The Number One Rule of Niche Marketing

It’s been nice to riff on One Thousand Paintings this week, because it’s provided an opportunity to make several (in my mind) important points about the realities of effective modern-day marketing. However, because I personally am a fan of Sala’s concept, I’m worried that the larger point may have been missed.

I greatly appreciate everyone who stepped up in the comments and said:


In all likelihood, an overwhelming percentage of my readers probably remain puzzled at the appeal of this project. And I’m glad that people stepped up and said so. I think more would have done the same, except perhaps that they were afraid of being publicly contradicted.

The only people I took issue with were those that intimated that the project was a fraud or sham, which it clearly is not.

Here’s the deal — in a long tail and short tail world, the vast majority of people are not going to “get” what you’re doing. In fact, that’s the key requirement.

So, remember this:

The more people who think you’re crazy, the more likely you’re on the right track.

Subscribe to Copyblogger today!

Print Friendly

What do you want to learn?

Click to get a free course and resources about:

Reader Comments (20)

  1. says

    Brian ~ After reading your posts on One Thousand Paintings, I went off on my own adventure following your links then I mulled it over but didn’t post any comments. Now…

    This post – I couldn’t let your words here go by unnoticed, “the vast majority of people are not going to ‘get’ what you’re doing. In fact, that’s the key requirement.”

    Crazy and Genius often go hand in hand. Sometimes you have to look high and low to find that something that leaps out at you. You have this WOW moment but when you look around you, it seems everyone else didn’t even see that shooting star.

    Your take on how this unique offer was actually working because it DID have all the ingredients of a most unusual and compelling offer.

    Some people have the ability to look through the looking glass and see things as they really could be, might be. Others are stumped.

    Now if I had stumbled onto One Thousand Paintings myself I wouldn’t have see the strategies and why they are working because I often have faulty vision about such things.

    Inventors, artists, musicians and writers often labeled as crazy were actually brilliant.

    If I could learn to write without run on sentences, my brilliance would be brighter. :-) The fact that I didn’t think you sounded crazy means something profound. Like…you could be right.

  2. says

    I just read your original post about the One Thousand Paintings. That was the first I’ve heard about it, and I have to say that I totally agree with you: people are buying not because of the paintings themselves but because of the offer. Excellent example!

  3. says

    Huh ?

    In this internet driven world of marketing, I’ve discovered this little gem….

    You really only have to find 1000 people who want what you got to make skunky wads-o-cash !

    Doesn’t matter if the other 24,999,000 thinks it’s stoopid, as long as 1000 want it.

  4. says

    Or maybe the more people who think you are crazy, you might be more popular – it might add some value into your personal life. It might be a networking tool you can use. Imagine someone getting some attention because of that interesting numeral hanging on his/her wall. The story does not just belong to one person but it is just one of many interesting others 😀

  5. says

    You hit the nail-on-the-head. To develop any following, many people need to be assured that the majority of people think it’s strange, or idiotic. Broad appeal may be lost, but with such a vast internet audience, only large multinational corporations should care.

  6. says

    Crazy? Or just unusual. Don’t people like to call ideas that are out of the ordinary “Crazy”? Think Andy Warhol, Picasso, Goya – they saw the world in a different way and expressed that view in their art (and life).

    For those of us with less imagination latching on to those ideas/views is a way to participate in them; a way to be unusual.

  7. says

    Hey Diane. As someone who does it for a living, I never think of my ideas as crazy or even unusual. But that’s because I focus on others that feel similarly about the topic, and could care less about those that could care less. :)

  8. says

    Yea, I agree…. I think a lot of people missed the point of that last wonderful post. The point was all the little nuggets of EXACTLY what makes a product/feature/service compelling. That’s what I took away from it. The bullet points. Finally, someone spells out the definition of a success.

  9. ziggy says

    Even though sales of slowed in the last 24 hours (though still going strong, about 50 or so more since last night, i believe), i think we can expect another spike on Wednesday: according to Sala’s blog, Switzerland’s largest newspaper interviewed him and will be running with the story on Tuesday (even more so if any other papers pick up on it). He’ll also be on a radio show this weekend. That should be good for another 100 or so sales at the least. So, this story should have legs for another few days…

  10. says

    From another serial entrepreneur and former practicing lawyer, you’re right on the money.

    People asked me what I was drinking when in early ’04 I changed my message from effective Internet marketing for the legal profession to why lawyers and law firms should use blogs for marketing.

  11. says

    Have you seen ? This site was just brought to my attention and White is doing something similar in Australia and has been for quite some time. He sells each painting for the amount of the number painted on it. He has an AU$ series, US$ series and British pound series.

    What I continue to love about both these projects is the element of performance, a “happening” (remember the ’60s Happenings in NYC?), conceptual and minimal art all rolled into one event. And whether you like it or not or buy or not, so many people world-wide are involved in the discussion, going far beyond what an artist can normally expect when showing at their local art gallery.

  12. says

    Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have called you “compulsive” on my site, but gosh darn it, figuring out your favorite artist’s price scale requires a very IRS-esque formula.

    Nevertheless, this has been a priceless set of posts, explaining a very delicate and invisible new marketing style in very clear terms. I really enjoyed it…

  13. says

    Heh… I’ll concede there, Jason. I just found the whole concept to be such a great example of how the right combination of psychological elements can result in a niche phenomenon. That — more than the math — was what motivated me.

    And like others have already said, I wish I would have thought of it! :)

Comments are open for seven days. This article's comments are now closed.