What do niche marketing and the Amish have in common? It might not seem like much — on the surface. Niche marketing is a relatively new idea. It’s fast-paced and built on reaching out to audiences using a wide range of technologies with a heavy focus on social media. The Amish community is known for its traditional ways and lack of interest in technology.

The Amish have a lot to teach niche marketers (source)

The Amish have a lot to teach niche marketers (source)

But in fact, many of the cornerstones of Amish culture — and business success — hold valuable lessons for niche marketers. Need proof? Consider this statistic: 95% of Amish businesses stay open for at least five years.

NPR’s Planet Money recently took a look at a tool expo aimed at Amish community in Dayton, OH, and discovered a lot of ways Amish business strategies can benefit niche marketers. Here are four lessons marketers interested in developing their niches can learn from the Amish.

1. Know your limitations

Many Amish businesses are known for high-quality work (source)

Many Amish businesses are known for high-quality work (source)

For better or worse, the Amish have very strict rules governing their lives and how they interact with the outside world. But those limitations also provide an opportunity for drilling into a niche market.

Because the Amish refuse a lot of new technology and do a lot of work by hand, they’ve developed a reputation for products that are homemade and of high quality. They may not have had much choice in defining their niche, but they’ve used it to their advantage.

2. Stand by your product

The Amish ideal of staying modest and humble has limited the way they’re able to advertise their products. They have to avoid flashy text claiming their product is the “best.”

Instead, their ads focus on describing their product and service honestly and letting customers make up their own minds.

The Amish are limited in how they can advertise their products (source)

The Amish are limited in how they can advertise their products (source)

3. Fill a niche

Amish men started learning trades as a side business to their families’ main farming operations. But as property values increase in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other areas where the Amish live, more and more members of the community are looking to business as their primary source of income.

It’s changed the community and its needs. Now Amish businesses are cropping up to solve the specific needs of other Amish businesses. And the competition between these groups is driving Amish business owners to further define their niches and better serve customers.

Outside the community, the Amish have become known for the specialities mentioned above. High-quality, homemade products are their niche and what customers have come to expect.

4. Stick to your values

The process of change is slow in the Amish community. That means businesses aren’t able to jump on new technologies or change strategies on a whim.

And that’s a good thing. Amish businesses are focused on the core elements of their businesses — the things that keep customers happy and coming back time after time.

If you would like to find out more about defining your niche

I invite you to contact me. I have been helping professional service providers such as CPAs, attorneys, and financial services providers focus their business development efforts on profitable micro-niches for over 10 years. Email me at david@themirconichemethod.com.

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