Someone asked me recently if she could skip niching down and still get a steady flow of clients.
I know everyone won’t agree with me but I stand firm on this.
It’s near impossible to have effective marketing and a steady flow of clients if you don’t know who you are trying to appeal to.
Once I finally understood the concept of niching, it made a massive difference to my business, so I love helping you understand it and do the work in your own business.
When I first took my styling services online, I tried to appeal to everyone. I was trying to be everything that anyone might ever need in a stylist, and honestly, I didn’t have much success with my marketing. My breakthrough came when I discovered my niche:
- Who I was best suited to work with.
- Who I was most passionate about working with.
- Where I could make a profit.
Even if you’ve been in business for a long time, you have to continually revisit and refine your niche, especially as there are now thousands of stylists working online. So, I hope you will find today’s email and exercise helpful whatever stage you’re at.
First of all, I want to share the three biggest mistakes I see when people try to niche their businesses.
Mistake 1 – Choosing a niche market solely because it’s profitable or you think it’s profitable
While we all need money to pay the bills and enjoy the occasional treat, simply chasing after money will not work. You have to be passionate and know so much about the area you choose as a niche because you have to show up every day and talk about it in your marketing.
If you don’t have tons of knowledge or love your chosen area with all your heart, you’ll soon fall flat on your face. You need the passion and expertise to motivate you to turn up day in and day out. Even when you’re not getting any clients, when there’s a downturn in the economy, on the days you’re not feeling great. Chasing professional women or corporate clients, for example, just because you think they’re lucrative, is not enough.
Mistake 2 – Failing to do market research
You need a deep understanding of the people you’re looking to help, so you know how to help them and connect with them through your marketing activity. You need to listen closely and continue learning from your audience to be sure you deliver what they want, and they continue to buy from you.
Let’s take me as an example. I mentor personal stylists to grow strong businesses that make them consistent income. I’m always watching and listening to you, my audience, to ensure I’m helping you with the things you NEED. I don’t try to sell you any old thing, but services that I’ve carefully created to help you solve your problems.
I’ve written this email because I’ve seen so many of you struggle to define your niche and jump around from one to another, getting more and more frustrated and desperate for regular income.
Observing your audience, listening to their problems, and finding out what they struggle with is your market research and will enable you to create offers that sell.
Mistake 3 – Not niching enough
I come across so many stylists who’ve niched at some point in their careers. They’ve stuck with that niche for years and now found thousands of others online, all doing the same thing. You need to keep refining your niche over time to be sure you continue solving a specific problem for a particular person; otherwise, you get lost in a sea of sameness!
Despite the fears you might have about niching, I promise you it is THE thing that will make you stand out from the crowd and get you the steady stream of clients that you crave.
Now, I’m going to ask you to complete a little exercise. Below is an image of my Find/Redefine Your Niche worksheet. You can use a notebook or journal to write your answers or download a copy of the form here.
The first section is
What I love talking about.
Think about what you love to chat about with your friends.
What’s your favourite thing to talk about with your clients?
What do you love to read about and learn about?
I adore colour and talk about it all the time. I read and learn a lot about marketing and sales because they fascinate me. I enjoy reading autobiographies by successful business people, and I love to expand my knowledge on how I can help my clients and myself make more money. I have a close friend who’s also in business, and we love to talk strategy. I love this part of my work with clients too.
Jot down a few of your ideas.
Skills I’ve acquired
This is the next section of the worksheet.
What skills have you gained throughout your whole career? List the skills you’ve learnt as a personal stylist and the others you got before and from your life outside work.
I worked in manufacturing for years before I became a stylist. Previously, I never really considered how the experience I gathered in that industry transferred to the work I do now, but they do. Many of my personal stylist clients had corporate careers before joining the image industry, so I can relate to their thoughts, feelings and fears about starting over.
Write down all the different skills you’ve picked up in your life. Perhaps you’ll realise that some you don’t think fit with your work as a stylist actually complement it well and make your offering truly unique.
What people ask me for advice about
Not just your clients but your friends and family. Everybody I know asks me about business, even when they work in entirely different industries. They ask things like:
How do you do this?
How do you do that?
How do you manage to be so visible all the time?
How are you not concerned about what people think of you?
What do the people in your life ask you? Could it be, how do you always look so good? Where do you find your colourful clothes? How do you keep your hair so immaculate?
What advice do they seek from you? Jot it all down.
Further down the worksheet, we’ve got several boxes labelled ‘Niche – Red Ocean’ and ‘Niche – Blue Ocean’. I’ve talked before about these oceans, but to remind you: a red ocean is crowded with people all doing the same thing. They’re like sharks swimming around trying desperately to snap up clients. A blue ocean is calm and spacious, and you can swim freely as there are no sharks.
If you’re offering the same generic services to everyone else, you’re struggling in a red ocean as there is nothing to differentiate you. However, if you niche down and use your unique blend of other skills alongside your styling skills, suddenly you’re diving into that lovely blue ocean. You have no competition, and you stand out clearly to the people with the specific problem you solve. Brilliant, isn’t it? 🤩🤩🤩
At this stage, I want you to go through your list for what I love talking about. Which things would go in the red ocean box? They’ll be very broad things that practically every other stylist offers, like colour analysis. There’s also so much stuff about weight loss online, so if you added that to your list, that would be something for the red ocean box too.
Which things from your list could you pop into the blue ocean box? It could be something that stands alone, or maybe you can combine a couple of them to create something really unique.
Perhaps you love colour psychology, which on its own is very red ocean because many hundreds of other stylists do too. But, if you’ve overcome traumatic events in your life and people gravitate to you for advice on this, maybe you could combine the two?
So, using your love of colour and colour psychology to help people who’ve experienced trauma to get out of the black hole they’ve found themselves in and into a space of acceptance, away from grief, and back towards living a joyful life again.
Can you see with the example how we’ve moved a pretty generic topic that every stylist talks about into a blue ocean? You’ve now got a very clear and well-defined niche helping a specific person (someone experiencing grief due to trauma) overcome a particular problem (wanting to move into acceptance and get out into the world and start living again).
Take a look at your notes from the skills I’ve acquired and what people ask me for advice about sections, and sort through deciding what would go in the red ocean box and what can be combined and put into the blue ocean box.
If you can tap into a real, deep-seated problem that your potential clients have, that you can help solve with your strengths and passions, you will have found your sweet spot. Honing in on issues that your services can help solve makes your offer sought after, and it will sell because people don’t want to be stuck; they want to live happy lives free of problems.
However, if you continue selling generic image and styling services like everyone else, you’ve got an uphill struggle trying to convince people that they’re not frivolous, waste of money treats.
I hope I’ve inspired you to have a go at finding or redefining your niche by looking closely at what you’re doing and incorporating your passion and skills with a profitable market. It seriously is possible for you to do this, but it requires you to be brave and move away from doing what everyone else is doing.
Email me for more details of my VIP 1/2 Day Claim Your Niche Private Intensive where we’ll work together one-to-one to find your niche and get clients rolling in at last. (Investment €497)