Well this is terrifying. But here goes.
I have a direction. A specialty I’m going to work toward for my web agency.
I don’t want to say “I’ve chosen my niche forever!” because that sounds really permanent. But I have chosen something, and I’m excited.
Here’s a little background: Three years into running my web agency, I got very, very tired of feeling generic and boring. We were working with any clients who would hire us, without being truly great at any one thing.
I decided in 2016 that I wanted to differentiate. I wanted to find a specialty for my web agency and finally stand out in a certain skillset or market. I wrote a fairly extensive blog post about it in April 2017 and forced myself to post a video about it that I had recorded a month before.
So as of today, I’ve been actively searching for a specialty for my web agency for over a year and a half. I’ve been blogging and creating videos about it for 8 months.
To be honest, it’s been really frustrating.
Nothing worked. I came up with a lot of ideas. None of them felt right.
Until a chance encounter with a new friend at a conference.
How One Person Can Change Everything
A month ago, I attended a women’s business conference where I met a big-time wedding planner who I really admire (here’s the whole story).
After a little bit of chatter, I ended up looking into some issues she was having with her search engine rankings after a big website redesign.
What I discovered—Her 6-page rankings drop was due to a web developer who knew nothing about SEO but pretended to be an SEO expert.
I was truly personally offended for her. I still am.
Since then, I’ve poked around more and identified a ton of issues on her site that need to be fixed. And it’s been really, really fun.
Blog post ideas for her pop into my head all day long, and I scramble to write them down.
I find myself making lists of link opportunities in her industry when I’m supposed to be working on something else.
Finally, an idea has gotten me excited. So here goes:
SEO Consulting and SEO-Optimized Web Design for Wedding Professionals
I’m going to pursue a specialty in the wedding industry. Specifically in providing SEO services and search engine optimized websites for wedding professionals, an area that seems to be sadly lacking for this niche.
I’ll be looking to work with wedding planners, photographers, caterers, venues, florists… any business that offers wedding-related services and sells to brides.
I’ll talk more about tactics and next steps in the coming weeks. But for now, having a direction and actually sharing it feels so good (but scary too).
Here’s What’s Weird:
There was no real process for this.
I had really hoped to find a step-by-step way that web freelancers and agencies could identify a specialty that might work for them. This has been so hard for me, I wanted to find a resource to point others to that would help make this easier.
But it didn’t happen that way.
No amount of analysis or scoring or market research got me anywhere. I spent hours researching, and still nothing.
My heart and interests made the decision for me.
I have no experience working in this industry.
The second thing that’s unexpected? I’m pursuing this with no industry experience.
Other than helping my wonderful friend and wedding photographer Tessa with her website over a weekend, I’ve never worked with wedding professionals.
I was so convinced that I needed to choose an industry that we had worked in before, so we could prove ourselves with past results. But that feels less important now.
I’ll build up some quality content and some initial case studies and see how it goes. I can’t let this idea go by just because my agency haven’t proven our specific impact yet. I know we can do an amazing job for this type of client, even without a whole book of specific experience.
So what’s next?
I have started work on an industry-specific website to market our new wedding SEO services. I’m focusing really hard on a minimum viable product so I can get a small site up soon.
You can bet I will be sharing how I start off in this direction and where it takes me. Thanks for putting up with me so far.