Monthly Archives: July 2011

First Garden Harvest Feast

Dinner on the Patio - Provided by the Garden!

Most of you know that I am a full service internet marketing professional who has a niche specialty in gardening and horticulture. What better way to share this expertise than blogging about the meal I made from my first garden harvest!

The salad is a slightly spicy red and green mix that I grew from seed. To this, I added some Genovese basil, freshly picked snap peas, and a few nasturtiums that are growing in a container on my patio!

I then used the rest of the snap peas and threw them into a garlic butter saute with some shrimp, added some pepper and salt, a little bit of lemon juice, and some basil – and aoila! Dinner!

I know I should have had a white German Reisling with this meal, but I didn’t have any on hand, so red wine it is! I had a lovely meal, that took me about 10 minutes to make, on my patio this afternoon here in Maine.

As I type, I am waiting for yellow crookneck squash, zucchini squash, heirloom tomatoes, sauce tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, eggplant, spaghetti squash, more salad greens, basil, bush beans, and onions to fully ripen. I should have another harvest of snap peas in about another week and I really should get my butt out there and sow another 2 rows of salad greens.

Gardening sure is a labor of love and it’s terrific when the first fruits of your labor begin to roll in!

Being Niche Means Being Noticed

This post is about being Niche and also engaging in internet marketing.

I had, for the umpteenth time today, heard that a company who is a bit niche in nature decided that engaging in SEO or SEM would be a waste of money because the “audience is so small”. The audience by the way, which is the medical field, is one of the largest business sectors in the U.S.

Being niche is actually an advantage to SEO and SEM. Where there is a need, there is a company that fills that need, and there are customers who will purchase from that company. What creates a difference is economy of scale. A company from Maine who sells double chocolate brownies with almonds and walnuts and embeds a cherry in the middle is just as niche as the company who sells data management software to the pharmaceutical industry.

Just because you aren’t Burpee Seed Company, who sells seeds and other products across the nation, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t engage in internet marketing. The decision to engage in internet marketing should based on the budget you allot to advertising expenses. That budget is in part determined by your expected sales goal, among other things. So whether your advertising budget is $1,000, $10,000, or $100,000, you should engage in internet marketing with a clear idea of what your conversion goals are.

Being niche actually gives you an advantage. You can’t be all things to everyone. Though I am an adept internet marketer who could serve any vertical I choose, I choose to concentrate on the gardening and horticultural market. It’s my love. It’s my passion. I love things that grow. I love things that help things grow. That doesn’t mean I don’t serve other businesses, for I do, it just means I position myself as an SEO and PPC expert for the gardening industry.

I am a search engine optimization professional, who is also a Google PPC expert (my campaigns would make King Arthur jealous), who also knows how to anticipate and calculate catalog circulation numbers, who can write copy for the gardening industry, who can progam an e-commerce website, who also knows how sedimentary budgets operate within barrier island system, that serves the gardening industry. That’s pretty niche. And I have plenty of customers and I am looking for more.

There are always people looking for what you have to offer. The key is finding them and ensuring that the amount you spend to find them doesn’t exceed the cost you are willing to pay to acquire them as a customer. Period.

If you are a niche company, do not tell yourself that organic search engine optimization or pay per click programs won’t work for you. They absolutely work for you; and while they may not generate as much revenue for you as a non-niche company, your customers will convert at a higher rate and remain customers for a longer time (LTV) than a “generalist” company. The end game is not about the total number of sales – it’s about the profit you make that you may then reinvest in your company.

You are what you decide to be. If you decide you are “too small”, then you will be too small, and your competitors will eat your dust.