere. DIdn’t matter because if they didn’t know, they often knew someone who did know or could have known.

Enter Facebook …

If you have 5 friends over the last five years you’re all set. Because they will probably have 50 or more friend. Just ask them. Send a direct message and say, “Hey, I’m looking for a [insert market here.] know any?”

THEN, once you find one person who is in your market, in my case a basketball player, then you’re all set! One person who is in the market will know where others in the market hangout.

Once I found one basketball player in New Zealand, I instantly had 2-3 more places to go find a game. They knew places, players, league, etc.

Just the same – if someone visiting Long Island asked me for a game of basketball, being a player on Long Island, I’d know where they are.

Just the same – you, an avid WordPress junkie (let’s say), anyone who wanted to know the places WordPress junkies hangout, you’d easily know where to point them.

Just the same – if you seek used car dealerships as your market, all you need do is find one used car dealer (ask friends, go to a shop), and ask where they hangout, how to find other used car dealers, what magazines do they get, what “used car dealer” associations are they members of, where do they all advertise (probably the local low-budget or deal saving paper, circular).

Go find one person in your market and ask that person how to find others like them.

Just like you and your interest, me and basketball, a WordPress judie, we all can easily find more like ourselves.

Go find ONE person in the market and ask.

Yes, simple, requires an attitude of just simply asking (without the hidden thoughts of having to sell them, or get them as a client, etc, just go talk).

3 Comments

  1. George · January 12, 2014 Reply

    I like it Kenn! There may be a few typos in the article 😉 but it’s a good one. Just in past life experiences and observations I’ve found that asking around is basically one of the best methods in this regard.

    The other important thing to note is that if you ask around, and realize there’s no place where these people hang out (whether on or offline) then it’s really not a niche market worth considering because a market most likely doesn’t exist in that space.

    Here’s another question too though. Let’s take the used car lot owners. Let’s say you find them hanging out offline at local auto antique shows or online at Car & Driver Magazine’s online forum. The problem is, a lot of other car enthusiasts hang out at these same places too. The used car lot vendors most likely only make up about, say, 10% of the overall demographic of the hangout. So how do you separate the vendors from the hobby enthusiasts when you engage in dialogue, or speak to that hangout? How do you address only that 10%? It’s really the vendors that we’re after (as far as project contracts are concerned). If you don’t target them properly, it will equate to a lot of wasted time in event attending and/or article writing/commenting on your part.

    Too much marketing time/labour (i.e. inefficient marketing) = not worth the 1 or 2 projects you get out of it.

  2. Kenn · January 13, 2014 Reply

    Hey George … thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    It looks like you’re doing some FABULOUS investigatory work. That’s how this stuff is done. Nice. So nice. You’re the expert on finding these used car lot people.

    Maybe 10% is a good enough richness for you to reach your goals – which may be just to secure 1 new client a month and put them on a $400/month website “rental” fee (Maybe a $600/month more advanced site where you can list cars fee). I know a guy who does this and his clients are happy to pay that way – easier on their budgets and mode of running their business.

    After a year, 12 clients, 400 per client, is 4800/month – residual! so getting just residual income for minor tweaks here and there – you can easily outsource.

    In many places, that’s an income that will sustain basic costs of life allowing you time to go play around with other fun projects. In Thailand or many asian countries, you’re a king. Heh.

  3. George · January 13, 2014 Reply

    Lol well actually used car lot people are not my target market. I just brought them up because I figured they would be an example of a particularly tough group of vendors to target, especially online.

    Ok this is getting interesting. I like the fact that we are working with tangible examples and numbers here.

    Can you expand on what an example of a “$400/month website rental fee” would entail using our used car vendor case? Personally, I haven’t encountered many small to medium sized business owners that want to shell out 400 bucks a month, no matter what bells and whistles I promise them and no matter how good I think the value is for their ROI, but then again, perhaps I’m not pitching it right (i.e. tapping into and appealing to the vendor’s life goals as you suggest in your book.)

    How would a used car salesman get his monthly investment back and then some paying $400 / month to a web dev freelancer or studio?

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