One of the best strategies for success for your resume writing business is to be a specialist, not a generalist. I've written about targeting a niche numerous times on this blog, but it's a topic that can't be examined enough!
The question of who to target with your resume writing services is one that shouldn't be skimped on. It will affect everything else you do and can determine your success or failure with your resume writing business.
Finding the perfect niche involves weighing a lot of different factors to find the perfect one. Here's how to find the perfect niche.
==> The Niche Brainstorm Process
Start by brainstorming as many niches as you can think of. Get out a note pad and jot down ideas.
Once you run out of ideas to jot down from the top of your head, go to Amazon.com and browse some of the different magazine and book titles. If there's a magazine for it, chances are the market is big enough to support a website.
Jot down more ideas, then head over to eBay Pulse. Again, browse the categories and products that are selling and see if those spark any ideas.
Keep brainstorming for a few days to get all the ideas down on paper.
==> Evaluating Profitability
There's generally a trade-off between ease of ranking and profitability. In other words, if there's a lot of money to be made in a certain market, chances are it's going to be fairly competitive. One example is executive resume writing. While writing executive resumes can be lucrative (generally, these command fees from $400 up to $1500+), there is a lot of competition in this market. There is less competition if you segment this further -- for example, women executives, or manufacturing executives.
For most resume writers, the goal is to find a niche market that has profit potential but isn't too difficult to attract prospective clients. One way to determine your online market is to evaluate online traffic for the niche.
Start by using the Google Keyword Tool to evaluate how many searches your keyword(s) get. Then head over to Google, type in the keywords, and take a look at the top results.
Which resume writing sites are ranking for those keywords right now? Check their PageRank and backlinks using Bing Webmaster Tools. The lower the PageRank and the fewer the backlinks, the better your chances of ranking.
Once you've checked out the search engine competition, evaluate how much money there is to be earned in the niche.
Do this by estimating the average customer value. How much is the average sale worth? (For executive resumes, like I said, the average is probably close to $800). Can additional products be sold to the same customer, and if so how many products and at what price? (Many executives will be open to high level resume distribution services, like Bob Bronstein's ProFile Research.)
After this process, you should have a few potential markets with relatively low competition that have high profit potential that you can target.
==> Evaluating Personal Passion
Once you have a few potential markets to get into, it's time to look at your own resume writing passions. Which market(s) hold the most interest for you, personally? Remember that you're going to be working with these clients, so even if it's a lucrative market, if you don't want to work with these type of clients, do NOT choose that niche!
Be sure to choose a niche that has both profit potential and personal appeal.