Does the idea of having a niche drive you insane? Does it feel like you’re trying to fit yourself into a tight little box? (oooh, suddenly I have an image of Madonna in the Human Nature video.
Would it make you breathe a huge sigh of relief if I said you don’t need to niche?
You don’t need to niche.
But what you DO have to do is decide to speak to YOUR people and focus on how you can help them with their specific challenges.
Sounds like niching I know, but hear me out.
Most approaches to niching focus on demographics – things like age, profession, gender.
E.g. ‘I work with 40-year-old lawyers called Brenda!’
Yep, THAT feels restrictive. AND, even if you lined up 20 lawyers called Brenda, they would all have different hopes, dreams, challenges, backgrounds, and experiences.
Simply choosing someone’s age, gender or profession doesn’t give you the insights you need to speak really empathically to them. And it’s once we can tap into that empathy you already possess (it is one of you superpowers after all) that we can create really great, human, compelling marketing that show people just what they have to gain from working with you.
So instead of worrying about finding the box to squeeze yourself in, think human. Think specific. Think about the people you can really help. Like REALLY help. The ones who, if you could work with them every single day would make your life light up. Not the ones who stress you out, ask awkward questions, trigger your insecurities – but the ones who are eager and ready for change.
When you start speaking to THOSE people, marketing stops being so difficult.
It becomes a CONVERSATION. A human, relatable, sleaze-free conversation.
So think about what you can do to tap into your perfect client’s mindset. What do you know about them already?
What do they want most in the world?
What are their fears?
What do they lie awake at night over?
Let them know that you GET it. You SEE them. You UNDERSTAND them. And that you can help.
It isn’t about their age or their job. It’s not about what TV shows they watch or where they shop. It’s about them as human beings. Their values, fears, and hopes. You don’t need to niche but you do have to understand your people and speak to them in your marketing.
And if you want to give yourself a head start on this AND get my personalized help, check out Messaging Summer School.
Find those people. Talk their language. Attract more of the right clients. Check it out here.
In this week’s episode of The Meaningful Business Podcast, Holly Worton and I discuss one of the biggest fears we’ve experienced, something that we also see in clients on a regular basis: What will they think of me? Will they like me?
This is something that I’ve personally struggled a lot with, and it’s something that really held me back in the past. It speaks right to the heart of Feminine Conditioning – we know that as women we’re judged and there are SO MANY ways we can be found wanting (in fact, it is literally impossible to be 100% acceptable as a woman – actually as a human, and yet we keep on trying because that’s what we’re conditioned to do.)
It’s something I talked about with Airial Clark in regards to her work teaching women how to give less f*cks – the thing is, we give SO MANY f*cks about so many things – including what people will think of us.
It’s something that comes up a lot less for me these days – I think it’s partly because of the amount of work I’ve done in this area over the years and partly a by-product of getting older (I’m too tired these days to care nearly as much about what people think of me!) but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Like most things, our fears morph and regroup and have a habit of returning when the next big new thing you’re doing happen.
I can be moving forwards, planning my next big thing, feeling all confident until it’s time to put it out into the wider world. Then the thought will occur to me, along with the sickly, itchy feeling: What will they think of me? Will they think I’m an idiot/too scatty/unqualified/overbearing/pushy/crass? or whatever my brain is throwing up that day.
Even with all of the work I’ve done in this area, that fear of ‘what will they think of me?’ can catch me off guard.
So in this episode, Holly and I share some of our experiences around how you can work with the fear of what people will think of you in your business – and when you should (and shouldn’t) care.
What You’ll Learn
* What our own journey has been like in dealing with these fears and how this shows up for us
* Why this happens and why we have these fears
* How this shows up in business and how it holds us back
* Why this is a problem and why we need to work on it
* How perfectionism comes into play and why we need to get used to taking imperfect action
* How this is related to resilience and how we can strengthen our resilience muscle
* Why we need to step outside our comfort zone in all areas of our life, not just business
* What you can do to change this and release these fears so you can take action more easily
* Practical baby steps you can take to get used to speaking out and taking action
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It’s been a really fucking awful week. In an age of fear, bigotry, and fascism on the rise, seeing children in cages was a new low for an already horrible regime.
With Brexit still on course to wreck it’s cultural and economic destruction in my own country, the ongoing Windrush scandal revisiting my own countries vile ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy, the summer refugee ‘season‘ heating up in the Mediterranean (when God how many people fleeing unimaginable terror in Syria will drown after being turned away by Spain, Italy, and other European countries), the seemingly endless horror of the war in Syria, the sight of children screaming for their parents was too much to bear.
Yet bear it we must. Bear it we did. Not because there’s some sort of moral medal to be won for absorbing human tragedy, but because to turn away risks becoming complicit.
And yet this is really fucking hard.
I lost many hours of ‘work’ time this week because I was too upset to do the things I’d planned to do. Most of my calls with clients and colleagues also focused in part on the horror we were witnessing. We emailed, we called, we raged, we shared on social media, we donated.
Some even went and put themselves physically in front of detention centers. Some were protesting this weekend.
And many, many, many of us felt guilty that we couldn’t do MORE. Felt guilty when we had to pull away. Felt conflicted about getting with work, doing the things to run and grow our businesses.
Because there are times when it feels too much. When it feels like to retreat, to withdraw, to forget about the horror is a betrayal. is giving in and letting the evil win.
So how the hell do you grow a business when the world is burning?
It’s too big a question for me to answer on my own. So I put in an emergency call to my two besties in business – Lara Heacock from Kind Over Matter and Liz Applegate from the Midlife Schmidlife podcast. Liz, Lara and I talk about this stuff repeatedly – how Do you keep going? How much is enough? How to care for ourselves without feeling guilty for taking the time out? What do you do when you want to fucking scream at the cruelty and the horror unfolding?
Like I say, I don’t have the answers. But between us, we came up with some suggestions. Some things that can help. Some things that can give perspective. And I recorded our conversation. And you can listen to it here.
- Self-care in the age of Trump
- Share what we do when it all feels too much
- Share practical things we’ve done and are intending to do that contribute to the reduction of harm being done.
- And what has actually given us some joy this week – even in the midst of all this horror.