This post is from the Success for Solopreneurs Newsletter and is used with permission from:
Katy Tafoya is teacher and a coach who finds joy in helping women claim their passion and expertise. She guides solopreneurs to make their lives and their businesses juicier, more fulfilling and more successful. She also leads the Val Gal quarterly networking dinners which are always open to the public and in the greater San Fernando Valley. If you’re ready to identify, claim and leverage your expertise and live your passion you can sign up for a a F.R.E.E. subscription to her weekly ezine at SuccessForSolpreneurs.com.
“We are all experts in our own little niches.” ~ Alex Trebek
Let me guess…you can help everyone and everyone is your client.
And yet with ALL those people that you can work with, you’re still not getting as many clients as you’d like or making the money you know you could be making.
Sound familiar? Sound frustrating?
So the question is…what are we going to do about it?
When my clients come to me complaining about their lack of income and clients, I’d say that many times it’s because they haven’t narrowed down their niche. Other times it’s because they don’t really know what they do for their clients, but that’s just the other side of the “niche” coin – and they go hand in hand (and we’ll talk more about that another day).
What exactly is a niche?
Now that’s the million dollar question. You see, your niche is a combination of the people you work with (your ideal client), the problems you can help them solve, and how you (and your unique perspective and experience) can help them gain something they really want (more money, more time, more balance, better health, new love, etc) with your special techniques, tools or systems.
Now look closely at what I just wrote and you’ll notice there no where does it even begin to imply that you can work with EVERYONE to help solve ALL their problems. You can’t. And you and I both know deep down, that you wouldn’t want to, even if you could.
What you really need to do is figure out what you’re actually in the business of doing.
Are you an organizer who helps people transfer all their past records into organized digital files? Are you a massage therapist that helps pregnant women feel relaxed and de-stressed throughout her pregnancy? Are you a therapist that works with families of substance abusers? Are you a nutritionist that teaches working moms of school-age children how to shop for and create healthy and tasty meals for her over-committed family in under 30 minutes a day? Are you a freelance writer who focuses on technical writing for health care facilities? (I added this one … Rebecca)
Figure out what you do and get specific.
Once you know what you DO (and you can clearly communicate that when you’re out and about networking and interacting), people will recognize themselves in the problems that you say you can help them with and the end result you they can gain. And when people recognize themselves in the problem, and know that you offer up a solution, they want to work with you…it’s as if you KNOW what they’re going through (and I’m guessing that you do since you’re the expert here).
And of course, this all supports YOU as the expert. When you’re known within your circles as the expert, the solver of X problem, the bringer of my Y, you become very sought after. Not only do people want to work with you and get your help, but they’re also willing to pay good money to get their problems solved and to obtain that coveted result.
And notice again, you’re not becoming the Jill of all trades. You’re not the solver of all things. You are the EXPERT who can help a specific group of people, solve a very specific problem…and achieve very specific RESULTS.
A word of advice…ask from help from an outside source to help you work through this. Ask your friend to tell you what they think you do. Ask them to ask you questions that you, as the expert know the answers to. The goal here is to get out of the box you’ve put yourself in and think differently. And yes, that typically takes an extra pair of eyes and a healthy brainstorm.
And don’t be surprised if your niche turns into something you never thought of before. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s the good stuff. That’s what gets you excited to work every day and what thrills your clients because they can finally get the help they’ve been craving.
ACTION PLAN: What’s the first step you’re going to take to start working on fine-tuning and maybe even redefining your niche?
WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Katy’s blog at SuccessforSolopreneurs.com/blog
- How to Get Freelance Writing Clients without Selling (savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com)
- Niche travel businesses are doing healthy trade in 2011 (travelnews.britishairways.com)
- Freelance Writers Market Your Honesty to Clients (savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com)
- The Lonely Solopreneur (coachtactics.com)