“Pick one thing and stick to it Julie, you can’t do EVERYTHING”
That sentiment has been the bane of my life.
Parents, teachers, lecturers, boyfriends…everyone wants to put me in a bloody box.
In the early days of my career I jumped from freelance job to freelance job, going from wanna be actress, to project manager working with young people, to engagement strategist on the Olympics…and I guess I did confused the hell out of people.
“When is she going to get a proper job?” And “What is she up to now?” being the go-to phrase for my long-suffering mother trying to explain my current role at social events.
But being told to just stick to one thing bores the hell out of me, and in many ways brings out the stubborn teenager in me that says…
NO I DON’T WANT TO JUST DO ONE THING…YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.
I want to do it all.
Because I do have multiple talents…I am good at a lot of stuff.
So many of us small business owners are multipassionate, multipotentialite or whatever the trendy way of describing people that do lots of things in their business is.
In some ways we’ve had to have a diverse skillset right?
Head of marketing, head of sales, head of creative ideas, chief product designer, chief finance officer, chief technology officer…and thats without the different modalities we like to train in, and the issues, fields and markets we are interested in or feel aligned to….which change year on year.
But we know that sometimes with all of these hats, we must be confusing the market, making it harder to find those pesky ideal clients.
When I first started working as a business coach I felt like a fraud…here I was telling my clients to niche, niche, niche…and I was doing anything but. I was having a field day launching products and services all over the shop based on whatever my latest interest was….or at least thats how it looked from the outside.
I worked with a client a couple of years ago that every time she jumped on a call with me she had a new niche…and I can remember thinking, no wonder she’s hardly got any clients, I can’t keep up…so how can the people in her network?
So late last year I decided to niche.
It felt like a massive decision, but I knew I had to do it. I didn’t want to be a jack of all trades business coach who did a bit of this and a bit of that, I wanted to be referable, and to have a specialism, to be taken seriously for my expertise…and the funny thing was…I did have a specialism, I just didn’t communicate it properly….and so earlier this year I worked with a brilliant brand strategist to help me pin it all down (I was too busy/ lazy to do it for myself…plus I was too close to it)
And I haven’t looked back since.
In the last 6 months, since launching my new brand with my super focussed niche, I have doubled my income, welcomed more than 300 new clients into my world, including 5 perfect for me 121 clients who light me up every time I jump on a call with them.
And I’ve got more clarity over how to grow my business than ever before.
Why the hell did I not commit to this sooner?
And if you are sitting here reading this blog nodding along thinking “Yeah, I really should niche too” here are my 5 hard to ignore reasons to niche now!!!
Number One – Business Focus
As entrepreneurs we are so easily distracted, we can get pulled from pillar to post looking at new opportunities. We can waste so much time, energy and resources working on things that are just not 100% in our zone of genius. When we are clear on our niche we can clearly identify when something is for us or not for us….and then it becomes a lot easier to say a hard yes or a hard no to things, and move on. When you have a defined niche you don’t have to say yes to EVERYTHING, because you are super busy and fulfilled with “your thing”
Number Two – Consistent Messaging
When you do multiple things without having an umbrella niche you can find yourself constantly having to write new marketing copy, bios and social media messaging…it’s exhausting, confusing and a waste of your time. Plus it’s a bit like russian roullete, who knows what your ideal client might see when they go looking for you online? When you nail your niche it becomes easier to nail your messaging, and create brand consistency….if you can’t talk about what you do with clarity and confidence, how do you expect anyone else to be able to.
Number Three – Differentiation
There is only one of you…but sadly there are heaps of people who do what you do which can lead to comparisonitus at best, and samey samey at worst. You don’t want to be like every other NLP practitioner out there, or be your bog standard Life Coach….you want to be more specific than that and celebrate the things which make you different. Niching isn’t necessarily about finding something that only you do, its about communicating that you do things differently, because of who you are, and the choices you make about your people…the folks you prefer to work with.
Number 4 – Deeper not Broader Scope
I though niching would be like clipping my wings, but actually since making the leap I have had more ideas for new programmes and services than ever, because I am able to really see what my people need, and build things with them in mind. I know the pain points of small business owners who can’t get enough clients, who feel alone and disconnected in their work…and I have 101 solutions to help them. I don’t need to go looking for new markets, or new areas of work…there is enough for me to be getting on with my one area of expertise and now I have a work schedule and time table for growth that makes sense.
Number 5 – Referrals and recommendations
When you communicate over and over again what you do, and your experience and expertise match up to the thing you say you do…this leads to credibility, and credibility leads to clients. Paying clients. Clients who are happy to part with their money to work with an expert rather than a generalist.
When you get known for something specific that solves a problem that is understandable by most you get referred by the people in your network, your friends, your clients, your peers, and even your competitors.
Most of my one to one clients have come from a conversation with someone who knows me who says, “You should speak to Julie Creffield, she’s brilliant with all that online tribe building stuff”
I know it might feel like not putting all of your eggs in one basket is a smart idea right now, but trust me, diversify your product and service offerings under one clearly defined niche umbrella, don’t do it the other way round hoping that something will stick.
Nobody is out there looking for a NLP trained/life coach/presentations trainer/childrens entertainer/bitcoin expert who works with anyone on anything….#callme????
Go deep not broad…trust that by letting go of the stuff that you are not an absolute expert on and that doesn’t feel fun and easy to deliver, you will actually attract more of what you REALLY do want.
Now go nail that niche to attract your tribe.
My name is Julie Creffield and I am a community engagement strategist and business coach. I help small business owners to build profitable tribes, by teaching them how to build scaleable business models with a one to many focus.
I do this using my 25+ years experience as a creative facilitator, trainer, and consultant having worked with hundreds of thousands of clients using my creative, disruptive, no bullshit approach to growing profitable and impactful communities and businesses.