How Community Gives Secrets to a Niche
I belonged to the same writer's group for seventeen years. Throughout those seventeen years, many twists and turns occurred. As for me, I gave birth to six children, and I dragged each one to group until the invisible umbilical cord could be snipped.
In that group we faced many tragedies and good times together. We endured the deaths of members, deaths of loved ones, illnesses, cancer, and we welcomed grandkids, weddings, and of course celebrated the occasional published book or article. So when I moved out of state, I expected that leaving the group would be hard. I was surprised at what was hard about it. What I struggled with the most was giving up the familiar comfort of being known.
After I thought about it, the desire to be surrounded in an environment where you are known and where people understand you is one of those deep core needs. It's one of those desires that possibly many of our potential clients have secretly hidden deeply within themselves. If we can extend the helping hand of "knowing someone" to them, not only would we get more clients, but more importantly, we would be meeting a deeply basic need. Read on, and I'll demonstrate that concept by describing what happened to me.
To remedy my loneliness and keep depression from nipping at my toes in a new state, I gathered my courage and sought out another writer's group. I put on my suit of courage and walked into a new room filled with strangers and looked around.
The first lady I ran into reminded me of a writer friend who had also moved away. She was pleasant, friendly, had kind eyes and a maternal nature about her. There was no way I could continue to feel uncomfortable with her there. As the room filled with people, the more I was filled with a feeling of being at home, the same as with my other group. The topics of discussion focused on familiar things-the effort we all put into the task of writing well, and the disgust we felt for people who don't take the art seriously but who seem to dominate the book charts. We discussed great movies to go see, and the structure of this book or that. We explored different genres-and a favorite topic-how people can stand to read vampire books? On and on it went with banter over style, word choices, and how accurate one must be if you're writing fiction? There was even the familiar habit of combining people's stories to spin a funny tale.
I was amazed that I had traveled eight hundred miles and moved to a place where the culture was extremely different and still so familiar. As I reflected on this strange occurrence, it dawned on me that this was a perfect example of why niche-ing is so important. I bet if I traveled anywhere in the United States, or to Canada or Europe, similar feelings would be present in writer's groups because similar types of personalities are into writing fiction.
Just like similar personalities gather in speaking organizations, or sales organizations etc. When you get to understand these types of personalities and their similar struggles, it becomes much easier to talk to them in their language. When you speak to them in their language, that creates a feeling of them being known. Also, when you gain a deep understanding of the type of people that gather in your niche, you will better be able to meet their needs, and to give to them that great feeling of being understood.
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