Since the beginning, it was my goal to help small businesses in any industry with their marketing solutions and strategy.
Focusing on a broad range of small businesses like that seemed overwhelming, but my ultimate goal none the less. Rather than shooting at potential clients from any industry, I started with like-minded entrepreneurs who had a similar passion for farm to table foods and experiences. What can I say, we just clicked!
My experience in finding a niche
In 2013, I designed my first website for Redhill Nature Resort who previously had a basic HTML website with a few pictures. The website had information, but it did not look like the #1 homestay in India; 2015 winner of Outlook Traveler Award. Prior to this project, I made edits to existing websites using Dreamweaver and WordPress. After a professional photo shoot, I had their website up in 2 weeks. The same year, I was at my favorite bar in Pasadena called Plate 38 chatting up one of many friendly bartenders. I was looking for a creative project to work on and asked if they needed someone to help with their marketing. Immediately an introduction to the Chef-Owner followed which started Markit Rockit’s first month-to-month marketing client.
It was a round-about way to start my marketing consultancy since I started out in video production and editing. After graduating from film school in 2004, I aquired a job in LA working on multiple Warner Bros. television shows as a foley editor. Soon after I changed my career path as a temp-to-hireAdministrative Assistant at Optical Research Associates in Pasadena, CA. Year after year I was promoted to Administrative Assitant IV, then switched over to the Marketing department as a Marketing Coordinator in 2010. Ultimately earning the title Marketing Specialist in 2013. Working at Optical Research Associates, now known as the Optical Solutions Group at Synopsys, I learned from the best of B2B marketers in a very niche industry: optical engineering software. During my time there I attended Art Center College of Design for 3D animation, website design, and video marketing. Just shy of 10 years with the company, in 2015 I resigned and started my own business in marketing for restaurants in the Pasadena area.
Restaurants have a few options for marketing their business. Fishbowl is the largest and most well-known marketing plan, then there are reward programs like Five Star. Other than that chef’s and hospitality managers opt for PR agencies. Chef-Owners are busy people, and many projects are last minute requests. Menus can change day to day.
What’s the difference between a marketing consultant and the other marketing options?
Well, here’s what I offer:
- Last minute promotions, changes, and updates available within 12-24 hours. Other marketers need at least one-week advance notice to complete a request. Some ask that all promotions are made a month in advance. Unfortunately, seasonal farmed foods are not always available one month in advance. Which leaves the marketing to in-house resources, such as a chalkboard or printed menu.
- Face-to-face consultation. It’s just nice when you can see that a person can speak with you in person. I may not be available the entire year, but I visit my clients upon request. Sometimes you just have to be there in person. The other marketers may never meet their clients.
- Convenient communication. I’m available by email, phone, and text and respond asap. Many clients text or email pictures that I send out to their social networks same-day or the next depending on the optimal delivery times.
These are a few benefits to working with a contractor as opposed to a large marketing company. You can see some of my testimonials from clients here.
Over the years I have tried to offer my services to other small businesses, yet farm-to-table restaurants kept popping into my view. Law of attraction? Perhaps. I enjoy working with restaurants on events and promoting their business also helps a community of farmers and local economy. I’m not sure if I found my niche or if my niche found me. Though when it just works and I continue to work with the same clients over the years, it makes sense that this is where I should be in my small business journey.
5 reasons why a niche will help improve ROI for any business
- Opportunity to be a leader in your market/industry and local area.
- Ability to target your audience, clients, and customers directly.
- Improve your marketing strategy to reach your community.
- Be authentic and consistent with your brand and content.
- Easy to find, study, and create strategies based on the competition.
How to find your niche
Define what you offer and value. Do you have preferences within your industry? Perhaps you have a furniture company that finds unique antique pieces for people in Pasadena. You may have pieces from every decade and specialize in all of them. But you have a gift for finding many incredible mid-century pieces in prime condition. Then your niche would be mid-century modern styling and furniture.
Finding a niche might be more difficult for some than others. What if you love everything about your industry? What then? Well, allow me to help you with that by scheduling a simple 30-minute Marketing Strategy Consultation. If you aren’t ready for a marketing strategy yet, there are many business and career coaches who are experts in doing just that. Here are a few of my favorites: Alla Zollers, Naja Hayward, and Gene Hammett.