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EXECUTION Restarting the Engine After a Semi-failed Niche Attempt

GoodluckChuck

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It's been a while since I posted any progress. The last thread was written at a high point, spring of this year. I was averaging 12k/mo and roaming around the world. It was great!

In the last few months, things have taken a turn for the worse. I attempted to niche my marketing business into the residential construction industry. The results weren't great.

I must have talked to over 50 business owners that inquired about marketing. 4 of them turned into monthly clients but bailed after only one month. 1 of them was my fault. The results my contractor and I produced were not up to par, so I gave them a full refund. The other 3 petered out on their own accord either because of budget or lack of real vision/goals. They just weren't the right type of clients I need to be working with to grow my own business.

Losing a couple of clients wasn't the end of the world because I have a good core group of clients that pay me monthly to maintain their marketing systems. The income generated from this pays my bills, but not much more.

Things started to fall apart about a month ago. A series of 5 large unforeseen expenses have set me back to the point where I've lost all the financial momentum I had built up. With no solid sales in the pipeline, it's forced me into a corner where I have to take immediate massive action or risk losing the life I've worked so hard to build.

Being forced to hustle to get by reminds me of a few years ago when I started my entrepreneurial journey. It's equal parts excitement and fear. It's a good mixture of emotions to instigate massive action.

Here's my plan to get back on track:

  1. I'm selling some stuff I don't use like my Nintendo Switch. I used my copywriting skills to make a rediculous listing on the Facebook marketplace. I talked about how I played Zelda while flying over the ocean... I posted it this morning and lined up a buyer for my asking price. Meeting him in the morning.

  2. I'm throwing a hail mary and going after a new niche market to sell my web design and marketing services. It's an unsexy industry and one that most people probably never heard of. To my knowledge, there isn't another marketing company that focuses on it. That could be good or bad...

    Their largest yearly meetup is this week and I'm going. I've been in contact with one of the keynote speakers and he's agreed to take me by the shoulder and introduce me to a bunch of potential clients. I've agreed to help him with his website and marketing as well as explore ways to collaborate on adding value to this industry. It could be really good, or nothing. I think it's worth the risk. I bought a year's membership for the association and tickets to the event. I got an Airbnb next door to the event center to save on hotel costs and used airline miles for the airfare. Got to love miles!

  3. I'm trying my hand at Upwork. I've had an account for a long time and have hired a lot of people on it, but never used it to find work. I found a lot of listings for marketing and content production related to the remodeling and construction industry, my specialty. I used all my credits sending 11 proposals. I love writing and know a shit load about remodeling, so it could be a good way to make some quick $ and build a reputation for future work with these clients and others.

  4. I've got marketing campaigns going for my marketing business aimed at residential construction. I haven't totally given up on this but will not be spending as much time as I was before pursuing it. I've written a couple of comprehensive articles over the last 3 days that should rank well on Google with a couple of backlinks and on-page SEO tweaks. I'm sending emails to my list of roughly 150 contractors sharing these articles with some semi-aggressive calls to action trying to get the right people to contact me about marketing.

With enough hustle, I know that something will pan out. If things aren't looking good in a month or so, I'm going to have to find a job to make ends meet while I continue to try and build this thing.

I'm disappointed in myself for letting it get to this point. I let my foot off the gas when things were going good and I'm paying for it now. It's a good lesson in life and business and one that I am taking to heart.

I'll do my best to share the details of this lesson as it unfolds so that you can learn from my successes and failures. I'll be vague about some details so that I can be more revealing about others.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Lucky Lu

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You mentioned that when you were thriving you decided to switch niches and did not work. Couldn't you just go back to what you were doing? And fron that move to the new segment at a more steady pace.

Good luck, you will make it for sure
 
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GoodluckChuck

GoodluckChuck

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You mentioned that when you were thriving you decided to switch niches and did not work. Couldn't you just go back to what you were doing? And fron that move to the new segment at a more steady pace.

Good luck, you will make it for sure
It's not really that I switched niches, I just started dedicating time and resources to a specific niche.

What I was doing before was straight hustling any way I could, which is exactly what I'm back to.
 
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GoodluckChuck

GoodluckChuck

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Sent 13 proposals on Upwork in the last 12 hours. I got one gig so far. Nothing huge, but it feels good to be able to make a couple hundred bucks appear out of nowhere. Instant feedback like this is rare in the entrepreneur world.

I got it because I made the cover letter personal and included a link to where my company website so they could see what I'm all about. The guy that hired me used to live in my city.
 

NMdad

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I like your #2 strategy of infiltrating a niche association--especially helping the keynote speaker, who can then introduce you to prospects. Industry associations can be good sources of prospects/clients, since you can often get a list of their members--or at least their leadership, who are often good prospects--and even after talking with a handful of prospects, you'll obtain deeper niche-specific info that'll help you formulate ways to help them.
 
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GoodluckChuck

GoodluckChuck

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Update:

The Convention:
The convention went well. I met a lot of people, namely a few influential people that are looked up to in the industry. I also connected with the marketing director of the organization and the editorial team and talked about writing articles for their website and publications. They are also interested in me possibly teaching workshops. All together the stage is set to add value to the industry and generate awareness for myself and my offerings.

I was also able to snag roughly 2500 names and business names of people that attended the convention. The event had a special app that allowed you to look through the list of attendees and add them to your list. You could then email yourself the list, so I've got an excel file with the names and business names. It took a few hours to manually get all of them, but I think it will be worth it. These folks were willing to spend hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars to attend this event. That's a good sign.

The plan is to go through and sort them based on region and type of business. Then, I'll go through the list and manually find the contact information and make contact. I'll use the event as a conversation starter and possibly leverage some of the connections I've made to instigate a conversation.

I learned a lot about the industry and the people that make it up. There is certainly a need for web design and marketing even though the industry as a whole is pretty busy right now. A lot of companies are seriously behind the times and haven't acknowledged the importance of technology. The ones that have embraced it are growing wildly.

On Monday I'll start reaching out to the people on my list and talking to them. We'll see what comes of it. This will be the first large cold outreach campaign that I've done so I expect to learn a lot.

Upwork:
Upwork has impressed me so far. With zero reputation, no specialized profiles, and nothing but a general profile, I've managed to land jobs with two people out of 15 proposals. For the first guy, I've already completed 5 jobs and have 2 more cooking over the weekend; all writing gigs. The second person hired me today to write some website content over the weekend.

The money isn't amazing but the ease at which I've been able to find gigs surprised me. If I were a young digital nomad sitting in Bali, I could earn enough in a week on Upwork to pay for a month of living no problem...

I'm looking forward to building up my profile as I believe it will just get easier to get higher-paying jobs.

I attribute the little bit of success I've had to my being able to write and communicate well. That's really all it is.

Selling Stuff:
I sold the Nintendo for $370 though I was asking for $350. I think Christmas time is the best time to sell this type of stuff. The demand was through the roof. Glad to have a little bit of extra change in the pocket for something I haven't looked at in 7 months.
 

ArnoldCopywriter

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Sent 13 proposals on Upwork in the last 12 hours. I got one gig so far. Nothing huge, but it feels good to be able to make a couple of hundred bucks appear out of nowhere. Instant feedback like this is rare in the entrepreneur world.

I got it because I made the cover letter personal and included a link to where my company website so they could see what I'm all about. The guy that hired me used to live in my city.
You mentioned having copywriting skills. Use those skills to small business owners that need sales copy. Find a business that is in desperate need of a copywriter, and you'll score a bigger check than scraping Upwork.

Ideas: Vets, Lawyers, Dentists, Gamers, Dating Site Owner, Local Grocery Stores, ...

... write them a stellar sales letter about how you can help market with your copywriting skills.

I
 

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