Classroom to Copy #3: How Copy Chief Helped Me Find A Lucrative Niche
9:56AM Apr 14, 2023
Hi everyone, how's it going? So, I get asked this question a lot. And I want to talk about this today as a follow up to the discussion that we've been having about leveraging your past career to break into copywriting. So, this question is about, you know, how do you find your niche after, you know, spending several years in a completely different industry? You know, maybe some people are sick of that industry and they don't necessarily want to write copy for that specific industry. You know, how do you find that unique space in direct response copywriting that fits you like a glove. And if you'd asked me 10 years ago, that you know I would be doing financial copy, writing about real estate investing, I would have laughed in your face. Because I come from, you know, I haven't really met anyone else like me. With my background. I've met one of the person in financial publishing, but she she's not a copywriter. And she and I both went to art school of all things, right. I spent four years in Chicago, studying Fine Art and Writing. I never really made either one of those I've never really made a career out of either, like not as an artist or a writer because I knew that, you know, I even during those four years, I was spending summers back in Singapore teaching and that was what I wanted to focus on. I knew I had you know, six years of teaching ahead of me. So I would hold exhibitions for fun, but I never really like put myself out there as an artist. So, you know, that's, I guess the first aspect of what said into my current niche and interest in writing about, you know, finance and investing. It's that I just love coming up with extremely crazy ideas, and four years of art school will just reinforce that. And I think that's what really helped. When I looked at different kinds of copy when I first started out financial copywriting and the promos I watched were the only thing that really lit up my brain and made me think like this is super cool like this. Is kind of wacky, and it kind of has to be wacky, because, you know, the markets really sophisticated. They've seen so many of these ads before and you really need to know how to transubstantiate the story around you know, the stock market or an opportunity if you want to grab someone's attention and my brain loves doing that. So there's like one side of it all. The other side is you know, as a teacher from a very exam oriented education system. I found that in order to keep track of my progress as a teacher, I had to track a lot of statistics. I had to track grades and numbers just to see, you know, if what I was teaching, was actually working you know, if my tactics and strategies were actually making an impact on students, and I just fell in love with I became very nerdy about numbers and spreadsheets and creating charts and diagrams. So in financial coffee, you can't go like completely off the rails right and just create stories out of thin air. You still need to back everything with statistics and proof and logical arguments. And I would say six years of teaching students to write like persuasive and argumentative essays. And then also that side of me that really loves numbers. I love numbers, but I don't love mathematics. And I cannot explain how that works. But all of those experiences I didn't know at the time were feeding into my future interest in financial copywriting. So when I first watched that promo one night, it was like nothing I've ever seen before. It was so theatrical. It was almost like a documentary. But it was also talking about money, and it made money so interesting. And you know, as an artist, I can appreciate everything that went into producing a video like that. And, you know, to me it was a work of art, both in a literary sense and a visual sense. So yeah, that's how I found my niche. And I think I'm just very lucky that I found this very weird corner off the direct response copywriting universe. That just lit up my brain. That's I think the best way I can describe, you know, finding a niche. It's when you finally find it, it lights up your brain. It doesn't just feel like you're reading copy and words on the page. So yeah, I see that past experience. And all those interests have had my entire life you know, as something that actually boosts my career. That said, another very important aspect of finding a niche for me because I have lots of other diverse interests. So another really important aspect of niching down was getting feedback on the niches I was interested in. And that's where being part of the copy chief community and having access to Kevin and being able to pick his brain and talk about my, you know, different niche interests. That was really important for me because, you know, I was able to leverage the experience of, you know, all these copywriters who just knew better about the different industries out there. And here's the really important thing like Kevin was able to guide me in the direction of niches that were actually lucrative. Because if I hadn't gotten that kind of feedback, you know, I might be struggling right now to write for the pet industry. You know, I mean, I love cats, and I was like, Wouldn't it be cool to write about cats all day and then I found out from Kevin, it's not it more often than not, it's not a direct response, copy friendly industry. So instead of like feeling around in the dark, and then then trying out different niches, only to figure out that they don't pay well. You know, talking to lots of people, and finding out if what you're interested in is also lucrative. I think that's really important. Then, the last thing I wanted to mention, was, you know, I wanted to start something else on the side, besides financial copywriting. You know, I wanted to start something that didn't feel like work. So I started exploring other niches, and, you know, still having those conversations with other people with Kevin about, hey, is this lucrative, you know, is this something that will make me money? And we started out with maybe writing for martial arts gyms, because, you know, before I got really badly injured, I love martial arts, and I wanted to be able to write for them and Kevin was like, yeah, that there's all potential there could be very lucrative. And I was just so excited to get started. I kind of like jumped headfirst into it. And then I realised that this doesn't light up my brain. And I'm not very comfortable in this space. So I think it's important to try something out also, but never to not see that niche, something that's forever and, you know, they're chained to it for life. Because for me, the moment I realised like okay, this writing for the fitness and gym industry isn't for me. I felt bad, you know, that. Well, I've started making all these contacts in this industry already, like, what do I do with all of that? But at the moment, I just allowed myself to keep exploring you know, and to remind myself that it's okay. And I mean, I'm lucky that financially I don't have to worry about putting down this niche and looking elsewhere to see something to look for something that fits right.
But I think it's really important to not like, Okay, you pick something that you specialise in and focus on for now. And to be okay, if when the when you know, the time comes and it no longer fits, and you're no longer comfortable. Yeah, so I think there's a lot of pressure to like, niche down and then declare that niche to the world. And I think we can still do that, like I still do that. But then I'm also open to the day when something no longer lights up my brain and I want to look elsewhere. Because I also know that if it's if something stops lighting up, my brain by copy is going to suffer. So yeah, that's, you know, in 10 minutes, that's how I niche down and that's why I think about niching and hopefully in my next episode of I don't know what to call this yet, but in my next episode, I'm going to have a friend on the call with me, and we're going to talk about our experiences in teaching and how, you know, we've leapfrogged from that into copywriting today. Alright, thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week.