small market

small market

The world is a lot smaller than you think.  It is.  I’m speaking to bloggers and marketers and anyone who is trying to get more traffic to their website.

You may disagree with this.  You may say that head terms like “SEO” shows exactly how competitive a market is.  You may see hundreds of thousands…millions of competitors.

But that only tells part of the story.

I only see 50-100 competitors within most niches.  And it has absolutely nothing to do with Google’s Organic Search Results.  And there is a symbiotic relationship between these competitors making them not so much competitors as much as partners.

And that is great news if you are trying to affect your market.

Let me give a real world example.

A corporate client of mine recently went to a conference in Washington D.C. She had decided that she was going to “tweet” her experience as she went from event to event.  She used a common hashtag relevant to her industry with each tweet.

It’s important to realize that this company knows what they are talking about.  They didn’t get their knowledge like yesterday from reading a couple blog posts and then running with it.  They already had a local presence.  They were part of their local trade organization.  They had credentials.

In short, they were legit.

So, she goes up to Washington, D.C., attends this conference and then starts tweeting what it going on there.  And soon, she has others who are interested retweeting her stuff.  And then she has a couple local trade groups following her.  And finally, the attention reaches the top of the trade organization and some of the core members of the organization started following her.  Some retweeted her.

And she was excited.  And I was cautiously happy for her.

When she got home, she made a few calls and actually reached out to some of those following her.  And she made a couple connections that would have otherwise been too difficult to reach..

…like from the top….

…and more often than not, those at the top control the conversations within their market…

Now there are half a hundred ways that this company can run with.  But that’s not the important part.  The important part are the connections that it made along the way.  If they leverage this relationship (think symbiotic here), they can move past all the other hacks in their niche (those gaming keywords..the pretenders, etc.) and actually be part of the group that really matters within their market.

Because those guys control their market.  Not Google or some social media website or a network of self contained blogs.

Those at the Top Control the Conversation

If you don’t believe me, take a look at the market you are in and you will see the symbiotic nature of the most popular websites in your niche.  You will quickly notice that even when there are 1,000′s of websites within your market, there may as well be 50-100 because those are the ones that control the conversation.

They are the ones always mentioned by others.  

They are tweeted, retweeted, liked, followed, and have the most comments.

They get natural links as well.

And usually when someone finds something in search, they will find these websites eventually because so many people within their market link to them.

When a website within a market comes out of “nowhere”, typically it comes from the top of the market first and then trickles down into the lower channels.

50-100 websites within your market.  That’s it.  That’s all that really matters.

And that’s comparatively small, given the other option…..

Others may control a few keywords but the bigger slice of pie isn’t what search gives you;  it’s what others say about you that are connected to your industry as well.  Those connections are more important because they essentially control the conversations both online and off.

If they are willing to include you in the conversation, you win big.

Now, I could fake my way through my client’s industry.  I could labor over self contrived links.  I may actually get ranked.  But I will never get the respect of those who are controlling the conversations.

And suddenly, the world would feel a lot larger….

And that’s the difference.

And it’s a big difference.

image attribution: BeccaplusMolly