The things you can learn from street-sweeping enthusiasts

How interesting do you find road cleaning?

Not very?

You’re wrong. 

Goldfish in a wine glass of water, brown kitten peering into the glass.

Find your starving crowd and connect with your clients.

Because there’s something interesting in everything. It always cracks me up when I hear another copywriter moan about a job they’re doing because they’re writing about something really dull.

At first glance, it might be dull… but dig a little deeper, look at the human aspect of it, and you’ll always find a fascinating fact or a quirky detail.

On my meanderings one evening after my storytelling course, wandering the streets of South Amsterdam looking for a beer and a tasty meal, I spotted the ‘dam’s street sweepers hard at work.

“So what?” you might be thinking.

Well, it got me digging on the internet for some pictures (you’ll see why in a moment) and during that information excavation, I unearthed a couple of things that delighted me.

They delighted me almost as much as the street sweepers themselves.

The first thing that put a smile on my face this morning was the very existence of WorldSweeper, a site dedicated to street sweeping around the world. I love that this exists. I even love the homespun website with the ’90s graphics.


Because someone loves this topic and puts a lot of care and time and effort into writing pretty good articles and maintaining a very niche site.

The guy who runs it is a jolly bearded man who looks like he should be a sailor – and let me tell you, he’s doing more right with his marketing than most small business owners I know. He’s doing an email newsletter (not daily emails, but more than most put out) and a print magazine. I’ll bet he’s doing fine business because he’s making an effort in a tiny niche.

In my searching for “Amsterdam street sweepers”, his was the only sweeping-dedicated site I found.

Good work, that man.

The second thing that got me grinning was… a story I’ll share with you tomorrow.

But what got me onto this topic in the first place? The sweepers and their brooms! They don’t use modern T-shaped brooms, you see. They use witches’ besoms. How fab is that?

So whenever their bundle of twigs on a pole needs replacing, they simply pull the bundle off the pole and stick the pole in a new bundle.

The brooms are very lightweight and the sweepers walk in front of the motorised sweeping van and use the broom to sweep litter and debris from under parked cars and bicycles into the machine’s path.

I couldn’t find a bigger picture of the witchy street sweepers, but the one I did find was courtesy of WorldSweeper. Thanks dude.

What a niche.

All you need to do is find your starving crowd. Have you found your starving crowd?

Well, my book Business For Superheroes can help.

I talk all about niches.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS Not sure what to write about? Or how to connect with your customers? Always look for the story. The story in your niche.

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