The hot new marketing term for 2018 is “niche“. What does that even mean though and how do you pick your niche?
Is niching down even important?
You want to just take any money that’s coming your way so you can gain experience and pay the bills.
You are also multi-faceted and bore easily. Well, so do I and this has been the biggest thing to hold me back over the years.
Many times, I should have just stayed in my lane.
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Let me tell you the biggest regret I have in my business and one reason why staying in your lane is so important.
Why you should pick a niche...
We are all human and we all have a plethora of random interests. How do you know which one is most profitable? Which ‘passion’ is the one that will allow you to thrive?
I ask myself these questions all the time.
Ironically, I never wanted to be a wedding photographer. I don’t really care for weddings and I’ve never really thought about getting married.
Sure, I like the idea of a partner and soul-mate, but do they really exist??
Nonetheless, I fell into photographing weddings and fell in love with that niche.
Before the word niche was even a thing.
Who are you? What makes you unique? What do you actually excel with?
JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEET. Own it.
This is your niche.
What are your superpowers?
It turns out that I’m darn good at photographing weddings. The challenge, the personalities, the thrill and rush of trying to get a new and more interesting image from a well-worn genre all excites me.
Additionally, the personality traits that hold me back in my life are actually what makes me a stronger wedding photographer.
I’m able to feel and anticipate the energy and drama on a wedding day. My skills as the middle child and mediator work wonders at a wedding. I can see and feel when the Bride gets stressed out and know who is creating that feeling in her (even if it is me). When the Groom is DONE with formal portraits, I can sense it immediately.
Thriving under pressure could be my middle name. Chasing light, chasing the shot, finding a quick grab image on the way to something else is what lights-me-up.
These are my superpowers.
Why didn't I just stay in my lane?
Though I started my business as a wedding photographer, I also capture family pictures, event photos, editorial & commercial photography and more.
Travel hacking is a huge hobby, and so is vintage clothing.
–>> Absolutely nothing.
And there lies the problem!
My wedding photography niche got muddied with: families, commercial, travel, vintage clothing…
A few years ago, I even tried to start a vintage clothing rental business and partnered with one of my past Brides to start a vintage furniture rental business.
Which one am I? Am I a wedding photographer or am I a vintage rental owner?
How will my clients talk about me?
This is the case for staying in your lane!
When I began branching out to the vintage clothing world, my clients started to scratch their heads. This meant nothing to them when they knew me as their wedding photographer.
Where do they overlap?
I muddied the marketing waters by throwing something random at them.
–>> My clients can & should refer to me as their wedding photographer.
That’s an easy enough concept to grasp. They can tell stories, add a testimonial, and discuss why I’m great at what I do.
However, the minute I added vintage clothing to the mix, there was a pause.
Clients didn’t know what to say about me and they didn’t see a connection between the two that made sense.
I made matters worse by throwing a huge 10th Anniversary party for my business and trying to launch my vintage clothing rentals at the event. When I walked into the venue before the party, it looked like the inside of my brain threw up on the walls.
The power of a niche.
Here’s the thing about staying in your lane or ‘niching down’… it gives YOU and your CLIENTS clarity.
People come to know who you are and what you do.
So, I’m not only a wedding photographer, but I’m specifically a candid-style photographer who provides wedding albums. I strongly believe in TANGIBLE heirlooms and my clients know it.
This is my niche.
Social media, marketing messaging, and elevator pitches become super easy.
–>> My website only shows candid wedding photos and pictures of wedding albums. Candid and fun. That’s it. No family formals, no pictures of flowers.
There is no need to Instagram each and every gig. Why market to pregnant ladies if I’m not really a newborn photographer?
This strategy saves me a ton of headaches, as I don’t need to dominate Instagram because the type of couples shopping for wedding photographers on Instagram want the digital files.
I’m not their wedding photographer.
My clients aren’t on social media much. They are too busy hiking mountains with their fiancee. They are too busy loving each other and building a quality life.
How can you niche down?
and then niche down even further?? Comment below and share your very specific genre that no one does the same as you.
The power in owning your niche is that marketing, content creation, elevator pitches all become a piece of cake.