Monday, August 30, 2010

Does a writer really need a niche?

I’ve been hearing the same refrain from many writing quarters out there. Find a niche; find a niche. Arrrrg! If I hear that one more time, I’ll scream.  I’m a generalist therefore I’m nicheless. I have a way with words and always have.  The proponents of finding your niche, say write down what you know best, what you love, what you do then pick one and make that your niche.
I did, but the list is way too long, and I don’t want to write exclusively about any one thing.  I’m a jack-of-all and with serious research and a little help from Google, master of many.
Being a generalist stands me in good stead, as I work for various organizations in diverse industries with different needs.  With each company, I assume a company hat and You and Me becomes We.  At the table, I pose the following questions:

  1. Who are we, and what is our mission?
    Most large companies understand the necessity of a mission statement. Some do not.  If you don’t know who you are and what your mission is, how can you tell others?
  2. How do we want to be perceived and by whom?
    Are you a team player or a specialist, active in the community, a buyer or a seller, warm and fuzzy or strictly business?
  3. What tools do we need to convey all of the above?
    1. Newsletter for your clients/prospects: Print or Electronic, a Blog, Social Media page (Facebook, Twitter)
    2. Newsletter for your employees: Electronic is fine, but print travels home to the family.
    3. Public Relations: The art of getting stories placed in print through press releases.  Stories in a paper are more apt to be read and remembered than the usual business section quick press clips and paid ads. (Link)
    4. Marketing: Materials for the sales team to carry and leave behind with customers, direct mail, print ads and more.

Nothing against writers that believe they need a niche to succeed, but I think that a narrow view is limiting.  There is so much variety out there to know, learn and convey to others, I can’t imagine limiting myself to any one thing. 
If I can help you convey a message for your company, let me know.  I’d love to learn all about you.

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