Nicola: Nice, so what’s our Client Challenge of the week, then?
Judith: Well, it came in—I’m not quite sure how it came in. You sent me a copy of it by email; somebody submitted it, did they? On our website, I think, from a lady called Leona, although she’s got two N’s so she could be called “Leonna”. Anyway, she said, “I’ve been hearing about niches; I was wondering if you could explain it?” So Client Challenge of the week is: why niche, what’s a niche, and why should we have one?
Nicola: Well, also known as a niche, if you’re…
Judith: Yes! A niche, niche. Now this thing in America—it’s a niche, of course it is, yes.
Nicola: And it’s actually my nickname in the family—Niche, which is quite funny.
Judith: Oh yes, that is interesting, yeah.
Nicola: So, I mean—it originally started when we were coaches and we trained as life coaches and I very swiftly realized I didn’t want to be a life coach. I wanted to be a coach who taught and shared the things I was interested in. And then that was quite radical stuff then, but it was Chris Barrow actually that told me to pick a niche and stick to it even if it changed. And he was quite right, because people need to get their heads around you, somehow; they need to get a little handle on you, or they can’t recommend you to other people or talk about you. And so, we niched quite early on, didn’t we? You and I as coaches, and…
Judith: Yes, yes. I think—I always quote that book that we were all in; you, me, and Chris Barrow, a guy (can’t remember who else it was), from Hannah McNamara, talking about—I think it was about niching for coaches. And funny enough, we all said the opposite, which is, “We allowed our niche to find us.” But I think that’s the interesting thing, is that you’re right; it did start with coaching, but now I think it applies to a lot of sorts of businesses, doesn’t it. It’s about your ideal client, and how you distinguish yourself from every other person in the world who does what you do, I think. And I’ve written down, “It helps the world to find you,” which is what you just said; but it also helps you find your tribe or audience.
Nicola: Yeah, you know, last year when I was coming out of working with Neil, and I’m wondering what I was going to do, I had Cairncross Media—which you know, was a digital marketing agency, and yes, I’ve got some clients from that. But it was only really, that I decided to niche to Social Media pay-per-click (specifically Facebook), that I really started to get some traction at Christmas.
Nicola: When I bought Clicks and Leads, because that’s summed up what I was going to do for clients: getting clicks and getting leads, and that was it. But specifically, through Facebook ads—and I’ve had to really resist the temptation to put on my Marketing Materials: Social Media Pay Per Click, which probably most people won’t know what it is; or to add Twitter and Instagram, which are the next two big ones. Twitter is very similar with Facebook.
Nicola: So you know, I could do Twitter Advertising for people, although not many people get interaction with it yet, so it’s quite in its infancy. But just by saying Facebook Ads, and that’s it; the word is spread to people. I mean I’ve got some really stonking clients now and I’m getting recommended by some really stonking people, and I think it’s because they say, “Clicks and Leads, she specializes in Facebook Ads.”
Nicola: Getting known for it in the UK.
Judith: Yes, and actually—do you remember the thing that people don’t want to do at the beginning when they’re niching—is pick something that feels too small and too specific, because it’ll exclude—they think that it excludes everybody else, but what you’re demonstrating is, that’s a good reason to do it.
Nicola: Yeah, and I’ve just done a launch for one of my clients, you know: a video, a series of four videos, and he’s created all the content, but I’ve put together the tech. And I—that wasn’t in my brief as being a Facebook Ads person, but because he’s such a nice person and he needed help and you know, I could do it quicker than he could outsource it. I did it but, it wasn’t something I was going to advertise I do for people, so the marketing is really clear and focused, it’s Clicks and Leads for Facebook Ads. Boom.
Judith: So going back to Leonna and her thing about niches—one second, excuse me—I did some research yesterday…
Judith: …online. You know, why niche, what’s a niche; and all I can find was hot air, actually. You know that stuff that people teach people at the beginning of a business—which is like sort of Business Start-Up 101.
Judith: It’s riddled—it’s riddled with cliché, really isn’t it? And it’s quite annoying that almost every online course you go on, you got to go back to the beginning. If a course you’re in Leonna’s place, you’d start at the beginning anyway. I think that’s alright, but honestly, I thought it was just so much hot air. And it reminded me of that nice Venn Diagram I shared in my newsletter a couple of weeks ago—which is, you know, it’s got four circles which is quite unusual for a Venn Diagram; usually they have three don’t they, and they all overlap. And so the questions Leonna wants to be asking herself is you know, “What do you want to be known for? What do you love doing? What are you great at? What does the world need? What will the world pay for?” You know, and it’s sort of a combination of your passion, your mission, your profession, your vocation, your sweet spot in the middle—you know, your purpose, or your purpose right now. Your purpose; maybe everything you’ve ever done, Nicola, as well. Obviously, not just you, but the whole world; everything you’ve done that has led up to the thing that you’re doing right now. And you found an interest in it first before you decide to make a business out of it. Now, where you were fortunate was: the world needs it, you’re great at it, you love it and you’ll pay for it—you know, so it is a sweet spot, isn’t it?
Nicola: It’s more than that, it’s actually a vehicle to the thing that I’ve been leading up to all my life, which is building a proper business. And I’ve shied away from that so often because of the responsibility angle and the building a team, and all that stuff. But now there are people showing the way, like Dan Norris of 7-Day Start-Up and WP Curve—that you can build a business, and work virtually. I’m now inspired to do that, and the Clicks and Leads is just the sweet spot thing that’s going to carry me through to my ultimate thing that I’m on the planet to do, which is to build a business. And it seems mundane, doesn’t it –you know, I’m here to build a…
Judith: No, no, no. I don’t think it does. You, you’ve been—how many years are you into this, a couple of decades, aren’t you? I think from Leonna’s question, she’s in year 1, that new. So if you’re right at the beginning, you know, what’s the best tip about niching? Can you wind back the years and remember where you were?
Nicola: There’s some good stuff in the Millionaire Fastlane about this actually, about how to—he’s got a good tick list on how to choose a business that will put you in the Fastlane, and, yeah. And there’s some good stuff in there about focus and picking—how to pick a niche that not only needs you. It’s a starving crowd again, isn’t it?
Judith: Yes, it is. I was going to say, “What‘s that other book called?” Yeah.
Nicola: So, if you can find a niche that has a starving crowd where they can afford your solution, that is so key because so many people pick niches for their passion. And actually, MJ Demarco’s point is that you can choose a business that is a vehicle to your Fastlane that doesn’t necessarily have to be your passion; but it’s a way to take you to a place where you can spend the rest of your life indulging your passion once you…
Nicola: …once you solve it as and, you know, yeah.
Nicola: All that stuff. So yeah, crucial for marketing, I think is the answer and niche is crucial for marketing but do pick a niche where they can afford the solution to your—afford your solution to their problem.
Judith: And it’s the opposite really of trying to be all things to all people, isn’t it? It’s like a coat hook; people know where they’re supposed to put their coat. You see a coat hook, hang your coat on it—it’s a bit like that, isn’t it?
Nicola: Yeah, and you know. Think about Chris Barrow; he’s a great example because he’s very much in my mind at the moment because I’ve had a friend who needed a dental implant up in Shrewsbury and of course I went straight to Chris. You know, he chose dentists, because he picked that as a niche. He’d identified as a niche where they have a burning problem—i.e. they’re rubbish at marketing—and they had enough money and they were already spending on a perceived solution—i.e. marketing—but they weren’t doing it very well. And he didn’t stop me signing up as his client—you know, his coaching client. I sat in rooms for a dentist for two years, but it does just give you a very good focus for your marketing, and he’s just…
Judith: And also, he’s never changed it; he’s been in it for 15 years, or it say, dentists.
Nicola: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, they either love him or hate him, but he’s the Marmite for dentists.
Judith: Well I think he’s Marmite generally; which I think is a rather good thing, and makes the point again, doesn’t it—be Marmite.
Nicola: Yeah, be Marmite; not everyone will love you, but the ones who do love you will become raving fans, I think that’s the thing. But I don’t think you can get a handle on who you are and what you stand for.
Judith: Yeah. So it’s to help the world find you, Leonna, and distinguish you from everybody else.
Nicola: Yeah, absolutely. And your niche is interesting because it’s a business coach. You can argue that’s quite wide, but you specially focus on small business start-ups who largely work from home, without…
Judith: They don’t necessarily need to be start-ups, but I think— I think I like the idea very much because that’s what you do and what I do, and what I know really well. I mean, I’ve had offices over the years, but the majority of my career are spent working at home alone, and so I know that place very well, and I know how to build a business from that place.
Nicola: Yeah, yeah. And I think everyone already knows you.
Judith: So, so they tend to be newish—well actually not all of them are new, sometimes you know how many years we can go round and round and round this. We just said it took you—I don’t know, how long? 15 years to find the thing that you feel is going to be the breakthrough thing, it doesn’t mean you haven’t earned a crack in the in between years —it takes a while to find your thing. So they’re not necessarily a start-up; they might be young businesses. You know, maybe 2 or 3 years into it, but you know, we know that’s not very far into it, actually.
Nicola: No, it isn’t. And then when you just started to get the sense that they, that they’re focused, perhaps.
Judith: Oh, and actually, going to the niche point, they’re changing their minds about. That is, they haven’t really, they haven’t found their dentists yet, necessarily.
Nicola: Yeah, yes. Well that’s right because I had Artist Manager first, didn’t I—which was my music industry start-up, and then I went to the Money Gym which I was convinced was The One; and now I just feel perhaps that I found the next thing. And it’s going to be that Venn diagram of yours, which blog post was it on—because I think it’s really important for people to go and look at that.
Judith: It was in my newsletter. What I’ll do is send you a copy of it, because we can put it on the show notes, can’t we?
Nicola: Yes, we can, and the thing that—I have a Venn diagram somewhere that’s 3 things, it’s: what you love, what people will pay for, and what you’re good at. And I got that as my desktop thing when I was trying to…when we’ve come out of the Money Gym and I was trying to work out what to do next, because it’s really, really important not to get sucked into doing something you could do just because you can.
Nicola: Because if you don’t love it, if you don’t love the thing, then you’re not going to do it. And you’re not going to do it very well even if you DO do it. So that’s…
Judith: Yes, you’ve just contradicted what you told us MJ Demarco said we should do. He said that we should spend 3 years doing something we don’t necessarily love to bits in order to be able to spend the rest of our lives doing anything we like.
Nicola: I think that…
Judith: Which I think…
Nicola: There’s a dif—
Judith: I think most people do that early in their careers anyway, don’t they? So…
Nicola: Yeah, there’s a difference in what he’s saying and what I’m saying. In the, I’m saying—in my business, the actual doing the Facebook Ads is the bit I love. I don’t like any rest of it, which is why I’m building a team. So…
Nicola: But what he’s saying is, do the bits that you enjoy doing within a business that isn’t necessarily your passion in life and why you want to become wealthy.
Judith: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nicola: So I’m building a business even the—and within that business, the Facebook Ads is the thing, but the building the business is the thing that will then drive—you know, say for example I have—my lifetime goal was to start a soul record label.
Nicola: And publishing company management, that could be my passion, couldn’t it? Well, you know, you’re never going to make money doing that. So, the Facebook Ads agency could be the vehicle that I could build fast doing something I love within it. So I’m happy and doing the work, but within 2 or 3 years, you know, it could be sold, and then I could put the money into the money sink that would be a soul record label. [Laughter]
Judith: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nicola: You know, we could go off and—you know, like Margaret Kim who is someone I met on the cruise. I don’t know if you remember, she was the one whose son played a game and she knew my sister; it was a long and complicated story of…
Nicola: …people meeting in virtual life. Her passion is, she supports an orphanage in Peru where girls who’ve been abused, or raped at home or whatever, can come and have their babies and get an education, and live safely and build a life for themselves. And she’s a multi-millionaire property investor, so the property investing is something she’s good at, she enjoys on a day-to-day basis. But what it does is it fuels the finances for her passion, which is the orphanage in Peru.
Nicola: Good example.
Judith: Yeah, good example.
Why niche, what’s a niche, and why should we have one?