Finding A Profitable Niche For Local Success

Wasaga Beach BumsI spent the last week or so helping two good friends of mine, Mickey and Alistair, move from their recently sold condo to a cozy apartment in the trendy Bloor West area of Toronto – I absolutely hate moving, but that’s another post on a whole other blog!  Anyways, Mickey and myself have always shared a passion for computers and technology, and whenever we get together for 37 beers and a bottle of scotch the conversation usually leans towards business ideas and world domination tactics.  3-5 times per year a whole crew of us travel north of the city to a very popular cottage town called Wasaga Beach, where Mickey’s father John lives and plays.  This is usually our time to relax, build a fire, eat awesome food and spend some quality time together, as most of us don’t hang out as often as we’d like now that we’re all getting older – and more consumed in our individual careers.

This past summer we stumbled upon the realization that there isn’t a central location on the Internet for our demographic (male/female aged 19-30, future alcoholic millionaires) relating to what’s going on in Wasaga Beach.  This discovery lead to the obvious discussion of building a web 2.0 social network style community, that would utilize our individual skills (Mickey is a Computer Programming Ninja, and Alistair is Night Club Manager/Promotion Sniper) and provide the Wasaga Beach party people with a go-to spot for events, contests, and intoxicated gatherings.

A Moment Of Genius…

A huge factor with pulling this off would be the ability to make the concept “sticky” and branded – because with our age group branding is everything.  If we can come up with a catchy name, tag line and logo that people will recognize all the way from the strip to the line up in front of the keg, not only will the idea explode but word of mouth will take effect – and that my friends is what viral marketing dreams are made of.

All we have to do is funnel that viral buzz towards a fully interactive, multimedia driven social community where people can upload videos of their friend streaking across a beach volleyball court with a Roman Candle hanging out of his ass, and we’ll be in business!  We can combine this with a Profile system, a vibrant choice of locally themed forum threads, photo galleries with tagging capabilities, and an up to date events section providing the inside scoop to everything Wasaga Beach Bums deem important.

We have all winter to get the foundation of the site complete, as well as the necessary traffic generation and link building methods – which is where I come in – and as summer roles around next year we’ll be more than prepared to start spreading the word and claiming our authority within the party scene of Wasaga Beach.  Here’s a few ways I think we can create the viral power we need:

  • Take the entire crew down to the beach at least once every long weekend, all wearing branded t-shirts with the website address and logo on it while being loud and vibrant as usual.
  • Get branded bottle openers and condoms on a stick to give away while we’re out partying.  Making people do ridiculous shit for free stuff and recording it to compile in an online video release at the end of each cottage season.
  • Host a free karaoke party at the beginning of cottage season – with more filming and condoms.
  • Every year in August Mickey has a pig roast for his birthday.  We can charge people $20 a head for a Keg Party Pig Roast – all you can eat and drink with contests and prizes.
  • Once established we can cross over into the winter season and host events at the surrounding ski resorts –  milking the snowboarding crowd.

I’m sure the wheels are all spinning in your heads right now – how can I find a profitable market locally and use the power of the Internet to support it?  Take a look around you.  What do people enjoy doing in your town or city?  What’s popular based by season, or even year round?  How can you position yourself between a trendy tourist spot and it’s visitors to capitalize and provide a resource or service to enhance their experience?

Spend a Sunday walking around your downtown core and keep your eyes open – the opportunities are everywhere! Thinking locally might not be as profitable compared to a global online launch, but on the flip side local niche targeting makes it much easier to establish authority and dust what little competition there might be – especially if you know a thing or two about Internet marketing!