Without a niche aspect to your DTP business, it’s easy to start think of yourself as a hunter – “shooting everything that moves."
The Importance of a Niche
The problem of taking a generalist approach to your new DTP business is that it can be hard to build momentum around a particular type of client or industry. However, if you can develop a reputation for doing the very best work in a tight niche, it becomes far easier to book new business and to attract more client referrals. Some popular niches for desktop publishing professionals include creating targeted materials for:
• Pharmaceutical Representatives
• Legal Professionals
• Medical Professionals
• Political Campaigns
• Self-Published Authors
Inventory Your Life Experience
Part of choosing the right niche involves leveraging your own experience. If you previously worked in a law firm, than many of your very best first customers will likely be law firms. Likewise, if you once studied political science in college, you might find it easier to attract business from political campaigns and from government officials. Bringing your own experience about a particular industry can set you apart from competitors who don’t understand the needs of your target audience. More importantly, connections you made from previous jobs and from past networking circles offer the ripest opportunities for new business.
Pursuing Multiple Passions
Running your own desktop publishing business also gives you the ability to target a niche that you’re passionate about. You may not ever want to actually work in a professional kitchen, but specializing in creating attractive menus can offer you exposure to the restaurant trade. Likewise, a strong reputation for creating powerful travel brochures can help you develop strong ties within the tourism industry. In some cases, you may be able to barter your work for discounts on meals and hotel visits, as well as any other services and products in your chosen niche.
Leveraging Niche Networks
Competitors often talk to each other, regardless of their industry. As you start to create high quality DTP projects for your clients, their own peers and mentors will ask them how to reach you. Making it easy for your existing clients to offer referrals and testimonials is a common practice among successful desktop publishing business owners. Before long, new clients will start to ask you to build on the kind of success you created for their peers.